The Masters Of Faster Talk Of Trash

Alright Wheelies, it is Trash talk time! For the doldrums of summer, there are a lot of sports to talk about and space needed for all things “not” January 6 related. Bring it all here.

First up is the AZERBAIJAN GRAND PRIX. Qualifying is on right now. Stroll has already crashed his Aston Martin into the wall. Good thing his father owns the team, else Lance would not have a job. Oh no, the other Aston Martin, driven by Sen Vettel, has now gone into the wall, but seems the car is okay. Of the middle eastern races, the Baku City Circuit is actually better than most and usually provides good racing. As usual, the Red Bulls and Ferraris are up front.

Qualifying is over, and Ferrari’s Jean Leclerc is on pole, followed by Checo Perez, Verstappen and Carlos Sainz in the other Ferrari. Race coverage on ESPN at 7 am EST Sunday.

THE BELMONT. The 154th running of the last leg of the Triple Crown in Elmont New York. The shocking come from behind winner of the Derby, Rich Strike, is entered.

There will be no chance of a horse winning the Triple Crown this year, after Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike did not race in the Preakness in May. But Rich Strike will still have a chance at making history on Saturday.
….
“Obviously, with our tremendous effort & win in the Derby it’s very, very tempting to alter course & run in the Preakness at Pimlico, which would be a great honor for all our group, however, after much discussion & consideration with my trainer, Eric Reed & a few others, we are going to stay with our plan of what’s best for Ritchie is what’s best for our group, and pass on running in the Preakness, and point toward the Belmont in approximately 5 weeks.”

The 80-1 long shot at the Kentucky Derby is still not favored to win at Belmont, with that honor going to We the People at 2-1.

It is hard to tell what to make of Rich Strike, only got in the Derby field by a last minute fluke, but he really went on a tear down the stretch and looked like he could have kept going, so today should be pretty interesting. But no, wouldn’t bet the farm on him.

NBA FINALS. Last night’s game four was something. Steph Curry just flat went off, finishing with 43 points and ten rebounds, which is Jordan and LeBron land. But it seemed more than that, he was everywhere. The series is tied 2-2, and they head back to San Francisco for a Monday night game five. It sure looks like it may be a seven game series.

LIV. Rayne mentioned it previously, and she covered the background, including Phil, quite well. Here is a running blog by ESPN on the final round in London. My only real comment is that the LIV is not attracting many viewers. Which figures because it is not on TV. At all. The only way to watch this junk is by streaming it, and who wants to do that for a golf tournament? Maybe sports writers that have to cover it? Those are the only folks I know that are watching. It is just a giant cash grab by golfers, most of whom nobody has ever heard of. From brutal murderous Saudi thugs.

DESHAUN WATSON. What a mess this sordid affair is. While two separate grand juries have refused to serve up an indictment, there are 24, Twenty Four!, civil suits filed against Watson. All by one carnival barker Houston lawyer, Tony Buzbee. Buzbee now claims he will be naming the Houston Texans as a party defendant as well, apparently based upon the somewhat tangential fact that Watson obtained a generic template non-disclosure agreement for from them. Something that had been known for a while actually. But Buzbee like to make a buzz, and he is at it again. Frankly I have no idea in the world how he does not have 23 conflicts of interest. There is no way in hell all of his clients are similarly situated, or have the same ultimate interest. I am stunned the Texas State Bar has not reeled him in. From Ben Volin at the Boston Globe:

But Watson and the Browns look to be in big trouble. The New York Times’s reporting on the lawsuits, which found that Watson visited 66 massage therapists over 17 months, provided vivid details of the allegations against Watson and revealed him as a deviant who used his power and celebrity to prey on women.

Nobody comes out of this looking good. Watson could be forced to sit out yet another season. The Browns look horrible for embracing Watson and still might need to find a quarterback for this year. The Texans are now getting dragged into the lawsuit and could be found at least partially liable. And Watson may find himself in more hot water thanks to the 24th lawsuit that was filed this past week.

