Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Here in Illinois we are basically quarantined to our homes. Bars and restaurants are officially closed here for at least the next two weeks. Nonetheless, I went out with my buddy Mike last night for one last night of supporting local business. There weren’t many patrons at the bar but we had a blast anyway. I had a few green beers and a Jack & Coke.
It was like the “Night Before Prohibition”. It was strange to see them throwing out anything opened such as half-empty bottles of wine and all of their limes and cherries, etc. I felt bad for the bartender who now has no job for at least two weeks and probably much longer. And she barely charged us anything! My bill was $12. What? I think she conveniently forgot some drinks, on purpose. We left generous tips but unfortunately we can do little else to help her out.
Running & Fitness Update
Meanwhile, now that it’s recovery day for this old man, my son and I went for a run. We ran almost two miles! Since I haven’t run in awhile, I had to stop a few times to walk but overall it wasn’t overly taxing. My boy wants to join 7th Grade Track this year so we’ll see what happens. As for my weight loss goals, things are going fantastic. I weighed in today after the run and hit my lowest numbers since September. Still more to go, but a decent start has me motivated. This Summer: more running, more cardio, less sweets.
Reading & Writing Update
Last year my goal was to read one book a month. I didn’t quite hit my goal of twelve books for the year but I read about nine books.
January ’19: “Hawk: I Did It My Way” by Ken Harrelson with Jeff Snook – The Hawk’s autobiography
February : “The Opening Kickoff: The Tumultuous Birth of a Football Nation” by Dave Revsine
March : “Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character” by Marty Appel
April : “Killing Reagan: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency” by Bill O’Reilly & Martin Dugard
May – June : “The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created” by Jane Leavy
July : “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway – Fantastic book by one of our greatest writers. This might have been the first time I’ve read Hemingway. I can see why he’s know as one of the greats.
August : “The Pioneers” by David McCullough – McCullough is one of America’s greatest modern writers. The amount of detail about 1800s westward creep is astounding. How do these greats do so much research? Amazing.
September : “Season of Saturdays: A History of College Football in 14 Games” by Michael Weinreb – Solid college football analysis by a Penn State guy who grew up in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania.
October : “Game Day” by Craig James – I wish I had read this when it was first published in 2009. Right after receiving the book as a gift Craig James was involved in the controversy over Coach Mike Leach’s situation with Craig’s son Adam James. I don’t remember all the details but Adam was kicked off the Texas Tech team (or quit) over the way he was treated by Coach Leach amid concussions. Anyway, I used to love Craig but soured on him after that controversy. The book was fine but would’ve been better to read a decade ago. It didn’t hold up over time.
November : ? not sure if I’m forgetting a book or two here
December : ?
January 2020 : “73-0! Bears over Redskins: The NFL’s Greatest Massacre” by Lew Freedman – It was enjoyable to read about the historic victory by the Bears over Washington in the 1940 NFL Championship. There’s never a bad time to read about how dominant the Bears once were, even if this was 80 years ago.
February : “The Making of the President 2016: How Donald Trump Orchestrated a Revolution” by Roger Stone – It was pretty good for a political book. One of the interesting things about reading this book exactly four years after the timeframe the author was referring to is that we’re seeing all of the same stuff, but now on the other side of the aisle with the Democrats as they try to win back the White House. Politics is a strange ball game. I prefer sports but sometimes enjoy politics. The difference is I never get fed up with sports and very, very rarely get burned out on sports.
March : “Cobb” by Al Stump – One of the most famous sports biographies ever written, Al Stump wrote this book about Ty Cobb and published it in 1994 based on his travels with Cobb in 1960-61. There was a movie based on this book starring Tommy Lee Jones as Tyrus Raymond Cobb too. It was also released in 1994 and it was awesome! I’m not done reading the book yet but so far, so great. Cobb was truly one of the greatest baseball players ever. It’s fascinating to see where he started and how his rage motivated him his entire career. I highly recommend both the book and movie.
So that’s it for my reading update. Hopefully I can read twelve (or more) books in 2020 or at least more than the nine I read in 2019. As for writing, we’ve been in a little bit of a slump, a sort of “writers block” if you will, so far in 2020. That’s sure to change. Look for more awesome content from “Dutch Lion” as we get back into sports in the coming months. Soon I’ll be publishing our baseball preview, our NFL Draft preview, and some other fine rhetoric we’ve been working on over the years.
Thanks for reading,
Reid “Dutch Lion”