1. For the vast majority of you reading these words, there is a bar that is a home-away-from-home for you. When you walk through the door of that bar, waves of comfort and joy crash over you. My good friend, Greg Hourigan, runs a bar with just such an environment at Hard Times Cafe in Bethesda, MD. The atmosphere there reflects Greg's tireless dedication to everyone who walks through the doors. I'd ask that you please keep my friend in your thoughts and prayers as he continues his battle against leukemia. Aside from being a good man with an infinite supply of friendly smiles and open ears, Greg has supported me in my writing endeavors for many years. Hard Times was like Starbuck's for me in the early years...except with chili and beer. I'll gladly put the collected work of everything written in chili parlors against everything written at Starbuck's. There's no way anything at Starbuck's is more inspirational than a dozen wings and a Frito Pie. Keep up the fight Greg! You'll be sinking ridiculous putts at Argyle again soon enough.
2. Anyone that has been a regular reader of Hogs Haven knows what a great supporter of our community Hard Times Cafe has been through the years. This Thursday night, you can join me in saying, "Thank You." There is a fundraiser there kicking off at six o'clock. It sounds like yours truly will be pouring beers out on the patio. If you can make it to the Bethesda area this Thursday night, please stop by.
3. Huzzah for the barkeep!
4. Raise your hand if you watched the entire Hall of Fame Game. Every single play? I tried...and failed. I did see a starting New Orleans offense that did what it always does. As I was watching that first drive, I wondered if there was any chance that Drew Brees and the Saints offense could repeat some of their 2011 numbers. It occurred to me that this team could be angry enough from the bounty stuff to keep its foot on the gas pedal in games this year.
5. Here's a question that I haven't asked or thought about since last year: How close were we to drafting Blaine Gabbert? I recall multiple talking heads suggesting that he was a guy we "missed on" when we traded away the right to draft him. I am not convinced that Mike Shanahan ever really lusted after Blaine, but he would have been the guy if the Redskins had decided to bite the bullet and take a stab at a first round quarterback in 2011...allegedly. Not only did we use our first round pick on a very worthy player (Ryan Kerrigan), but we filled a need that looks like it will stay filled for a while. Sure, we had to suck it up with Rex for a year there, but to come out on the other side with Robert Griffin III and not be dealing with the "OhmygodisGabbertacompleteandtotalbust!?!?!" firestorm is a pretty big win.
6. It seemed that--for quite some time--every decision made at Redskins Park was bound to end up in a worst-case scenario. It was as if we were living out a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book that only offered nightmarish conclusions. Even when a decision was made that we all agreed with and/or loved, there still seemed to be unhappy endings aplenty. I just thought I would point out that the Washington Redskins are reaping positive benefits for decisions they made prior to them even being able to conceive of these positive benefits. The script is slowly flipping. Smart is begetting smart. Rational is begetting rational. Don't try to understand and accept it all at once. Your head might explode. Take heart...this is the road to being good for a long time, and not just one year at a time.