Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Well, How's THIS For A Deal -- What Say You?

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Maybe It's So Outta Control It's Hopeless, Huh?

You have to scratch your head and wonder about ESPN taking an anouncer off its coverage of University of Virginia football games because his name is Robert Lee. Yeah, Robert Lee - an Asian guy!
How crazy is this? How far has the insanity of political correctness, or liberal derangement or whatever you want to call it actually gone?
Well, when it invades the world of sports, it's gone pretty far -- too far, it seems. Let's not forget that this is the same ESPN that gave its Most Courageous Athlete (ESPY) honor to Caitlyn (the former Bruce) Jenner. Indeed, "wacky" would be too kind a word for that move.
But organized sports has been out of control for a long time now. And my theory about all this is simply that sports has become too big, too ubiquitous, too invasive throughout our society to be managed in any sane manner anymore.
In fact, it’s even gotten so bad that there’s nothing very sportsmanlike about sports anymore.
Consider the whole sorry mess: the endless drug-enhancement allegations in baseball; the hundreds 
of out-of-wedlock children reportedly fathered by NBA players; the NFL concussion controversy; the more than $200 million racked up each year in NHL game-related injuries, the growing number of pro football players who won't stand for the national anthem and, on the collegiate level, outrages like the Jerry Sandusky horror and their related cover-ups that have sullied the reputations of great universities.
Lest you think this is limited to the pros or big-time college sports, think again. Even among kids’ sports, the win-at-any-cost mentality seems so elevated and tensions are so high that national youth sports associations now monitor weekly reports about fights or abusive conduct involving parents or coaches.
And it all spills over to the children. A child who thinks it’s OK to scream at an umpire or hurl abusive language at opposing team members may carry that behavior to school and yell at a teacher, take on other authority figures or bully other students. In fact, scholarly journals have even suggested a link between youth sports participation and combative behavior off the field.
But none of this seems to matter to the gluttonous sportsocracy and those who feed it. 
This behemoth of teams, players, coaches, agents, media commentators, advertisers and product-placers gets richer by the minute. And if, in the process, they’re corrupting the popular culture and/or destroying the joy of the game, they couldn’t care less. Because for them, the bottom line is just that — the bottom line.
And despite the fact that sports has now been politicized (along with much of the rest of our society) rabid sports fans are fattening the bottom line with an almost gleeful abandon even though the average ticket price for an NFL game routinely exceeds $100, if you can find a ticket.
Through endless TV sports channels, radio jock talk programs and burgeoning sports-related social media, the craving for a sports fix is fed 24/7. 
Regardless of the implications, for far too many, sports seems to have become America’s drug of choice.
It's enough to make you want to land with King Kong style ferocity right smack in the middle of the 50 yard line and roar: "It's ONLY a game!"

These Are Words We All Need To Hear

"Since the founding of our republic, our country has produced a special class of heroes whose selflessness, courage, and resolve is unmatched in human history.

"American patriots from every generation have given their last breath on the battlefield for our nation and for our freedom. Through their lives -- and though their lives were cut short, in their deeds they achieved total immortality.

"By following the heroic example of those who fought to preserve our republic, we can find the inspiration our country needs to unify, to heal, and to remain one nation under God. The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission, and one shared sense of purpose.

"They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed, and color to serve together -- and sacrifice together -- in absolutely perfect cohesion. That is because all servicemembers are brothers and sisters. They're all part of the same family; it's called the American family. They take the same oath, fight for the same flag, and live according to the same law. They are bound together by common purpose, mutual trust, and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other.

"The soldier understands what we, as a nation, too often forget that a wound inflicted upon a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. When one part of America hurts, we all hurt. And when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together.

"Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate.

"The young men and women we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other.

"As we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas -- and we will always win -- let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. Let us make a simple promise to the men and women we ask to fight in our name that, when they return home from battle, they will find a country that has renewed the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that unite us together as one."

-President Donald J. Trump

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Let's Make This Clear Once And For All, OK?

Revealed: The Truth Behind An Iconic Edifice!

We recently took a tour of Broadway's most legendary watering hole and eatery, Sardi's.
Sardi's sits on 44th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue just as it's done for 90 years. This classic restaurant anchors Shubert Alley (between 44th and 45th) and welcomes you to the Great White Way as it faces the storied Schubert Theater. In fact, the Sardi's Building (which is not really owned by Sardi's) houses the offices of the Shubert Organization.
Known for the hundreds of caricatures of show-business celebrities that adorn its walls, Sardi's has played host to all of the greats of Broadway as well as famous names of TV, radio and the movies. These include not just actors and actresses but producers, directors, composers, lyricists, playwrights, choreographers, journalists and many others.

In 1927, recalling the movie star caricatures that decorated the walls of Joe Zelli’s, a Parisian restaurant and jazz club, Vincent Sardi (Sardi's founder) decided to recreate that effect in his establishment. He hired a Russian refugee named Alex Gard born Alexis Kremkoff in Kazan, Russia) to draw Broadway celebrities. Sardi and Gard drew up a contract that stated Gard would make the caricatures in exchange for one meal per day at the restaurant. The first official caricature by Gard was of Ted Healy, the vaudevillian of Three Stooges fame.
When Sardi’s son, Vincent Sardi, Jr. took over restaurant operations in 1947, he offered to change the terms of Gard's agreement. Gard refused and continued to draw the caricatures in exchange for meals until his death.

After Gard, John Mackey took over drawing for the restaurant but was soon replaced by Don Bevan. Bevan did the drawings until 1974 when he retired, and was replaced by Brooklyn-born Richard Baratz, a banknote and certificate engraver by profession. Baratz, who lives in Pennsylvania, continues to the present day as the Sardi's caricaturist. It's ectimated that there are more than 1,300 celebrity caricatures on display.