The Browns may be without Watson for some or all of 2022, but there should be no tears shed for Jimmy Haslam’s team. It was shameful enough when the Browns traded three first-round picks for Watson despite these allegations hovering over him. But the contract they gave Watson shields him from any sort of financial accountability.

Not only is every penny of the five-year, $230 million contract fully guaranteed — setting an NFL record for the length and total of a guarantee — but the Browns truly protected Watson from financial repercussions of a suspension.

The Texans at least had the good sense to cut loose Watson. They paid him to not come around all of last year. But the Browns and Haslem look truly horrible. There is a lot of good stuff in Ben’s article. I’ll have more to say about this mess later as it plays out, but it is truly ugly on every front. Especially Watson, the Browns and carnival barker attorney Buzbee.

I knew Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin a little in the past, and he is very, very good. He can try any kind of case, although is probably best known for criminal ones. Head to head, Rusty would likely mop the floor with Buzbee. But 24 of them? And, make no mistake, you would have to try to make sure they are all separate and attempt to keep out all the other allegations from each one. That is certainly what I would do. Ooof.

Okay then, let rip the trash talk on anything that interests you. I’ll leave this post around through Monday night so there is always a place for things not January 6. Today’s music is an extremely little known one by the great George Harrison. The song is really written about the late great Ronnie Peterson, one of the fastest and nicest drivers ever in Formula One.But there is a lot of superb F1 footage in the video, including a couple of shots of my automotive mentor Phil Hill. And, if you catch it, a cameo by the Wee Scott, the great Jackie Stewart, as George’s driver. It is absolutely fantastic, give it a listen!

Trash Talk: NBA Finals Games and More

There’s so much sportsing this week that more Trash Talk posts are needed to prevent other threads from being trashed.

Please confine your sports chatter to these sports-dedicated posts, thanks. You may treat this as an open thread; House J6 Committee hearing discussion should go in those dedicated posts.

~ ~ ~

NBA FINALS

The 2022 finals between the Boston Celtics and the Golden State Warriors continues.

Sunday’s game tied up the series at 1-1 with Warriors win over Boston 107-88.

Last night the Warriors met the Celtics at TD Gardens, Boston MA only to lose to the home team, 116-100.

With the Celtics now leading the series 2-1, they’ll meet again in Boston tomorrow Friday, June 10, 9:00 pm ET; the game will be on ABC.

~ ~ ~

NFL FOOTBALL

Yuck. By the time this post is published, Walmart scion Rob Walton may have bought the Denver Broncos for a record-breaking $4.65 billion. Denver may now have Walmart marketing plastered all over it to which a local news outlet refers euphemistically as “shaping central Denver.”

Denver would do better buying all Denverites some Spanx shapewear.

~ ~ ~

PRO GOLF (PGA and not PGA)

Phil Mickelson did an interview with Sports Illustrated in which he discussed his gambling “habit.” He’s still got a problem if he can’t call it what it is — an addiction.

One might wonder if the addiction is why he’s up to his ears in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf in spite of acknowledging openly the Saudis’ human rights problems.

Knowing about his addiction this mea culpa sounds flat:

Whatev.

Tiger Woods isn’t ready to return to golf just yet; he’s skipping the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, MA this week. He’s planning to be at the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland for July 4-5, and at the 150th British Open at St. Andrew’s, Scotland for July 14-17.

Unlike Mickelson, Woods turned down a massive 9-figure offer to join LIV Golf. I guess Woods doesn’t feel he needs to worry about shaping PGA Golf the way Mickelson does — at least that’s Mickelson’s excuse for being persuaded to participate in LIV.

Speaking of LIV, I went looking for more details about golfers participating in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series. The USA Today article I found did them no favors; they all sound like they could really care less if they were rubbing shoulders with acknowledged killers because golf.

