Points of Ponderation…..Episode 1.19

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

 

 

 

 

I am willing to wait & see what happens in a few weeks when a temporary agreement to end the longest government shutdown in United States history reaches zero hour. There are some that believe that ending the shutdown at all without an agreement to fund border security is President Trump’s version of President George HW Bush’s “Read my lips…no new taxes” moment, and they may be right. Those folks feel like Trump caved, that he was outmaneuvered by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. On the flip side are those who are convinced that Trump has won the battle, that he has his political opponents right where he wants them. I must confess that I am having difficulty understanding that logic. Essentially what all of this seems to come down to is whether or not one believes that the last resort option that Trump has in his back pocket…declaring border security a national emergency and getting the money for his “big beautiful wall” by circumventing Congress altogether…is a good idea. Is it shortsighted?? Could setting such a precedent come back to bite us all in the tookas someday?? Could a future (presumably Democrat) President declare a similar national emergency and do something sinister like confiscate guns?? To be honest, I don’t feel intellectually equipped to tackle such big questions, but I’m not ready to push the panic button. Let’s see how this all plays out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have developed…well, it’s not a short fuse…let’s call it a higher standard for interaction. Whether it’s face-to-face communication or a phone conversation my threshold is about 15 minutes. After that my patience for tedious chatter or pointless babbling is essentially non-existent. There are people in my life who I talk to on a daily basis that tend to drone on & on & on for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour…sometimes longer…and I just want to scream!! I can have intelligent conversations til the cows come home, but when faced with mindless blather I have started to become borderline rude, cutting people off, ending the conversation, or pretty much telling them they need to leave.

 

 

 

Liberals are people who, when confronted with facts & objective truth, will continue to push their misinformed agenda and false narrative. I wish I could just let that roll off my back and laugh, but I find it extremely irritating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spoiler alert…I am not thin, buff, or sexy. I know this about myself, and I’m okay with it. Would I love to shed some pounds?? Sure. Could I do a better job in an effort to accomplish that goal?? Yes. However, it is narrow-minded and completely wrong to assume that an overweight person is simply a lazy slob. I’m not going to make excuses, but there are multiple factors that determine a person’s particular body type. At any rate, whenever someone resorts to a fat joke or a comment about my weight during a…discussion of the issues…on social media I immediately know that I’ve won the debate because they haven’t got anything more cerebrally significant to add. On occasion I have been bothered by such insults to the point that I’ve changed my profile pic to a cartoon character or inanimate object, but mostly I’ve just learned to shrug off that kind of dumbassery. I recently ran across a Twitter thread in which a young lady laid out a clear & concise argument against President Trump’s wall & the whole idea that illegal immigration is even an issue. I might not agree with her conclusions, but I respect the fact that she presented a cogent case (complete with statistics) free of name-calling, foul language, & general nonsense.

The 2018 Sammy Awards – Part III

Greetings Manoverse, and welcome to the exciting conclusion of the 2018 Sammy Awards. If you haven’t already done so, please go back and check out parts 1 & 2, then we’ll meet back here.

 

 

 

All caught up?? Awesome. Please welcome back the host of our show, British comedian & talk show host Michael McIntyre!!

 

 

 

 

After some side-splitting comedy from our host it’s time to present our next award. It is a privilege for this show to reunite what ESPN never should have separated. For nearly two decades they made early morning weekday hours fun & informative for sports fans everywhere, and along the way they picked up five Sammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award a year ago. They’re still on TV & radio, but the magic is gone, so it is wonderful to have them together again on our stage. Please welcome author, vociferous New York Jets fan, & the host of ESPN’s Get Up, Mike Greenberg, and former NFL defensive lineman & host of ESPN’s Golic & Wingo, Mike Golic!! And the nominees are:

 

 

Best Sports Story

 

The Tide Rolls Again

The 2017-18 Alabama Crimson Tide went 11-1 in the regular season and failed to even make it to the SEC title game…but it didn’t matter. The powers-that-be handed them a spot in the College Football Playoff anyway, and the Tide rolled to their 17th National Championship, their fifth in nine years with head coach Nick Saban at the helm.

 

Dr. Larry Nassar

Dr. Nassar was a physician at Michigan State University and for about 15 years served as the team doctor for USA Gymnastics. During that time he sexually abused over 200 young people, and after being sent to prison in 2017 for child pornography in 2018 he was convicted of sexual assault to minors, so he’ll be spending the rest of his life in jail and one can assume eternity in Hell.

 

Philly Wins The Super Bowl

The 2017-18 Philadelphia Eagles went 13-3 in the regular season, easily winning their division. They proceeded to cruise thru the playoffs and clash with the dastardly New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII (that’s 52 for all you non-Romans out there). What makes the story interesting is that starting quarterback Carson Wentz was lost to a torn ACL late in the season, so the Eagles ended their regular season and faced the playoffs with journeyman backup QB Nick Foles under center. Fortunately for Philly fans Foles was up to the task, and he even caught a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.

 

The Olympics

There was a Winter Olympics in South Korea last February. Did anyone notice?? Does anyone remember a single solitary thing that happened?? I didn’t think so.

 

The Madness of a 16 Over a 1

Villanova beat Michigan to win the NCAA basketball tournament (aka March Madness), but that wasn’t the most interesting part of the event. Two other things stood out. Probably the most enduring image of the tournament is the 11th seeded Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, with their Gryffindor-esque scarves & 98 year old nun Sister Jean cheering them on, making it to the Final Four. But before that history was made in the first round when the 16th seed UMBC Retrievers upset the #1 seed Virginia Cavaliers…the first time a 16 has ever beat a 1.

 

Tiger Woods

Once upon a time Tiger Woods was not only the best golfer in the world, he was probably the top athlete overall. Of course we all know that health problems & personal issues knocked him off that perch nearly ten years ago, and it’s been a long road back. At one time it was a foregone conclusion that Woods would surpass Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, but in the past several years most began to question whether he would ever win another major…or even a tournament. However, in 2018 Woods began to somewhat resemble his old self on the course, winning the Tour Championship in September, placing sixth at the British Open, & finishing as the runner up at the PGA Championship.

