Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Quick Hits: Volume LXIX

- Now that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is officially not running for reelection in 2014, the major focus is now on who will run. As of Tuesday evening, there has yet to be any Republicans to officially declare they're running to represent MN Congressional District Six. It has been a little less than a week since Bachmann made her announcement, and in that time there has been several prominent politicians who have declined to run. That list includes State senators Michelle Benson & Branden Petersen and State representative Peggy Scott.

As of Tuesday, former Senate Majority Amy Koch can be added to the list of "thanks, but no thanks." For that, I am grateful.

It has been less than two years since Koch stepped down from her leadership position as top Republican in the state Senate in light of revelations she was having an affair with staffer Michael Brodkorb. In fact, many same-sex marriage proponents pointed out that the GOP majority in the legislature passed an amendment which sought to define marriage solely as between one man and one woman yet the party's majority leader was not even adhering to her own wedding vows. Like it or not, that was a public relations nightmare leading up to the 2012 elections where ultimately the marriage amendment was shot down by voters and the GOP lost its majority in both chambers. I'm not going to say that was the sole reason for the shellacking but it certainly was more than a small factor.

Bottom line is it's too soon for Koch to step back into the electoral fray, something of which I'm certain she's fully aware.

- Going into the 2013 baseball season, many prognosticators felt that if the Houston Astros lost less than 100 games this year, the season could be considered a success. The Astros have pretty much gutted their franchise and thus have chosen to rebuild from the bottom up.

On the other end of the spectrum, Houston's AL West division counterparts, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, have gone "all in", evidenced by signing the top two marquee free agents (Albert Pujols prior to 2012; Josh Hamilton prior to 2013) in consecutive offseasons.

Here is a snapshot of the state of these two franchises:

Houston's 2013 payroll - approximately $25 million
The 2013 salaries of Pujols and Hamilton combined - $33 million.
So in a four-game set between the two clubs this past weekend, Houston naturally went in to Anaheim and swept the series. Of course they did.

- Former NFL great David "Deacon" Jones, who was part of the renown L.A Rams defensive line known as the "Fearsome Foursome" in the 1960s, passed away Monday evening at the age of 74.

It was Jones who was said to have introduced the word "sack" into the football vernacular. This was of course in reference to his many tackles of opposing quarterbacks behind the line of scrimmage. Since the NFL did not declare a "sack" an official statistic until 1982, Jones is not cited when it comes to most prolific sackers. However, when breaking down game film, it was ascertained that Jones would have been credited with (unofficially of course) 26 sacks in in 1967 and 24 in 1968. Keep in mind those were 14-game regular seasons. Compare that to the official record of 22.5, which was set by Michael Strahan (with the help of Packers QB Brett Favre) in a sixteen-game season in 2001.

I never knew much off Jones' off-field activities, but apparently he and his teammates had a passion for singing. It's a good thing too, since it was Jones who encouraged Peter Brady not to quit the glee club.

But I digress.

Jones also had several small acting roles both during and after his playing career. He was a guest star on a handful of television shows -- including episodes of "Bewitched," "The Brady Bunch" and "The Odd Couple" -- and appeared in the 1978 Warren Beatty film "Heaven Can Wait."

Most recently, Jones was the CEO of his own foundation, which he began in 1997. He also made several trips to visit troops on active duty in the Middle East.

All in all, not a bad life for a 14th round draft pick out of a small college in Mississippi.


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