Category Archives: Football, Baseball, Basketball, and All Relevant Sports

Can White NFL Players Please Step Up?

I had something on my mind this morning and I’m purging it now.

Feel free to not read this or to disagree with it, that is your call.

And this is my call.

I’d like to see more white NFL players, preferably all of them, joining the black players who kneel during the anthem. The “it’s not the right place for that” argument is such a 1950’s style restrictive, conformist shout-down in my view… while I don’t think it’s racist to say “it’s not the right place” it IS, by definition, restrictive. Unfairly restrictive in my view.

I view an NFL game as the perfect place for protest in a society that worships celebrities and athletes, and banishes those who dare take a stand on social injustice… Who decides where the right and the wrong places are for these protests anyway?… What’s the criteria again?… Who can answer that objectively?… What I wonder is, what if Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers or JJ Watt or Carson Wentz or Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger or Andrew Luck were to start kneeling?… What would happen then? If even just one of those guys kneeled?

These guys could help move the needle but they won’t. I can’t blame them.

What if the entire league kept kneeling at every game until communities get more serious about solving the problem of unarmed black people getting gunned down by police?

I bet it’d save a lot of lives.

But too many people value money more than they value lives. Let’s face it, no one wants to get “Kaepernicked” – and I can’t blame them even if it is disappointing. But to tell the few players courageous enough to be willing to take a stand that they’re doing it in the wrong place, to shut the hell up and go to work, entertain us right now —  is just morally wrong.

It’s dismissive, reductive and dehumanizing. And if you’re saying that what is being protested is the flag then you’re not paying close attention.

Purging complete.

Ramble On… To Sing My Song… I Guess I’ll Keep on Ramblin’… Ode To The Underdog

This blog post is dedicated to my buddy Nate, whose daughter Molly was smart enough and gracious enough (or perhaps too scared to incur future dad and his crazy friends’ wrath?) to wait to be born until AFTER the first two rounds of the 2018 NCAA Tournament… just 2 days ago.

Congratulations Nate & Mel… and thank you Molly!

This guy looks ready to take on the responsibilities of fatherhood. For sure.

THE LOYOLA PAPER TIGERS? …  Dec 6, 2017: LOY 65, FLA 59.

It was a love affair that started with a sprained ankle. 

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m a big college basketball fan (Men’s far more than Women’s, though I do like the Women’s game too — UCONN is just so dominant though, I don’t really follow it until the Final Four.) I’ve always been a college hoops fan. My mom went into labor while my dad was coaching a basketball game.

I often tell people I was raised in the Church of Basketball. I love the game.

Every year, I have a routine when it comes to getting familiar with the teams that might eventually play in the NCAA Tourney. I pretty much avoid everything until league play is halfway over (around Feb 1 or so?) though I do try to check out:

1. the most intriguing early season tournament matchups of major programs on neutral courts (ie. Duke v Texas was a great one this year… normally those two teams would not face each other unless it was the NCAA Tourney.) Seeing this kind of matchup is like watching the preview of a Tourney game, and can provide insights into what might happen in March… 

AND

2. I try to see well regarded Mid-Major schools play road games against Major program schools. Not because I think they’ll win (extremely rare) but because I want to see whether or not they can hang with the talent of a Major.

This knowledge is important if you’re going to have a good March Madness bracket; it’s absolutely mandatory if you’re going to be placing wagers on the early rounds of March Madness, which, I had a feeling, I would be doing this year.

Yes, there are data, there are the analytics, there are the people who swear up and down that the numbers will give you the best predictive model – but if you haven’t applied the “eye test” to a team, you’re really flying blind with a bunch of numbers in your face. The eye test can often tell you more in given scenarios than data. It can tell you what a team is made of, and what their ceiling might be.

Such as when I saw that the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers were playing University of Florida (Ranked #5 in the country) on the road in December.

The irony is that it was the data that initially drew me to Loyola – I was looking at the early stats for teams on the NCAA website, and this one team, Loyola, was a very impressive team on the stat sheet. As a team, they shot 50% from the floor and 40% from 3 (that is Steph Curry-level proficiency) and all of their starters averaged over 10 PPG. Unusual balance. Surely the numbers were inflated due to weak competition though. That had to be the case. Still, I decided to watch them play Florida to see just how much of a paper tiger this 9-1 Loyola team was. (Their starting off-guard and best defender, Ben Richardson, was hurt, he’d broken his hand in the game previous…’too much to overcome,’ I thought, ‘if Loyola can lose by less than 10, I’ll check them out again later in the year.’)

