A week ago, I posted a historical fact about Mussolini on Facebook along with a well-known photograph of the man. Now I have been informed once again that posting such a historical facts "goes against community standards” and I have been confined to Facebook prison, restricted from posting or otherwise participating in the public forum for one month. This is outrageous!!
Looking Toward Portugal . . . .
Saturday, March 25, 2023
Without Facts and Evidence History Becomes Indistinguishable from Fiction
Monday, January 23, 2023
A Snowy Football Game - Notes from the Sunshine State
And who can forget the 1967 NFL Championship game between the Packers and the Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay on New Year’s Eve? The Bengals - Bills game was a walk in the park compared to the infamous “Ice Bowl,” so called because of the brutally cold temperatures at game-time . . . 15 below zero with an average wind chill at −48 °F. Still nearly 51,000 attended the game which Green Bay won 21-17. An elderly spectator in the stands died from exposure during the game. The officials were unable to use their whistles as they froze to their lips. The late CBS commentator Frank Gifford even remarked during the game that he was going to take a bite of his coffee. It had frozen solid in his mug. It was not the last frigid game to be played at Lambeau Field, but it is certainly the most infamous in the annals of NFL football.
I have only attended one snowy football game . . . a memorable match-up between Notre Dame and Navy on November 4, 1967. It was only my third college football game, the first being Bobby Dodd's Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets’ 14-6 victory over the Tulane Green Wave in Tech’s 1960 Homecoming Game at Grants Field, in Atlanta. My dad had graduated from Tech ten years earlier. Then there was the 1964 meeting between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Michigan State Spartans played before 67,000 fans at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin. That was back when the Badgers were the lapdog of the Big 10. The Spartans won that one 23-6.
It was my junior year in high school and my dad and I left our home in suburban Chicago that Saturday morning for the roughly 120-mile trip to South Bend, Indiana. We arrived at Notre Dame Stadium in time to walk around and enjoy some of the pre-game activities. I purchased a copy of the game program featuring Jim Crowley, one of the famous 1924 Notre Dame “Four Horsemen” on the cover. They were the Irish backfield that was key to Notre Dame going 10-0 and winning the national championship that season, the first of three under legendary coach Knute Rockne. I still have it packed away in a chest. It was a beautiful mid-autumn day, and it was shaping up to be a memorable game.
The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame coached by “Era of Ara” Parseghian in his fourth season, and led by quarterback Terry Hanratty, Nick Eddy, star receiver Jim Seymour, and Larry Conjar, were the defending National NCAA champions having had the best scoring offense in the nation, with an average of 36 points per game. The defense was second in the country in points allowed. The Navy Midshipmen were also 4-2. The game was to be played before a sold-out crowd of just over 59,000.
The two teams might have shared similar records going into the game, but Notre Dame was dominant in ever respect. The last time Navy had defeated the Irish was five years earlier. The home team took the opening kickoff and marched it down field on the ground for 67 yards. Team captain Bob “Rocky” Bleier punched the ball over the goal line for the first score. Navy held its own and the first quarter ended in a 7-0 Notre Dame lead.
Things quickly changed. Notre Dame caught fire and Irish quarterback Hanratty let loose with an aerial bombardment to Jim Seymour for a total of 64 yard and a touchdown. Three more unanswered scores and Notre Dame led 35-0 at the half. The other change was the weather. The pleasant autumn day quickly turned cold as the temperature dropped into the high 20s and it began to snow . . . hard. The people sitting next to us had brought extra lap blankets and thankfully we had dressed in layers. The hot chocolate sure tasted good. And plenty hot! At times the snow was so thick it was almost impossible to see the stands on the other side of the field. The crowd began to chant “Ara, stop the snow!” He was in control of his team on the field, but he had little to say about the weather.
The weather certainly put a damper on the action in the third quarter. There were also several delays while the grounds crew cleared snow off the field to see the yardage markers and the goal lines. Navy quarterback John Cartwright ran for a short touchdown after the Middies recovered a Notre Dame fumble followed by a run for a two-point conversion and the score at the end of the third quarter was 35-8. This was the first touchdown Navy had scored against Notre Dame since their defeat of the Irish in 1962. The weather continued to deteriorate. The Irish scored one more touchdown and two-point conversion in the fourth quarter. Navy scored a second touchdown but failed on a two-point conversion run. The game ended in an 43-14 Irish victory. The Irish point total was the highest in the 41-year rivalry between these two teams dating back to 1927 and the seasons under coach Rockne. That first game was played in Baltimore’s new Municipal Stadium and signaled the start of what is now one of the longest-lived intercollegiate football rivalries in the country. Notre Dame won that first meeting 19-6.
It was a memorable game indeed. The Irish would go on to end the season 8-2 and ranked fifth in the nation in the AP poll. Navy, under third year coach Bill Elias, ended its season with a disappointing 5–4–1 record.
The snow had piled up during the game and instead of making the return trip to Chicago, we drove north 40 miles to my grandparents’ home in Decatur. Michigan waiting for the weather to improve. The roads were clear the next morning. That will be a game I will never forget.
