Weekend of Anniversaries


by Mack Williams
9 March 2015

I. Bridge Over Troubled Water

Fifty years ago, in 1965, people in Selma, Alabama were beaten, tear gassed, and worse as they sought to cross the Edmund Pettis Bridge in a march for the right to vote. This year the poll tax and “how many bubbles in a bar of soap?” have been replaced by Voter ID laws, a fact brought home brilliantly by President Obama in his masterful speech Saturday on the bridge.

Given what our ancestors went through just to have the right to vote, and given the KKK – the ISIS of American history – was distributing flyers in Selma yesterday, even if I knew nothing about any candidate I would vote for Batgirl and Mickey Mouse before I would miss out on going to the polls.

II. Scandal

Too bad the real life stories in Ferguson/Staten Island/Oakland/Cleveland and so many other places haven’t turned out like last week’s taken from the headlines episode of Scandal.

III. Couldn’t Make It

I don’t care if Benjamin Netanyahu was going to read the Bible from front to back or the Torah from back to front, John Boehner was wrong in inviting him to speak before Congress, essentially for a campaign photo-op in Israel and the undermining of Presidential foreign policy here in Congress – and the 50-some members that stayed home were in the right.

By the way, it’s not as if the Prime Minister has our interests at heart…or has a track record of correct Middle East analysis, for that matter.

IV. Who Let The Dogs Out?

Wish I had a picture of the woman in Penn Station that bumped into a woman who was walking with a seeing eye dog. She excused herself, but it still almost made me want to ask “which of you need this dog more?” #OnlyinNYC

V. Kicking It

Not sure if this is necessarily the case, but you’ve got to believe James Harden – who is having a monster season – didn’t exactly help his chances to win the NBA MVP by kicking LeBron James in his private area (despite the fact that King James may have thrown in a little flop). With that said, my three quarters of the way in guess is that the award will go to the Oklahoma Thunder’s Russell Westbrook – if they make the playoffs.

If they don’t, it probably goes to Golden State’s Steph Curry, fast becoming one of the most fun players to watch in all of sports, as shown against the Clippers:


If you don’t know, now you know.

VI. Rooting for the Underdog

It occurred to me while passing Yankee Stadium the other day – in the midst of continuing to walk on snow and ice as we have for weeks on end – that in one welcome month, they will be playing baseball there, and we will have almost forgotten this brutal weather.

When the Bronx Bombers take the field they will, in the eyes of many, be in a bit of an unusual position, that of an underdog in terms of their playoff chances. And within their collective status, due to the hype of the media, there is an individual who is quickly assuming underdog status: Alex Rodriguez.

In light of all of the negativity surrounding his return from suspension, here’s hoping A-Rod comes back strong and shuts a few people up for a while.

VII. Another Anniversary

March 8th marked the 44th anniversary of the night a young boy’s sports hero – Muhammad Ali – was fighting to regain his heavyweight championship in The Fight of the Century against Smokin’ Joe Frazier. The fight was to start somewhere around 10:00 p.m., and the only problem was that the young boy’s parents had him on an 8:30 bedtime. What was the boy who couldn’t bear waiting until morning to learn the outcome to do?

Fortunately he – along with probably thousands of like-minded young kids – had a little portable radio which he kept under the covers in order to hear the round by round summaries on the all-news stations. Unfortunately he was disappointed to hear that Ali was knocked down in the 15th round and – his optimistic hopes notwithstanding – was the loser on this night. But fortunately there would be many more winning nights for the Greatest, the-then once and future champion.

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