 

Ovechkin Wins The Cup

Alex Ovechkin has been considered one of the best hockey players in the world since debuting with the Washington Capitals more than a decade ago. However, his talent had not translated into post-season success, with the Caps being ousted early year after year. That all changed in 2018, as Ovechkin led his team to their first Stanley Cup.

 

The Warriors Beat Lebron…Again

The Golden State Warriors have faced the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals for four straight seasons. In 2015 & 2017 the Warriors won pretty easily. In 2016 Lebron James willed the Cavaliers to a Game 7 victory. What would happen in 2018?? Well…a sweep for Golden St. It wasn’t pretty, and really not that interesting.

 

France Wins The World Cup

Look, I realize that soccer is the most popular sport in the world. I know we Americans march to the beat of a different drummer. I have tried to develop an interest in soccer, but I just can’t do it. At any rate, Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup, and France defeated Croatia in the final. The United States failed to even qualify for the tournament, so any infinitesimal interest some of us might have had pretty much died before the event even began.

 

LA-Bron

After another crushing defeat in the NBA Finals it became clear that Lebron James wouldn’t be spending the last few years of his basketball career wasting away in Cleveland. The fact that he ever returned in the first place is a miracle because it is obvious that James’ relationship with Cavs owner Dan Gilbert wasn’t great, and that Gilbert doesn’t really have the means or the alacrity to put together a championship caliber team. Thankfully James’ didn’t make the same mistakes he made back when he initially ditched the Cavs for the Miami Heat in 2010. There was no “Decision” on TV. Whether it is the glitz & glamor of Hollywood, the history of Showtime, Kareem, Magic, Kobe, et al, planning ahead for a future after basketball, or the allure of working with team President Magic Johnson, it came as no surprise when Lebron James joined the Los Angeles Lakers. After a shaky start the Lakers are in playoff contention, although they probably can’t be considered legit title contenders at the moment.

 

Urban Meyer

2018 was quite the roller coaster ride for Ohio State Buckeyes football coach Urban Meyer. He was suspended for the first three games of the season after mishandling domestic violence allegations against a former assistant coach. The team fared well without him and looked like solid playoff contenders, but an October loss to Purdue doomed the Buckeyes’ playoff hopes. Meyer announced that he’d retire following the team’s bowl game due to a cyst on his brain that he’s been battling for years. From what I understand the cyst is not life threatening and isn’t usually a big deal for those that have them, but Meyer’s situation seems to be a bit more than a minor annoyance. He ended his career (for now) with a big Rose Bowl victory, and since he’s only 54 years old who knows what the future may hold for him.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

The Philadelphia Eagles. It’d be tempting to give Philly the award simply for beating the hated Patriots in the Super Bowl, but the fact that they did it with a backup quarterback (who was named Super Bowl MVP) and used a fun little trick play called The Philly Special to secure the victory just made the story even cooler. Can history repeat itself this year?? Stay tuned.

 

 

 

Before we hand out the final award of the evening it is our pleasure to welcome one of the most talented singers in the world. His wheelhouse is old jazz standards made popular by crooners like Frank Sinatra, Van Morrison, Dean Martin, & others, but he has produced some lovely original pop tunes and is a must listen during the Christmas season. To sing a medley of his hits & personal favorites please welcome Michael Bublè!!

 

 

Thank you Michael!! That was tremendous!!

 

 

To present our final award The Sammys are honored to welcome the oldest presenter in our brief history. At 96 years of age she is still making us laugh, as she has consistently done during a career that has spanned eight decades. She has starred in beloved television programs like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls, & Mama’s Family, made frequent appearances on game shows like Match Game, The $25,000 Pyramid, & Password, and is a reliably funny guest on talk shows for many years. It is a sincere honor to welcome Betty White to the Sammy Awards. And the nominees are:

 

 

 

Biggest News Story

 

North Korean Summit

Back in June President Trump traveled to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. It was the first ever summit between leaders of the two nations. The two men discussed Korean denuclearization and signed an agreement meant to lead to lasting peace between their countries.

 

Another Royal Wedding

In May Prince Harry, the younger son of Prince Charles & Princess Diana, married American actress Meghan Markle. I’ll give the Brits this much…they know how to make a spectacle out of just about anything.

 

Illegal Immigration, Border Security, & The Migrant Caravan

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”. So goes the poem that is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty. It is true that the United States is a nation of immigrants. No one is disputing that. The issue is how & where such immigration takes place. There has to be a system. There have to be rules. There must be accountability. America is a melting pot, and when people come here we expect them to adhere to our laws, pay taxes, become productive members of society, and embrace our culture & way of life. You can’t just sneak in, live anonymously, & take take take take without contributing while breaking any rules you don’t feel like following. President Trump’s promise to build a “big beautiful wall” along the southern border was a cornerstone of his 2016 campaign, and now Democrats refuse to greenlight funding for the project. The majority of Americans are in favor of border security, but it sure seems like certain politicians in DC are putting their hatred of the President ahead of the will of the people, and for a very long time it has felt like those same bureaucrats have cared a lot more about folks from other countries…like the thousands in the “Migrant Caravan” that have been heading for the United States from Central America for several months…than they do about the Americans they allegedly represent.

 

Thai Cave Rescue

In June a team of teenage soccer players toured a cave in Thailand and became trapped when heavy rains flooded the cave, trapping the entire team inside. For more than two weeks the youngsters & their coach were in the cave while a massive rescue effort involving thousands of people took shape. The entire group was eventually rescued, although one diver…a former Thai Navy SEAL…died in the process.

