Friday, December 31, 2021

Thoughts on the Passing of John Madden


I had some thoughts on the passing of John Madden. He was an American icon who made football more fun, a rare announcer that added to the game, at least until his act became more predictable. I’ve waited until now because my thoughts are more of a fantasy featuring John Madden; and though the fantasy is rooted in reality, it is strictly fictional.

I’ll start by acknowledging that as a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, I have complex thoughts about John Madden. Everyone my age remembers Super Bowl XI, where Madden’s Oakland Raiders handed my Minnesota Vikings their fourth Super Bowl loss in an eight-year period. It was devastating for me as a young fan, and worsened by the fact that for the forty some years afterward, the Vikings have usually put competitive teams on the field but have never reached the Super Bowl again.

Madden quit coaching and began broadcasting shortly afterward and joined the broadcast booth, where his love for the game was infectious. Madden was delighted by many things, but there was probably nothing he enjoyed more about football than watching Brett Favre play quarterback.

Again, as a Vikings fan, I have strong feelings about Favre, whose Hall of Fame career was primarily forged as quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, the Vikings divisional rival. Put simply, I hate Brett Favre. This caused me some mixed feelings in 2009, when Favre joined the Vikings.

The 2009 season was magical. Favre joined a good team and elevated them to a 12-4 record and a crushing playoff defeat of the Dallas Cowboys. All that stood between the Vikings and their fifth Super Bowl appearance was a good New Orleans Saints team in the NFC championship.

That game became known as “Bountygate”, due to the ridiculous post-Watergate practice of adding the suffix “gate” to any scandal description. New Orleans head coach Sean Payton offered cash bonuses to his team to injure key Vikings players, especially the old and injury prone Favre.

The game was a ridiculous cheap shot fest. If you watch a replay of some of the shots Favre took, including helmet on helmet contact and late hits, you would be shocked, compared to the safety conscious treatment quarterbacks receive today. Yet still the Vikings were in a position to win late. Unfortunately, the hobbled and addled Favre made a mistake late, and the Saints won in overtime.

Two weeks later they won the Super Bowl. And this is where my fantasy comes in. The Saints cheated, and it paid off. Could there be an alternate reality where my aggrieved Vikings received justice? This is my scenario?

I still never liked Brett Favre. If he couldn’t lead the Vikings to a Super Bowl victory, he might as well be dead. What if the Saints killed him on the playing field? Reality wasn’t that far off. If that had happened, Favre would have had a funeral. They could have held it on the 50-yard line at the Metrodome. And John Madden would certainly have delivered the eulogy.

Madden would have been masterful, mixing in stories about how Favre loved the game and played it the right way with biblical verses and plenty of the word “BAM!” He would have explained that Favre was a Christ-like figure, giving his life to make our Sundays better. And he would have pleaded for justice for Favre.

Late in his speech, Madden would break down in tears, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would rise. He would approach the podium and set several items on Favre’s casket: a gold jacked and a bronze bust of Favre. His Hall of Fame induction would be fast tracked. But Goodell wouldn’t be finished. The Vince Lombardi trophy would be awarder to the Minnesota Vikings, thanks to the sacrifice of Brett Favre and the eloquence of John Madden.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

An Open Letter To My Daughter

Dear Daughter,

I love you very much, and so I am writing you this letter to try to make some sense of the bizarre and unexpected results from this November. I know that you must be frightened and confused right now, and frankly, I am too. No matter how dark the days ahead get, you will always have me, and I will always do my best for you. I hope together we can make some sense of it all.

If there is one thing that I feel guilty about, it is that I set false expectations for you. I believed the world had changed. I believed that the generations of frustration would end for you and for me and for everyone. I told you that things would be different this year. I was wrong and I am sorry.

I know that the present order has existed since long before you were born. In fact, it's been going on since long before I was born. It wouldn't be easy to change. But this year began with such promise. I wasn't alone in thinking it was the beginning of an unprecedented new era. I was especially excited that you, a young woman, would get to experience a level of possibility that my generation had never known before. In October we were sure that our dream was in our grasp. Then November came.

No one expected the collapse of the Minnesota Vikings after they became the only NFL team to start the 2017 season 5-0. Coach Zimmer had the defense playing at a level unseen since the Purple People Eaters. The Packers were in decline. Then November happened and we learned that this group of Minnesota Vikings were the same bunch of choking losers that all Minnesota Vikings have been for over fifty years. They found a way to disappoint this year, as they find a way to disappoint every year.

Dear daughter, this year's Vikings team will not win the Super Bowl. Again. But sometime in your lifetime a Vikings team may. The Chicago Cubs went 108 years without winning a championship before winning the World Series this year. If the Vikes can match their success, you should see a title sometime in your seventies.


Sunday, December 04, 2016

Top 11 Paintings Mark Dayton Wants to Install at State Capitol

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is making news by attempting to remove four Civil War related paintings from the State Capitol.

His reasoning is: 

"I believe that the art in the Governor's Reception Room should be more welcoming and also more broadly representative of our state's history."

Clearly, Dayton’s actions appear to be a scheme to get the state to pay the costs of recovering the Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec paintings he had to auction off from his personal collection to finance his 2010 campaign for Governor.  As of yet, insufficient evidence exists to confirm these claims. 