I was so impressed and surprised by what I watched. 

Right from the get go, Loyola was not intimidated; not by the hostile crowd, or the “Florida” on the opposing jersey, or the apparent size / athleticism disadvantage, or even that outlandish cartoon alligator that Florida has at half-court. They jumped out and attacked Florida right away. Chris Chiozza, Florida’s point guard and one of the quickest players in all of college basketball was getting repeatedly burned on dribble penetration by Loyola’s point guard, a guy named Clayton Custer, who I’d never heard of. He looked a little bit like John Stockton and had handles like Stockton as well. Loyola’s big man, Cameron Krutwig, displayed perfect fundamental low post footwork, head fakes, pump fakes. He was reminiscent of Kevin McHale or former Gator David Lee. Loyola’s other big man, Aundre Jackson, a 6’5″ undersized big, kind of had a Corliss Williamson / Antawn Jamison thing about him: he played bigger than he was. And, just as this team seemed to be coasting into halftime with a double-digit lead against the #5 ranked team in the country, on the road, the unthinkable happened: Custer turned his ankle badly. It looked terrible, like he might’ve broken it. Custer was helped off the court. I thought: “Poor guys. Their starting backcourt is gone. They could’ve won this game. Their season is probably toast. And they’d have been fun to see in the Tourney. Oh well.”

From that point, Loyola put together the best defensive half of basketball I’ve seen this season. Defense is all about effort and communication, and no one out-hustles or communicates better than Loyola. Chiozza couldn’t break them down, the wings couldn’t get open jumpers or drive into the lane…I’d have to watch the game tape again, but I don’t think Florida got more than 2 uncontested shots the rest of the game. Loyola’s bigs consistently were hitting open shots… and down the stretch, the team made free throws and played to win. When the final buzzer sounded, I believed I’d seen the guttiest performance I’d seen in at least 10 years. I was a fan. I’d watch them as much as I could for the rest of the season. 

Aundre Jackson shot 10-12 from the field, 3-3 from three-point land, the Ramblers beat #5 Florida on the road, and made a fan out of me.

THE WINDY CITY TEAM FEELS THE CHILL OF WINTER…Dec 16, 2017 through Jan 3, 2017: L’S to WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE, MISSOURI ST. & INDIANA ST.

It was tough to watch. Not literally, thanks to ESPN 3, which apparently will broadcast even the most obscure of college basketball teams. It was painful because I knew this team could be more than it was showing. 

The effort was there, the defense was there, but the scoring was hard to come by. The starting 2 guard Ben Richardson returned during this stretch, but without Custer, their primary ball handler, distributor and possibly best shooter, the flow of the team’s offense seemed out of sorts.

Donte Ingram tried to pick up the slack but the shooting was cold as winter.

The encouraging sign was that the team’s effort didn’t suffer. I might have seen one player pout or sulk a little bit, but that player was a reserve who’d likely be banished to the bench once the team was healthy. Still I had to wonder, was this team’s unbelievable gift for selflessly sharing the ball and canning open 3’s and layups in that game against Florida just a mirage? Was there anything actually special about this team, or had my eyes deceived me?

Sustaining effort even when things aren’t going your way is a sign of character – but character, as important as it is, without talent, usually doesn’t go a long way. At least for a college basketball team. They’d sustained their level of effort. But it didn’t much matter.

Without Custer, this just wasn’t the same team. It seemed pointless to watch them again until winter let up, and so I waited for the general…

Without their floor general Custer, the Ramblers looked lost despite their best efforts.

RAMBA-LERRRRS… COME OUT TO PLAYEEYAYYY… RAMBA-LERRRS… COME OUT TO PLAYEEYAAAAAAYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Jan 28, 2018: LOY 70, UNI 47

Custer had already been back for a few games when I browsed the NCAA team and individual statistics: there they were again, sitting at 50% from the field, 40% from 3, and five guys in double figures.

They’d be playing University of Northern Iowa, a team with three starters leftover from a team with the dubious distinction of experiencing the most epic final minute meltdown…OF ALL TIME… in an NCAA tournament game two years previous, losing to Texas A&M in the 2nd round, when, with 35 seconds left and a 12 point lead…seriously, you read that right…UNI somehow found a way to let Texas A&M (the video is on YouTube: it is just brutal) tie them, then eventually beat them in double overtime. A&M’s chances to win that game were less than one-ten-thousandth of one percent. (A true one-in-a-million event.)