But what really took the cake is the spokesperson for LIV…

wait for it…

guess who it is…

no, really…

Ari fucking Fleischer.

I have to ask why any journalists, particularly American journalists, will cover this and what editors will assign LIV to any journalists’ beat because they also know this entire golf venture is whitewashing the murderers of an American journalist who was chopped up with a bone saw while still alive because the murderer who put out this hit didn’t like the coverage he was getting in American media.

What the hell; is American journalism as soft in the spine as these compromised golfers? Do they think they’re immune if they provide less than happy coverage of this whitewashing effort?

And are they going to be sucked in once again because there’s a familiar face at the podium offering the same smarm circa the Bush administration?

~ ~ ~

MISC. SPORTS

Belmont Stakes will be run this Saturday, June 11. Kentucky Derby winner Rich Strike is scheduled to appear after skipping the Preakness; odds, however, favor We the People at 2-to-1 to win the Belmont.

90 U.S. Olympic women gymnasts including Simone Biles have filed a lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act against the FBI for its failure to appropriately investigate and prosecute mass sexual abuser Larry Nassar though the FBI had known about his serial assaults.

I haven’t seen any further details about this suit which is the second filed this year against the FBI with regard to Nassar. On the face of it this looks like a gross violation of women’s civil rights; why were they not afforded equal protection under the law?

~ ~ ~

Got some other sports issue you need to air out? Do it in this thread along with any non-hearing related topics, thanks.

Trash Talk: NBA Finals Games 1+2, French Open Tennis, MLB, NFL

Because there’s just so much bloody sportsing going on right now we’ll have a few more Trash Talk posts over the next week or two to prevent other threads from being trashed.

Please confine your sports chatter to these sports-dedicated posts, thanks.

~ ~ ~

NBA FINALS

The 2022 finals are already underway with the Boston Celtics leading the series over Golden State after winning last night’s Game 1, 120 to 108.

The next games in the series:

Sunday evening, June 5 8:00 pm ET at Chase Center in San Francisco, CA.

Wednesday, June 8, 9:00 pm ET at TD Garden, Boston, MA

Friday, June 10, 9:00 pm ET at TD Garden, Boston, MA

The entire series will be carried by ABC.

Thankfully no game is scheduled for June 9 when the House J6 Committee hearings begin, but noted above there’s a game on June 10. A fresh Trash Talk thread will be posted next Friday to prevent finals chatter bleeding into the J6 thread.

If the series isn’t wrapped up on Friday, the next game will be Monday evening and yet another Trash Talk post will be published for sports chatter.

~ ~ ~

FRENCH OPEN

On his 36th birthday today, Rafael Nadal (Spain) met 25-year-old Alexander Zverev (Germany) in the semifinals today in Paris, but Zverev was forced to retire after a hideous ankle injury late in the second set.

Nadal will meet the winner of the semi-final between Casper Ruud (Norway) or Marin Cilic (Croatia); the meetup to be held this Sunday will Nadal’s 14th as a French Open finalist.

Iga Swiatek (Poland) and Coco Gauff (U.S.) will meet in the women’s finals tomorrow.

Also in Paris this week is Billie Jean King; she was awarded France’s Legion of Honor:

King, who is in France as the French Open concludes, received the award in recognition of her contributions to women’s sports, gender equality and the rights of LGBTQ people in athletics. She took part in a short ceremony at the presidential Elysee Palace at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

A perfect way to celebrate this year’s LGBT Pride Month.

~ ~ ~

MLB and Other Baseball and Softball

These teams are currently leading their divisions:

AL East: NY Yankees

AL Central: Minnesota Twins

AL West: Houston Astros

NL East: NY Mets

NL Central: Milwaukee Brewers

NL West: LA Dodgers

NY Yankees lead the American League and LA Dodgers lead the National League.

Meh. I can’t get excited about this at all especially since Detroit is third from the bottom of the AL.

