Last night I, and the world, learned of the passing of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Growing up I remember him as an almost mythical figure – and, in many ways, I suppose he was. We knew his name and we knew that he was important, but, locked away in prison as he was, we never saw or heard him. Then, in 1990, he was released from prison and South Africa began what was, and is, a really stunning transformation. Led by Mandela, the country started down the path from enshrined and institutionalized racism to a multi-racial and -cultural nation and they did it, for the most part, peacefully. Nelson Mandela could have started a violent war of (perhaps justified) retribution with only a word, but instead he was a guiding voice of non-violence, pragmatism, solutions and forgiveness. He was a politician in the absolute very best meaning of the word. He was a politician all others should strive for and be measured against.
On to the links.
- Let’s be honest, it’s been a rough week for Saints fans. So, for a second, let’s take our minds off of the Seattle loss and the stress that is the upcoming Carolina game and think about…who the Saints will pick in the 2014 NFL Draft?!
- Canal Street Chronicles says this week’s game is really the biggest one of the season (they’re right) and offers this reassuring stat.
…following a loss since 2011 with Payton on the sideline, the Saints have followed up with a home game, averaged 40.6 points per game, and won all of them.
- Who Dat Dish is feeling confident…maybe too confident.
- The team, however, is focused and well aware of this game’s importance. I like the Saints to win this game. OFFICIAL PREDICTION: My mind tells me 31-17, but my nervous gut says 17-16.
- Shhhh – he’s right behind you.
- Because of this clip I will, to this day, look straight at the (imaginary) camera whenever I hear something absurd or insulting.
- The Bug isn’t quite aware of this whole holiday season thing yet, but the Wife and I are already planning to introduce her to the whole Elf on the Shelf thing when she is. Just not quite like this.
- This is a real picture, so you can’t blame it all on the internet.
- The secret to a perfect cookie? Chemistry.
- Rick Renteria is uber-positive, our kind of guy here at Even Losers Can Win. Every few years it seems the Cubs have surprisingly good seasons pop up out of nowhere. It’s not inconceivable that it could happen this year. Two guys who could be key to that: Starlin Castro and Jake Arrieta.
- CCO wrapped up their off-season series reviewing and previewing the Cubs minor league system by taking a stab at short-season pitching staffs. These are the most volatile of prospects, but there are two names mentioned that I want to keep an eye on – Erick Leal and Duane Underwood. At this point the (slightly) older Underwood has shown better raw stuff, while Leal seems to have a more advanced approach that delivers better results. If Underwood can improve on his command and control and Leal, as scouts seem to expect, gains a few MPH as he matures, then these two could be part of a future wave of pitching talent that hits Wrigley in, oh say, 2018-2020. All part of Theo’s plan…
- Speaking of pitchers, the 2014 amateur draft appears to be loaded with them.
- With the winter meetings looming, the Cubs have a few holes to fill (ladies…).
- The Daytona Cubs were Baseball America’s Minor League Team Of The Year.
- Just lots…LOTS…of stuff here from Cub’s Den. Sounds like the Cubs really are going to be major players for Masahiro Tanaka.
- I have a new addition to the bucket list: The Pageant of the Masters at Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach. They take works of art, both modern and classics, and recreate them on stage with real people, bringing art, literally, to life. This video will give you some idea.
- For years the Pageant of Masters was emceed by the former voice of Tony the Tiger and one of the greatest names I’ve ever heard, Thurl Ravenscroft.
- The Wizards devoted an entire practice to the reserves and rested the starters. It is sounding more and more like Otto Porter might make his debut tonight against the Bucks.
- That articles mentions Marcin Gortat making fun of Porter’s scrawny limbs and makes me wonder if The Slender Man would be a good nickname. Thoughts?
- And, speaking of The Slender Man, here’s a list of the 13 creepiest memes on the internet. Sweet dreams.
- Sticking it to the man is funny when other people do it.
- In honor of this week’s discovery of a gigantic Japanese submarine off the coast of Hawaii here is the Song of the Week (as a quick aside, I keep reading that this song is about Pearl Harbor, but I’m holding out hope that it’s actually inspired by one of my all-time favorite movies).