Former NFL coach Buddy Ryan dies at age 85

81369015-chicago-bears-defensive-coordinator-buddy-ryan-super-bowl-xx-850x560A sad day indeed. I think all of us remember if we’re old enough when pro football was fun. Yeah, we all cared you who won and lost, that’s what competition is all about but we also knew that other things were more important than football. I grew up around Chicago, in Northwest Indiana, and I can remember a bunch of us who played high school football, going down to Rensselaer, Indiana to watch the Bears summer camp. I can also remember Walter Peyton, Sweetness himself, running up and down the dunes at Dunes State Park, in full pads, for hours. If you wonder why his knees held out for all those years, well, a lot of it was conditioning.

But in ’85, as we watched daBears, we had a saying, “If they don’t score, we can’t lose”. We said that because the Bears had quite likely the best defense ever seen, anywhere, and a lot of that was Buddy Ryan. Yep, he had trouble getting along with Ditka. Talk about two strong personalities yoked unwillingly together! But they managed, somehow.

And the lessons they taught, first they taught us to work hard and win, that we had to really want to succeed, and do it right, and with discipline and teamwork. They also taught us to relish the fight and to have fun while we did it. Looking back, there was something very American indeed, about that team, some of them just plain didn’t like each other, but when the ball kicked off, that simply didn’t matter, it was time to play the game, and to win it. A lesson many of us need to learn again. It wouldn’t hurt if we also relearned the lesson about leaving the game on the field.

Buddy died last Tuesday, from cancer, and something in me died with him. When I played the game, I was a defensive tackle, and watching how his teams did it was inspirational.


Oklahoma born and bred, Ryan entered the coaching profession in 1961 with the University of Buffalo following his service in the military. From there, a career as a defensive troubadour began, winding its way through New York, Minnesota, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston and Arizona.

“Without Buddy Ryan … I’m just a guy,” legendary Bears linebacker Mike Singletary said on an ESPN documentary about the 1985 Bears. “He’s someone that you meet, and you think he’s the toughest, meanest guy that you’ll ever meet. But he loves you. He just doesn’t know how to express it. But you know it when he looks at you.”

Added Mike Ditka, the head coach of the 1985 Bears, on Tuesday morning: “Buddy was such an integral part of the Chicago Bears and the ’85 Bears, it was unbelievable.

“There’s no way we win anything without that defense, without his coaching and I think everybody understands that. We won because of our defense, we can never forget that. That’s just the way it was.”

Ryan turned conventional football wisdom on its head early on in his career. He never understood the coddling of NFL quarterbacks, and famously surmised that “a quarterback has never completed a pass when he was flat on his back.” He believed that quarterbacks made too much money, attracted too much attention and acted with an unfair sense of entitlement — and he spent nearly his entire career torturing them.

Bears chairman George H. McCaskey issued the following sentiment:

“Buddy Ryan was the architect of the greatest defense our league has seen. He was brilliant when it came to the X’s and O’s of the game, but what made him special was his ability to create an unwavering confidence in the players he coached. From the day he was hired in 1978, his defenses bought into more than the scheme, they bought into him and took on his personality. Buddy was brash, intelligent and tough. He was a perfect match for our city and team, which is why George Halas took the extraordinary step of keeping him at the behest of his defensive players while transitioning to a new coaching staff in 1982. We will always be grateful for Buddy’s contribution to the Bears. He is one of the team’s all-time greats. Our prayers are with his family.”

via Former NFL coach Buddy Ryan dies at age 85 –

So are mine, He was one of the greats, to be associated in our minds forever with the likes of Sweetness, Papa Bear, Ditka, Mike Singletary, and the rest of those guys who we simply loved watching, and you know, we met a surprising number of them, and they were pretty great guys as well. And even more, they gave back to the community, and they had fun through it all.

See your later, Coach, and rest in peace.


Objective Reality and Useless Mouths

warningIf you’re younger than me by more than a couple of years, actually it might be more accurate to say unless you’re ten years older than me, you’re not like me. Why? Pretty simple really.

