Sunday, January 10, 2016

Weight Lifting

Feast Day

The Baptism of Christ (1645), by Alessandro Algardi
Today we celebrate the feast day known as the Baptism of the Lord,
the day John the Baptist baptized Jesus Christ in the Jordan River.

This feast day, which has been observed on the first Sunday after January 6 ever since Pope Paul VI, marks the end of Christmastide.

Tomorrow we will begin the part of the calendar known as Ordinary Time, which will last until Ash Wednesday, which occurs this year on February 10.


It has been a remarkable turn of events for Kansas City sports fans in recent weeks.
First, my beloved Kansas City Royals went to their second straight World Series, this time winning their first championship since 1985.

Next, my beloved Kansas City Chiefs recovered from a 1-5 start to win 10 straight games and make the NFL playoffs in the same calendar season that the Royals also made the playoffs, something that had never happened in the city's long history with both teams.

One weight that Chiefs fans had to bear any year they made the playoffs since 1994 was the fact that the team had lost eight straight playoff games, an NFL record. That weight was finally lifted from our shoulders yesterday afternoon, when the Chiefs ended 22 years of playoff famine and frustration in resounding fashion by defeating the Houston Texans 30-0 at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Although we didn't know it at the time, the Chiefs scored all the points they would need just 11 seconds into the game, as RB Knile Davis returned the opening kickoff 106 yards for a touchdown...


The Chiefs defense was suffocating, limiting the Texans to just 226 net yards, recovering a Texans fumble, and recording four interceptions of hapless Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer.

Spencer Ware's TD scamper made it 27-0, Chiefs.

Despite the statistical dominance,
it took awhile for the Chiefs to pull far enough ahead to let their fans breathe easy.

The crusher was RB Spencer Ware's short TD run to begin the 4th quarter.

The Chiefs will now play the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots in Foxboro next Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, my best friend Skip's Pittsburgh Steelers didn't allow the Cincinnati Bengals to exorcise their playoff demons (they have now lost seven straight playoff games, their last win coming in 1990), defeating the Bengals 18-16 in Cincinnati in the most wildly improbable fashion you can imagine. Read the game recap if you think I'm exaggerating...

Skip's team plays the hated Denver Broncos in Denver next Sunday. Good luck to them!

"Is that optimism I'm hearing?"

It's a figment of your imagination...

Lose That Hyphen, Kid

From the delightful comic strip FoxTrot, by Bill Amend, which you should read every Sunday, as I do.

Until Next Time...

On January 10, 1976 the legendary bluesman Chester Arthur Bennett died in a VA hospital in Hines, Illinois from complications following kidney surgery. He was 65.

Under his stage name Howlin' Wolf, Bennett became one of the most successful practitioners of the so-called "Chicago style" blues. He was a charter member of the Blues Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Today's send-off is "Who's Been Talkin'?", one of his most frequently-covered songs. Nobody can top the original, though. This track is from his self-titled 1962 album. Requiescat in pace, Chester...

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