47 Again


by Mack Williams
15 March 2015

I. Lucky Number

If you’re a Republican or are about to become one (for some unknown or unexplainable reason), I would advise you to refrain from playing 47 in the lottery. That’s probably not your lucky number.

You will remember back in 2012 when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke of the 47 percent of the population that wouldn’t take personal responsibility, and how it wasn’t his job to worry about them. Of course he went on to lose with 47 percent of the vote. Now this year 47 Senate Republicans thought it wise to sign off on a condescending open letter to the leadership of Iran which essentially said to disregard President Obama (who, according to the Constitution, is to be in charge of the nation’s foreign policy) and anything he says, since they will be in office for years and, in some cases, decades longer than he will.

Perhaps the first order of business should be to make certain, in their next elections, that that does not turn out to be the case. As for those signers who may have designs on the presidency – such as Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio – such wanton disregard for the office of the presidency should permanently disqualify them from consideration.

II. America’s Mayor?

So Rudy Giuliani, another former Republican presidential candidate, says Darren Wilson should be commended for shooting Mike Brown. Wow. The concept of commendation for taking a life is interesting, to say the least, but considering the source, maybe not unsurprising.

By September 10th, 2001, virtually everyone in and around the entire city of New York couldn’t wait for Giuliani’s final term to conclude just under four months later. My young son once commented on how I booed the TV screen every time Rudy was shown in a box seat at Yankee Stadium. And then 9/11 happened. He parlayed his good crisis management over a few weeks into being dubbed “America’s Mayor,” largely by outsiders. But many within the city never forgot the horrible job he did during so much of the first seven years and eight months. This is another example of that Rudy, who has clearly outlived his usefulness.

III. There Will Never Be A…

One unexpected consequence of the SAE N-word fraternity song at the University of Oklahoma was that a prize African-American football recruit backed away from his plan to attend Oklahoma. I wonder what Sooner fans, used to success in the Big 12 conference and nationally as well, would think if all of the people SAE sang of as “N-words” chose to take their football and basketball talents elsewhere.

IV. Fantasy Island

Had I not basically said I do not watch every NFL game while I was saying “I do” to my wife, I might be going crazy over the New York Jets’ 46-year Super Bowl drought (though at least they remain undefeated). But for all those going crazy, they’ve taken some big steps to make it back there by re-signing former Jets Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie to man the cornerback positions. Just as in any sport, defense wins rings – and in my opinion, having lockdown cornerbacks is the key to having a first class defensive team. Revis Island be fun to watch again.

V. The Nutty Professor

What was definitely fun to watch was the instant classic San Antonio Spurs-Cleveland Cavaliers overtime thriller, which featured that unreal 57 point performance by Kyrie Irving. Could that be a June preview, Spurs vs. LeBron’s team for the third year in a row? It certainly is a very real possibility for the Cavs, given that there is a much easier pathway for them than for the Spurs to emerge yet again from the minefield that is the western conference.

Should it happen, the Cavs will need to have a real Big 3 a la the Heat, the Doc Rivers Celtics, etc., not a Big 2 and Buddy Love as opposed to Kevin. Should it happen, Spurs in six.

VI. Life

I have just attended the funeral of Deacon Frank Warren, an heroic man in his community who was, to me, somewhat reminiscent of my father – even before I learned that they shared the same birthday. Then when his son spoke of how his father was so strong he thought his dad could beat Chief Jay Strongbow and Andre the Giant, it took me back to so many Saturday nights at midnight with my father watching the Chief tomahawk chop his way out of horrific WWF predicaments, along with the mild disappointment of seeing the brother S.D. Jones consistently finding a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in his matches.

But there was another similarity between the two, that of their love of the New York Mets. I don’t how how Mr. Warren came to the Mets; my dad adopted them after the Dodgers (for whom he retained a soft spot in his heart until his death) moved to Los Angeles. Once on the scene, he took the Mets as his own and took me to many a game…which brings me to the day some three or four years ago when Mr. Warren’s daughter told me of an extra ticket to a Met game the following day, and asked if I would like to go. Naturally I said yes, and off we went – Mr. Warren and his brother, both then over ninety years of age; his daughter, and me. Being there with the two older gentlemen – big fans each – so reminded me of the film “Life,” in which Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence’s wrongly imprisoned characters finally escape as old men and attend a game at Yankee Stadium.

Here’s hoping these two guys meet up and look down together on their Mets at Citi Field.

VII. 42

I’m certain both of these men were big fans of Jackie Robinson. With the baseball season fast approaching, get the young people in your life a copy of my new children’s book, “Jackie Robinson and the Negro Leagues,” so they can get a sense of why these men and so many others had reason to admire him. You can visit Amazon through this link to do just that:


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