UNI had talent though, and seniors that, if they wanted to atone for that debacle, were going to need to start playing well to make a run at the Missouri Valley Conference title that Loyola looked to be ready to grab. UNI played very good defense and had a slowdown style that might give Loyola trouble.

The first half was kind of a rock fight, Loyola led 26-19, the defenses were stifling. And then, in the second half, I saw Loyola play like a BRILLIANT basketball team.

The announcers cooed that Custer and Richardson had played together since 3rd grade. They went on to say that 6 of these players had won state championships. And I was just in awe as they dissected a very good defensive team with a series of backdoor cuts, perfect spacing, and the weave offense, one of my dad’s favorites and one of mine as well, because that offense, when run correctly, is like the crane technique in Karate Kid… no can defense, Danielsan…  you have five guys that can equally hurt you in a variety of ways with the slightest defensive mistake (just ask Kansas State what they think of Loyola’s offense compared to, say, a team like Kentucky.) They scored 44 points in that second half and Custer was incredible. No look passes. Wide open threes. Uncontested layups. I said, holy shit, these guys are Golden State Warriors level of unselfish. They have 6 guys on the roster that can get hot. Their spacing was beautiful. That half was at least 3/4 of what led me to declare to Nate about a week or two after:

“Okay, I almost don’t even want to tell you this, but for our Vegas trip, I’ve got a team for us to bet on. It’s Loyola-Chicago. I’m hesitant to tell you because I’ve become a fan and I might be biased like a fan, and I’m probably jinxing it all because if they don’t win their post-season tourney they won’t even make the NCAA tourney. But dude these guys remind me of the Gonzaga teams of the late 90’s… they’re that good. They play great team basketball. No one…I mean NO ONE… sees this team coming. They’re good enough to make a deep run. They might even be good enough to win it all.”

YOU CAN’T WIN THEM ALL… THE GOOD LOSS… Jan 31, 2018: BRADLEY 69, LOY 67

The other 1/4 of what made me gush to Nate about Loyola was a loss. No matter what people say, there is, IS, such a thing as a good loss, provided that the loss serves as a learning experience that prevents future losses. So, just days after Loyola destroyed UNI and traveled to Bradley to play a tough conference road game and lost, you’d think my confidence in the team would’ve been shaken.

It wasn’t. This was a game where Bradley came out on fire and just couldn’t miss, they played inspired basketball and led all game — their crackerbox gym was going nuts, they were playing at their highest level. Meanwhile, Loyola was weak with the ball, Loyola struggled to make shots, and with six minutes left, Loyola was trailing by 11. Not much was going right. Then, the whole team seemed to go into another gear, and operated like a time-and-score behemoth. These guys want to win them all, I thought. They want to win every single possession. They outscored Bradley 18-9 the rest of the way (18 points in six minutes translates to a 120 point rate over a game) and having a shot to tie or win the game at the end. The look of “what could have been” was all over the player’s faces. There was momentum and ultimate exhaustion from the kind of game where you claw back, and just come up short. If they’d just had one more possession, they probably win this game. They really should’ve beaten this team. They knew this.

They didn’t. And they also knew this.

They won’t lose another game, I told myself.

Fourteen games later, I’m still right about that. They weren’t really challenged during another league game or in their conference tournament.

SOMETIMES THE UNDERDOG ISN’T AS MUCH OF AN UNDERDOG AS YOU MIGHT THINK:

Mar 15, 2018 … LOY 64, MIA 62 … March 17, 2018 … LOY 63, TENN 62 … Mar 23, 2018 … LOY 69, NEV 68 … Mar 25, 2018 … LOY 78, KSU 62

The Loyola tourney run has been awesome. I don’t have much to add to it. This group is going to the Final Four. It was awesome seeing the first two rounds in Las Vegas. My buddy Johnny texted me and said “Man, you must have won a lot of money on those guys.” And I did (which then went straight into the video poker machines.) But I told him that I wasn’t nearly as happy about winning the money as I was to watch this team play to the capability that I’d seen them display earlier. I even meant it. 

