Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tackles, Twits and Tweens

Tossing the ball around

Patrick Mannelly.  If you are a Bears fan you are probably familiar with him.  If not, you're not. 

Patrick Mannelly set a record last month by playing in his 193rd game as a Chicago Bear. 

193 games.  More than Payton, Dent, George, Grange or any other Bear.  Ever.

Patrick Mannelly is a long snapper.  He comes in on punts and extra points, maybe 10 plays a game.  In 13 seasons he has probably made about $9 million bucks. 


Nobody noticed him until last August when he got hurt in training camp and missed a game.  They stuck Desmond Clark, a tight end, in his spot and it was brutal. 

I am planning to play catch with my son through his legs.  Got to keep the options open. 

Reminds me of the saying about left handed pitchers - there's always a roster spot if their arm hasn't fallen off. 

Put a Fork in it...Please

Speaking of the Bears, there has been lots of commentary about their wobbly 4-1 start.  Most of it spot on.  But a couple of reporters accused media and fans of "drinking the Bears Kool Aid."

There it is again.  "Kool Aid" references are everywhere, aren't they?  We all march up and mindlessly "drink" whatever message is being delivered. 

Just like The People's Temple.  Just like Jonestown. 

We have managed to ditch a lot of cultural references through the years, but somehow "drinking the Kool Aid" won't go away. 

My wife was in a play called "The People's Temple" a couple of years ago, a performance which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Jonestown massacre. 

It was an intense, moving piece.  Over 900 people were murdered in Jonestown, nearly of them 300 children.  It wasn't suicide.  It was mass murder.   

Yet somehow we continue to find humor in the notion of "drinking the Kool Aid." 

Can't we come up with a better metaphor? 

Tweet Tweet

I have two twelve year olds.  Tween twins.  They just got cell phones, so somehow their lives are complete. 

I was talking with my daughter the other day between texts and the subject of pay phones came up. 

"Do you know what a pay phone is," I asked.  She flashed a brief, blank look, then said she did.

As with all things tween, I have a healthy skepticism. 

I doubt she's ever seen a pay phone.  I struggle to remember the last time I saw one.  Cells, pads, pods and berries are ubiquitous.

I read recently that college kids don't email, they text.  Some experts predict email will be obsolete in a few years.  Too slow. 

A few years ago we stopped at an ice cream parlor and my kids were mesmerized by the jukebox.  They had never seen vinyl.

I remember standing in the hallway of my dorm waiting for the pay phone. 

I also remember 8 tracks and typewriters.  Barely.

What else will "disappear" in our lifetime, and when?

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