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CHANGE...and moving forward...
[Posted Sun. p.m. …before the conclusion of a weather-delayed NASCAR race.]
Fox Sports played Johnny Cash’s classic “Ragged Old Flag” as a tribute to Flag Day prior to the start of today’s race. I have posted it a number of times in my columns over the years, but it was never more needed than today. Change is a comin’, whether some of you like it or not. I’m on the side of change. Holdouts…deal with it.
Ragged Old Flag by Johnny Cash
I walked through a county courthouse square
On a park bench, an old man was sittin’ there.
I said, “Your old court house is kinda run down,”
He said, “Naw, it’ll do for our little town.”
I said, “Your old flag pole is leaned a little bit,
And that’s a ragged old flag you got hangin’ on it.”
He said, “Have a seat,” and I sat down,
“Is this the first time you’ve been to our little town?”
I said, “I think it is.”
He said, “I don’t like to brag, but we’re kinda proud of That Ragged Old Flag.
“You see, we got a little hole in that flag there,
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder burned the night Francis Scott Key sat watching it,
writing ‘Say Can You See.’
It got a rip in New Orleans, with Packingham & Jackson
tugging at its seams.
And it almost fell at the Alamo
beside the Texas flag,
but she waved on though.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville,
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee and Beauregard and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on
That Ragged Old Flag.
“On Flanders Field in World War I,
She got a big hole from a Bertha Gun,
She turned blood red in World War II,
She hung limp, and low, a time or two,
She was in Korea, Vietnam, she went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam.
She waved from our ships upon the briny foam
and now they’ve about quit wavin’ back here at home,
In her own good land here she’s been abused,
She’s been burned, dishonored, denied an’ refused,
And the government for which she stands
Has been scandalized throughout the land.
And she’s getting thread bare, and she’s wearin’ thin,
But she’s in good shape, for the shape she’s in.
Cause she’s been through the fire before
and I believe she can take a whole lot more.
“So we raise her up every morning,
And we bring her down slow every night,
We don’t let her touch the ground,
And we fold her up right.
On second thought,
I do like to brag
Cause I’m mighty proud of
That Ragged Old Flag.”
Jim Nantz, in his opening Saturday for CBS’ golf coverage, said, “We need to be willing to listen and keep the dialogue going.”
Nantz also quoted Nelson Mandela on the power of sports. Here’s the background, from a 2013 piece by Jay Busbee of Yahoo Sports.
“The key moment in Mandela’s sporting life, as John Carlin of Sports Illusrated noted, was the 1995 Rugby World Cup in Johannesburg, South Africa [Ed. see the movie “Invictus.”] Mandela had been sworn in as president of South Africa only the year before, the nation’s first black president, and there were plenty of heavily armed whites who were none too pleased with the tides that had changed their entire existence. The possibility of rioting, or worse, loomed large over the match between South Africa and New Zealand. As Mandela would say later, it was the most nervous he’d ever been in his life, even more so than the morning in 1962 where a captured Mandela would be sentenced to either life in prison or death by hanging.
“Mandela had threaded a needle in the dark. In 1992, South Africa had been awarded the Rugby World Cup, and Mandela allowed the competition to proceed, even though rugby was a decidedly white-leaning sport. The South African national team, the Springboks, had only one nonwhite player, and blacks hated the team for many reasons, seeing their green jerseys as symbols of apartheid repression.
“But Mandela convinced the nation to pull together as one and root for the Springboks, in part because of one astonishingly brave gesture: before a crowd of 65,000 that was almost completely white, Mandela strode onto the field wearing a Springboks jersey. The crowd, silent at first, began chanting ‘Nelson! Nelson! Nelson!’
“South Africa would go on to win the game, and South Africans both black and white celebrated the victory. Mandela had not just passed a test, he’d rewritten it…and in so doing, created a new, more hopeful future for his nation.
“ ‘Sport has the power to change the world,’ Mandela said. ‘It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.’”
PGA Tour Quiz: Phil Mickelson turns 50 on Tuesday, June 16. So name the only four to win 10 or more Tour events after turning 40. [Phil has six.] Answer below.