You see, my parents worked all the way through the depression, there aren’t any handcarts of apples in my history. That wasn’t much of a surprise, really, given that my dad held his dad in his arms while he died. He was a junior in high school, and now he was responsible for feeding his 6 younger brothers and sisters, and his mom. This would have been in the 20s and there was no government help, likely there was a bit of short-term help from the church. Grampa was a musician and a mechanic, he ran the light plant and the town band (of the 9-11 members, 7 were his sons by the way). Neither of those are going to make you a rich man, and he wasn’t. I have doubts he ever saw the inside of the bank, although he might have, he did try manufacturing bicycles, and failed.

But, anyway, Dad took over and kept them all fed and clothed, that was the end of schooling of course. Although I can remember the owner of a fabrication company that did our work telling me after he died, that dad was the best engineer he ever worked with. I believe it, I saw his work and I saw the respect from his sons-in-law, both professional engineers, one civil, and one mechanical.

But think about that, for a bit. from the time he was 17 about, in the 1920s; until he retired in the late 1960s he was never out of work, and was nearly always respected. But some of those days were spent loading 100 pound bags of potatoes into boxcars by hand for 18 or so hours.I met people at his funeral that he hadn’t seen since 1938, they remembered and cared enough to drive 200 miles to his funeral.

And that was how I was raised as well, although I haven’t had the challenges he did. But you know, the one thing I never heard dad do? He never complained about his life, or the curveballs it threw at him, and there were some. He worked his way through it, with  (a little, sometimes very little) humor. hard work and intelligence. And his last job started on 1 August 1939 with a shoebox of paper, and when he retired in 1969, it was a functioning power company with a physical plant worth something like $2 million dollars. Real dollars, worth close to a 20th of an ounce of gold each, not the devalued scrip we have now.

And here’s the lesson of the day, and dad’s life.

Personal responsibility is the key to it all. I watch the fools in Washington a goodly bit, as do many of you. It sickens me but it is important. What’s the most sickening about it? The constant striving to shift the blame around and the complete unwillingness to take the blame for anything. At some point it will fail, and badly.

Where does that start? With our kids. While I don’t happen to have any, I have had a bunch of young employees over the years. So I tend to see them as they’re entering the workforce. I am not impressed. In fact, I am appalled. These precious snowflakes that you have spent years worrying about and defending when they screwed up (and they did often) are absolutely worthless. It’s pretty much a lost generation, if America can even survive it.

What do I mean? Here read about the reprobates, and their delinquent parents, from Cassy Fiano at Victory Girls

In Plano, Texas, a girl named Shea Shawhan has become the victim of bullying. It’s not a new story — indeed, the rise of bullying over the past few years has been covered to death in the media — but Shea’s story is a little more despicable than usual. Shea is a special needs student. She was born with a brain injury that causes her to suffer seizures. She is 18-years-old, but possesses the mental capacity of an eight-year-old. Yet she has been targeted by vicious bullies urging her to kill herself and threatening her with rape.

One of the texts read: ‘Why are u still here. Clearly no one wants you. U only have special needs friends. And ur ugly and have a horrible fashion sense. Honestly ur clothes suck.’

… Some of the missives addressed to the student were even more explicit and menacing, including one that stated: ‘Shea is so annoying but cute I want to do more than just kiss her I want to rape her then kill her. That will finally make sure she goes away for good.’

… A message sent in late September even boasted that Shea and her mother would never be able to figure out who has been tormenting her.

‘I am many because we are a group and a union of people who dislike u,’ the missive stated.

The texts were sent from a web application that generates fake phone numbers, making the identities of the perpetrators difficult to trace. But what will happen when they are caught? Several recent similar cases can give us an idea.

Consider the case of Brian Holloway. The former NFL player found his house trashed after a party took place with over 300 teenagers present. Many of the teenagers took photos of the party, including the vandalism, and posted them online. Holloway shared those same photos online in a plea to help save the 300 teens. Rather than pressing charges against them for the $20,000 in damages the teens caused, he invited them to his house for a picnic for veterans, where they would also spend the day helping to clean up the mess they made. One teenager showed up.