 

Trump-Putin Meetings

Just a few weeks after his historic summit with Kim Jong-un President Trump went to Finland for a similar get-together with Russian President Vladimir Putin. I’m not sure what was accomplished except reigniting media accusations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

 

Justice Kavanaugh

When Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his intention to retire at the end of July speculation immediately began about his possible replacement. After President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals it appeared that there would be the typical political posturing but a confirmation was assumed. However, what followed captured the attention of our entire nation for weeks. 52 year old professor & psychologist Christine Blasey Ford stepped forward and accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school party almost four decades ago. Though her recollections are fuzzy, the story has more holes than Sonny Corleone on the causeway in The Godfather, & she appears to be about as credible as Milli Vanilli, the news media treated Blasey Ford like the star witness at a mafia trial. What should have been a slam dunk confirmation turned into an edge-of-your-seat drama, all based on specious allegations of what Kavanaugh may or may not have done when he was a kid forty years ago. I don’t believe for a second that Kavanaugh did anything to Dr. Minnie Mouse, but even if he made a pass at her or got a bit handsy, a) how come such allegations hadn’t become a thing as he was ascending the professional ladder, & b) should we really focus that much attention on something that a person did in high school?? At the end of the day the United States Senate decided that either they didn’t believe the accusations or that it didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of life. Whatever their thought process may have been Justice Kavanaugh was confirmed and now sits on The Supreme Court.

 

Parkland High School & Pittsburgh Synagogue Shootings

On Valentine’s Day a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, killing 17 students & staff members and injuring 17 others. The gunman was a 19 year old former student who had made numerous threats in the past, but everyone from local law enforcement to the FBI completely dropped the ball. In October a mass shooting occurred at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA. 11 people were killed, 7 were injured, and the gunman was a 46 year old man who had posted anti-Semitic rants on social media.

 

Hurricanes Florence & Michael

Hurricane Florence was a Category 4 storm that hammered The Carolinas in September. Flooding was a bigger issue than high winds. 55 deaths occurred and the hurricane caused atleast $15 billion in damage. Hurricane Michael was a Category 4 storm that hit the Florida Panhandle in early October. More than 50 deaths resulted, and more than $4 billion in damage was reported in Florida & Georgia.

 

Mid-Term Elections

The 2018 mid-term elections saw the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives and Republicans retain their majority in the Senate. Overall, considering the relentless pummeling President Trump has taken from the leftist media & Hollywood elite since the day he took office it is somewhat surprising that the Republicans fared as well as they did. The next couple of years should be loads of fun.

 

California Wildfires

The 2018 wildfire season is the deadliest & most destructive wildfire season on record in California, with a total of 8527 fires burning an area of 1,893,913 acres. The fires caused more than $3.5 billion in damages and over 100 people died.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

Justice Kavanaugh. I have said from Day 1 that the biggest reason I voted for Donald Trump was because I trusted him to make Supreme Court nominations more than Hillary Clinton. Nearly everything else a President does can be changed with the stroke of a pen by Congress or the next President, but the Supreme Court is a lifetime appointment that can shape our country for decades. There are oftentimes arguments & battles over nominees, but I don’t know if we’ve ever seen anything like what happened to Brett Kavanaugh. Only two people know what exactly happened at that party back in 1982…if anything happened at all. I didn’t find Christine Blasey Ford to be the least bit believable, and I am convinced that the whole debacle was a political hit job designed to destroy Trump’s nominee. However, IF something did happen to Ms. Ford and Kavanaugh was involved, then questions have to be asked. Why wasn’t this made public many years ago?? How had Kavanaugh gotten this far in his career if he is really such a scoundrel?? Should a middle-aged person be punished for being a creep when they were a teenager?? These are discussions worth having, because we need to decide acceptable parameters for destroying peoples’ lives. The Senate decided…for whatever reason…that, whether or not Brett Kavanaugh did something wrong forty years ago, he deserved an opportunity, based on his professional track record of success, to sit on the highest Court in the land, and now we prepare for the next skirmish.

 

 

 

 

 