Golf Is Back
--What a return…despite a lot of big names not making the cut at historic Colonial, with 16 of the top 20 in the world in the field, it should be no surprise we had the following leaderboard entering today’s final round.
Xander Schauffele -13
Gary Woodland -12
Justin Thomas -12
Branden Grace -12
Collin Morikawa -12*
Jordan Spieth -12
Harold Varner III -11
Daniel Berger -11
Patrick Reed, Justin Rose, Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau among those at -10.
*The amazing Morikawa is now 21-of-21 in making the cut…that’s a helluva way to start a professional career (Tiger has the record at 25).
Spieth, as you all know, hasn’t won since the 2017 Open Championship. It has seemed like forever that he won ten tournaments from 2015-2017.
--So at the end of today’s final round, we had a playoff between Morikawa and Berger, Berger with a clutch birdie putt on 18 to force an extra hole.
And then on the first of OT, Morikawa had a cruel lip-out from like 2- or 3-feet, a la Schauffele minutes earlier. Berger secures his third career PGA Tour win. As Ian Baker-Finch noted before Berger wrapped it up…his other two wins were at Memphis, always held the second week in June.
I looked it up…Berger’s three wins were on June 12, 11 and 14. Maybe play those for your “Pick 3”.
I called our Dr. Bortrum right after and his first words were spot on… “Drive for show, putt for dough.”
Jason Kokrak -14 (64…par 70)
Schauffele -14….with the above noted cruel lip-out on a 3-footer for par at 17.
T-10 Spieth -11 (71…+1)
T-10 Thomas -11 (71)
T-19 Varner -9 (70-72 weekend)
T-32 McIlroy -6 (74!)
--This was an amazing factoid. Varner tripled the first hole of his second round and then shot 66, the first to do so in 691 rounds…691 rounds where a golfer tripled the first and Varner’s was the lowest round among those.
--Varner was attempting to become the eighth African-American to win a PGA Tour event and I had no idea on the last one here…the list being Pete Brown, Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder, Calvin Peete, Jim Thorpe, Tiger and Cam Champ.
--Among those missing the cut were Mickelson, Jon Rahm, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Webb Simpson, and Dustin Johnson.
Also missing the cut was 61-year-old Tom Lehman, who shockingly had a 65 opening round, but then shot 74 in the second, missing the cut by one stroke. Almost a great story.
But as for Mickelson, he is facing the reality of missing six cuts in 10 tournaments for the 2019-20 season. He won at Pebble in 2019 and finished 3rd there in February, but he has only one other top ten in his last 30 events over two years. He could be headed to the Champions Tour sooner than he wished, though you know he will get a tournament sponsor’s exemption anytime he asks for one on the big circuit.
On Friday, the owners offered a 72-game season, starting July 14, guaranteeing players 70% of their prorated salaries and as much as 13% more if the postseason is completed. The players have refused to consider less than the full prorated salaries they believe are promised under a March 26 agreement.
Yes, if this sounds familiar, it is. The players refuse to acknowledge the March 26 agreement contained a clause that they would receive their full prorated salaries only if there were fans in the stands. Without fans, the deal had to be renegotiated. That’s how it went down.
Now the owners can impose a 48-game season with full prorated salaries.
Yes, if you play with the numbers, 48 at full salary is essentially the same as 72 at 70%.
Well, the MLBPA asked MLB to set a schedule for the 2020 season rather than counter the latest proposal, which means MLB can implement its 48-52 game slate, players receiving prorated salaries. The MLBPA said in a letter to the league: “We demand that you inform us of your plans by close of business on Monday, June 15.”
Assuming such a schedule ended by Sept. 27, a demand from the owners in order to get the playoffs in by end of October and the feared ‘second wave,’ that means the players wouldn’t necessarily have to return to a second spring training next week. You could shoot for games beginning Aug. 1, for example.
At this point my enthusiasm for the game is about zero.
--As is my interest in the recent MLB Draft…reduced to five rounds from 40.
