“We once had leaders. Now all we have are politicians.”
El Barrio, Bronx – Welcome to a very somber version of Deacon Blaber’s Saturday Sermon. The recent death of the Nelson Mandela has cast a cloud over today’s service. The service will persevere – as it must – and so we will salute Madiba and cover the Soccer World Cup 2014, the Week in Sports and some… Dead Rats.
Without being redundant, here is what I had to say on our sister site Rugby Wrap Up about Madiba:
“…In the rugby world he has the status of a god. But not for ending Apartheid or surviving 27 years in prison or his fight for justice. It was his determination and resolve to keep the Springboks the national team of South Africa and get the whole nation behind captain Francois Pienaar and the team – only years removed from prison and the start of presidency. His support of the 1995 RWC Springboks is covered in the movie Invictus and it truly helped unify the country as they shocked the world and won it. I myself, didn’t understand or discover this importance until about a decade ago as I began my journey to being a student of the game. It was through this, that I understood the magnitude of his actions and the victory. His value to South Africa and SA Rugby, International Rugby and the world are immeasurable. RIP in Madiba. You showed the world that a warrior must use his mind and heart. Your ways will be imitated but your greatness can never be duplicated. Go in peace, great one. We were blessed to be graced by your presence. ”
I will only add that the manna and essence of humanity and justice that he carried with him, the world may never see again.
World Cup 2014: Madiba also loved soccer and so we must talk about the World Cup 2014 draw. FIFA is more corrupt than the NCAA and IOC combined. The current president is Swiss and made sure his team had an easy qualifying pool and now WC pool. His successor will be a Frenchmen, who aspires to be a sporting mafioso, aussi. For the second time in a row, France cheated their way in, then get laws changed so they could end up in an easy pool. Meanwhile, the USA and Ghana, will meet again for the 3rd straight World Cup and are in the Group of Death, as their pool also contains Cookie’s good friends – Zee Germans (2010 semi-finalists) – and Portugal (boasting the best player in the world Cristiano Ronaldo). To USA Fans hoping to see the USA make it out of the pool, I suggest you stay in your hotels and enjoy the view.
College Football: Nearly a week late but that Auburn-Alabama game was the best ending to a game I have seen in years. Glad to see Jameis Winston is not being charged and I want to see Auburn and Florida State in the Championship Game. Booo Urban Meyer and Ohio State.
NFL: What are the Jacksonville Jaguars doing!?! You lose so much to start the season that you are out the playoffs and can only play for the first pick in 2014 and now you want to start winning!? That is a bad move! They should take a page from the Houston Texans: Fire your coach and start getting ready for the draft.
MLB: The money being thrown around is crazy. Can’t blame Robinson Cano for taking the money but Baseball needs a lockout and that money needs to stop being guaranteed so these guys can actually work for it. NFL money should be guaranteed – not baseball’s.
NBA: Apparently only 2 teams in the Eastern Conference are above .500. That is just ridiculous. I don’t agree with talk of just making the playoffs the top 16 teams, regardless of conference, but wow! As a Knicks fan, I knew we would be bad… but not 3-13 bad! Rumor has it head coach Mike Woodson is being followed to make sure he sticks to the company script. Clubhouse and facility cameras are used to monitor player conversations and no staff member in the Garden – kitchen to security – can use the word re-building. I said James Dolan is worse than Rob Ford and I stand by it. Tyranny still lives free.
NHL: The Rangers are still trying to get better. They are clinging on to 8th place and all us Ranger fans hope they make it in to play – and ruin – Cheesy Bruin’s Bruins.
Wait! What!? I heard this story and I had to share. Apparently in the island of Guam, Brown Tree Snakes were illegally brought into the country and have multiplied and overrun the island, eating all the native birds. These snakes have no predator but they are extremely vulnerable to Acetaminophen (Tylenol). With that vulnerability, Daniel Vice, Assistant State Director of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services in Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Islands, has decided to drop 2,000 dead rats filled with Tylenol from a plan onto the island. So far it has begun working and they may have to do another round.
If you want to read more of my ramblings you can find them on RugbyWrapUp.com, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp and @JunoirBlaber, respectively.