The Ramblers were underdogs in every one of the above games, and they won every one of the above games. Last second heroics, a 98 year old lady team chaplain who’s become a celebrity named Sister Jean, and more of the team first style of basketball that made me a fan of these guys made the team a national story. And the same criticisms that came up before – “they don’t have the athletes” “they don’t have the size” “they haven’t beaten a team this good yet” once again are thrown out there and even more prevalent. The ceiling. The basketball world is once again absolutely convinced that Michigan “just has too much” and “it’ll be close, but Loyola will lose.”

But I’m going to keep betting on these guys because this a group of winners.

If anything, Michigan better pray that the game ISN’T close, because these guys just might…

Sink a 30 foot bomb as time expires, like Donte Ingram did here to beat Miami… or…

hit a well guarded jumper with two seconds (and two bounces off the rim) like Clay Custer did to upend Tennessee… or…

drain a gorgeous side-step three-pointer with six seconds left to turn back a furious Nevada comeback… like Marques Townes did…

The reason people root for an underdog is because, except for about 1% of the population, we’re all underdogs to some extent. But the truth of the matter is, underdogs, favorites, these titles are irrelevant when the game starts.

And yes, the odds, the data, the analytics, the DNA, all of this matters to some extent. Most experts believe that Loyola won’t win the title. The data say Loyola won’t win the title. “Most experts” and “the data” would matter a lot more if my eyes didn’t tell me that Loyola is now in the Final Four. My ode to the underdog is that if you refuse to put a ceiling on anyone or anything, until after they’ve shown you who / what they are, you might find out that for them, there’s really no ceiling at all.

Life is Serious. Life is Feast. And The Only Thing We Have to Fear…

When I was 19 years old my friend Matt Workman committed suicide.

We were best friends since the day we met in kindergarten.

Please keep reading. Because the reason that I wrote those last two sentences was not to bum you out. I wrote them to remind you, me, everyone, that, in a time of great fear and potential upheaval, this life – you know, the thing that ALL of us are doing? This life: that is ALL that it is – and it is only just that.

It’s only life.

This guy lived both seriously, fully and fearlessly

This guy lived seriously, fully & fearlessly

To err is human and MAN am I human! So I try my best not to render judgments, either on people I know, or on the homeless dude asking for change, or on people in positions of power, or celebrities, or people in completely different cultures, because I’ll never know why/how they’re in the position they are in. I’m a man now. A real man. I know who I am and what I’ve done. One could make an argument that these are the only two things that I do KNOW.

I value my time, I do not suffer fools, I love my friends and family with all my heart, and I try to do the best I can with my art and my career.

Do I have opinions? Damn right. Do I make judgments? Of course. I already told you, I’m human as fuck. Do I sometimes indulge, either in myself, or in the illicit, or in the taboo? Yup – I’m not just human as fuck, I’m a writer! A writer with a chip on his shoulder and an almost animalistic type of determination to confront the reality of experience, to do things before the bell is rung, compelling the great scorekeeper in the sky to make a tally on the sum of the life of Jefferson Rich.

A German friend once told me: “Ernst ist das leben.” Translated: life is serious. Very German, yes? I misunderstood him at first, I’d thought he said, “Ernst ist das laben.” Translated: life is feast. Very American, yes? This launched us into a great philosophical debate on the banks of the Spree in Berlin.

It was at this exact place where I came to a profound realization: it's only life.

It was at this exact place where I came to a realization: it’s only life.

My friend made the case for “leben”, or serious. I think his argument was rooted in the newest German generation’s unbound feeling of remorse, guilt, anger, and sadness about the Holocaust. Life is all about what you are doing, he argued – you must see something for what it is, and if it is wrong, you must stand up against it. You must, because if you just passively observe, if you just live only for yourself, terrible, unthinkable things can happen.

I couldn’t dismiss what he’d just said. I thought on my friend Matt Workman, and how, he’d ascended from 15 year old high school partier in Santa Cruz to 19 year old major promoter in the rave/underground party scene with massive celebrity connections and making constant trips to LA, traveling all around the world. But he was only 19. And I saw my boy slipping. I’d ask, “are you okay?” He’d answer, “Yeah.” And then I’d let it go. I didn’t want to be his dad, or judge him, but inside, I knew he was dying and today, I do wish I’d just called him on out on his shit, and told him that he was lying to himself. But I knew it was his life to live… and, even though he never slept, he was seriously struggling with his drug use (back then, we called it X) and one day, he cracked, I knew deep inside, that there was nothing I could’ve done to prevent it.