What is of mild interest is that only 33 high-school players were selected in the first 100 picks, a record low. Very few high-schoolers had a chance to showcase their talents this year and it’s just too great a risk to many GMs.
Four colleges had four or more players drafted, with Arizona State leading the way with five, and Michigan, Oklahoma and Vanderbilt having four each.
Sadly, not a single player was drafted from Puerto Rico, normally a source of high school talent.
Like with high-schoolers, the pandemic decimated international scouting, with scouts unable to see these players in person.
A Wake Forest lefty hurler, Jacob Shuster, went 25th overall as the Braves’ first-round pick, which surprised many of us. Some of our big names, like junior sluggers Chris Lanzilli and Bobby Seymour, who were expected to be taken in the five rounds were not, which means they could only sign for a $20,000 max bonus. Seymour said he wouldn’t, Lanzilli was unsure.
And there in a nutshell is an example of what college baseball faces…a lot of returning players who in normal times would be starting professional careers, with incoming freshmen, and only 11.7 scholarships to divvy up. And Wake Forest is expensive, versus, say, the state schools it competes with in the ACC.
If we get back to true normal, next spring’s college baseball season will be fascinating, let alone the 2021 MLB draft.
--There are reports MLB, specifically Rob Manfred, wrote a letter to the Yankees in September 2017 – the results of an investigation launched from the Red Sox “AppleWatchGate” scandal – that documents a pair of sign-stealing related transgressions that, as the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff puts it, “given the era in which they occurred, constituted the equivalent of driving 60 mph in a 55 zone:
“1. The Yankees improperly used a dugout phone in a season before 2017.
“2. In 2015 and 2016, some Yankees players stationed themselves in their replay room in an attempt to steal opponents’ signs, then relayed that information to runners on second base so they could try to tell the hitter what was coming.”
It sounds bad, but if this is it, it is nothing like what the Astros, or Red Sox, did.
But because the Yankees are trying to keep the letter from being released, some are having a field day over it.
We’ll see, but I’ve got to go with Davidoff, not knowing any more than the rest of you.
--We note the passing of Claudell Washington, who died Wednesday at 65. Washington was an outfielder who joined the Oakland A’s in the summer of 1974 at the age of 19. That October, he hit .571 in the World Series to help the A’s win their third championship in a row, against the Dodgers.
“He’s the best player for his age I’ve ever seen or known,” the future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson raved to The Sporting News that September. Jackson, a fellow Oakland outfielder, said Washington should be a .300 hitter and was easily capable of 20 home runs per season.
But Claudell never hit 20 home runs in a 17-year career. He had some solid seasons, particularly his first full campaign, 1975, when as a 20-year-old he had 10 homers, 77 RBIs, stole 40 bases and hit .308, making the All-Star team, though this was the first of only two times he did.
For his career, Washington batted a solid .278, with 164 homers and 824 ribbies. Nothing wrong with that, but not what many expected from this sweet-swinging, tremendous athlete.
What’s amazing in the fact he never hit 20 home runs is he hit three in a game, twice; once with the White Sox and once with the Mets, thus becoming only the third player in baseball history to do this in two leagues…the others being Babe Ruth and Johnny Mize.
[Talk about underrated Hall of Famers, Johnny Mize finished his career with 359 homeruns, but he missed three entire seasons due to World War II, at the prime of his career, 1943-45.]
--Lastly, there was a terrific baseball card story out of New Jersey this week. As Casey Roland of NJ.com (Star-Ledger) reported, after James Micioni passed away at 97 years old this March, he left quite a surprise for his relatives who went through his possessions:
“One of the most incredible private collections of baseball memorabilia the world has ever seen.”
Micioni had a collection of more than 1,000 vintage baseball cards and collectibles that included a signed Babe Ruth card from 1933, which is likely to sell for more than $100,000.
But he had six of them! All hand signed. There is also a signed Lou Gehrig card from the same 1933 Goudey set, as well as a Jimmie Foxx card, also signed.
“Experts say the discovery of Micioni’s collection is one of the most incredible finds in the history of the hobby.”