However the NCAA DI Baseball Men’s College World Series has started; here’s the schedule:

Regionals: Friday, June 3 through Monday, June 6
Super Regionals: Friday, June 10 through Sunday, June 12 OR Saturday, June 11 through Monday, June 13
First day of CWS games — Friday, June 17
CWS Finals — Start Saturday, June 25 (best out of 3)
Final championship game — Monday, June 27

The NCAA Softball Women’s College World Series began last night with eigth-finals or fourth round in Oklahoma City. I’m going to back Oregon State tonight against Arizona State because I really want to know as others have asked if the Beavers can be stopped or not.

Schedule for the WCWS finals:

Game 1: 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8
Game 2: 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 9
Game 3: 8:30 p.m. (if necessary), on Friday, June 10

It’s a damned shame there’ll be a conflict on Thursday with the House J6 Committee’s first hearing.

~ ~ ~

NFL

What the actual fuck, people? There’s an Oversight Committee hearing this month into the NFL?

Why are elected officials who represent the entire country caught up with the Washington Commanders’ football team’s workforce problems instead of the Department of Labor?

From NBC Sports:

The House Committee on Oversight & Reform has announced that it will hold a hearing on June 22. The Committee has requested the attendance and testimony of two key individuals: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Commanders owner Daniel Snyder.

“The hearing is the next step in the Committee’s months-long investigation into the Commanders’ hostile workplace culture and will also examine the NFL’s handling of allegations of workplace misconduct, the NFL’s role in setting and enforcing standards across the League, and legislative reforms needed to address these issues across the NFL and other workplaces,” the Committee said in a press release.

What really annoys me is the breathless manner in which this hearing and the underlying problems are discussed in sports media while far more important hearings about the near-overthrow of U.S. government have been scheduled and precede the Oversight Committee hearing. NFL fans are far more worked up about Roger Goodell’s invitation to appear before Oversight than whether anyone subpoenaed by the House J6 Committee has made any effort to comply.

It’s no wonder this country is in such a fucking mess — just look at its priorities. Entertainment and its corporate masters über alles.

~ ~ ~

Got some other sports issue you need to air out? Do it in this thread, thanks.

Happy Holidays From The Emptywheel Blog: A Year To Remember, A Year To Forget And An Open Forum For Cooking, Trash And Other Talk

What a long strange trip 2021 has been. January 6 is still less than a year ago. Joe Biden’s Presidency is only eleven months old. The DOJ and 1/6 Committee are working away nicely on an unprecedented case that is multitudes more complicated and difficult than most all seem to comprehend (although we have been warning of that here from the start). So, as we reach this tumultuous Christmas and New Years’ season, amid the sudden (but quite predictable in spite of anything Biden and Harris say) emergence of Omicron, let’s chill a bit and take stock of it all.

First off, and I used to do this yearly on or about Christmas Eve, a remembrance of our dearly departed friend and colleague, Mary. Mary Perdue was not just a colleague, but a friend to both me, Marcy and most all of our contributors here. Mary left us on Christmas Eve 2011. Our long time regulars know this story, but there are a lot of new people here that should know, because this is the epitome of who we are at Emptywheel and what we have done and stood for from our beginning. I used to copy and repost the entire in memoriam, but will just link today for brevity. If you are new here, check it out.

Okay, on to the food! Because Mrs. bmaz is Italian at root, we always have, like at Thanksgiving, ridiculously awesome homemade spaghetti, meatballs, sausage and sauce instead of the traditional turkey and fixings. We will again. As much as I hate pumpkin pie, our daughter simply loves it, so there will be that too. That will be Christmas Day though, for Christmas Eve, probably steak, or homemade pizza, in the Ooni pizza oven. So, what are all of you eating, from where, and how? Marcy taught me long ago to seek out local and fresh ingredients, whether meat, vegetables or other, and we try to do that. Holiday food is fun!

