June 21, 2022
“And Then There were Two” – Plus Phil/LIV … DelRio … Deshaun
Lennie Rosenbluth passed away last Saturday. He was 89. He had retired from high school teaching/coaching in Florida and moved back to Chapel Hill 15+ years ago.
Depending upon how you measure “eras” … Lennie Rosenbluth was – in 1957 – arguably the First UNC Basketball Superstar of “My Era”. With due respect to “Hook” Dillon and George “The Blind Bomber” Glamack who preceded “My Era”.
Lennie preceded “Michael” by 25 years. And Armando Bacot by 65 years.
I appreciate that many of you reading this are terminally afflicted with Hated Rivalry-itis. You simply cannot acknowledge anything positive about “a Hated Rival”. Feel free to skip to other topics down below.
With Lennie’s passing … The 1957 National Champion UNC Basketball Team – players and staff – pictured above is now down to just TWO remaining “with us”.
Joe Quigg is a retired dentist in Fayetteville and Tommy Kearns is probably around NYC where he enjoyed a successful career “on Wall Street” … whatever that means.
When Lennie moved back to Chapel Hill, he attended a Mens Fellowship I also attended. I got to know him a bit thru that. A pleasant fellow who accepted that as “THE Lennie Rosenbluth” he would forever be a “celebrity” at Ground Zero where he achieved his ever-lasting athletic glory. Well … almost ever-lasting.
My best Lennie Rosenbluth Anecdote addresses the fleeting reality of “celebrity”. I’m repeating this story so bear with me …
It was soon after Lennie returned to Chapel Hill. Then UNC Womens BB Coach Sylvia Hatchell was preparing her team to host national superpower UCONN in The Dean Dome. Sylvia thought a pep talk from “a for-real UNC BB Legend” would inspire her 18-20 year olds. The late Danny Lotz, the late Albert Long and I accompanied Lennie to the team’s practice.
YIKES … I’m now the only living survivor of “what happened that fateful day”…
Sylvia gathered her team at mid court and, introducing Lennie, pointed up “into the rafters” where Lennie’s jersey has “front row” status as a National POY and all other criteria for such an honor.
Albeit soft-spoken, Lennie gave a fine 5 minute inspirational talk centering on the challenge of facing Kansas and Wilt Chamberlain in that classic 3 OT “Game of The Century”.
It was one of those special moments that generations of UNC Tar Heel fans would sell their mothers blood to be present at. … Alas, 18-20 y/o girls whose parents were not even born in 1957 were not so enthralled.
I turned to Danny and Albert in a stage whisper …
“OMG, those girls have no clue who this tall old Jewish guy is, and are tuning him out. Hellfire … they don’t even know/care who Wilt Chamberlain was …OMG!“
As Lennie, Danny, Albert and I departed Dean’s Dome, we shared a laugh about what had just happened. “Fame” even for a Legendary Basketball Superstar IS fleeting … sigh.
Two days later, UCONN blew out UNC by 40+ points.
RIP Lennie Rosenbluth …
… And Another Thing …
Raise your hand if you know about / care about Phil Mickelson / LIV / The Saudis / etc. Assuming at least a handful of hands are raised … here’s what I think about it:
During “the 90s” when I was doing contract photography for The PGA Tour I had regular occasion to interact with Phil Mickelson. I always found him pleasant and understanding of what our respective roles were. But no one would ever confuse Phil with Lee Trevino or Chi Chi Rodriquez or John Daly. He was not / is not a quippy jokester but rather a prominent PGA Tour star who treated “golf” as his business.
I offer the above analysis because I doubt anyone – prior to this current brouhaha – would say “Phil Mickelson is my favorite golfer”. The height of his fan appeal charisma may have been his 3″ Victory Leap when he won his first Masters.
The height of his career overlapped with The Era of Tiger so Phil just went about in Tiger’s shadow earning mega-millions and five “majors”.
From various media reporting of this LIV / Saudis “Thing”, it would appear that Phil is “the villain” for allying with “those Eeeevil A-rabs who financed 9/11 …“. Not much sympathy for Phil if that is the case.