The collection will be sold off over several online auctions (one of the Ruth cards part of each one) by Wheatland Auction Services in Lancaster, PA.
In addition to writing to players and teams, Micioni would also write to photographers, including George Burke, one of the most famous baseball photographers of the era, who sent him original photos of Ruth and Gehrig. Micioni also attended a ton of Ruth’s games and was there for Willie Mays’ first home run.
NBA’s Restart Potentially in Question
Some top stars in the game are suddenly hesitant about the 22-team restart in Orlando at the end of July as the pandemic remains a threat. A “significant number” of players are unsure, according to Yahoo Sports.
Last week, the NBA Players’ Association executive committee and the board of representatives approved the league’s plan to return at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, but there are a lot of players expressing their displeasure that their voices weren’t heard.
Specifically, some are worried about the image of mostly black players sending a bad message by being kept in a bubble to serve as entertainment at a time when racial injustice and police brutality is at the forefront of conversation across the country.
A black player told Yahoo Sports: “What message are we sending by agreeing to this during this time? We’re out here marching and protesting, and yet we all leave our families in these scary times and gather to perform at a place where the owners won’t be at? What type of sense does that make? We’ll be going backwards. That place isn’t that magical.”
Some players feel that the superstars want to play as long as they feel comfortable with the safety measures in place. But a player only gets paid if they compete.
The NBA’s schedule is now for the seeding games to be played July 30-Aug. 14, with playoffs starting Aug. 17, family/guests allowed Aug. 30, and the whole thing over Sept. 30-Oct. 10.
According to the NBA plan, international players would need to return to their teams by Monday, everyone else must be back a week later.
The Net’s Kyrie Irving has been a vocal proponent of players not reporting to Orlando because of the nationwide unrest centering on social injustice and racism. Irving has been trying to get the other players to back his position.
Irving reportedly said on a conference call he organized with about 80 players, including union president Chris Paul, “I’m willing to give up everything I have [for social reform].”
There does seem little doubt the majority of the players are in favor of playing, and LeBron James is among those believing they best serve their societal purpose by using their platform to spread the message.
“Because of everything that’s going on, people are finally starting to listen to us,” James told the New York Times. “We feel like we’re finally getting a foot in the door. How long is up to us. We don’t know. But we feel like we’re getting some ears and some attention, and this is the time for us to finally make a difference.”
The league will play as planned. The only issue could be the spiking numbers in Florida!
NASCAR…and the Confederate Flag…
--After seeing NASCAR comply with his request from just two days earlier to ban the Confederate flag from its properties, the sport’s lone African-American driver, Bubba Wallace, went out on the track for the Martinsville (Va.) 500 in what he called the biggest race of his career, knowing the country would be watching. And Bubba was terrific, finishing 11th (but picking up the seventh most points). His Richard Petty Motorsports car performed ably and Wallace drove the hell out of it (I obviously watched the whole race…a great escape from Fox News and CNN).
To commemorate the moment, Wallace unveiled a different paint scheme for his No. 43 Chevrolet, with a Black Lives Matter logo emblazoned on its sides and the words “Compassion, Love, Understanding” written on its hood.
Many sports celebrities chimed in on social media, saying it was the first NASCAR race they had watched. LeBron tweeted a message to Wallace prior to the event.
It was an important moment for the country, frankly. Where we go from here is up to us.
But Wallace admits that because of the backlash, he can’t be his happy-go-lucky self with the fans, at least for now. He knows he has to watch his back.
[Martin Truex Jr. won the race, by the way, No. 27 in his career. Jimmie Johnson was leading after the second stage but couldn’t close the deal, finishing 10th, thus extending his winless streak to 106 races. He’s retiring at the end of the season.]
--Liz Clarke / Washington Post
“More than any other sport, auto racing is driven by corporate sponsors, whose investments fund high-priced race teams in exchange for using their racecars as rolling billboards. From the time NASCAR set its sights on becoming a major league sport with national reach, the Confederate flag has been part of a Southern heritage that the sport’s executives have tried to shed.
