Boiler Up

Well, that was fun, woke up this morning and could only go to Google, amazing what a broken firewall can do for you. Seems to be working now, though. Yay! So an easy one for today, since I’m already a few hours late with my schedule. 😩

From DC Whispers.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has had one of the longest and most productive NFL careers ever. He’s a devoted family man who donates both considerable time and his own money to a multitude of community causes that benefit people of all races and socio-economic backgrounds.

He’s also a Christian and for that, he’s now being targeted by the radical fringe left who want him run out of the NFL for advocating that kids take their Bibles to school with them.

Yes, you read that right. This is the thinking of some in America who are totally devoted to a totalitarian, far-left group-think mentality that wants to destroy anything different than themselves.

Isn’t that special? Increasingly that is the world today, it will change but when is hard to tell, and it may get worse before it gets better. But it’s not everyone. Brees is one of my fellow Boilers, and even before we became the Cradle of Astronauts we were the Cradle of Quarterbacks if you’re my age you might remember Len Dawson or Bob Griese.

But Purdue has always been about more than football (or basketball) and while Drew Brees may be one of the immortal quarterbacks (he is), three Purdue QBs are playing in the NFL. This is from Purdue.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Every Boilermaker is aware of the prowess Drew Brees possesses on the football field. Now, the Purdue graduate is being honored for his activities away from football.

Brees is one of 33 business school graduates honored by AACSB International – the world’s largest business education alliance — as the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders. The annual challenge recognizes notable alumni from AACSB-accredited schools whose inspiring work serves as a model for the next generation of business leaders.

Brees is a 2001 graduate of Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. In addition to setting NFL records with the New Orleans Saints, he founded the Brees Dream Foundation, which has contributed almost $25 million to improve the quality of life for people around the world since its inception in 2003.

One example of Brees’ efforts to help his community is his support of the Team Gleason House in New Orleans, named for Steve Gleason, a former Saints teammate who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The house is equipped with the latest computer-operated technologies to allow individuals with ALS the highest independence possible. Brees’ foundation also helped fund improvements to Joe Brown Park, transforming it into a world-class regional park to enable children and families to be healthy and active.

Brees’ reach extends beyond New Orleans. In 2011, he was appointed an ambassador for the World Food Programme, a United Nations branch and the world’s largest humanitarian organization to fight against hunger. He supports high schools around the nation through the Drew Brees Passing Academy and 7-on-7 Tournament, and his work with Convoy of Hope has helped support families that were adversely affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Brees was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 2010 and was described as “an athlete as adored and appreciate as any in an American city today.” He also has become a successful entrepreneur; in 2018, he came in at No. 17 in the Forbes list of the world’s highest-paid athletes.

“AACSB is honored to recognize Drew Brees and congratulates Purdue University for its role in preparing alumni who are leading examples of business education as a force for good in the world,” said Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB. “The diversity of backgrounds, industries and career paths of the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders demonstrates that AACSB-accredited schools are preparing graduates to succeed wherever their passions may take them.”

Now in its fourth year, the Influential Leaders challenge has recognized almost 200 business school graduates for creating lasting impact in business and society. All honorees have earned an undergraduate, graduate or doctoral degree from one of the more than 800 AACSB-accredited business schools worldwide. Brees is the fourth Krannert graduate to be recognized, joining Beth Brooke-Marciniak (2015), Carolyn Woo (2015) and Shawn Taylor (2016).

Can’t speak for you, but I’m quite happy to be associated even in this distant way to Drew Brees, and Grubb and his ilk, need a football where the sun don’t shine – sideways.

And about the Purdue Vanderbilt game today, I have a prediction – The Gold and Black will win. I just don’t know which shade. 🙂

The Immortal Memory

As we commented the other day, we have entered the season of critical Anglo-Saxon Battles, yesterday was the 237th Anniversary of Lord Cornwallis”s surrender to General Washington at Yorktown. In 1918 the victorious battles of the allies would soon result in the Armistice. But today is the anniversary of perhaps the most important battle of the modern age.During the negotiations with France when we were trying to buy New OrlĂ©ans President Jefferson wrote an open letter regarding the return of Louisiana to France from Spain, where he commented that “on that day we shall have to marry ourselves to the British fleet and people”, meaning if France took control of Louisiana it would mean war between France and the United States, and later commented “that from that day forward France shall end at her low water mark” Of course we know that France sold Louisiana to the US so it ended well.