evangelist Billy Graham…former President & First Lady George HW Bush & Barbara Bush…physicist Stephen Hawking…legendary sportscaster Keith Jackson… The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin…Hall of Fame pro wrestler Bruno Sammartino…comic book creator Stan Lee (Spider-Man, The X-Men, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, The Fantastic Four, Black Panther, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch, Ant-Man)…actress (Laverne & Shirley) and director (Big, Awakenings, A League of Their Own) Penny Marshall… TV chef Anthony Bourdain… retired NBA coaches Jack McKinney (LA Lakers, Indiana Pacers) & Tex Winter (Chicago Bulls) and players Hal Greer (Philadelphia 76ers), Jo Jo White (Boston Celtics), Clifford Rozier (Golden St. Warriors), & Lonnie Shelton (NY Knicks)…TV host Robin Leach (Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous)…retired NFL players Jim Taylor (Green Bay Packers), Bennie Cunningham (Pittsburgh Steelers), Tommy McDonald (Philadelphia Eagles), Dwight Clark (San Francisco 49ers), Wes Hopkins (Philadelphia Eagles), Gabe Rivera (Pittsburgh Steelers), Billy Cannon (Houston Oilers), Bill Fralic (Atlanta Falcons), & Ron Johnson (Pittsburgh Steelers)…former New Jersey Governor Brendan Byrne…Pittsburgh, PA meteorologist Joe DeNardo & sportscaster Sam Nover….actors Burt Reynolds (Smokey & The Bandit, Hooper, The Longest Yard, The Cannonball Run), Jerry Van Dyke (Coach, My Mother the Car), John Mahoney (Frasier, Say Anything, Striking Distance), Harry Anderson (Night Court), Bill Daily (I Dream of Jeannie, The Bob Newhart Show), Donnelly Rhodes (Soap, Double Trouble), Louis Zorich (Mad About You), Frank Parker (Days of Our Lives), Mickey Jones (National Lampoon’s Vacation, Tin Cup, Home Improvement), David Ogden Stiers (MASH), Chuck McCann (mostly know for TV commercials), R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket), Verne Troyer (the Austin Powers series), Donald Moffett (The Right Stuff , The Bonfire of the Vanities, Trapped in Paradise), Herb Ellis (The Andy Griffith Show), Tab Hunter (Grease 2), Daniel Pilon (Dallas, Guiding Light), Robert Mandan (Soap, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Three’s a Crowd), Joseph Campanella (Days of Our Lives), & Ken Berry (Mayberry RFD, F-Troop, Mama’s Family) …authors Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities), William Goldman  (The Princess Bride, screenwriter of Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid and All the President’s Men), Harlan Ellison (Star Trek’s “City on the Edge of Forever”), & Philip Roth (American Pastoral, Portnoy’s Complaint)…retired MLB umpire Doug Harvey…Hugh Wilson (creator of WKRP in Cincinnati)…infamous gangster Whitey Bulger…Weather Channel co-founder John Coleman…NFL player Edwin Jackson (Indianapolis Colts)…actresses Margot Kidder (Superman), Charlotte Rae (Diff’rent Strokes, Facts of Life), Peggie McCay (Days of Our Lives, The Andy Griffith Show), Connie Sawyer (When Harry Met Sally, Dumb & Dumber), Lari White (Cast Away), Nanette Fabray (One Day at a Time), Katherine MacGregor (Little House on the Prairie), Sondra Locke (The Outlaw Josey Wales, Sudden Impact)….former MLB general manager Kevin Towers (San Diego Padres, Arizona Diamondbacks)…cartoonist Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey, Hi & Lois)…retired pro golfers Bruce Lietzke & Hubert Green…musicians/singers Michael White (Thompson Twins), Vic Damone, Dean Webb (The Dillards aka The Darlings on The Andy Griffith Show), DJ Fontana, Vinnie Paul (Pantera), Daryle Singletary, Roy Clark (Hee Haw), Otis Rush, Matt “Guitar” Murphy (The Blues Brothers)…retired NFL coach Chuck Knox (Seattle Seahawks)…Steve Ditko (co-creator of Spider-Man)…former MLB players Willie McCovey San Francisco Giants), Ken Howell (LA Dodgers), Red Schoendienst (St. Louis Cardinals), Tony Bartirome (Pittsburgh Pirates), Tito Francona (Cleveland Indians), Bruce Kison (Pittsburgh Pirates), & Rusty Staub (NY Mets)…fashion designer Kate Spade…British distance runner Sir Roger Bannister (ran the first sub-4-minute mile)…disc jockey Adrian Cronauer (the inspiration for Good Morning Vietnam)…UNC Tar Heels basketball announcer Woody Durham…Pulitzer Prize winning political pundit Charles Krauthammer…professional sports franchise owners Tom Benson (New Orleans Saints & Pelicans), Paul Allen (Portland Trailblazers, Seattle Seahawks, also co-founder of Microsoft), Bob McNair (Houston Texans), Wayne Huizenga (Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers, & Miami Marlins, also the founder of Blockbuster Video), & Alex Spanos (Los Angeles Chargers)… former U.S. Senator & Governor of Georgia Zell Miller and U.S. Senator & former Presidential candidate John McCain… television producers Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, NYPD Blue, Doogie Howser MD), John Conboy (Capitol, Guiding Light), & Paul Junger Witt (The Golden Girls, Soap, Benson, Empty Nest, Blossom)…retired pro wrestlers/managers Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, “Luscious” Johnny Valiant, The Dynamite Kid, Big Van Vader, Nikolai Volkoff, Paul Jones, Brickhouse Brown, Brian Christopher, Matt Cappotelli, Chris Champion, Jose Lothario, Larry “The Ax” Hennig, & Big Bully Busick…comedy club entrepreneur Mitzi Shore…Pulitzer Prize winning sportswriter Dave Anderson…talk radio host Art Bell…Oscar winning director Milos Forman (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Man on the Moon)…retired college football coaches Earle Bruce (Ohio St.) & Billy Brewer (Ole Miss) and basketball coach/AD CM Newton (Kentucky)…political commentator Ed Schultz…NFL coach Tony Sparano (Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins)…Tony Award winning playwright & screenwriter Neil Simon…former Marshall Thundering Herd QB Michael Payton…brewery executive William Coors (grandson of company founder Adolph Coors)…renowned sportswriter Paul Zimmerman (Sports Illustrated, The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pro Football)… Audrey Geisel (widow of “Dr. Seuss” Theodore Geisel)…NASCAR Hall-of-Famer David Pearson… infamous brothel owner Dennis Hof (Las Vegas’ Bunny Ranch)… former WV Mountaineers assistant basketball coach Gary McPherson

The 2018 Sammy Awards – Part II

Welcome back to the 2018 Sammy Awards as we continue our fond farewell to the past year. After some amusing observations from host Michael McIntyre it’s time to move forward with the show.

 

 

 

 

 

The Sammy Awards doesn’t shy away from controversy, and we tend to lean in a rebellious direction. So to present our next award please welcome two of the more successful actors in Hollywood. First, he’s a two time Academy Award winner and has come out as gay, although that may have possibly been a weak PR attempt to divert attention from “sexual misconduct” allegations (for which he was fired from his successful TV show House of Cards). Please give a pensive & slightly confused round of polite applause to Kevin Spacey!! Joining him is a young man who has starred in about a dozen lightly regarded & easily forgotten alleged comedies in the past few years. He was all set to host this year’s Academy Awards until politically incorrect jokes that he tweeted several years ago were suddenly discovered by ill-humored old curmudgeons who compelled him to quit. Give a warm welcome to Kevin Hart!! And the nominees are:

 

 

The Twitter Award for Most Interesting Water Cooler Topic

 

Tide Pods

I love Tide Pods…to do my laundry. But in 2018 some folks had a different idea & decided they’d make a good snack. Stupid people are the best job security doctors will ever have.

 

Stormy Daniels

She’s a stripper & a porn star, and apparently she got busy with Donald Trump many years before he ran for President. Those of us with critical thinking skills couldn’t possibly care less, but the media has made Ms. Daniels famous. No one is saying Trump is a saint, but that’s not really breaking news. Everyone knew about his shortcomings from Day 1, and the vast majority of folks outside of the heathen strongholds of New York, California, & Chicago decided he was still a better choice than Hillary Clinton. But kudos to Ms. Daniels for making the most of her 15 minutes.