“Until this week, NASCAR has tried to walk a fine line between discouraging the contentious symbol, which offends many potential fans and corporate CEOs, without driving off a segment of its core fans, who view the flag and their right to fly it as proud declarations of heritage. But on Wednesday, the sport took its strongest stance yet on the issue, prohibiting anyone from displaying the flag at its events….
“NASCAR’s three-sentence statement announcing the policy change made no reference to (George) Floyd… It did not mention Black Lives Matter or allude to racial justice, nor did it characterize the Confederate flag as a symbol of hate or oppression….
“According to a person familiar with NASCAR executives’ deliberations, banning the flag outright was the logical and necessary next step. If NASCAR truly wants all potential fans to feel welcome at its tracks, as its rhetoric and diversity initiatives have suggested over the past two decades, the consensus was that it was time to ‘walk the talk’ in a more emphatic way.
“Amid stock-car racing’s boom in the late 1990s and early 2000, when the sport abandoned short tracks in the South [Ed. stupidly] for gleaming new superspeedways in Las Vegas and suburban Los Angeles, NASCAR banned images of the Confederate flag on its racecars, drivers’ uniforms and official merchandise. Following the 2015 slaughter of nine African American churchgoers by a white supremacist in Charleston, S.C., NASCAR went further, asking fans not to display the flag at its tracks. But it stopped short of an outright ban, deeming that a step too far….
“(Facebook and Twitter) teemed with blowback for NASCAR, including a screed from the wife of a part-time Truck Series driver from Ellicott City, Md., who wrote that her husband was quitting the sport at season’s end in protest.
“Nonetheless, NASCAR executives concluded that the upside of banning the Confederate flag outright was worth it – whether because it meant standing on the right side of history, reflecting prevailing sentiments as the nation reexamines its legacy of racism, sending a message that all are welcome at its tracks, appealing to a broader array of corporate sponsors or some portion of all of that.”
Ryan McGee / ESPN…McGee being a Southerner through and through, born in Rockingham, N.C., huge NASCAR fan.
“The Confederate flag is gone. I will not miss it for one single second.
“Because gone with it is the perpetual need for me to apologize to my coworkers of color, who politely winced whenever we entered a speedway infield to be greeted by a line of Confederate flags. Gone is the instant evidence always used against me by friends and colleagues who refused to accept my pleas of ‘NASCAR has changed, really!’ because they only had to point over my shoulder at the flags whipping in the wind in HDTV every Sunday afternoon. Gone are the skeptical rolled eyes that (Bubba) Wallace has had to combat his entire life. Same for NBA All-Star-turned-NASCAR team owner Brad Daugherty, or NASCAR official Kirk Price, or the family of NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott, the only other black driver to make his living as a Cup Series driver. All of them have spent their lives going to the racetrack, having achieved their dream of working at the highest level of stock car racing, only to have to explain over and over again why they chose to work at a place where multiple symbols of hate are displayed out in the open….
“Even if there had ever been a stitch of honor left in that flag after the Civil War was over, that was wrung out when hate groups chose the stars and bars as their go-to banner, under which they set fire to crosses, lynched black Americans, and held aloft as they stood at the doors of desegregated schools and screamed at innocent children, schoolbooks in hand, who did nothing more than be born.
“There was a time when the swastika meant nothing, too. It first appeared in Asia 5,000 years ago. It was meant to signify the sun. But then someone came along and turned it into the symbol of one of the greatest evil forces that Earth has ever known….
“No, the only place where we should see the stars and bars now is displayed in a museum, encased in glass and context. You really want to teach someone about heritage versus hate? You really want to have a debate with someone about what those flags mean? Go to the Smithsonian. Go to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Go to Gettysburg, Appomattox, or meet me down at Fort Fisher [Ed. at the port of Wilmington, N.C.]. We can talk about it all day. At the right places.
“But not at the racetrack. Not anymore.”
For his part, Bubba Wallace, in an interview with CNN the other night following the ban, said his own social media was the mixed bag you would expect it to be, but that the vast majority of it was positive.
