Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Happy Birthday To Me ... And LOTS of Others You Know and Love (or Loathe)


Normally, I wouldn't write about my own birthday - not even a milestone BD like this one - but let me tell you ... October 13 is the birthday of the stars! 

My most famous (or infamous) "birthday buddies" include ...

Glenn "Doc" Rivers, my Marquette cohort who went on to make a bit of a name for himself in basketball. Not only is the new Sixers coach one of my all-time favorite people in sports, but he also made my favorite basket ever when his heave from just inside half-court beat evil Notre Dame in 1981 (his freshman year, my junior year). Surprisingly, even though Glenn could jump out of the arena, he really sucked at volleyball in Charlie Nader's Team Sports class.

Jerry Rice, the best wide receiver any of us have ever seen.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, whose overrated "America's Team" has won all of 4 playoff games since winning Super Bowl XXX 2 1/2 decades ago. 

Borat alter ego Sacha Baron Cohen: "King of the castle!"

Baseball Hall of Famers Trevor Hoffman and Eddie Mathews, Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, and future basketball Hall of Famer Paul Pierce.

Billy Bush, he of President Pussy-Grabber's Access Hollywood tape fame.

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, murdered in 2018 by the Saudi dictator (with the tacit approval of the U.S. president). Shameful.

Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan: "Why me?" (So unfair. She was a great skater, but she'll be remembered forever as Tonya Harding's victim.)

Tiffany Trump, or, as President Pandemic calls her, "Uh ... Who are you?"

A little bit country, Marie Osmond.

A lot of rock and roll, Paul Simon.

Caleb McGlaughlin -- Lucas of Stranger Things fame.

Kelly Preston, who had a memorable turn as Jerry Maguire's squeeze. (Sadly, she died earlier this year.)

Sammy Hagar, aka The Red Rocker!

The late great Lenny Bruce.

Hero or villain? With Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, it depends upon which side of the aisle one stands. At only 31, AOC has a lot of decades left to be loved and loathed.

But wait! There's more!

Actors Ashanti, Tisha Campbell, Lorraine Day, Melinda Dillon, Nipsey Russell, Kate Walsh, Matt Walsh, Cornel Wilde, Demond Wilson ... athletes/coaches Tim Brewster, Ryan Clark, Norris Cole, Brian Dawkins, George Frazier, Derek Harper, Del Harris, Brian Hoyer, Jermaine O'Neal, Lou Saban, Summer Sanders, Reggie Theus, Rube Waddell, Eddie Yost ... Politics' Ari Fleischer, Margaret Thatcher ... Musician John Ford Coley ... Sportscaster Tom Mees.


And lest I forget, my one-time Chicago sportswriting colleague, golf buddy and all-around great guy Phil Arvia - who loves to remind me that although we have the same birthday, he is WAAAAAAAAY (2 years) younger than I am.

And speaking of people younger than I am ...

That's a pretty large group these days.

Yes, today I turned ...

The Big 6-0!

Take away my aching back, tight hamstrings and bad vision, and I really don't feel that old. I mean, I'm still as immature as ever, and that's kind of a Fountain of Youth, right? I also golf every bit as well as I ever have!

I am the youngest of Rhoda and Jerry Nadel's 4 sons. By FAR the youngest! The baby!! I'll always be able to hold that over the heads of Al, Don and Lee - none of whom is even allowed to sing "When I'm 64" anymore.

I was 13 when I started high school, 17 when I started college and 21 when I entered the workforce in my chosen profession. (Journalism, silly. I only moonlighted as a Chippendale.)

I was a groovy, hip, happenin' dude.

When I was 24, I became the youngest full-time sportswriter in the AP, a distinction I held for about 5 more years. During that time, I was one of a handful of AP scribes dubbed "The Young Turks." (Mysteriously, Howard Ulman, who is 13 years older than I am, also was put in that group. Apparently, bribes work.)

On my 29th birthday, I noticed I was going bald. The Vikings had traded for Herschel Walker the day before and photographers took an overhead shot of the media throng around him. And there my head was: curly hair encircling a surprisingly large patch of skin. Yikes!

I was even young when I was put out to pasture - retired at 48 by the clowns at GateHouse Media, who couldn't afford to keep hundreds of their real employees but amazingly found hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonus money for all their pencil-dick managers. (Not that I'm bitter or anything.)

I was a little worried when I got the heave-ho, but retirement has turned out to be pretty darn sweet. 

I learned how to invest, which led to writing about investing, which led to my freelance gigs at Daily Trade Alert and Seeking Alpha and Dividends and Income. (I especially recommend clicking on that last one and looking at some articles to see  amazingly cute photos of my adorable grand-twins, Logan and Jack.)

I coach basketball, I referee, I umpire, I pretty much do whatever I want (within reason). 

Of course, all that is only possible because of my beautiful bride of 37+ years, Robbie. It's great to have a Sugar Mama, and I strongly recommend every man get one (or more).

And now that I've got Ben's littles toddling around - and, exciting, exciting, exciting! - another cutie any day now from Katie, I'll have no choice but to stay young.

You know, I'm already looking forward to the next 60 years. Heck, by the time I turn 120, COVID-19 might even have disappeared "like a miracle."

As my favorite rocker, Roger Clyne, likes to sing: 

Here's to life! 

Wishing health, happiness, peace and love to all of my family, friends ... and, yes, to my birthday buddies everywhere.