 

Roseanne Barr

I was never a fan of Barr or her eponymous 90’s sitcom. The reboot of that show didn’t interest me in the least, despite her “coming out” as a Trump supporter. The reboot did monster ratings, but ABC cancelled it in a fit of self-righteous rage after Barr tweeted a comparison between Obama disciple Valerie Jarrett and a character from the recent Planet of the Apes films. The tweet was deemed racist, even though it clearly wasn’t meant to be. Jarrett actually does look eerily similar to the movie character. At any rate, ABC quickly realized their mistake and gave the show new life, albeit without Barr. The Conners has struggled in the ratings and will likely be cancelled, meaning no one in this unnecessary melodrama wins.

 

Mueller Investigation

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate alleged Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election almost as soon as the results were announced. Nearly two years later a handful of indictments & a few convictions have occurred, but as far as the election goes it seems like the best he can come up with is that the Russians may have posted some anti-Clinton propaganda on social media. Oh the horror!! If that kind of thing is deemed “interference” then perhaps all campaign advertisements & TV commercials should be banned. The simple truth is that The Establishment hates Trump and has conducted a witch hunt to destroy him since the day he became a legitimate threat to their power, and the sad part is that someday their plot just might work.

 

iHOB

Last summer people were legitimately stunned when restaurant chain IHOP announced they were changing their named to IHOB. Of course what many seemed to miss was that the restaurant was never actually going to change their name at all. It was simply a marketing campaign to promote a renovated lineup of burgers on their menu. About a month later the chain announced that they were “changing their name back” to IHOP, and still a lot of folks just didn’t get it.

 

Fleetwood Mac

Lineup changes & squabbles amongst bandmates are nothing new to music, so I suppose that it shouldn’t be a total shock that 70’s supergroup Fleetwood Mac recently tossed aside longtime guitarist Lindsey Buckingham after he’d been with the band for four decades. One would expect more mature behavior from 70 year olds.

 

Fortnite

I don’t know. It’s some sort of video game that the kids are into. I don’t care.

 

Bill Cosby

Cosby was nominated for this same award back in 2014, at which time it was stated that “nothing has been proven and it never will be because the things that allegedly occurred happened far enough in the past that statutes of limitations have all run out”. That was wrong, because in April 2018 he was convicted on three counts of aggravated indecent assault and sentenced to 3-10 years in prison. What a sad fate for the 81 year old comic legend.

 

Water On Mars

Back in the summer researchers discovered a lake about 12 miles wide under the south polar ice cap on Mars. Previous research found possible signs of intermittent liquid water flowing on the Martian surface, but this is the first sign of a persistent body of water on the planet in the present day.

 

Papa John

John Schnatter, founder & CEO of the pizza giant, stepped down about a year ago after allegedly controversial comments made about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his poor handling of the infamous anthem protest. He then landed in hot water again last summer after using a racial slur in a conversation about the anthem protests. The truth?? Schnatter is a Republican & a Trump supporter, and the things he said wouldn’t have been that big of a deal if he wasn’t.

 

Yanny or Laurel??

Last May social media & other outlets were abuzz due to an audio recording in which a person heard a voice say either the word “Yanny” or the word “Laurel”. I heard “Laurel” clear as a bell, as did the majority of my friends & family, though there were exceptions. The whole thing is an auditory illusion, as both sounds are on the recording. Some people focus on the higher frequency & hear “Yanny”, while others zero in on the lower frequency of the word “Laurel”. At any rate, it was a frivolously fun bit of conversation for a day or two.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

Roseanne Barr. Do I care that her show was cancelled? Not at all. Do I care about the fate of The Conners? Nope. However, I do believe it is sad how overly sensitive we’ve become in America. I think Barr should have been smarter, more aware of how tenuous her position was (given her “controversial” political opinions), & mindful of the fact that comedy has…unfortunately…been put under a politically correct microscope. I don’t consider what she tweeted to be the least bit offensive, and it actually has elements of truth, but one must understand how The Game is played in 21st century America. One must be ready to conform or suffer the consequences. Social media is a minefield, and the punishment can be swift & harsh…or even catch up to a person many years later. The rules are rather fluid.

 

 

 

To present our next award we are proud to introduce a young lad who became somewhat famous this past year after being discovered by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. He is a YouTube sensation whose brutally honest videos critiquing odd recipes are absolutely hysterical. Jesus take the wheel…it’s Kalen Allen!! And the nominees are:

 

 

 

The DB Cooper Award (For the Person Who Most Needs to Disappear)

 

Don Lemon

Is there a bigger douchenozzle in the media than CNN’s Don Lemon?? Since he’s black AND gay he is beloved by leftists everywhere, but what strikes me is just how angry & bitter he seems. The man is 52 years old, has a great TV gig, & the world is his oyster. What’s his freakin’ problem?? Remember the days when the folks reporting the news were atleast pretty good at hiding their bias?? Those days are gone, and Lemon is the poster child for everything wrong with his profession.

 

Samantha Bee

Full disclosure…I’ve never watched an episode of Bee’s TBS show Full Frontal. However, I watch enough reruns of The Big Bang Theory on that channel to have seen multiple ads for the show, and I just don’t get it. Okay okay…I understand political humor and the fact that Jon Stewart made such shows cool, and I can be as snarky as anyone. I have no issue with any of that, even if I disagree with the views being expressed. But humor…like great music & good food…requires a certain dexterity & finesse. Bee’s brand of bombastic sarcasm seems to be turned up to 11 all the time, and I can’t imagine sitting thru thirty minutes of that is enjoyable for anybody. It’s the same issue that has ruined late night talk shows. You want to go after President Trump?? Okay, that’s fair. But full throttle?? Every day?? At some point the beatdown becomes tedious and people want to laugh at different jokes.

 

The Obamas

Most former Presidents & First Ladies fade away into the sunset, shunning the limelight & letting their successors do their thing, whether or not they agree politically. Not these two. They seize every opportunity to soak in the adulation that people still inexplicably shower upon them, and never miss a chance to criticize & undermine the current Administration. It’s disgusting.