And, now, for a bit of Trash Talk. Last night the Titans beat the 49ers and all but clinched a playoff spot and division title. Niners are still alive, but a little wounded. The Saturday game of Colts at Cardinals has all kinds of playoff implications. Both would likely still make the playoffs, but the seeding is absolutely critical. The other Christmas Day game of Cleveland at Green Bay is kind of a throwaway, hard to see the banged up and sinking Brownies going the Pack a game at Lambeau. There are too many permutations after the Sunday slate is played to go through here, but ESPN has a nice synopsis.

There is so much more going on, and let’s talk about it. In closing, I’d just like to say thank you for being part of this community, it means everything to all of us here. So, to all of you and yours, have the happiest of holidays and New Year.

This year’s holiday music is “Don’t Shoot Me Santa Claus” by the incomparable Killers. It is really a great tune. I do suggest you click on the full screen button to embiggen it.

And for Eureka, Scribe and all our Pennsylvania friends:

Pressure Drop Trash Talk

Lot of stuff in the last couple of days, and things that have people hot and bothered. So, let’s chill it out a bit with some late trash talk.

First off, a bit of credit to Fernando Alonso, who finished on the podium in Qatar for the first time in a long time. The Spaniard is still one of the fastest and best drivers in F1, the problem has long been his quality of equipment. So, that is fantastic.

In the college ranks, too many B1G teams, hi Ohio State and Michigan, won yesterday, as did those darned Domers. The Pac-12 truly sucks, and ASU is in serious need of a new head football coach and athletic director. The Cincinnati Bearcats truly deserve to be in the CFB Playoffs, and if they are not let fire engulf the entire NCAA.

In the pros, the Patriots seem to have reloaded with Mac Jones a lot faster than expected, though they are doing it against not the best competition. Their next four games are tough though, so we shall see. The Packers at Vikings may be the most interesting game of the day given that Kyler Murray seems unlikely to play as the Cards are in Seattle. Bengals at Rayduhs looks pretty interesting, though both a little flimsy right now. Lot of people taking the Cowboys over the Chefs, not sure about that. I will go with the Chefs with the game in KC. If Big Ben plays, and it looks like he will, Scribe’s Stillers at the Bolts looks to be an excellent SNF game.

That’s it. Trash this joint immediately. Music by Toots. Currently, Mrs. bmaz is playing Here Comes The Sun on her newish piano, the summer heat has broken, and I hope life is as good for every one of you.

Rocky Racoon, NFL, NCAA and F1 Trash Talk

Okay, the big news at Casa de Bmaz is that a full blown giant raccoon has taken up residence somewhere in our front. We have always had families of little ground squirrels living in some of our cactus patches, but this thing is huge. Our 92 pound Doodle, MissCue, has discovered it and is close to breaking through the front window to get to it. We, of course, call our new friend Rocky. It is pretty amusing so long as giant doodle doesn’t break through the window.

Some excellent NFL games this weekend. The Rams already clobbered the SeaSquaks, and Seattle has lost Russell Wilson in the process from a hideous middle finger injury on his throwing hand. But, wait, there’s more! The Cardinals, shockingly the only unbeaten team left in the league, travel to face the San Jose 49ers, who will be without Jimmy G already. Young Trey Lance takes over, and it could be a very interesting game.Pack goes to the Bungles, but Cinci is starting to maybe gel for once. Denver at Steelers is interesting. Steelers are flailing a bit, and if Bridgewater plays, this could be a great game, as could Cleveland at the Bolts. Then there is the Sunday Night game on NBC, the Buffalo Wagon Circlers at the Chiefs. The Chiefa have struggled, but think I’ll take the Chefs with some home cooking.

In the junior pro football league, which is all that the NCAA is after adoption of the NIL insanity, The Sun Devils dispatched the Trees of Stanford in the PAC-12 after dark game in Tempe. If you don’t watch PAC-12 after Dark, you are missing out, it is usually very good. The best game today is arguably number 4 Penn State at number 3 Iowa. Go Hawkeyes! LSU at Kentucky could be a real sleeper, but nobody ever made money betting on Kentucky Football. Same for the ND Domers at West Virginia. Georgia at Auburn looks interesting, but I’ll take the Dawgs.