So life is “laben”, or feast, I argued. And judgment is the enemy of enlightenment. Here I am, thousands of miles from my home, in a city that is an artist’s lucid dream, having a beer and a conversation that is incredible – a conversation that would not be happening if I didn’t believe life is feast, I said. It’s when people become purist, with their uninformed notions of good and evil, right and wrong, I continued, THIS is when life starts to become devalued. It is the puritanical, very serious people I said, that hold life in very low regard, unless it’s life that they can agree with. Look at our countries, I said.

But you just made my point for me! he countered, because people are so flighty with their sense of morality and are so passive, assholes like the Nazis could slaughter millions in the past. And, he said, ominously, something new will assuredly come in the future, most likely in America, because America’s sense of culture and morality was going into the toilet.

My friend warned me that if our moral center is destroyed, and the American public is passive about it, the vacuum could be filled by something unthinkably evil.

My friend warns that if our moral center is destroyed, and the American public is passive about it, the vacuum could be filled by something unthinkably evil.

WHOA! I said, that’s just plain looney, I countered. In a place where liberty reigns, where everyone’s ideas are considered, where self-determination and freedom of expression are held in high regard, yeah, you get your reality show garbage but you also get stuff like Space X, or Obama, and-

-Yeah that’s all naive bullshit, he interrupted. You really think you have liberty? You really think people in your country know how to think critically? Show self-determination? If you have no control over what you want – if you are unable or unwilling to discern what you value – you are a slave to someone else’s passions and you can’t act freely! You think you have any privacy at all? Even with what you think? (Important contextual note: this conversation took place pre-Snowden.) Wake up man. A war is being waged on the American people, and if you, a person who I consider to be one of the greatest, smartest artists in America, if you of all people can’t see it, then we’re ALL in real trouble. Seriously.

I held tight to the crux of my argument. Look, when people get so damn pure, so damn righteous, THAT is when people start rendering judgments about how other people live. And when that happens, what’s next? I mean, what’s so enlightened about that? For example, the white man came to America, used slaves to build up the country, slaughtered Native Americans, because of Manifest Destiny. America has never even started to deal with our addiction to our idea of our own purity, and you see it as we expand our empire. Hell, American soldiers have been in the Middle East for two decades (it was 2010 when we had our conversation) and will remain for God knows how long, all based on this myth of America knows best because America is right and you Muslims, you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing and we can’t leave you to your own devices, because you’re just going to come kill us. So before talking to you, you ALL must submit, you must bow, and surrender everything you are to us. (Another important contextual note: Isis did not exist when this conversation took place.) America had turned the entire world into the Israeli/Palestinian conflict because of our pure, just, American way.

Why wouldn't the entire world want to be as American as a bikini clad babe at a bbq scarfing down a juicy, thick, long... hot dog?

Why wouldn’t the entire world want to be as American  as a bikini clad babe at a bbq opening wide…for that juicy… thick… long… American dream?

Fuck that, we need to live as if life is feast I said, because we never know when it’s going to end. We need to embrace each other, and each others ideas, and refrain from judgment, because as I said, judgment is the enemy of enlightenment. We need to love each other. We need to talk to each other and we need to listen to each other, no matter who you are and DO NOT JUDGE IT!!

My friend laughed at me. Discernment, judgment, THAT IS THE WAY to enlightenment my friend, he countered. If you don’t have discernment, you know what you get? Velveeta instead of Petit Basque, Night Train instead of aged Burgundy, Ghost Dad instead of Ghost, Real Housewives of Wherever instead of The Wire, ugly, stupid, brutal porn instead of stimulating, sexy eroticism.

Okay, that’s a provocative point, but the world goes round based on both sides of the coin. And you NEED both, otherwise, you get that damn purist thing I’m talking about.

Check this out – when we were boys, my friend Matt and I, we would steal copies of his dad’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues, his Playboy and Penthouse magazines, and we stashed them in the woods, where no one else was around. We would look at the pictures (and NEVER read the articles) and we would talk about how we’d make love to each of the women contained inside. What moves we’d do. Which women looked like they were great lovers, compared with which looked like they were just okay. We both knew that we wanted to be great lovers when we reached manhood, and we knew we’d need practice in order to become great. But we were young and didn’t have girlfriends yet, you know? So we would eventually go home, with the vision of whichever woman we’d either seen in the photographs, or girls at school, or teachers, or whoever, we’d use those old Casio digital wrist watches, and we’d use the timer to find out how long we could masterbate before we’d ejaculate, and how long it would take us (if at all) to regain our erections, and sometimes we’d make a competition of who could ejaculate the most times in a night. Then, the next time we’d meet up, we’d report back our results. We kept pushing each other to go longer, to go more times. I even made a game for myself, to see how close to a certain time I could get, like 20 minutes, because I wanted to have the ability to control EXACTLY when I would ejaculate. And our drive in doing this was all in the name of the dream that when the day came, and we were with a woman, she would remember regard us as the greatest lover she ever had, every time.