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Where the Brave Find Their Eternal Rest - Notes from the Sunshine State
Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Fried Green Tomatoes - Notes from the Sunshine State
Monday, January 9, 2023
When Your Luck Finally Runs Out - Notes from the Sunshine State
Sunday, January 1, 2023
Friday, December 9, 2022
The Friday Night Fish Fry - Eating Vicariously
Sunday, December 4, 2022
Holiday Cheese Dreams
Thursday, December 1, 2022
Still Looking Toward Portugal -- Has It Really Been 14 Years??
|Steve and SallyAnn Rogers. Cross Creek, Florida. December 1, 2008|
Friday, November 18, 2022
There is Nothing Like a Chicago Hot Dog
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
The Much-Maligned Carp
I recently read an interesting essay in Jerry Dennis’ Up North in Michigan: A Portrait of Place in Four Seasons (2021) which dredged up an old memory of my youthful obsession with fishing.
I still love to fish although I find so little time or opportunity for it these days. One thing I have recognized over the years, however, has been a more mature and conservation-oriented ethic. As a young boy I wanted to catch as many fish as I could and to keep the ones I caught. Only then could I prove my angling prowess. It was not a successful outing unless I came home with a stringer or a cooler full of fish. It did not seem wasteful at the time as my family ate what I caught. But as I grew older, I realized what I liked most about fishing was the time spent on a favorite piece of water . . . alone with my thoughts in a nature filled with water sounds, a breeze shifting through trees saturated with birdsong. This is not to say I no longer kept the fish I caught. I did, but only one or two which very soon found their way to the dinner table. Otherwise, I was satisfied with the thrill of the hunt in beautiful surroundings. I became a firm believer in catch and release and the fish I did not intend to eat were returned safely to the water.When I was in junior high school and living on the shores of Madison, Wisconsin’s Lake Mendota, I snuck off every chance I had to ride my bike down to the Tenney Park lock and breakwater to fish for bluegills, perch and sheepshead although I would occasionally score a larger northern pike. I took fishing seriously and I fished worms, minnows, and crankbaits, and I targeted fish I knew tasted good. Not all of my piscatorial comrades shared my discriminating tastes, however. I would often find a group of kids – some of them my classmates – sitting on a wall next to the lighthouse and locks fishing for carp that seemed to congregate near the boathouse. Some of these anglers had bamboo pole and others spinning rods and all of them were supplied with bags of white sandwich bread from which they crafted dough balls for bait fished under a bobber. Hot dog pieces were also a very effective bait for carp. Most carp anglers fish their bait on the bottom but will often use a bobber to detect subtle takes. Carp are constantly moving and feeding during the warmer seasons, so it can take them a while to find an offered bait. They also have relatively small mouths and will often toy with a bait before consuming it. So, it is important to use the right size hook.
Unlike me, these kids were not interested in catching food for the table; they were keen only in the sport of catching a large fish that would put up a good fight when hooked. They had no interested in keeping their catch. "The Carp is the queen of rivers and lakes; a stately, a good, and a very subtle fish,” wrote Izaak Walton in The Compleat Angler (1653), yet in this country carp are often classified as an invasive rough fish potentially disrupting entire ecosystems by out-competing more desirable local game fish and variable in terms of angling value. Instead of releasing their catch these kids threw them into a pile next to the wall where they quickly died. There was an older fellow whom I often saw fishing on
the breakwater, and he would occasionally gather up a few to take home. I don’t know if he ate them or used them to fertilize his garden, but at least they did not go to waste. The rest would become a stinking mess until someone from the park came along to dispose of them properly.It seemed such a waste to me. I could certainly understand the thrill of catching such a fish. I would occasionally hook a carp, and I enjoyed the fight it offered, but I usually returned it to the water. I guess the catch and release ethic caught on earlier than I thought. Sometimes I would take it home and give it to our elderly Norwegian neighbors who very much enjoyed them. They also taught me the proper way to fillet a fish, a talent that has served me well in the many years since. And hell, if they eat lutefisk, why not take a chance on carp? [https://lookingtowardportugal.blogspot.com/2012/06/when-lutefisk-is-outlawed-only-outlaws.html]
Carp remains a popular holiday dish in Central Europe dating back to the Middle Ages, particularly as a traditional Christmas Eve dinner in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland. It is also frequently found on holiday tables in Hungary, Austria, Germany and Croatia.
Today, many states are beginning to view the carp as a game fish instead of a maligned pest. If you enjoy fishing, what are you obliged to do if you catch a carp? You can certainly keep them for the table as they are purported to be quite tasty when properly prepared. Although frequently served throughout Asia, many in the United States and Europe do not favor it claiming its flesh has an oily, or “muddy” flavor, or it’s too 'bony. Nevertheless, if taken from clean waters, carp can have a subtle and delicious flavor. It is also a great source of lean proteins and omega-3 fatty acids that promote healthy cardiac functions while exhibiting only trace amounts of mercury or lead.Had those young boys understood what they were catching more than the simple act of catching, perhaps more of their catch would have been put to better use or returned to the water.