That said, some NASCAR fans are indeed furious at Wallace because the Confederate flag is part of their Southern heritage – not as a symbol of racism – and thus an integral part of the sport because of its deep Southern roots.
Wallace said Friday that he wants everyone to feel comfortable coming to a race, and that the Confederate flag has scared some people away from his sport.
“To you, it might seem like heritage, but others see hate,” he said. “We need to come together and meet in the middle and say, ‘You know what, if this bothers you, I don’t mind taking it down.”
NASCAR’s previous efforts to grow the sport have not been successful. The number of fans who have abandoned the sport since its peak is startling. As the New York Times’ Juliet Macur pointed out, this year’s Daytona 500 had 7.3 million television viewers. Just five years ago, in 2015, that number was nearly double at 13.4 million.
The organization also has made efforts to diversify, with programs aimed at hiring minority drivers. Yet when Wallace won a race in 2013 at one of NASCAR’s national series, it was the first time an African-American had won at that level in 50 years.
--Wednesday’s race from Martinsville averaged 1.71 million viewers on FS1, topping only a midweek Charlotte race two weeks ago (1.51M) as the least-watched Cup Series race since at least 2000.
But we haven’t had midweek races until the restart, so it’s tough to compare. And the fact is Wednesday’s race ranked fifth for the night on cable in adults 18-49, and it comfortably topped the competing MLB draft on ESPN and MLB Network (611K).
--It’s not a good sign for the sport that athletes are testing positive for coronavirus as they report back to college campuses for workouts. Ten Iowa State University athletes, including two Cyclones football players, have tested positive.
The University of Houston suspended voluntary workouts for student-athletes after six symptomatic athletes tested positive. They were placed in isolation and contact tracing procedures were initiated.
None of this is a surprise, and it’s no reason to panic, but it’s worrisome.
NFL…taking a knee…
In a response to a person tweeting that he was “pretty sure” J.J. Watt would not be taking a knee during the national anthem, along with three American flag emojis, the Houston Texans defensive end made it clear that taking a knee is not about the American flag.
“If you still think it’s about disrespecting the flag or our military, you clearly haven’t been listening,” Watt tweeted on Saturday.
On Friday, Texans head coach Bill O’Brien said he will take a knee during the national anthem next season with his players to protest racial inequality and police brutality.
“Yeah, I’ll take a knee – I’m all for it,” O’Brien told the Houston Chronicle. “The players have a right to protest, a right to be heard and a right to be who they are. They’re not taking a knee because they’re against our flag. They’re taking a knee because they haven’t been treated equally in this country for over 400 years.”
Washington Redskins Coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday that he will support any of his players who kneel during the national anthem. Before doing so, Rivera said he reread the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the amendments and the president’s oath of office. He believes those documents support those fighting for equality.
“Black lives matter,” Rivera said. “We can’t be afraid to say it. I will say it again: Black lives matter.”
--The Premier League is restarting next Wed. and the players’ names will be replaced on the back of their shirts with ‘Black Lives Matter’ for the first 12 matches of the restart.
The PL will also support any player who chooses to ‘take a knee’ before or during matches.
“We, the players, stand together with the singular objective of eradicating racial prejudice,” read a statement.
In a joint message from all 20 clubs, players added that they were committed to “a global society of inclusion, respect, and equal opportunities for all, regardless of their color or creed.”
Understand how significant this is, seeing as how racism is rampant across all of European football, with the worst incidents actually in Russia (which is scary as hell when you know who is propagating it…folks like the biker groups who support Putin).
But what also worries me is that while the Premier League is playing the rest of its season without fans (as of now), the UK is still in bad shape in terms of the virus, though Prime Minister Boris Johnson is desperately trying to open things up for political reasons.
--Roger Federer will miss whatever remains of the Covid-19-impacted 2020 tennis season because of a setback in his recovery from surgery on his right knee.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in February and said Wednesday in a statement on Twitter that he had a second arthroscopic procedure that will delay his return until 2021.
Federer said he wants to be fully 100% before returning.