That leaves F1 of the major sports. Hamilton is on pole, but has a ten place grid penalty, so will start eleventh. Verstappen will start in P2 alongside Hamilton’s Merc teammate, Bottas.There are not a lot of great passing opportunities in Istanbul, so we shall see how the race plays out. This has turned into a pretty interesting F1 season.

In other sports, the WNBA playoffs have been simply spectacular. Last night, the Phoenix Mercury beat out the Las Vegas Aces, in Vegas, behind timeless performances by Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner. Griner has a last second block that sealed it with less than a second to go. Really good stuff. The Mercury will face Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot and the Chicago Sky in the finals.

Also, too, the MLB playoffs are ongoing. Jim Whie’s Tampa Bay Rays looked to be world beaters until the Sawx lit them up toward the end of the game, and now the series is tied up. Giants beat the Dodgers in their first playoff meeting ever.

So, there is the sporting scene. It has been a while since we have done Trash Talk, so let your hair down and chat it up about anything. Today’s music is All Along The Watchtower. Most people think it is a Hendrix song, but it originally is a Bob Dylan song. And if you have never seen Dylan play it electrified, you are in for a treat, and it also includes Highway 61. Rock this joint.

There Is Going To Be A Game Tonight

Some former New England Patriot QB is going back to Foxbvorough. No, it is not Jacoby Brissett. It’s the other guy.

Gronk is out with fractured ribs, which really sucks. But Antonio Brown is back from Covid, the Bucs are not without weapons on offense.

The football talkers are all gabbing about hoe Bill Bel will know how to defend Brady. And that may be true. But having had the opportunity to watch Bruce Arians a few years, he can game plan on offense pretty well too.

It will be interesting to watch.

The Cinci Bearcats took out the Domers, UK beat Florida and ASU trashed UCLA.

Weird week, and have at anything and everything.

Monza, US Open, NFL And Other Sports Trash Talk

I’ve been tempted to effectively repost the entire piece on the ten year anniversary of my 2011 50 year anniversary post on the 1961 Italian Grand Prix, first American Champion in history (there have only ever been two), on the weekend of the 60th anniversary of the same. But we often scold people for wasting electrons and column inches needlessly. So, here is a link to my September 10, 2011 post “Italian Grand Prix 1961-2011: Monza, Death of von Trips & A Yankee Champion”. Everything is there. If you like F1 and have not seen it before, think you will like it. Tomorrow may be the 12th of September, but it is truly the 60th anniversary for the Italian GP at Monza. Qualifying was lackluster, but Monza truly is the Temple Of Speed on the F1 circus.

The NFL kicked off Thursday night with a fantastic game between the ‘Boys and Bucs. Both teams played really well, but never give the ball back to Brady with 1:20 left on the clock. Lot of great games on tap for Sunday.

Talk about anything and everything, sports or not. The relentless 9/11 hagiography is mind numbing. Thanks goodness for college football and the absolutely amazing Women’s Final at the US Open that is about to, in minutes, come off between two amazing and captivating teenagers, Leyla Fernandez, a 19 year old (only by less than a week!) takes on former Canadian and current Brit, Emma Raducanu. They are truly amazing players and young personalities. Captivating is actually an understatement. Take a look at them, you will not be sorry.

The Suns

It is never over until it is over. Never. Teams going back home are usually in decent shape at 3-1, but the finals chickens are far from hatched. The series resumes in Phoenix at The Arena on Monday, and let’s go, because the Clips are a very worthy team, even without Kawhi Leonard, who does look quite unavailable for the playoffs.