But here are a few facts about the restaurant and the caricatures that you may not have known:

  • Originally, the drawings were not very flattering as they were extreme exaggerations of facial types. Many of the actors depicted were not happy with their depictions. So, over time, the drawing have been softened to be more flattering to the (often vain) celebrities that are enshrined on Sardi's walls.
  • Some of the famous are shown more than once. Since Sardi's has three floors (the main first floor, a second floor bar with tables for dining overlooking 44th St. and Shubert Alley and a fourth floor event space) there are duplicate drawings displayed to fill up all the wall space. But you have to be very perceptive to find the duplicates as they are obviously not placed near one another.
  • The drawings that you see on the walls are not the originals. The originals are kept in a safe place. The caricatures displayed are very fine copies that are really exact replicas.
  • Some drawings have been removed as the display is periodically freshened since new luminaries are added to the gallery while old stars are retired. In 1979, Vincent Sardi, Jr. donated a collection of 227 caricatures from the restaurant to the Billy Rose Theatre Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
  • Not all of the caricatures are autographed. The autographing (by those depicted) started in later years when Sardi's launched dedication ceremonies as each new celebrity portrait was hung.
  • Sardi's is the birthplace of the Tony Award; after Antoinette Perry's death in 1946, her partner, theatrical producer and director, Brock Pemberton, was eating lunch at Sardi's when he came up with the idea of a theater award to be given in Perry's honor. For many years Sardi’s was the location where Tony Award nominations were announced. Vincent Sardi, Sr. received a special Tony Award in 1947, the first year of the awards, for "providing a transient home and comfort station for theatre folk at Sardi's for 20 years." In 2004, Vincent Sardi, Jr. received a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. 
  • Sardi's is also the venue for the presentation of the Outer Critics Circle Awards, as well as many other Broadway events, press conferences, and celebrations.
  • The third floor of Sardi's houses the restaurant's executive offices. 
  • When Catherine Zeta Jones' portrait was unveiled in a celebratory event at Sardi's, her husband Michael Douglas was a deliberate no show. Douglas' reasoning? This was her moment and he wanted to do nothing to take the spotlight from his wife. Zeta Jones won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance as Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music.
  • Being caricatured at Sardi's is not merely a matter of starring in a Broadway show or being a famous person. That alone will not get you on the wall. You have to be a friend of the restaurant. In other words, you have to show up. You have to dine there.
Now, here are some photos, including a look inside Sardi's fourth floor event space, rarely seen by the common folk. We've also included some celebrity caricatures. See if you can identify each one.

THIS Is What We're Up Against: Don't Forget it!

Well, It's About Time THIS Happened!

Boisterous, Bellicose Bellyaching? BASTA!

On his Monday Fox Sports Radio show “Outkick the Coverage,” Clay Travis blasted the increase in protests around the world, especially in the world of sports.
He gives us lots to think about. Nice job, Clay! Bravo!

Monday, August 21, 2017

No, No, NO! They DON'T Want Them Torn Down!

Despite calls by some politicians and the media for erasing those connected to slavery from U.S. history, it looks like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are going to be with us awhile longer. Voters strongly believe it’s better to learn from the past than erase it.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 88% of Likely U.S. Voters oppose removing the names of Washington and Jefferson from public places and taking down statues in their honor. Just seven percent (7%) favor the removal of their names from the public square because Washington and Jefferson like several of the other early presidents were slave owners. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Ninety percent (90%) oppose the closing or changing of Mount Rushmore because two of the four presidents it honors were slave owners. Only six percent (6%) believe the national historic monument in South Dakota should be changed or closed because it honors Washington and Jefferson.

Ninety-four percent (94%) of voters agree that it is better to try to learn from the wrongs of the past than to erase them. Just four percent (4%) think it is better to erase the wrongs of the past instead.

Voters tend to agree with President Trump’s defense of historical statues, and few think getting rid of Confederate monuments will lessen racial tensions in America.

Did You See It? Spectacular Photo Shows All!

Wasn't that an incredible eclipse? Breathtaking!

Hey, Here's Some GOOD News On 'Move In Day'

The College and Theology seminarians of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary will return to their suburban Philadelphia campus to mark the start of the academic year on Tuesday, August 22nd beginning with registration and moving-in to the dorms.

The Seminary anticipates an overall enrollment of 167 seminarians for 2017-2018, an 11% increase over the spring 2017 enrollment and the largest overall enrollment since 2004

Of the 43 new seminarians including one student priest, 11 are seminarians studying for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. This year the 11 new seminarians studying for Philadelphia are from more diverse backgrounds including a Haitian American, a Chinese American and a Korean American student.

Opening week at the seminary will include campus tours, in which returning seminarians will pair with new seminarians and their families to tour the grounds and facilities. Group activities such as daily Mass and day trips are also planned during the first week. Fall classes for the College and Theology seminarians of Saint Charles Borromeo officially begin on Thursday, August 24, 2017.

Founded in 1832, Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary has been forming men for priestly service in the Catholic Church for more than 180 years. This year, approximately 43 new young men have answered God’s call to attend the Seminary to be formed after the heart of Jesus Christ. With the generosity of many, these young seminarians are able to successfully transform into the compassionate and loyal priests and inspiring leaders of tomorrow’s Church.

For more information on Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary please visit

Beautiful, Poignant Sentiments From A Great Lady!

You Won't See This On The Fake News Networks!

President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump and Barron Trump arrive back at the White House and are greeted with hearty, rousing cheers.