 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

I cannot believe that the people of New York actually voted this imbecile into Congress. Let’s face it…there are two political parties, and depending on one’s education, background, lifestyle, etc. there are going to be some politicians that we agree with & some we don’t…but generally we can all concede the fact that the folks representing us in cities & states nationwide as well as those populating Washington DC are reasonably intelligent people regardless of philosophical differences. I’m not sure that’s the case with this one. She’s the youngest person ever voted into the United States Congress and it shows. She seemingly has a very tenuous grasp on economic reality, common sense, & critical thinking, and appears to have the maturity level of the drunken sorority babes that I used to chat up in bars at 1am twenty-five years ago. I’m not familiar with Ms. Cortez’s district or the circumstances that led folks there to believe for a single solitary second that she was a reasonably good choice, but it is difficult to fathom that they could’ve have had worse options.

 

Robert DeNiro

Not only did DeNiro stop making good movies over a decade ago, but now he fancies himself a political commentator & socioeconomic expert. The truth is that he’s just a foul-mouthed, washed up, angry has-been like so many of his Hollywood friends. Stay in your lane Bobby.

 

Omarosa Manigault-Newman

I don’t watch reality television, and that includes Trump’s old show The Apprentice. Apparently this woman was a controversial contestant on that program over a decade ago, and then she became a staffer on the Presidential campaign a few years back. After Trump won the election he hired her to be part of his staff at the White House, but she lasted less than a year before resigning or being forced out (depending on who you believe). Since her departure from The White House Omarosa has gone completely off the rails, publicly turning against her old boss, releasing tapes of private conversations, & writing a “tell-all” book that the President’s staff has said is basically a load of poppycock. I have always been amazed by how some reality TV “stars” are successful at remaining in the spotlight far longer than they deserve, and in this case President Trump has to share part of the blame for helping the woman retain a shred of relevance before she used his kindness against him for her own gain.

 

Oprah Winfrey

For a brief moment in 2018 there was actually a movement afoot to persuade Oprah to run for President in 2020. Please…give me a freakin’ break. She’d be ten times the nightmare Donald Trump has been at his very worst.

 

Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, & Jimmy Kimmel

I’m over the whole late night TV thing. Oh sure I get a bit nostalgic occasionally & miss the good ol’ days of Carson, Letterman, Leno, Snyder, Costas, & Ferguson. I might even tune into Fallon for 5 or 10 minutes once in awhile. But for the most part I have become quite comfortable spending time after the late local news reading a bit, watching a movie, playing a game on my phone, catching up on whatever I’ve DVRed, chillin’ with some tunes, or even going to sleep at a decent hour. And it’s all because of these guys. Sadly they are all young enough that they’ll probably be hosting their shows for another two or three decades, but it’d be nice if they’d all just disappear from television and be replaced by hosts who would return the format to its former glory and decide that being funny is more important than being a political hack.

 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

I wish no ill will toward Justice Ginsburg. I hope she lives until she’s 150. But the fact is that, at 85 years old, she no longer has the mental capacity to sit on The Supreme Court. A Supreme Court justice should be one of the sharpest individuals with one of the keenest minds on the planet, and there are very few people that age that meet such criteria, no matter how brilliant they once were. I am a strict constructionist when it comes to The Constitution, so I hesitate to advocate for a mandatory retirement age or term limits for The Court, but one would hope that Justice Ginsburg will do the right thing sooner rather than later, despite what she may think about the current President or feel about his power to replace her with someone with whom she might not agree.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

All of Them. Y’all know the drill by now. These people just need to shut their pieholes. Go away. Get out. Good riddance. Don’t let the door hit you where the Good Lord split you.

 

 

 

 

 

To present our next award we are honored to welcome a big screen legend who began his career on television and has the perfect voice for radio. He is an Academy Award winning actor who has starred in classics like The Shawshank Redemption, Deep Impact, Now You See Me, Christoper Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, & Bruce Almighty. Let’s raise the roof for Morgan Freeman!! And the nominees are:

 

 

 

 

Favorite TV/Radio Program

 

This Is Us

After winning this award in its first two seasons I feel like This Is Us has kind of slacked off in its third year. Now that the mystery of how & when patriarch Jack Pearson met his demise is in the rear view mirror some of the luster has worn off for me. It’s still a well-written & performed program, but I must admit that I lost interest a few episodes into Season 3 and still need to do a bit of catching up before the show returns from its “winter break” this month.

 

Pardon the Interruption

Tony & Mike continue to represent curmudgeons & cantankerous old fogeys everywhere in the glut of sports debate programming. One or both are absent with some frequency, but “Fill In” Frank Isola has become a decent substitute.

 

The Young & the Restless

I’m really going to be interested to see the direction Y&R heads in during 2019, because this past year was a bit of a roller coaster. Too many new characters, too many familiar characters absent without explanation, and plots that drag on far too long are some of the key issues the show faced in 2018, although it was still entertaining enough for me to DVR on a daily basis and catch up on late at night at a time when I used to be watching talk shows that were once funny.

 

WV MetroNews Hotline

Dave Weekley is back!! The original host of West Virginia’s late afternoon statewide radio show returned in 2018, and he hasn’t missed a beat. The program is still a potpourri of sports, news, current events, entertainment, & whatever else one might deem interesting. I need to make more of an effort to catch the podcast this year…it’s not like I have anything else better to do.

 

Highly Questionable

The only other show on ESPN besides PTI that is worthy of space on my DVR. Dan, Papi, & a rogue’s gallery of co-hosts offer intermittently biting, mostly irreverent, & always entertaining commentary on hot sports topics, and they throw in the occasional goofy video of random people doing something completely stupid. It’s a great formula with the right personalities.

 

General Hospital

I love my DVR, and one of the few shows that I record on a daily basis is GH. A big reason that I have been unable to pull the trigger on giving up my soap operas completely is because GH is still such a well-written & entertaining program with solid performances & compelling stories.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

Highly Questionable. This might be considered somewhat of an upset, but amongst the competition HQ has become the most consistently entertaining program on a daily basis. I think what I like best is that it is a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The problem with ESPN the past several years is that so many of its reporters & hosts want to make sports more important than it really is. I love sports. Football, baseball, basketball, golf, & all the rest of it has been an essential part of my life, but at the end of the day it’s a game…frivolous fun designed as a distraction from the rigors of real life. Dan, Papi, & their revolving door of itinerant co-hosts understand that. They are comfortable with their relatively low spot on the television totem pole and have fun with it rather than try to convince the masses that the next thirty minutes will be life changing. I respect that, and more importantly, I laugh almost every single day at a goofy video shown on HQ or the hosts’ reaction to it. Shouldn’t that be the goal of a good TV show??