Our daughter has been watching a lot of soccer, and I do not really understand it so well sometimes. Have tried to tell her about what is going on with the Suns. I was at every Suns home playoff game in 1993. Almost went to Chicago for a Finals game there, but a case quashed that idea. I saw all the others here though. She was not yet born then, that is how long it has been.

Regulars here will remember the story of me being held in contempt by a presiding judge for refusing to answer questions at a grand jury. It was literally during the 1993 NBA Finals. The judge, an uncommonly decent guy, and a basketball fan from Indiana, said show me your tickets. They were in my suit pocket, and he let me leave. My season tix partner was freaking outside when I arrived. Was the night Chuck Barkley was awarded the MVP.

There have been a few decent seasons for the Suns since, but not many in a very long time. I long ago jettisoned the season tix because they are stupid expensive, and it no longer was very fun.

The owner, Robert Sarver, is still shit, but he is no longer overly visible. The current team acts and carries itself like the old teams under Jerry Colangelo, Cotton Fitzsimmons and Paul Westfall. In short, they are a joy to watch again.

So, we shall see how the playoffs play out. But it is exciting again in the desert. I bet the people in Milwaukee and Atlanta think so too. This is a good thing.

There is also the Styrian Grand Prix from the now Red Bull Ring, which used to be the A1 Ring. Not one of the best circuits, but the grid is interesting, with Verstappen on top. It is nice to see some natural green landscape again after all that garish paint at the Paul Ricard Circuit in France last week.

On Helmets And Vaccinations

Okay, so I told an old war story from the motorcycling days of my youth in an earlier thread. In response to a Raven Eye comment, I said:

“Your story of father and BB guns really holds water though. A friend and me, pre driver’s license, used to ride dirt bikes all over what is now suburbia. We would take 410 shotguns out quail and dove hunting. They seemed, shall we say, not very effective at range. So, one day with leathers and helmets on, we paced off, maybe 50-75 yards and shot at each other. We each took some pellets but no harm. And that is the kind of stupid your father foresaw.”

As stupid as it sounds on the surface, it was fine. We were both wearing motorcycling attire and full coverage helmets. Looking back, it still falls in the “things you ought not do” department. But we were in no real danger, just young and stupid.

I’ll get to the “vaccinations” part of this post in a minute, but back to helmets. I never even thought to wear a bicycle helmet, whether riding on the streets of Tempe in college (hey, I got sideswiped once!), or on those of Santa Monica in the summers. Literally never crossed my mind. Now they are ubiquitous on almost every bicyclist you see.

Back to the helmet thing. I wore a Bell Star, with flip down visor. It cost an insane amount of money at the time, but my mother paid it in a heartbeat, as my friends and I did not just ride to hunt quail and dove, we raced motocross and hare and hounds. It was the classic white Bell Star one, with a flag decal on each side. My friend in this story did not wear a Bell, but, I think, a Shoei. There were not that many full coverage helmets that early. Either way, we were pretty safe for the 410 test.

That Bell helmet later saved my life. I had done some wrenching on a friend’s Yamaha 250 (close to what I had raced earlier), and was taking it home to him. Doing 30-40 mph on a large street with a palm tree median when a little sports car made a left turn in front of me. The bike collapsed into the side, and I was catapulted over it and landed 20-30 yards on the other side, on my knees, elbows and head. The elbows were skinned, the knees really hurt, and the trusty Bell Star was cracked in the cranium section. Cracked. That would have been my head. I went to the hospital for a checkup, but was released within a couple of hours. Concussions were not yet a thing.

Such is the value of helmets. But how many people out there now, without a thought, wear bicycle helmets, but ignorantly refuse to get vaccinated? I honestly do not know the answer, but it strikes me that it may be a quantifiable amount. And how is that exactly? Here is an NFL player, once “hesitant” that found the vaccine jesus. Good for Travis Kelce. For one and all, PLEASE go get fully vaccinated; it is good for you, your family and society. It, like helmets, can save lives. Do it.

image_print