10 Thoughts For the Week of September 13, 2020

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1. 9/11

After 19 years, it is pretty amazing how 9/11 feels as fresh as yesterday. I still remember when I first heard about the planes hitting the tower. I remember going to work and being sent home. It was confusing and slowly developing for someone living in California. I guess that is what they mean when they say “We Will Never Forget”.

2. MILWAUKEE BUCKS

For the second year in a row, the Bucks have had the best record, the best defense, and the best player in the league. For the second year in a row, they didn’t get to the NBA Finals. The Miami Heat played inspired basketball and Giannis got hurt. Outside of Game 4, it didn’t appear the Bucks had the next gear that championship teams have to make it to the next level.

When I look at comparisons, I think of Jordan’s Bulls and Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers. They were both teams that had spent two or three years to get over the hump.

3. DANUEL HOUSE

When I heard about Danuel House being expelled from the NBA Bubble because he was entertaining one of the on-site testers, I thought of the Morris Day song “Gigolos Get Lonely Too”. The players were in the bubble for two and a half months and I guess it was too much for House; or was it love at first sight?

4. LAKERS ARE BACK IN THE WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS

Due to Danuel House’s indiscretions, the Lakers destroyed the Rockets en route to the Western Conference Finals. This is the first time the Lakers have been in the playoffs since Kobe hobbled off with an Achilles injury. I would like to think of them as the favorites but their play has not inspired me they will steamroll the rest of the competition. Truth be told, they are a Dame Lillard injury and a Danuel House expulsion from being in two tough playoff series.

5. R.I.P. TOOTS HIBBERT

The music world lost a legend this week when Toots Hibbert of Toots and the Maytals passed away. Their music was so joyful and Pressure Drop is a classic.

6. BLACK REPUBLICANS

This week, I listened to an interesting podcast about Black Republicans. It was a great conversation about the movement of African Americans from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party in the last half of the twentieth century. 

What I found most interesting is that as a people African Americans are conservative. They have conservative views, but they have zero tolerance for racism.

7. A COMPETENT PRESIDENT

Last week, I mentioned the challenging opinions of how many people in the United States would have died of COVID. Well German Lopez, of Vox, claims if the US had the same response to COVD that Canada did, 100,000 would still be alive.

8. THE NFL IS BACK

The NFL is back at a time that does not feel as strange as baseball and basketball. After watching the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday, I think they are the favorites by a lot. Tom Brady lost his first game as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer. Bill Belichick looked like he didn’t miss Tom Brady. It’s only Week 1.

9. DOG MAN

Dog Man is a family favorite at my house. The latest installment of the Dog Man saga Dog Man: Grime & Punishment has been the best selling book in North America for the last three weeks.

10. SOCIAL MEDIA & POLITICS

A recent poll from the Pew Research Center asked Americans their opinions about social media platforms’ ability for raising awareness was very surprising to me.

10 Thoughts on Week 5 NFL Games:

  • Aaron Rodgers beats the Cowboys again.
  • The Giants are done. They are 0-5. They have no receivers. OBJ is done for the rest of the season. They play Denver this week and Seattle next week. They are looking at at least 0-7. They should tank for Sam Darnold.
  • The Raiders are in a tailspin. They have no Derrek Carr. Marshawn Lynch is not what he was billed to be. The defense is worse than anyone expected. They have lost three in a row and they made Baltimore look like the best offense in the NFL.
  • Ben Rothlesberger threw five interceptions including two pick-sixes. Pittsburgh has the talent to turn things around. I just don’t know if they have discipline and mental toughness to play ball.
  • Super Cam Newton is back. For the second week in a row, Cam was the best player on the field. If he keeps this up, Carolina is very dangerous.
  • The Chiefs are going to challenge for 16-0 as long as everyone stays healthy. No one can stop their offense and their defense is above average. Alex Smith is playing like an MVP and Kareem Hunt is leading the league in rushing by a 143 yards.
  • DeShaun Watson threw five touchdowns. He continues to rise to the occasion. While the Texans did not beat the Chiefs, they put up a big fight and  showed they can play with the best team in the NFL.
  • Mike Pence’s political stunt ruined Peyton Manning’s statue ceremony in Indianapolis. I hope Trump’s golf-buddy gives him an ear-full.
  • The Rams are not legit yet. They had a chance against the Seahawks; but they had five turnovers and didn’t look like the league’s best offense.
  • The Buccaneers should have beaten the Patriots if they had a mediocre kicker. Doug Martin’s return makes them a legit team. The Buccaneers defensive line put a beating on Tom Brady.