Mix & Match Monday: Start to Summer?

The unofficial start to summer is here and for most of the holiday weekend in Ohio, it has not felt that way.

After it felt like summer most of the previous week, a cold front had temperatures in the 50s and clouds Saturday, which made it feel like a day in which you go to a college football game. Sunday was slightly better and Memorial Day has sunshine and temperatures you expect this time of year. But I have to work. Thanks, Mother Nature.

Obviously, this holiday is to remember those who gave their lives serving our country to ensure the freedoms we enjoy. I don’t need a Facebook meme to remind me of that, random person I’m friends with.

With things improving in regards to COVID-19, it feels like a near-normal Memorial Day weekend.

Here’s your Mix & Match Monday: Week of May 31th Edition

-The Memorial Day weekend brings with it a lot of sporting events. One of the biggest is the UEFA Champions League Final. It featured an all-English final between Chelsea F.C. and Manchester City, with Chelsea winning 1-0, the kind of score you expect when two Premier League clubs play.

While it was a European championship, the Blues winning was significant for U.S. Soccer. Hershey, Pennsylvania native Christian Pulisic, who had a goal in the semifinals that lifted Chelsea into the Final, became the first American-born player to appear in a Champions League title match and also win the coveted championship. Pulisic provides hope for the U.S. Men’s National Team, which failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, as supporters look to the 22 year-old to lead the club back to the 2022 World Cup and with an automatic bid for the 2026 World Cup already in place for the U.S., Pulisic could provide a bigger boost to a growing sport in his home country.

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-Closer to home, the Indy 500 saw the largest crowd to attend a sporting event since the pandemic began. It was great to see, but outside of the spectacle that is a part of Americana, I could only watch so much of the race before turning the channel to something else.

Then there’s the milk tradition. It’s unique, but during those past races where it’s been much hotter, is milk really the best choice after being in a car going 200mph for a few hours?

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-Seeing bad fans at games is nothing new. If I had dollar for every time I’ve seen two drunk Steelers fans almost beat the crap out of each other in the stands, I could buy a couple stadium beers (which are obviously not cheap). But the behavior coming from fans in the NBA is troubling. Especially as most of the incidents appear to be racially motivated.

Fans were left to watch games at home for more than a year due to COVID-19 while sports leagues retreated into bubbles and later empty venues to start 2021 campaigns. Most of the fans who have returned to stadiums and arenas have been good, but it’s the very few whose actions make that organization, the community and league look awful. A year ago at this time, former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, leading to nationwide protests and causing all of us to reckon with our country’s racist past and present, with hopes it will lead to a better future in which we stop repeating our history, and the NBA showed its support for Black Lives Matter.

Is that why these fans are acting out? Are they so mad at these guys for speaking out that they were just waiting around for the moment to lash out at them once they could come back into arenas? Whatever the reason, it’s a bad look for teams and their communities when fans hurl racial slurs, water bottles, dump popcorn on and spit at players.

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-I bought a coffee grinder recently and have joined “Team Beans”…if that was ever a thing. About a month ago, I upgraded my Keurig. The new one has the ability to do K-Cups and grounded coffee. I was a fool to not invest in one earlier.

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-An old co-worker from my radio days in Pittsburgh, Tad Wissel, posted my favorite new video from the holiday weekend. It requires some context, but if you follow the NHL on NBC and have ever done weekend landscaping, this is for you…

I would have preferred more Pierre, but this was brilliant.

This led to me finding out that Tad also did a fake ad promoting a landscaping company that looked to benefit from the publicity Rudy Guiliani’s press conference at Four Seasons Landscaping in Philadelphia got.

Again, great writing and production work. Having grown up in western Pennsylvania, he nailed it…

I have watched this about 50 times since finding it Saturday and laugh every damn time.

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-I did not win the first Ohio Vax-A-Million lottery this past Wednesday. If I did, you probably would have seen me on television. Someone who lives about five miles from my apartment was the first winner. She got a call from the governor, appeared with him during a press conference and part of it was shown during a CNN story package.

As someone in the media, I would like to just skip the publicity tour if I were to win at some point over the next four weeks. Also, how do I report that I just won a million dollars?

Maybe I could use this for reference…

See you next Monday, where I won’t be any wealthier.

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