Until we know more, based on his past performance, here are the Top 11 more welcoming and representative artworks Mark Dayton is considering installing in the State Capitol:












Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Clinton Cash

On the Halloween episode of HWX, we parodied the Monster Mash. Here are the lyrics:

I was in the State Department late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
Secretary Clinton began to arise
And suddenly, to my surprise

She grabbed the cash, a monster pile of cash
She grabbed the cash, ethics completely smashed
She grabbed the cash, a really big, big stash
She grabbed the cash, a monster pile of cash

From American rivals in the far East
To the dictator in the Kremlin we should trust the least
Despots came from their palatial abodes
To give Mrs. Clinton big fat loads

She grabbed the cash, monster piles of cash
She grabbed the cash, ethics completely smashed
She grabbed the cash, a really big, big stash
She grabbed the cash, monsters pile of cash

Mullahs and Ayatollahs were having fun
The party had just begun
The donors included Putin
Kim Jung Un, and his son

The money was flowing, all were digging deep down
The world's most evil despots, none were out of bounds
The coffin filling enemies were about to arrive
With briefcases containing big, big bribes

She grabbed the cash, those monsters gave her cash
She grabbed the cash, ethics completely smashed
She grabbed the cash, as Middle East hot spots flashed
She grabbed the cash, those monsters gave her cash

Out of his coffin, Gadhafi's voice did ring
It seems he was troubled by just one thing
He opened the lid and shook his fist, and said
"You wouldn't have killed me if I'd donated like this!"

Donate the cash, she wanted monster cash
Donate the cash, ethics completely smashed
Donate the cash, or else her temper would flash
Donate the cash, she wanted monster cash

Now Hillary's heading to the house that's white
For her loyal donors, she's pledged to fight
But American special interests can contribute too
If you don't, the Clintons will say "Screw you!"

Donate the cash, a monster pile of cash
Donate the cash, or you'll be completely smashed
Donate the cash, you'll catch on in a flash
Donate the cash, give her monster cash

Donate the cash, give her monster cash
Donate the cash, or you'll be completely smashed
Donate the cash, you'll catch on in a flash
Donate the cash, give her monster cash

HWX: Halloween Spooktacular

It’s a special Halloween episode of HWX with Brian Ward and Paul Happe. Featured in this episode are discussions of the horrors of the elecdtion season:
* The email leaks of Hillary and John Podesta. Which is your favorite ignored scandal?
* World premiere of the new spin on the holiday classic, the Monster Mash, with the Clinton Cash.
* Analysis of and lessons learned from James O’Keefe’s new video releases.
* HWX House of Horrors, a tour of the haunted mansion that is the 2016 Presidential election.

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Tuesday, October 04, 2016

HWX With Rand Paul

It’s a very special episode of HWX featuring an interview with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY). The Senator looks back on his Presidential campaign and analyzes why the libertarian message may not have resonated as well as it could have this cycle and why Donald Trump prevailed. He also looks ahead and discusses why there is still substantial life in the libertarian movement, which will be aided by winning campaigns such as his own for US Senate, and that of Jason Lewis, running for Congress in Minnesota. Sen. Paul also discusses his continuing efforts to audit the Federal Reserve, what that would mean and why it’s important.
See the following links to support Rand Paul and Jason Lewis.
Also discussed the episode – dumb political ads of the season, including classic out of context clips and grossly misleading smear tactics. Are Americans smart and sophisticated enough to not be fooled by these tactics this time? We shall see.
HWX is brought to you by SimpliSafe. Protect your home the smart way without expensive long-term contracts using SimpliSafe. Visit right now and you’ll get free shipping on your order and a free keychain remote, worth $25.
All member feedback is welcomed in the comments section. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Top 11 Other Things You Didn’t Know About Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor is retiring and the Pioneer Press is celebrating his legacy with a list of ten things you didn’t know about him and A Prairie Home Companion.

Not a bad list but, appropriate for the subject matter, it is rather bland.   For the whole story, here are the Top 11 OTHER things you probably didn’t know about Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion.

11)  the show ran from 1974 to 2016,though the last original joke was written in 1977

10)  Keillor is the highest paid public employee in the state of Minnesota

9) That is Keillor's real singing voice -- not an overdub of a strangled chicken

8)  during the filming of the Prairie Home Companion movie, Keillor, Woody Harrelson, and Lindsay Lohan together snorted over a pound of cocaine

7)  “Dora the Explorer” originated as a sketch on PHC exploring illegal alien anchor babies in Lake Wobegon

6)  “Bertha’s Kitty Boutique” named after Keillor’s favorite New Orleans whorehouse

5)  International superstar Beyonce exclusively wears hair extensions made of Keillor’s eye brow clippings

4)  Over time, Keillor phased out earlier references to “Guy Noir” being a registered sex offender

3)  “Powdermilk Biscuits” and “Bebop a Reebop Rhubarb Pie” are well known strains of marijuana

2)   In 1994 an Oslo court found Keillor guilty of hate speech for his vicious jokes about Norwegian Bachelor Farmers

1)  Before entering show business, Keillor was a ground breaking researcher in the treatment of insomnia

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Top 11 Other Impressive Candidates with a Real Chance Considered by Bill Kristol

Last week conservative intellectual Bill Kristol promised to present an alternative candidate to Donald Trump for disaffected Republicans to rally behind:

And that candidate turns out to be ... National Review blogger David French.

Here are the top 11 other impressive candidates with a real chance considered by Bill Kristol:

11)  French Stewart

10) Mr. French from 'A Family Affair'

9)  Former MLB outfielder Bernard Bartholomew "Frenchy" Uhalt

8)  Chinese pop star Frances Yip

7)  Kermit the Frog

6)  Pope Francis

5)  Marcel Marceau

4)  Jerry Lewis

3)  Senor Wences

2)  Topo Gigio

1)  Jeb Bush