Shenanigans on the IR; Mariota’s TD

While shenanigans is out recovering, her editor, at sugi’s suggestion, recommends the marvelous tale of Marcus Mariota’s touchdown against the Titans last night.  Click on the picture to read the whole story.



Shenanigans is 90

A message from the Editor:

So . . .   Shenanigans knows how to party.

She went after it, attending a Christmas eve gathering at the zoo, a family banquet on Christmas night, then her own Gala 90th Bash at the Glendale Lyceum with her whole clan in attendance on her actual birthday on 12/26.  The next night, she hosted the whole clan again at her home, a fab event culminating with hilarity from the amazing Henry the Younger.

And . . .  she also managed to get laryngitis in the midst of it all, then pneumonia, then she even fell down the night after all the festivities and fractured a couple of ribs, went to the ER and then got admitted to Christ Hospital!!!!!  (She’s mending now, prognosis is good, and she’ll be back at the keyboard soon.)

Who can top that!!!!  We dare anyone to try to keep up with this blogger!!!

Cards welcome.  Emails equally good (  (If you email, make the font big so she can read it).

Remember, it only hurts when she laughs, so bring it on!!!

there is turmoil in the world of football ….yet there is goodness as well

Last Sunday, a player on the Seahawks, a giant of a man, upon being taunted by a group of fans, got so enraged, even attempted to climb up in the stands.  In another game, two players were ejected for fighting on the field.  Elsewhere, several players suffered injuries, one or two who had to go on IRA, one a rising star will be done for the season. Even a coach got into it with a referee.  At the top of the NFL, Roger Goodell, the head dude, is in the midst of controversy over his huge salary and questionable decisions. One wonders what is going on with our very own Bengals, alas on a downward spiral.  So many injured.  So many performing badly.  Surely there is an answer or a cure or a  different mindset.  Added to all this with the Bengals comes the death of Pete Brown, Mike’s brother and also an instrumental part of the organization.  This, too, will cast  a shadow over the rest of the season.

However dismal all these happenings are,  up pop stories of interest and joy.  Let me tell you a heart-warming football tale going on at the University of Central Florida. (I preface this by adding that this is near where Michael and the rest of our family’s dear friend, Sarah Trowbridge, went to college, thus an added connect to this particular tale.)  It is about two UFC twin brothers who find joy in playing college football together.  Their names are Shaquill and Shaquem  Griffin.  Shaquem lost his hand when he was 4 years old due to a rare condition before his birth but that has never stopped him from playing  on the same side of the ball as his brother. The two talked about being teammates and roommates since their ninth grade in high school.  When they lined up for the first time in their college career somebody said, “Oh, they have twins on the same side?” That had to be one of the greatest moments in this whole camp,” Shaquill Griffin said as a wide smile spread across his face.

The bonds between these two is so strong.  They  have never considered going into a fraternity.  Shaquill  remarked, “The only fraternity I’ve got is this football team.  Everybody is so close on this team and that’s what helps us push together through each practice and each game because nobody else can relate to what we’re going through on the outside.”  They do not let this disability hold them back.  The Griffin twins are not clairvoyant but they have been able to see what others couldn’t do most of  their 21 years on this planet.  This is a remarkable story of love and courage and rising above and togetherness as brothers who have gone side by side from the time they were born, rising above a negative and turning it into a positive.  Their stats as football players are equally remarkable.  Add on to this, their humility.   I stand in awe of these two.    Shaquem calls it a “gift” to have one hand.  He and his brother have a story to tell, platforms to build and people to touch.

And here is another good news story to report which some of my followers may have heard already ………. Andrew Whitworth (sadly not with the Bengals any more and greatly missed)  has donated 550 bicycles to an elementary school out there in Los Angeles where he now resides.  What a great leader and player and good man he is.  The Bengals offensive line shows his loss.  That was a bad move in my opinion. ………. Enough said on that subject.

The same wonderful donation, with helmets and instructions on how to work  them, has been done right here.  Adam Jones and Vontage Burfick – two stalwarts with the Bengals who are often depicted for their bad behavior either on the field or in the community by the press, have done the same by donating 300 bicycles to a local school.  These acts of thoughtfulness from noted sports figures deserve recognition.  So many others on other teams in other sports, some times never mentioned, have done similar acts of kindness to give kids support – visiting hospitals and schools and establishing foundations for a myriad of needs.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  And, I wish to one and all, a very Merry Christmas,  It would delight this old sports lover who will become the ripe old age of 90 on the day after Christmas to have a comment from you – whoever you may be ………

Hats off to my Editor, who is my daughter, Shailah,  who started this Blog to keep me busy and which, in the beginning  seemed impossible but look at me now….. It really is fun.  Thanks, Shay.

To all a good night and a truly happy New Year.

In Retrospect …… A heart-breaking loss

As the sports fanatic that I am…..loyalist to the Cincinnati Bengalis since the moment I met Paul Brown now some 50 years ago……..a win is always a thrill, a loss such as last late night in the remaining seconds of a troubling football game leaves me spent.  I remind myself  “it’s just a game”.   In Roget’s Thesaurus “game” means diversion, amusement, play, contest .   Playing the Steelers, somehow does not fit that description.  It appears to have become as in days of old , throwing the Christians to the lions. Maybe, mauling is the better word.