--Jo Craven McGinty of the Wall Street Journal wrote a piece on the fitness goal of clocking 10,000 steps a day, the default goal for fitness trackers, smartphone apps and even some corporate wellness programs whose financial rewards are based on the number of steps employees log each day.
But according to I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School who researches the role of physical activity in promoting health and preventing disease, the 10,000 steps a day mantra didn’t come from any kind of scientific study.
Walking as few as 4,400 steps a day is beneficial, according to Dr. Lee. Her study, a collaboration with researchers at Harvard, the University of Tokyo, the University of Tennessee, the National Institute on Aging and the National Cancer Institute, examined 16,741 women who ranged in age from 62 to 101. They wore hip-mounted devices designed to track their movements for 10 hours a day over four to seven days between 2011 and 2015.
Among the group, walking approximately 4,400 steps a day was associated with a 41% reduction in mortality compared with walking 2,700 steps a day. Walking around 7,500 steps was associated with a 65% reduction.
Americans typically walk around 4,800 steps a day; Japanese take 7,000 to 7,500; Australians and Swiss nationals take 9,000 to 10,000; and Old Order Amish cover 14,000 to 18,000.
--In a true tragedy that should sicken all of you, one of Uganda’s best-known mountain gorillas, Rafiki, has been killed.
The BBC reported four men have been arrested, and they face a life sentence or a fine of $5.4 million if found guilty of killing an endangered species.
Investigations showed that Rafiki was killed by a sharp object that penetrated his internal organs.
There are just over 1,000 mountain gorillas in existence and the Uganda Wildlife Authority described Rafiki’s death as a “very big blow.”
Th silverback, believed to be 25 years old, was the leader of a group of 17 mountain gorillas. It was a group described as “habituated,” meaning it was used to human contact.
“The death of Rafiki leaves the group unstable and there is the possibility that it could disintegrate,” Bashir Hangi from the UWA told the BBC. “It has no leadership at this time and it could be taken over by a wild silverback.”
If that happened, the group would not want to come into contact with humans, which ultimately could affect tourism; the revenue from which funds the UWA.
--Finally, the country-pop trio Lady Antebellum has changed its name to Lady A. In the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody and the Black Lives Matter movement, the group tweeted out:
“As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge…inclusive of all. We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases black women and men have always faced and continue to face everyday [sic].”
“When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the Southern ‘Antibellum’ style where we took our first photos… But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before the Civil War, which includes slavery. We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused.”
Top 3 songs for the week 6/17/67: #1 “Groovin’” (The Young Rascals) #2 “Respect” (Aretha Franklin) #3 “She’d Rather Be With Me” (The Turtles)…and…#4 “Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)” (Engelbert Humperdinck) #5 “Somebody To Love” (Jefferson Airplane) #6 “Little Bit O’ Soul” (The Music Explosion) #7 “Windy” (Association) #8 “All I Need” (The Temptations) #9 “I Got Rhythm” (The Happenings) #10 “Mirage” (Tommy James and the Shondells…B+ week…but rest of ’67 was an ‘A’…)
PGA Tour Quiz Answer: Four to win 10 or more Tour events after turning 40….
Vijay Singh – 22
Sam Snead – 17
Kenny Perry – 11
Julius Boros – 10
Steve Stricker had 9, Arnold Palmer 8.
Jack Nicklaus had 5, Lee Trevino 5, and Tom Watson 2, among the others.
Snead is the oldest winner in PGA Tour history at age 52, and at age 62, he finished third in the 1974 PGA Championship.
Kenny Perry had 11 of his 14 career wins after turning 40; Steve Stricker 9 of 12. [Boros 10 of 18.]
Singh had won 12 times on the PGA Tour, including two majors, prior to turning 40, then he wins another 22. In 2004, he won NINE times, including a late-season stretch where he won six of the eight tournaments he entered. [T2, T32 in the other two events…a PGA Championship was part of the mix.]
Since 1900, Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus are the only two with 3 majors after turning 40. [Boros and Mark O’Meara had 2, along with Harry Vardon.]
Next Bar Chat, Thursday.