I posed this question on Clay Travis’ OUTKICK …
Suppose the LIV Tour was being financed by, say, Elon Musk or any other billionaire not associated with genocide, terrorism or human trafficking?
Is it “The Saudi Thing” that causes Phil and the other “defectors” to be viewed so negatively?
Pro Sports has seen numerous “upstart leagues” over the years – The AFL … The ABA … USFL … WFL … some have succeeded others have not. The Free Market can be cruel.
And … both Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods have golf course design deals with “the Saudis” and with “the ChiComms”. Should they be condemned too? Just asking?
As more and more Tour “names” defect to The LIV Tour “for the mega-$$$$”, The PGA Tour and other national & global golf governing bodies will have to decide where / if to “draw a line in the sand” to protect the legitimacy of their product.
As long as “The Majors” are still available for the LIV guys to play – and they ARE for now – I see LIV being a factor in World Golf. Sponsors will reconsider their positions too.
Of course, The NBA – and its most prominent stars – continues to cozy up to The ChiComms. Those lovably inscrutable worldwide leaders in genocide, pandemics and environmental polluting.
The NFL continues to pay out mega-millions in out-right extortion to BLM which flaunts its role as a domestic terrorist faction opposing local law enforcement.
Indeed, these be troubling times … sigh.
… And Another Thing …
Granted The Washington Football Redskins Commanders Etc are arguably THE Most Dysfunctional Sports Franchise on the Planet … so was it really SHOCKING that their Defensive Coordinator – Jack Del Rio – decided, for reasons yet explained, to espouse his personal opinion on controversial socio-political issues.
Sure, I agree 100% with Del Rio’s comments but WHY JACK WHY were you compelled to publicly express them?
Could you not have called Drew Brees for his thoughts about totally predictable consequences for going against liberal Democrat / liberal media dictum. Really really stoopid Jack. Whatever …
Jack’s stoopidity was quickly matched if not surpassed by his head coach Ron Rivera of ADT Security pitchman fame. Rivera blurted some sort of double talk mumbo jumbo and fined Del Rio $100,000 for “disrupting the team by expressing his personal opinion …”. Huh?
The NFL then fined Rivera $100,000 for “too much contact in his off-season practices”.
Meanwhile team owner and all-around flaming whackjob Dan Snyder was nowhere to be seen but possibly in his owner’s lair “interviewing” (giggle, giggle) incredibly naive but well-endowed Cheerleader candidates.
… And Finally …
I know absolutely nothing about “massage therapy” and those who choose “being a massage therapist” as their occupation. If your daughter is one … ya might wanna skip this section.
I kinda thought “massage therapist” was a euphemism for well, you know. … Wasn’t getting a “quickie” from “a massage therapist” what Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft was caught on tape doing a few years ago? YOWSA!
I am reminded of a comment from News & Observer columnist at the height of the Duke Lacrosse Journalistic Train Wreck in 2006 … when Crystal Mangum’s true profession was revealed …
“I thought exotic dancers simply danced exotically” Ouch!
I have never had “a massage” or even considered doing so. Nor have I ever been a multi-millionaire sports celebrity fawned over by the masses to the point of feeling “entitled” to do whatever I please simply “because”. Nor have I ever been “a black athlete” possessing massive testosterone fueled urges.
Former “Dabo QB” and currently possessing a $250,000,000 GUARANTEED contract with the Cleveland Browns – Deshaun Watson – has been accused by 26 and counting Houston-area massage therapists for unwanted sexual advances / harrassment in the course of whatever it is that massage therapists and their clients do … or don’t do.
Watson, of course, says he didn’t do nuthin’. Deshaun has offered to pay each one of his 26+ accusers $100,000 to stop saying that he did … ?????
How many Houston-area “massage therapists” could there be?
I’ve passed the point of ever being a multi-millionaire sports idol with an out-of-control libido … but if I was one … I think I could do what I gotta do with a bit more discretion. I mean 26+ different massage therapists …