5. If you didn't know much about the tea party, you learned all you needed to know about it during one particular moment in Monday's tea-party sponsored GOP presidential debate:
Ron Paul was talking about personal responsibility (an admirable goal, of course), when moderator Wolf Blitzer presented him with an example of a 30-year-old man who chose to stop paying hundreds of dollars a month for health insurance. In Blitzer's example, something happened to the man and he needed expensive treatment in ICU. Would the man be entitled to hospital care? As Paul, a physician before he was a congressman, again tried to talk about personal responsibility, Blitzer interrupted and asked: "So you'd let him die?"
Several of the tea partiers in the audience shouted: "Yes!" or "Yeah!" and then dozens more clapped and cheered.
Paul then twisted uncomfortably as he avoided a direct answer. (Later, tea party darling Michele Bachmann also completely avoided answering the question, one of her favorite debate tactics.)
This was not a trick question by the "gotcha" media. This was an example of something hospitals face multiple times every single day: uninsured patients needing serious medical care. Currently, taxpayers foot the bill -- a hefty bill because neither market forces nor the government keep health costs low.
The tea party, remember, wants government out of the lives of every individual. Personal choice is the thing. Hmmm. I wonder if most tea partiers feel the same about women's reproductive choices?
(And let's not forget that the single loudest cheer at the first GOP debate came in support of Rick Perry's declaration that he was proud of being the governor who has executed the most criminals. Never mind that today's science has produced numerous cases of wrongly accused people on death row being exonerated years later by DNA evidence. Rick Perry and his ilk are not about to let science trump the pitchforks-and-torches emotion that fuels much right-wing dogma.)
4. An inordinate number of football fans, be they rabid followers or casual observers, actually believe Rex Grossman is one of the worst QBs ever. Please.
Statistically, he actually has been mediocre, with slightly more career TDs than interceptions and slightly more wins as a starter than losses. And he has had flashes of excellence.
When the Bears went to the Super Bowl a few years ago, they got off to a great start in great part because Grossman arguably was the league MVP that September. He went on to have several horrific games before making some big plays in two playoff victories and then playing poorly in the Super Bowl.
Grossman often makes stupid decisions but he does have some talent, as he displayed again in leading the Redskins to an enormous season-opening upset of the Giants with 305 yards, 2 TDs and zero picks.
Look, I'm not saying Rex Grossman ever will be confused with Peyton Manning, Dan Marino or the guy to whom he once -- ridiculously -- was compared, Brett Favre.
All I'm saying is that there have been hundreds of QBs worse than Grossman -- a disproportionate number of whom have played for the Bears.
3. The most interesting story so far this college season has been Notre Dame's ability to lose in the most inventive, exciting fashion.
2. Brave of tennis' governing body for coming down hard on Serena Williams, who repeatedly and unjustifiably berated an umpire during the U.S. Open women's final. The penalty:
A $2,000 fine.
Let's see ... 2 grand to Serena Williams is the same as how much to you and me? A penny? Maybe less?
In the famous words of John McEnroe: You cannot be serious!
(By the way, McEnroe might actually be a better TV commentator than he was a tennis player. And those of us lucky enough to have seen him play know that is a supreme compliment.)
1. I spent the weekend in Asheville with my wife. We took in some sights, did a lot of walking, ate well, enjoyed a beverage or three and just enjoyed each other's company.
The subject of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 did come up, but we didn't talk about it much.
Some would label me unpatriotic for admitting this.
Fact is, just as I don't wait until my wedding anniversary to think about how much I love my wife, I don't need the anniversary of a terrorist plot to make me remember that horrible day or to think about how lucky I am to be an American.
I feel for the thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people affected by the events of 9/11/01. The best way to honor their memory would be by fixing what ails our country now.