Without discernment, artistic eros becomes unsexy porn.

Sans discernment, artistic eros becomes unsexy porn.

So, I said to my friend, was what we did wrong? Was it perverted? Was it evil? Because there are a lot of people who would think that if I told them what we did. Should I have been feeling shame for what we were doing? I didn’t. Why didn’t other people do what we did? Because they judged. And if I’d judged it, I would not have done what I did. Would I have become a great lover? It’s the people who listen to those people who say masturbating is a sin, that say that homosexuality is an abomination, that marriage is only a man and a woman… they’re the ones who are all fucked up, make other people fucked up, and have depraved senses of what’s sexy and erotic… because… why?

Because my friend was right – the big, huge, serious, very serious crimes against humanity keep popping up here, in America, and our moral decay is for real.

AND because I was right – we are more and more convinced of our pure, American ideals.

And it’s this purism that is sweeping the American body politic, our policy decisions, and our voting public that has me so deeply concerned. Whether it’s supporters of Delusional Donald, or Crazy Bernie, or Crooked Hillary, America is forging it’s way into a more pure, extremist, shaky land, ruled by fear, of either the candyass narcissistic billionaire who’d rather live in a gold tower with a Napoleonic complex and authoritarian aspirations, or the well-meaning septuagenarian socialist or a duplicitous, dishonest, equivocating, smart, but entitled pragmatist who shuns accountability and rarely demonstrates empathy.

I am concerned because the noise around our country is sending off vibrations of tumultuous conflict…a great disturbance in The Force…so much fear… so many stories of Mexican people getting shipped away… so many stories of a harsher and harsher American dogma… so much fear… a fear that I’ve not felt….since…

Days after Matt had died. I had a lucid dream, and to this day I think he was responsible. I think he pulled me into Nirvana, or heaven, or whatever. I was Neo before The Matrix existed, flying over greenery as far as the eye could see, being told by angelic types that I would be okay, that the pain of living through the loss of my friend would eventually subside, and the dream ended with a reminder of those old digital Casio wristwatches, and how, when we were little kids, we’d used those watches for a far more innocent use – we’d compete as to who could press the stopwatch buttons the fastest – DEE-DEET… .11 of a second… DE-DEET… .08 of a second…

DE-DEET… That would be my lifetime on Earth compared to the age of my soul. And my fear, ever since, has been pretty easy to check.

Life is serious. But it’s only life. DE-DEET.

Life is feast. But it’s only life. DE-DEET.

And the only thing we have to fear…

is losing our connection to what it means to be alive.

We have one world, and if there is but one way, and one right...

We’ve one world & if there is but one way & one right…

...it is that we must all love each other, despite the spite, with all of our might.

…it is that we all have the right to love each other, despite the fights and the spite… with all of our might.

Presidential Horserace Update: Plantar Fascist Leads Hillarious by 1/2 Length

So the swift, brutal and crushing blow, somehow, has yet to be delivered in the 2016 Presidential Campaign. However, maybe, just maybe, the blow delivered by the Democratic National Committee to Bernie Sanders WILL be what decides this election. By demanding Sanders’ utter capitulation, ignoring their own rule-breaking douchebaggery with nary one real apology (which would’ve indicated their desire to change the culture, which clearly, they don’t think they need to do) they basically flipped off the independent / youth movement that Sanders activated.

And now they very well may have handed the Presidency to Donald J. Trump.

Sanders, to his credit, did pull out the best “I’m cheerleading for Hillary” act that he could muster. It was hard to watch. Not because the man lost, but because of HOW he lost, and what he was then forced to do. We shall see how much surrogacy Bern does, or how many rallies for Hillary he sponsors. No matter what he does, to the Hillarites out there, it will never be enough. And no matter how many rallies or surrogacy appearances Bernie does, I have to think, those aren’t with her will not be swayed from this point forward.

Bernie really deserved better. And when Sarah Silverman twisted the knife in Bernie’s supporters backs by saying they were “being ridiculous,” that, for many, was truly the last line of bullshit they were willing to hear from the Democractic party about unification.