But, this is the day that France (and Spain) would forever lose control of the sea to Great Britain.

Today is the anniversary of a battle to rank with Salamis, with Waterloo, and with Yorktown. For today the English-speaking peoples with our concepts of individual liberty and rights took control of the sea.

That battle is Trafalgar. The battle was fought off of the south-west coast of Spain between the British Squadron with 27 Ships-of-the-Line and the combined French and Spanish fleets with 33.

The Franco-Spanish fleet was under orders to sail for Brest to help accomplish the invasion of England, which was, by far, Napoleons most steadfast enemy.

Remember these were sailing ships, completely dependent on the wind. and at Trafalgar, there was very little. The French and especially the Spanish were short-handed and had to fill their ship’s companies with soldiers. The British on the other hand had blockaded the coast for years and had been drilled mercilessly. Their commander, himself, had not been off the flagship for more than two years.

Alfred Thayer Mahan in his classic The Influence of Sea Power upon History puts it this way: “Those distant, storm-tossed ships, never seen by the Grande Armee, were all that stood between it and world domination.

And so today, in 1805, the battle was joined. The British had the weather gage and a very unusual plan. Because of the light wind (and against standing orders), they would divide their battle line in two, with each squadron approaching the Franco-Spanish line at an acute angle. With a well-trained enemy, this would have been nearly suicidal but, under these conditions it allowed the British to engage the entire fleet and win the battle in a single day.

The British were under the command of a man who had his introduction to naval war in the American Revolution, he fought in several minor battles off Toulon, was integral in the capture of Corsica, was captain of HMS Captain at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent. At the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, he lost his right arm, he won a decisive victory over the French at The Battle of the Nile and against the Danes at the Battle of Copenhagen.

At Trafalgar the British fleet went into battle with this signal flying from the flagship:

That flagship is, of course, the HMS Victory, which is now the oldest naval ship in regular commission in the world.

HMS Victory

HMS Victory, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth

The Admiral in command was Horatio, Lord Nelson.

Or to give him his full name:

Admiral Lord Nelson

The Most Noble Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount and Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Hilborough in the said County, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Vice Admiral of the White Squadron of the Fleet, Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s Ships and Vessels in the Mediterranean, Duke of BrontĂ© in the Kingdom of Sicily, Knight Grand Cross of the Sicilian Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, Member of the Ottoman Order of the Crescent, Knight Grand Commander of the Order of St Joachim

as it is inscribed on his coffin in St. Paul’s Cathedral, for he was killed by a French marine during the battle.

The first tribute to Nelson was fittingly offered at sea by sailors of Vice-Admiral Dmitry Senyavin’s passing Russian squadron, which saluted on learning of the death.

It is also interesting Nelson being Vice Admiral of the White is the reason that the Royal Navy from that day flies the White Ensign before it flew all three depending on the fleet commander’s rank. The black hatband on British, American, and Russian naval enlisted caps all memorialize Nelson as well.

King George III, upon receiving the news, is reported to have said, in tears, “We have lost more than we have won”.

And the Times reported:

We do not know whether we should mourn or rejoice. The country has gained the most splendid and decisive Victory that has ever graced the naval annals of England; but it has been dearly purchased.

Great Britain would hold uncontested command of the sea, even joining World War I partly to prevent Germany from overtaking the Royal Navy until, in 1921, she agreed to parity with the United States at the Washington Naval Conference. And it should be noted, that even then, it was not willingly, Britain was exhausted and bankrupt from the Great War, and probably recognized that the US would use her sea power much as Britain had, which has proved to be the case. It is also from this date that the United Kingdom began to recede from the first rank of great powers, although her legacy has been for the most part upheld by the US and the Commonwealth.

That’s fine, I hear you say, what’s that got to do with me, especially as an American, these 212 years later? Several things which we will talk about a bit here.

