Cool Hand Brett

I’ve never been a Brett Favre fan.  Favre throwing an interception in a key moment of a big game was (until this season) one of surest things in football.  His annual I’ve-retired-no-I-haven’t peek-a-boo is tiresome.  But seeing him turn 40 and play the best ball, statistically, of his long career, his gray hair and perpetual stubble looking out of place under his helmet, is turning me around.  New Orleans is pounding him tonight and he keeps picking himself up.  He’s hobbling after his left leg got whipsawed by 600 pounds of lineman.  Win or lose he will be black and blue for a week.   I thought tonight of the fight scene in Cool Hand Luke, where Dragline knocks Luke to the ground again and again.  Each time Luke gets off the dirt and back in the fight, Dragline hits him in the jaw, and Luke is slower to get up.  But get up he does, until he can no longer.  The Saints are up by a touchdown with 7.26 left in the 4th quarter.  Brett needs to lead the zillionth comeback of his career to pull this one out.  He’s 40 years old, he’s had the crap beaten out of him, and he’s still smiling and firing the football.  (He just floated a pass to Berrian in the end zone, which drew a pass interference call and gives the Vikings the ball on the NO 1.) Unlike this afternoon’s AFC Championship game, where I was rooting for both teams to lose, I’d like to see both New Orleans and Minnesota win.  Maybe the Super Bowl can be an NFC-only affair.

Minnesota just tied the game, 28-28.  There’s 4:58 left to play. Don’t throw the ball away, Brett.

You Be the Ethics Board

Illinois lawyer Loren Friedman changed the Bs and Cs on his law-school transcript to As and Bs and landed a summer associate job at Sidley Austin, the large corporate Chicago law firm.  Years later, when Friedman was working as an associate in a firm in New York, Sidley Austin discovered the lie.  Friedman admitted his fraud to the Illinois bar, which may have remembered that Friedman previously admitted failing to disclose flunking out of medical school on his law school applications.  In deciding the fate of his license to practice the Illinois bar knew Friedman to be a serial liar.  The board hearing Friedman’s case decided to suspend his license for three years.  The attorney-discipline agency appealed, seeking permanent suspension.  The Illinois Ethics (there’s an oxymoron) Review Board just decided Friedman’s appeal.  The result?   Read the comments below or this article to find out.

Blame Me. I’m From Massachusetts*

I’ve disliked Scott Brown, our senator-elect, since the Brown family PR machine started pumping articles about daughter Ayla into the local media about four years ago.  Anyone trying so hard for fame is suspect.  I’ll give him credit for campaigning well, tapping into the fear and uncertainty of a critical mass of the electorate.  Martha Coakley has been a terrific public servant but she never campaigned as if she truly wanted to be senator.  She failed to make an emotional connection with voters, she and her advisors may have taken her election for granted–it’s unthinkable that a republican would take Teddy’s seat, right?–but Brown likely would have beaten any of the democratic candidates.  I don’t believe that all of Brown’s voters endorse of his core positions.  He is too conservative for Massachusetts’ centrist voters who decided the election–and Martha Coakley is no flaming liberal. His victory, raw meat to the rabid right, guarantees more ugly local and national politics–hence this post’s title.

*Most of my readers are too young to understand the title’s reference.  Get up to speed here.

What We Do For Fun

Yesterday’s 7 am temperature in Jackson Hole:  -26 F.  Today’s 7 am temperature in Jackson Hole:  -32 F.   The coldest temperatures I’ve ever experienced.  Despite the cold start yesterday’s skiing was great.  At 9 am it was -11 at the base but, thanks to an inversion, 3 degrees on top, and temperatures rose through the morning and afternoon.   There was no wind, the sky was the deepest blue, and we had a wonderful day.

But man, it’s cold.

Why No One Talks to Me at Parties

Let’s start off 2010 by making my position clear:  it is not a new decade.  Or, it is a new decade, just as 2009 and every year is the end of one ten-year period and the start of another.  The first decade of the Common Era was years 1-10.  (No one uses zero as an ordinal number except computer engineers, who had not been invented in the Year One.  Today is not the 0th day of January.  This is not my 0th post of 2010.  When Wes Welker catches a Tom Brady pass on 3rd and 7 and gains 12 yards, the ref does not announce “0th down!”)   The second decade of the Common Era started on New Year’s Day of year 11.  1,999 years have passed from January 1, 11 to January 1, 2010.  1,999 is not a factor of ten.  Therefore today, while the start of the 10’s, is not the start of the 201st decade of the Common Era.  Agreed?

Probably, no.  I can’t even convince my family.  Before he drove off on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends (it was a long drive), I discussed this controversy with Nate.  His explanation for why today is the start of a new decade?  “The first decade was short.  Only nine years.”  He said that, right to my face!  That’s what happens when you send your kids to college to become liberal arts majors.

Happy New Year, readers.