What a shitshow. It’s insane that all of this self-inflicted Democratic Party damage could be fatal. All it will take is a Trump win and for the Democratic Party to subsequently blame Bernie. This would be so twisted and revisionist that it would be nothing less than a national tragedy.

Sanders, for my money, was the obvious better choice to beat Trump. I guess those SuperDelegates really don’t have a purpose except to conspire with each other to install “THEIR nominee.”

Act with impunity. Rules be damned. These are mottos both Trump and The Democrats believe.

The Democrats are All In With Her, and they have been since well before the Iowa caucuses. They’re still exceedingly pleased with their choice of course, even though they’ve alienated millions of younger voters in the process and generally pissed off a bunch of the more independent folks in the Democratic Party. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Just ask any in the Democratic Party and they will tell you that 90% of Sanders’ supporters are voting for Hillary.

They are obviously lying. The question is, are they lying to themselves too?

The horserace is the horserace. At this point, it’s just a matter of who’s got the endurance, the strength, the follow through, and the tactics to seal this deal with the American people.

It many ways, it’s difficult to believe that the general election has JUST started, and that the Convention resets have occurred. It means that the horserace is nearing the 3/4 pole, and by my math & accompanying observations, Donald J. Trump (if he were a horse, I’d name him Plantar Fascist) leads Hillary R. Clinton (if she were a horse, I’d name her Hillarious) by about 1/2 length, still anyone’s race, in horserace terms. Don’t slap me with your polls, or your surveys, or Nate Silver’s increasingly wacky five thirty-eight. No.

I’ve been watching these races for far too long, and, to my dismay, Plantar Fascist is leading. Hillarious has never once, in her racing career, effectively closed a comeback bid. The horse has moxie, but is it game to outduel this inexperienced, volatile but surprisingly strong colt?

A horse’s strengths are a horse’s weaknesses as well. By my calculation, Plantar Fascist has utilized his strengths better than Hillarious. This is a horse that’s all about getting in front of you, making you try to catch up to him, and before you know it, you’re frustrated because he just fends you off, again and again. Any kind of overtaking maneuvers are thwarted because this horse, he almost seems too dumb or too crazy to realize that a horse isn’t supposed to try to win every single gallop, let alone win every single race wire-to-wire. So this is what Plantar Fascist’s strength/weakness is. He’s so reactive that it keeps him in the lead. This can be witnessed by the fact that his acceptance speech drew far bigger ratings than the Hillarious address, which, by any measure, should’ve been considered the historic one and the bigger draw.

Hillarious’ strength/weakness is about heart. Does she truly have it? Not sure. She’s not afraid of work, and that’s a good thing, because she has some work to do to win this race. The ground in front of her is choppy, due to poor track conditions laid for her by the DNC/Bernie fiasco. In addition, this horse who leads her is galloping wildly and swerving all over the track to block her. She should easily be able to surpass him, but at this point, she can’t find the path. She’s a smart horse. But are her smarts and experience going to help her overtake this wild horse? This stupid, talented, schizo horse that is so unpredictable? Hillarious looks hesitant, like she’s trying to calculate the incalculable. If she attempts a pass, will Plantar Fascist just decide to wipe them both out? This is where her heart comes in. If she can reconnect to her own wild horse authenticity, then, this moronic opponent running all over the track, completely untrained, will fall when she shows what she’s truly made of.

She has to play to win. Hillarious can not play “not to lose.”

But right now Team Hillarious is overthinking it all.

They should remember how her stud, The Comeback Kid, won: jobs jobs jobs.

The more I watch of this horserace, the more I see horses that brought a knife to a flame thrower fight. They’ve all fallen to the wayside. Has Hillarious learned from their mistakes?

I’m not sure Team Hillarious realizes just how important it is that they trade in that knife and get a sniper rifle and take this Trumpzilla monster down.

From the beginning, I’ve thought that whoever wins the 2016 Presidential General Election is going to be the jobs horse (hence, why I thought Sanders, horsename: Intrepid Inspiration, was the horse for the DNC to back.)

If the people in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin, Nevada, Iowa and Michigan really think that the horse who wins is a horse that’s going to get them a job, then they’ll be on that horse.

Right now, more people are betting on Plantar (because he’s like a wart you can’t get rid of) Fascist (because he represents the first fascist President) for those jobs. And they don’t even care that he IS Plantar Fascist.