  1. The Atlantic Slave Trade ended because the British decided that it should and the Americans agreed. This led to the establishment of patrols by both navies off the west coast of Africa, effectively ending the trade. Without this, and without the Abolitionist sentiment in the United Kingdom, it is almost inconceivable that slavery would have ended in the western world.
  2. The South and Central American Republics remain independent (and sometimes free) countries. After the Napoleonic wars, Metternich’s Council of Vienna considered all of continental Europe helping Spain recover her American colonies until they found out that they would have to go through the Royal Navy. Yes, we proclaimed the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 after Prime Minister George Canning proposed a joint statement, the story is that Secretary of State John Q. Adams said that would make us look like a cockboat in the wake of the British man-of-war. Therefore, we proclaimed it unilaterally. But it was enforced almost exclusively until the Spanish-American War by the Royal Navy because it was to the advantage of British mercantile interests. Britain thereby performed the same service for the New World that the US would for Europe in the last half of the Twentieth Century.
  3. The growth and development of America, if a continental power had regained control of Mexico there is a very good chance that it would have expanded into the heartland of America, certainly Texas and entirely possibly all or most of the Louisiana Purchase.

And so we, as Americans, even as the British, should remain grateful for those ‘distant storm-tossed ships’ of the Royal Navy, led by one of the great commanders of history.

And so, I give you the toast that will be drunk tonight in the Royal Navy and the Commonwealth navies, and at least in some places in the United States Navy and even in other navies and places. It is the one traditionally naval toast that is drunk in total silence:

The Immortal Memory of Lord Nelson and those who fell with him”

The traditional music to follow the toast is Rule Britannia.

And so today as the Queen Elizabeth, the first of the CVFs prepares to join the fleet, we again see the Royal Navy preparing to take on all the tasks that the Anglo-Saxons have performed for the world’s benefit since the Armada, itself.

In a remarkable coincidence, the other remaining warship of the period USS Constitution was christened on this day in 1797 at the Boston Navy Yard. While HMS Victory is the oldest ship in commission, USS Constitution (nicknamed “Old Ironsides”) is the oldest warship still afloat and able to sail on its own. Victory is in permanent drydock.

And yes, last night, this happened.

#Tyler Strong

Game Day; Honoring a Coach

Saturday, well, for many of us it will be game day. Something about the NCAA, isn’t there? Compared to the NFL, it just seems a friendlier game, more enjoyable, somehow, and if you went to school amongst the red bricks, there were some memorable people. For me, it was Coach Jack Mollenkopf, and the trip to the 1967 Rose Bowl (and unlike some more storied programs, we won.)

A generation or so later, it happened again with Joe Tiller as coach, a man that Rockne, Wooden, and yes, Mollenkopf would have recognized, as their sort of guy. In any case, Joe Tiller died last weekend, at his home in Wyoming, and it matters somehow, just as it always does. Maybe you didn’t play Purdue Football, I didn’t and yet, the way Mollenkopf coached made me a better man. I dare say it was the same in 2001 for those guys as Tiller took his Boiler team back to Pasadena.

And now there is Jeff Brohm, in the same place as Mollenkopf, and Tiller were, perhaps even worse as he tries to revive a program that was almost destroyed over the last few years. Purdue is no football school, and yet, once in a while, it gets done, and done right. So, we’ll see.

Today, P.J. Fleck’s Minnesota Golden Gophers will row their boat on down to West Lafayette, many will be thinking of Joe Tiller, and whether Purdue is back for a time. I hope so, I still remember the magic back in the 60s, there is simply nothing like it.

And Fleck is a class act, this Tweet is from him, and that helmet is what Minnesota will wear today, Purdue has some things planned as well, but Fleck is a class act. Thanks, Coach.

Just because we can, here is the AAMB, from the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day parade, in Dublin, of course.

And something else new today, There’s a new Boilermaker X-tra Special to be seen. Seems appropriate somehow, since the one that is retiring is the one that led Joe Tiller’s teams onto the field, now that Jeff Brohm is trying to write a new chapter in this saga, a new special seems appropriate. I think we’ll like the new one, just like we like winning again. The video is rather long, and all you’ll really see is the tarp, but if you’re like me, you’ll also see some familiar places that haven’t been seen in quite a while. Enjoy.

Boiler up, and you guys in Nate’s way, stay safe!

Update: via ‘Hammer and Rails‘.

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