Wednesday’s Weekend in Review
Some people have Monday Morning Quarterback, but because I’m a slacker, I have decided to start Wednesday’s Weekend in Review. It’s just a little bit of a quick hit analysis of the news and notes from the previous weekend and if I fall behind one week, I give you permission to call me out on it.
I woke up this past Saturday morning prepared to be nervous all day until the Alabama/Georgia game kicked off that night, but there was plenty happening before that.
Paul Newman passed away Friday after a long battle with lung cancer. A star of the silver screen, a racing fanatic, and the best kind of philanthropist you could hope for. He will be missed. I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t know who Paul Newman was. With those sparkling blue eyes (that he hated) and dashing good looks (which he hated more), he was my mother’s heartthrob. She could tell you everything there was to know about him and could wax poetic about all his films. To put this in perspective, my mother has never really liked Ben Kingsley. Why you ask? Because his portrayal of Gandhi won him the Academy Award rather than the award going to Paul Newman for his portrayal of a washed up, drunken lawyer in The Verdict. There’s something to be said for a person who can make you hate Gandhi. To be perfectly honest, I’ve seen the two films, and Newman was robbed! I didn’t grow up in the days of Cool Hand Luke or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. But there’s one role, one character that I will never forget: Sidney J. Mussburger from The Hudsucker Proxy. I used to watch that movie every time it came on HBO. It’s a stupid movie really about a business executive that invents the hula hoop, but I loved it. After the original founder and president jumps out of a top story window at Hudsucker Industries, Paul Newman’s character, a member of the board of directors, wants to buy up a controlling interest in the company before it goes public, but he needs a “stand in” as the president to do this. In comes, Tim Robbins’s character from the mailroom with his hula hoop idea. Craziness ensues for the remainder of the film, but I loved that movie, and I loved Paul Newman.
- Courage is a hard word to define. Our soldiers run headlong into war every day as a show of their courage. A cancer patient chooses to fight with every chemo treatment for that slight chance that they could beat the disease and live to tell about it. Millions commute successfully and unsuccessfully every morning and evening in Washington DC traffic. But, what I watched on Sunday afternoon on Fox is still bringing tears to my eyes today. One week ago this morning, Melissa Bryant, wife of Tampa Bay Buccaneers place kicker Matt Bryant, walked into their 3 month old son’s room and discovered that Tryson Bryant had died in his sleep. Three days later, Melissa and Matt buried their baby boy in Texas. Twenty-four hours after that Matt Bryant played football to honor his son’s memory. Interestingly enough, the Packers/Bucs game was broadcast in my market this weekend. That’s a rarity for me, but whenever Tampa is on in my market, I always like to watch in case I see the Fam on TV. Matt Bryant kicked-off seven times, kicked the point after three times, and kicked three field goals (the last of which put Tampa ahead for good). As I watched this game, you could just see the emotion he carried on his shoulders when he ran out on the field. Every field goal and extra point was followed by a kiss to the sky for Tryson, and all I could do was sit there on my couch while tears welled up in my eyes. When Tampa was behind, I found myself yelling at the offense or defense that they WOULD NOT LOSE THIS GAME FOR MATT. I don’t really know where people who display so much courage get the strength to get up in the morning after such a tragedy, but Matt Bryant did. For all the times that we get upset about our teams losing or for a player on our fantasy team not earning the points we need, Matt Bryant showed anyone who watched what truly matters in the game of life, and I appreciate him most of all just for showing up.
So, the inaugural issue of Wednesday’s Weekend in Review was a little depressing. I’ll try to lighten it up in the coming weeks.