 

 

 

 

 

This seems like the appropriate place to take another break. Please join us soon for the exciting conclusion of the 2018 Sammy Awards!!

The 2018 Sammy Awards – Part I

It’s Awards Season, and y’all know what that means!! Welcome to the 8th annual Sammy Awards, the world’s quirkiest faux awards show. The Sammys are an irreverent yet respectful look back at the people, places, & things that shaped the past year. If The Sammy Awards were to be broadcast on television I think a streaming service like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon would be the way to go for a variety of reasons. As always many of the nominees aren’t in attendance and there are no acceptance speeches. Our show isn’t a neurotic, pompous, smug snoozefest like The Oscars or The Grammys, but we do take our task a bit more seriously than anything you’ll see on MTV.

 

To host this year’s program we have procured the services of British comedian Michael McIntyre, the host of Michael  McIntyre’s Big Show on the BBC. For those of you in America & elsewhere that may be unfamiliar with Mr. McIntyre’s wit & charm there are plenty of very funny videos available online that highlight just why we are so pleased to have him as this year’s host of The Sammys.

 

After an amusing opening monologue from our host it is time for the first award of the evening. To present we are thrilled to welcome to the stage an award winning actor & musician who is no stranger to awards shows. Please welcome the star of such big screen classics as Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, Father of the Bride, and Three Amigos…Steve Martin!! And the nominees are:

 

 

Favorite Movie

 

A Futile and Stupid Gesture

Not so much a biopic as a satire of biopics, Futile tells the story of Doug Kenney, the criminally overlooked comic genius behind National Lampoon magazine, as well as Animal House and Caddyshack, two of the most beloved comedy films of all time. SNL alum Will Forte gives an oddly poignant performance as Kenney, who…like so many outwardly funny people…was deeply insecure & emotionally fragile. You’ll see a bunch of well-known faces portraying even more famous people who were in Kenney’s orbit, and the whole movie has a tongue-in-cheek, self-referential vibe. Futile doesn’t take itself seriously at all, but perhaps it should’ve. It wasn’t released in theaters but is instead a Netflix movie, and the production value is notably…economical. It’s a solidly entertaining story, but one must understand…without Doug Kenney we would have never had National Lampoon or probably Saturday Night Live, some of the greatest comedy films of all time wouldn’t have existed, & several legendary careers might not have ever gotten off the ground. His life probably deserved a bigger budget.

 

Blockers

John Cena, Leslie Mann, & MadTV alum Ike Barinholtz star as helicopter parents trying desperately to stop their three daughters from following thru on a sex pact on prom night. The prom night sex thing is an overdone movie trope, but this is a fresh angle that provides a few laughs. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with the not-so-subtle message that parents are intrusive & out-of-touch losers while kids have everything under control, but I assume it’s intended to be some kind of feminist empowerment poppycock. In general Blockers is mildly entertaining but ultimately forgettable.

 

Ocean’s 8

Speaking of feminist empowerment…

The Ocean’s franchise is now out of the hands of Clooney, Pitt, Damon, & their band of Merry Men, handed off in this “sequel” to Sandra Bullock and a crew of ladies that she assembles for a jewelry heist. I love the Ocean’s movies and have no issue with spinning it off in this fashion, but the execution lacks…something. The cast is…okay, although it certainly doesn’t measure up to their predecessors. The heist goes a little too smoothly so the story lacks any kind of tension, and the motivation for it is uninspiring. I’m disappointed that the plot has Danny Ocean dead, because fans of the previous films would like to imagine he & wife Tess living the good life and enjoying the millions that he stole over the years. I kept expecting George Clooney to make a surprise experience since faking his death seems like something Danny would do, but he never showed up. Perhaps they’re saving that twist for future films.

 

Uncle Drew

NBA star Kyrie Irving, along with retired basketball players Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Webber, Reggie Miller, & Nate Robinson, portray geriatric former street ballers who missed out on their shot at glory years ago but are now recruited by a down-on-his-luck store clerk to return to NY City’s famed Rucker Park to help win the big tournament. I had rather low expectations for the film but was pleasantly surprised. Irving might actually have a future in acting when he’s done playing hoops.

 

Show Dogs

This movie wasn’t on my radar until a neighbor of mine suggested it, but it is acceptably entertaining. The story follows a cop who goes undercover at a dog show to bust an exotic animal smuggler. It is a live action film, but all of the dogs “talk”, voiced by folks like Shaquille O’Neal , Ludacris, American Idol alum Jordin Sparks, & RuPaul. There was some controversy about a scene where a dog’s…sensitive area…is…ummm…”handled”…by a dog show judge, which I guess is what actually happens at those events. The movie was eventually edited, but I saw it before all of that occurred and didn’t think anything of it.

 

Night School

Hollywood may not allow Kevin Hart to host the Oscars (because of ‘homophobic” comments & tweets…what we used to call jokes…some from a decade ago), but he always seems to star in atleast one of two mildly amusing movies every year. This time around he portrays a thirtysomething high school dropout who is compelled to attend night school & get his GED. Hilarity ensues, or atleast a few sporadic chuckles.

 

A Star Is Born

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper headline the latest remake of a tried & true cinematic formula, with notable supporting performances from Sam Elliott, Dave Chappelle, & Andrew Dice Clay. Cooper also directs, and he seems to have a knack for it. The concert scenes really provide a sense of the energy boost one feels from the combination of a live crowd & amped up music. I’ve said for years that Gaga doesn’t need crazy costumes & an outrageous persona…she’s a lovely woman with a beautiful & powerful voice. Not only does the film prove it, but it also kind of pokes fun at that exact contrast.

 

Tag

Based on a true story about a group of childhood buddies who’ve continued the same game of Tag well into adulthood. It’s a unique premise that makes the movie feel like one we’ve not seen before, which is cool.