My emotions run the gamut of disappointment for myself to discouragement for Marvin Lewis, a good and decent man, for distress, I am sure, for Mike Brown , an old friend always loyal to so many – a trait he learned from his father and to the team itself who made too many mistakes last night after a brilliant beginning in the first half.  So much rides on their shoulders.  They will be maligned in the media who love to make too much of disaster.   Too many fans with be calling for Marvin’s release. What do they know about coaching – play-calling,  anyway?  Vontage Burfick will make the headlines just as for the reasons mentioned above.

Football is a rough and tumble game.  Action packed and, at times, hurtful.  So is soccer. so is ice hockey.  At times, both baseball and basketball . All are ingrained in our world. Certainly in mine.  A release in some ways to escape our every day lives.

A good part in this game last night was the introduction of some of the Legends of the Bengals who were in town commemorating these 50 years.  Among them Scott Perry, CB on the team for 4 years in the late 1970’s and who set quite a few records during that time mostly for his speed.  Scott had gone to Williams College at the same time as our daughter, Shailah.. When he arrived in town he stayer with us for  awhile.  A free spirit was he.  Still is.    He just paid a visit a bit ago.  We reminisced and caught up after almost 40 years.  Good of him to take time to come by.

Talking about the “good old days” somehow takes the sting out of what happened at Paul Brown stadium last night.  Bring on the next enemy this coming Sunday.  I will still be cheering the home team .   Go Bengals !


a brief addition to my recent Blog

The Cincinnati Bengals celebrating their 50 years of playing professional football in the Queen City are honoring former players at each game. …… “Legends” they are called.  I just noted that this Monday night against, among those Legends will be Solomon Wicots.    What do you know about that?

Are you ready for some football ?

and baseball and basketball…….and sundry other newsworthy sports stories  ……..

but first – thoughts as those evil Steelers approach on Monday Night Football and our disdain for them fills our minds and the Bengal players who will face them as well which is just what they want.  Makes us an easy target,.  Which leads me to one player who feels – bring ’em on.  He has become meat for the media as they enjoy writing about what they consider his behavior on the field.  I. for one, feel that he is one of a heck of a player.  So does Solomen Wilcots ( former Bengal and recently TV analyst)..  Following is how he describes Vontage Burfick…………

” I don’t know if we embrace Vontage Burfick the way we should.  We ought to appreciate the attitude he brings.  That matters a great deal  in this game.  When the incumbent has to resort to whining about you like the Steelers did with Burfick, they respect you.  Not only that but they fear you.  That’s what Ray Lewis did for Baltimore.  That’s what Troy Palamolu did for Baltimore and Heinz Ward for offense on the Steelers”.  Lord knows, we need that attitude on Monday night.  The referees will be watching and waiting and eager to throw a flag.  After all, that is a team known for their type of play.  James Harrison is still there.   The Bengals sure do need a win for that small chance of hanging around play offs possible !!!!!

Following, my mind wanders to other sports and interesting tidbits therein such as the Reds stellar star, Joey Votto who was a finalist ( and more deserving than the one chosen) for MVP even though  the last Reds were last place in the League.  Check out his stats – 102 games played, batted 320/459/578. Hit 36 home runs.  Had 100 RBIs and 106 runs.  Led NL on-base percentage (1,032) and finally (!.032) walks.   He has also become the team leader to all those new young guys as well as a top-notch figure in the community reaching out to youngsters particularly. Joey Votto is a true star.

How about those Boston Celtics on the hardwood.  With a winning streak of 14 games at this writing?   Surprisingly and indeed a force to be reckoned with , kind of like their days of old when led by Coach Auerbach.

Miscellaneous musings……. Have you noticed a rise in yellow flags thrown more often?   and fisticuffs?   in the NFL……Why?   And how about hair?  Longer and longer.  Can’t read a player’s name.  Plus beards ,  My goodness, can’t see a face either half the time.

The holiday season approaches.  There will be joy with family and exhaustion. That’s what it is all about though.  May any and all of my followers  have the same…… There is a need in our homes and our cities and around the globe for peace.

Is that possible ?

sports dreams as a child ……..

Now looking back at some 80 years ago comes an inspiration (after watching the Bengals eke out a last minute victory with just one point and receiving the above photo, I reminisce):

. . . . . playing football in our front yard with my brothers, Jim and Ken and a motley crew of neighborhood boys, began my connection with that game coupled with going a block away on a Saturday afternoon to watch the Xavier Musketeers have at it at a stadium now no longer there and long before TV had arrived, listening to those games on the radio of the Fighting Irish over in faraway South Bend, Indiana.

Their fame on the fields of football became my field of dreams.  Me – a gangly young girl, polishing my skills in order to play with the boys.  That I did.  (Years later, my late and good friend, Dick Whitney, recalled that I threw a perfect spiral.)  So – why couldn’t I some day find glory on that hallowed field at Notre Dame?  Obviously,  cropped-flutie-and-kath.jpg

a no brainer.   Surely, a childish dream.

Now – so many years later, there she is, my dear daughter, Kathleen, inside that golden globe and hobnobbing with the likes of Doug Flutie, former NFL quarterback and now genial football analyst for ESPN.  In a small sense, she fulfills my dreams, by at least walking on those hallowed grounds (in a most grandiose way) and feeling the place and the sports history it has made beginning with the legendary coach, Knute Rockne – “Win this one for the Gipper” – followed by Frank Leahy and a series of winning coaches and players for almost a century.

Memories mean a lot as we age.  They are real though often embellished with time.  There is a patina about them which shine through gray skies like today.  We presume there will be a tomorrow and time to add more memories

Can we be sure ?