Other parents of the 300 criminals? They found lawyers and threatened to sue Holloway. And so instead of spending a day righting their wrongs, these teens are finding out that arrests are going to be made — for felony charges, too.

 Continue reading How to End Teenage Bullying

Those kids in any objective society are dead. They are unemployable, good job parents.

The old rules will come back, and when they do, again it will hold that “If you would eat: work”.

And remember these guys as well

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four —
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man —
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began: —
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Personally I think we would be wise to heed The Gods of the Copybook Headings. For as I’ve said before:

“If you break the laws of reality; Reality will break you.”

Will Ralston’s Lingerie Football League Have Better Officials than the NFL?


I wasn’t going to address the mess in the game on Monday since nearly everybody else has but, this is just too ridiculous for words, the NFL would be well advised to get this settled before somebody gets badly hurt, they’ve already hurt the credibility of the league badly. From The Objective Conservative.

We couldn’t pass up a relevant article from the Daily Caller given the controversy over the Packers Seahawk game the other night.    Apparently some of the replacement officials in the NFL aren’t competent enough to officiate in the Lingerie League…..

Refs fired from Lingerie Football League still officiating NFL games
 by Sarah Hofmann

“If you think getting fired as a referee for the Lingerie Football League means you’ve lost the best job imaginable, have no fear — you can always get a job officiating NFLgames.

The LFL had been keeping silent about the replacement referees in the NFL until early Tuesday morning.

In August, Deadspin reached out to the league for comment about a rumor that some of the refs had been fired. After the controversial Packers versus Seahawks outcome Monday night, the league responded and took the opportunity to jab the NFL as well:
“Because of the LFL’s perception it is that much more critical for us to hire officiating crews that are competent, not only for the credibility of our game but to keep our athletes safer. Due to several on-field incompetent officiating we chose to part ways with with a couple crews which apparently are now officiating in the NFL. We have a lot of respect for our officials but we felt the officiating was not in line with our expectations……….”

Objective Conservative: Will Ralston’s Lingerie Football League Have Better Officials than the NFL?.


A Milestone, of Sorts

I seem to have hit a milestone of sorts with this little blog. Last night I had my 1000th view. I have no idea whether that is good or bad as new blogs go, and care very little. No doubt if I tried all the tricks and put half-naked ladies in for no apparent purpose I could increase my readership but, it’s just not how I work. (Not that I object to half-naked ladies, or anything!)

I started this  on 15 July because I was bored (business this summer was very slow) and needed something to blow off steam with the administrations policies and I like to talk about history. Well it has certainly worked for that.

I have a good time writing this, and the research it entails, and I hope it shows. Like I said at the beginning what you are getting is mostly my opinion, I’m not going to spend hours and hours on research but, I do try to be reasonably accurate.

One thing that has pleased me is that those of you who read me are intelligent and sane, and have good vocabularies. You should hear what I tell WordPress’s grammar checker  (actually it’s not fit for tender ears). I (and you) got out of fifth grade a while ago. I try to write as an adult for adults. I’ve also found that I’m maybe a bit better writer than I thought. My TA in English 101 probably wouldn’t agree though. (I still think James Joyce wrote  Ulysses to make money to buy more booze, too.)

So this is a thank you. I’ve enjoyed writing these posts and I hope you have enjoyed reading (and hopefully thinking about) them. I also really enjoy how your comments make me think. What am I going to write about later today (or tomorrow)? I have no idea, that’s part of the fun.

Thanks again.

And because I can’t resist. From

Today is the 231st Anniversary of the Battle of King’s Mountain as well as the 10th Anniversary of the attack on Afghanistan.

In business history Ford’s assembly line began moving today. Within a year it cut assembly time from 12.5 man/hours to 93 man/minutes. This allowed Ford to reduce the price to where almost everyone could afford a car.

And finally, as an old Bears fan:

On October 7, 1984, Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton becomes the NFL’s all-time rushing leader, breaking the record Cleveland’s Jim Brown set in 1965. In front of 53,752 people at Soldier Field, Payton carried the ball 154 yards and finished the game with a new career rushing record–12,400 yards, 88 more than Brown.

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