Fare-thee-well, Jeremy Lin

February 25, 2012 at 9:24 AM | Posted in Basketball, Fan-dom, Sports | 6 Comments
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from days long ago

They say that Clark Gable never got over the death of Carole Lombard and I have never gotten over the golden Knick period that began with the drafting of Willis Reed and ended with the wrenching travesty known as the trade, the betrayal, of the greatest Knick of them all, Walt Frazier, to Cleveland. In that time we had our two championships but for those with their ear to the radio voice of Marv Albert, it was a  period like none other in our lives. I will in a future post name the names once again but this piece belongs to Jeremy Lin.

Of course I heard of Jeremy Lin just after his first start and his tremendous first game. I read of his 38 points against Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. My son Brendan, a die-hard, was in Lin-topia right from the start. Then I got a message from the good Dr. Ramseur about Lin and the southsider Gary Nelson chimed in. Most surprising of all, Joe Sommers, he of the single-digit handicap, sent Lin-signals from South Carolina.

I had not seen a minute of play as I sensed that the bubble would burst the minute I tuned in and so it came to pass. I watched much of the game against the Heat and it was painful to see Lin stripped so often but more so to see him shoot so many floaters. Floaters are doomed and Clyde never shot one, to my memory.

I had, in that early Knick stretch, as much intense pleasure (and some pain) as any man deserves. I can’t take anymore and I have nothing left to give. I wish you well Jeremy Lin and I leave you in the capable rooting hands of my son Brendan and my grandchildren, Jack and Luke.

The Smoke of Damocles

December 3, 2010 at 5:54 AM | Posted in Personal Development | Leave a comment
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As I lay in bed my heart pounded and if this was a cartoon and not real life, my pajama top would have looked like a tent going up and down. I thought I was about to have a heart attack.

It was October 25th, 1975 and it turned out to be the most important day in my life. At twenty-five years old I was an over-weight salesman who had adapted to the habits of that life in those days which included coffee and doughnuts in morning and drinking later in the day. I was average as far as these things went.

What was somewhat different from others but by no means unique was that my father had his first heart attack when he was in his early thirties and had several since. In 1975 he was still alive and my second thought was that I would go before him and as ill has he generally was, that was ridiculous. My father’s health had been a sword of Damocles over me since the day, as a young boy, I opened the door to our house and saw him pale-faced. A man, a good Samaritan, had taken him home after an attack.

On that October night I had been to a Knick game with my friend Pete Mularchuk. In those days you could smoke at Madison Square Garden and I did, though growing up I thought that it would be the last thing that I would do. After the game we went to a diner and I bought what was to be my last pack of cigarettes, Pall Malls. I smoked half of one and put it out. My throat was raw.

As I lay in bed, scared as I had never been before or since, I swore that I would never smoke another cigarette and I haven’t.

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