The Hanging Shad’s ‘Apropos of Nothing’


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Odds and ends piling up as I wait for October baseball…

With apologies to Boston Globe sports writer Nick Cafardo for lifting the name, it’s The Hanging Shad’s “Apropos of Nothing.”

1. Kneel, protest, repeat. NFL players played right into President Trump’s hands by staying in the locker room, kneeling or otherwise protesting the national anthem. Trump thrives on a “It’s us versus them” mindset in the country. That’s how he got elected. He further showed his true colors (black and white) by citing NASCAR as the proper response when the race car organization prohibited such protest. NASCAR is lily white and filled with guys who would rather fly the confederate battle flag instead of the stars and stripes.

How is anyone surprised by Trump picking a fight with black athletes? This is the guy who, when talking about that Friday night torch march in Charlottesville (not the Saturday protests when the woman died), said there were “fine people” protesting the removal of a statue.

Trump’s initial statements were made at a rally in Alabama. He wanted an “us versus them” fight with him and the flag on the same side. That’s what he got.

Trump is also a master of “quick, look over there!” diversion tactics. The latest horrific health care repeal and replace bill is all but dead, North Korea is threatening to shoot down our jets, Puerto Rico is a mess and power restoration is months away. Yet everyone is talking about the NFL.

2. When a bribe is not enough… Republican backers of Graham-Cassidy, the latest version of destroying our healthcare system called the code Monday evening. It’s over. And that was despite coming up with a unique way (bribe) to try to get Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to back the bill. Maine and Alaska would get to keep more money for their Medicaid plans. In other words, Collins’ and Murkowski’s states can keep more of Obamacare as long as they voted to repeal it everywhere else.

3. Moving, emotional, educational. I’ve been transfixed by Ken Burns’ “Vietnam” documentary on PBS. I’ve seen every episode. Too young to know what was going on back then, I’m at once appalled, amazed and astounded by what went on in the Vietnam War—the lying leaders we had and the grave sacrifice by so many.

4. No way, Jose. President Trump made sure Hurricane Jose would not hit the US. “Hurricane Jose will not be allowed to come to the US,” Trump said. “It is not sending its best weather. There’s wind, there’s rain and, I assume, some breaks of sun in the eye,” Trump said. “We will build a big, beautiful, sea wall and Jose will pay for it,” he said.


5. GOAT. I swear when the Patriots were down by five, needing a touchdown to win with just over two minutes left with one time out, I was thinking, “yeah, we got this.” We are officially spoiled by the greatest football player ever.

6. Go Lower-Middle Class! The small Berkshire County town of Lenox, Mass. is considering dropping its unique nickname for its sports teams. As a nod to a forgotten time when industrial giants and robber barons bought mansions in Lenox as retreats, Lenox has been the “Millionaires.” As a former Wildcat from neighboring Lee, I always thought Millionaires was a cool name. The little Monopoly-rich-guy-like millionaires in their logo was pretty neat. Leave it alone.

Lenox (Mass.) Millionaires.

7. You’ve got to be sh***** me. Colorado Springs has a problem, I sh** you not. It seems a female jogger has a habit of defecating on the lawn of a family as the woman ran her routine route.


8. First Amendment and what??? We all know that sports radio talk shows are filled with boorish morons who feed red meat to their audience—usually young men with nothing better to do but drool over the latest manager’s moves. Moron Clay Travis outdid himself in an appearance on CNN with well-respected journalist Brooke Baldwin.


9. Ready? FETCH! There are some very cool things about college sports. This, at Boise State, is one of them.


10. Give me “Good Will Hunting” any day. This was kicking around Facebook recently. Here’s my shocking news: I’ve never seen an episode of “Game of Thrones” or “The Sopranos.” I’ve seen two episodes of both “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” and hated them. I never seen a “Star Wars” movie other than the original.

In my defense, I’ve seen every episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Top of the Lake,” “Rescue Me,” “America Crime” and “Ozark.” Among my favorite movies are “Good Will Hunting,” “Return to Me” and “Circle of Friends.” Yes, I’ve a Minnie Driver Thing going on.

Thank you! You’ve been a great audience! Please drive safe!