 

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

I loved the first two Hotel Transylvania films, but with this third entry I kind of feel like the story has run its course. Sandler, Samberg, Selena Gomez, Buscemi, Spade, & all the rest return to lend their voices to now familiar characters, and they are joined by Kathryn Hahn as a mysterious ship’s captain with whom Dracula becomes smitten.  Not a bad movie…but not great either.

 

Christopher Robin

Winnie the Pooh’s human friend is now all grown up and living the humdrum & downtrodden adult life, complete with job pressures & a failing marriage. When Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, et al re-enter his life Christopher is at first annoyed & exasperated, but he eventually remembers his carefree & happy childhood. It’s a really cute film and I expect a sequel or two or three.

 

The Christmas Chronicles

When I first saw the trailer online I got the vibe that this movie might be rather lame, but I was pleasantly surprised. Kurt Russell stars in the Netflix original as Santa Claus like we’ve never seen Santa Claus. When two kids facing their first Christmas without their father decide to stay up to see The Jolly Old Elf in action they inadvertently threaten Christmas for the entire world and must spend the night helping St. Nick save the holiday. The story is fresh, Russell is engaging, & the kids are alright. I’m not sure it’ll become a beloved yuletide tradition or even spawn a sequel, but it’s a fun little Christmas distraction.

 

Like Father

Kelsey Grammer stars as the estranged father of a Type A workaholic daughter who is ditched at the altar. He ends up accompanying her on the vacation that was supposed to be her honeymoon and the two repair their damaged relationship. This is another Netflix film, and I have to opine that I am impressed with the original content that they are offering.

 

The Grinch

It’s better than the live action Jim Carrey atrocity from almost two decades ago, but doesn’t measure up to the original half hour special produced back in the 1960’s. In this latest incarnation of a familiar story The Grinch isn’t so much of a monster with a brain full of spiders & termites in his soul as much as he is an introverted, hypersensitive, antisocial hermit, and Cindy Lou Who is the daughter of a stressed out & overworked single mother. Whoville is a bustling little hotbed of Christmas commerce, though I must say it is depicted beautifully with superb computer animation. This is a cool movie to look at, even if the plot isn’t all that compelling.

 

Holmes & Watson

I’ve been a Sherlockian since junior high school, though admittedly I tend to stick mostly with the original stories and eschew the plethora of modern updates, remakes, reboots, & reimaginings. However, I couldn’t resist a comedic take on the world’s most famous detective from the same crew that brought us Talladega Nights & Step Brothers. Unfortunately for Will Ferrell & John C. Reilly this movie doesn’t measure up to their previous pairings. Is it as bad as its 8% rating on Rotten Tomatoes?? I don’t think it is quite that appalling…just dull & uninteresting.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

A Star Is Born. Full disclosure: I have never seen any of the previous versions of this story, but I can’t imagine that the 1976 adaptation starring Barbara Streisand & Kris Kristofferson, the 1954 movie with Judy Garland, or the 1937 original could be any better. Bradley Cooper has proven himself to be a talented & versatile actor, and now he takes things to a different level by adding director, producer, & screenwriter to his resume. The music is superb, and supporting performances by Sam Elliot, Dave Chappelle, & Andrew “Dice” Clay are pitch perfect.

 

 

 

To present our next award we are pleased to welcome three beautiful ladies who have one thing in common…they have all escaped the moral quagmire & career abyss of daytime television’s angriest show, The View. Please welcome the star of 90’s sitcom Full House & its Netflix revival Fuller House, Candace Cameron Bure!! Joining her is a former contestant on Survivor and a former co-host of Fox & Friends…give a warm welcome to Elisabeth Hasselbeck. And finally, she is a former ABC News correspondent and now hosts a podcast called Journeys of Faith…give it up for Paula Faris!! And the nominees are:

 

 

App of the Year

 

Words with Friends

Basically it is Scrabble, and I’ve always loved Scrabble. I’m all about word games rather than shooting/war type games. I haven’t been into it as much this past year as I’d been in the past, but I still play a game or two a couple of times a week.

 

Amazon Music

I haven’t purchased music in years. My tastes are rather eclectic and what I want to listen to depends on my mood, so streaming is the way to go for me. At $8/month it is well worth the price.

 

Spades Plus

I’ve always liked playing card games but throughout my life have had difficulty finding others with which to engage. Of course The Internet has changed all of that, and in 2018 I revived my love of Spades. Most of the time I find the game very relaxing. It’s usually the first thing I do after I get home & settle down to chill out, and it has become a nice late night time waster that has taken the place of the comedy shows that I used to watch after the local news. Occasionally the game can be frustrating…doubly so if I’m stuck with a partner who has no clue how to play or when I’m just not getting good cards. Sometimes…because everyone is anonymous & no one knows each other…it is a bit too easy for people to hurl insults & use foul language. However, all things considered, I have enjoyed the hours I’ve spent playing the game immensely, and I’m glad I stumbled upon this particular app.

 

Facebook Messenger

I think Messenger has become more useful than Facebook itself. The direct line of communication is much more efficient than even a phone call.

 

Amazon

Every once in awhile I have some disposable income and decide to go on a book buying binge. When that mood strikes the Amazon app is a lifesaver, because if I’m in the bookstore at the local mall and see something I want I can very easily verify that I can get it much cheaper online and have it delivered to my door in a couple of days. Thanks to the Amazon app I’ve saved a significant amount of money, and negatively impacted the bottom line of the mall bookstore.

 

 

 

and The Sammy goes to…..

 

 

 

Spades Plus. To date I have played nearly 2600 games, and that’s in just a few months!! I am absolutely addicted. Sometimes I have to make myself stop playing so I can get some sleep at night or do something productive during the day, but mostly it’s just a fun activity to do while I have a few moments of downtime. I enjoy the strategy and the small element of risk. Sometimes I wish my partners were a bit more savvy and my opponents less obnoxious, but those issues haven’t deterred my enjoyment of the game thus far.

 

 

 

 

This seems like the appropriate place to take a break. Please join us soon for Part II of the 2018 Sammy Awards!!