Isn’t it time for sportscasters to stop using the inane phrase “are you kidding me” after every great play? At whom in heaven’s name is it directed?  Isn’t it also time to stop telling us the play will be on “to-night’s highlight reel?”

           Wouldn’t NHL suspensions be much more effective if teams weren’t allowed a call-up to replace a suspended player on their playing roster?

           Wouldn’t it be refreshing if politicians gave straight answers reflecting their own thinking rather than just parroting evasive talking points that were developed by some anonymous, unelected, and probably overpaid, political hack in a back room somewhere?

            Given that pollsters carefully declare their results are accurate within 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20, wouldn’t it be interesting to know how wildly off they are in that other one?

Some More Interesting Country Song Titles

            During the last few weeks I’ve actually heard country songs with the following titles:

            It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right

            Hope You’re Feeling Me Like I’m Feeling You

            (She’s Living It Up While) I’m Living It Down.

            Don’t Call Him A Cowboy (Until You’ve Seen Him Ride)

            She’s Acting Single (While I’m Drinking Doubles)

A Remarkable Keynote Speech

            Sometime in the early 70s I was one of three or four Canadian delegates to a Junior Achievement black-tie fund raiser in the ballroom of the Americana Hotel in Washington, D.C. The keynote speaker was the legendary actor John Wayne. Those of you who remember him will recall that in his movies he was usually cast as a man of few words. It turned out he was the same in real life. In the event’s program, and during his introduction, the topic was said to be “Volunteerism.”

            At the conclusion of his introduction, Wayne slowly unfolded himself from his chair at the head table and leisurely ambled over to the lectern. He paused a few seconds while he surveyed the entire audience, thereby assuring everyone’s undivided attention. He then gave the following ten-second speech. “I’ve been asked to talk about volunteering. Volunteering isn’t something you talk about, it’s something you do.”  He then ambled back to his seat.

            During the ensuing moments of stunned silence, one of the other delegates at my table groused something along the lines of, “This is a rip off, that’s not a speech!” I asked him, “Are you ever going to forget it?” He smiled sheepishly and agreed that he likely never would. I strongly suspect that not a single one of the more than a thousand people who were in that room have ever forgotten it. Add to that, the fact that John Wayne, in ten words, said everything that needed to be said in order to forcefully deliver his impactful message, and you have a truly remarkable speech. The reason I’m writing about this after over four decades is also remarkable; at least it is to me.

            Two days ago I received a tweet from a guy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, whom I don’t follow on Twitter and who is not on my list of Twitter followers. He asked me if I remembered the speech; no other details, just that simple question. I replied that I did, and although I didn’t ask him (I figured if he wanted me to know he would have told me), I am curious as to how he made the connection.

Speeding Up Baseball Games

            Major League Baseball has announced that next season, whether or not the players’ association agrees, it’s going to introduce more measures designed to speed up games,

            One simple change they can introduce is to make a visit to the mound by the catcher count in determining when a pitcher has to be taken out. And perhaps someone can develop a batting glove that doesn’t need to be adjusted after every pitch; or perhaps just give Dustin Pedroia a bonus to take early retirement.

Speaking Of Baseball, How About An Aaron Judge Hat Trick?

            Even though he only did it twice during his incredible 36-year career in the NHL and WHL, the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” (a goal, an assist, and a fight in the same game) is well-established in hockey’s lexicon. It may be time for major league baseball to establish the “Aaron Judge Hat Trick,” which would be a walk, a strikeout, and a monstrous home run in the same game.