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Friday, December 30, 2016

Wrapping up the Blog for 2016: Posts I hope you read

It’s the time of year when radio stations will be cranking out the best songs of the year. At least that’s what they used to do when I was still listening to Top 40 stations. I was thinking I’d take a cue from them, and post a few links to what I think were my best posts of the year. But the more I thought about it, I decided to add a list of what I think are my best posts from the blog since I published the first book. It’s a shorter list than I anticipated! But that might be a good thing. Consider it a big #ICYMI (“in case you missed it,” for the non-social media enthusiasts) . . . and a really easy post to finish off the year. I’m thinking of it as stuff I hope people have read if they have read my work at all. Of course, the book and the novel come first, followed by these posts:

From 2016

Remembering a Great Day with Dad: If I keep blogging, I’m thinking of doing more of this type of personal writing in the future. This was actually a large excerpt from an older piece, but it was hardly read at all upon its original posting, and it received some of the most reaction on Facebook of anything I posted from the blog this year.

Rob’s Rants: Donald Trump and “The Hand Thing:” I’m certainly not looking to revisit anything from the election from hell, but this post got plenty of Twitter love.

Rob’s Rants on Disability: The Cure Question; Daydreamin’ of an Online Publication; A Few Good Blogs; Competition: I chose this post mostly for the first item, though I think there’s some decent stuff in the rest of it. I’d been wanting to address some of the noise I’ve heard about people with disabilities claiming not to want a cure even if one existed, and, after struggling to write a longer piece, I hope the shorter format worked.  

From the entire blog
Here’s a few posts that are a little older, posted after I’m Not Here to Inspire You. I recently reread the book before giving a copy to a friend. Though at times my delivery might be a bit softer now, I still hope there are some positive messages in the book. In my opinion, “From the Heart, About the Heart” and, at least the story about the guy selling Christmas cards in the essay, “A Christmas Memory,” are the best parts of the book. (I wish I knew more about him!) Perhaps the below posts would have worked well in the book.

We Said Hello, Goodbye: Thoughts on interaction among people with disabilities: I’d keep it shorter these days, but the opening story, I think, is a good one.

A Moment of Not Dealing with Disability: One of my more personal posts.

Thinking Big: Not a particularly great article, but in the post I detail my lifetime goal of creating a rec center geared toward people with disabilities. The concept is far from perfect, but I think of it often, especially this time of year when resolutions abound.
Just Play: A little more on why I think, despite the importance of inclusion, people with disabilities need opportunities to simply play together. (Written as a guest post for disABLE, the article also ran on Huffington Post.)

Finally, readers may have noticed that I haven’t blogged much in December. I’m not sure what I’ll do in 2017. I’m thinking of doing the occasional post, and, as I mentioned, writing more about personal experiences. If I can manage to get some creative juices flowing, I may post some fiction as well. I’m not sure how I will do future posts on sports, but I haven’t completely abandoned them. It’s still possible to subscribe to receive automated e-mails, which will be delivered whenever there is a new post on the blog. I’d recommend subscribing to the entire blog as opposed to specific categories if you’re interested in the types of posts I just mentioned. Please remember to confirm your subscription via the e-mail you will be sent from the service upon registering. (Check your “Junk Mail.”) Following me on Facebook and Twitter works, too.

Happy new year! At the risk of sounding trite, I think my resolution will be to try to keep good people close and focus on the positive.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Rob’s Rants on Sports: Fans not spreading any holiday joy

The holiday spirit certainly hasn’t descended on Philadelphia sports fans. Is it just me? People seem overly PO’d about everything lately. Here’s my latest Rob’s Rants on sports:

    Rob's Rants on Sports logo featuring various stadiums and jerseys from the area and Rob
  • Nelson Agholor appeared to be on the verge of being waived by the Eagles after confessing, for lack of a better term, that he was struggling with the game mentally. He admitted things like fan criticism were getting to him, and that he needed to do a better job. Are we really ripping a guy for that? I get it. It’s not what anyone wants to hear from an NFL wide receiver. He’s been terrible. And he cost the Eagles a touchdown two weeks ago because he didn’t get lined up properly, while his head coach was screaming at him to get on the line. If you want to rip him, rip him for that. The fact that he was a first round draft pick isn’t something I add to the equation, though many people do. If Chip Kelly was dumb enough to pick him as a first rounder, that’s on Kelly and the organization. But I don’t understand the venom directed at Agholor for his comments. At least he admitted he’s not getting the job done.

  • I’ve actually heard people screaming for Doug Pederson to be fired after the loss to the Packers. Seriously? First of all, Jeff Lurie doesn’t have the stones to fire Pederson one year removed from giving Kelly the boot. So, it’s not going to happen. I’m certainly not defending Pederson. I said he was reaching Rich Kotite levels before the last two weeks. Challenging a two-yard reception by the Packers doesn’t exactly move me off that position. And maybe calling a timeout instead of screaming at Agholor when he’s lined up off the line instead of wasting a play that could really work would have been a good idea. But Pederson’s not getting fired. Lurie’s goal in life as an NFL owner is to be viewed as the sage, brooding, well-respected brains building a winner from behind the scenes (while getting all the accolades, of course). I know . . . never going to happen. But firing coaches in back-to-back years just doesn’t fit the self-appointed profile of this owner. He’s not firing Pederson this season.

  • Expect the calls for Pederson’s head to get louder, anyway. For a while, I was incredibly relieved that the trade of Sam Bradford caused me to skip my game-by-game predictions post. I thought the season was going to get at least as ugly as the recent 2-6 stretch suggests. I admit, I was way off. But looking ahead, I honestly think it is going to get ugly. If they don’t beat the Bengals, and the Cowboys care about the final game, I’m not sure the Birds win another game this season. Of course, my “predictions” . . . e’hm . . . have sucked all season. So, the Birds will probably win out.

  • I don’t think fans were too upset that the Sixers had to postpone their game on Wednesday night because the court was slick, but the media seemed pretty ticked—at least, Michael Barkann did. He was going after the Sixers on Philly Sports Talk the next day. I’ve already heard that the Sixers are offering fans complimentary tickets to any other game. I hope they figure out some way to reimburse people who payed for parking. And, again, from what I heard on television, it was pretty dumb that someone apparently forgot to turn down the thermostat so the ice under the court wouldn’t melt. But . . . eh. I’m sure fans who went down were not pleased, and they should have been told the game was cancelled sooner. This isn’t much of a rant, but I don’t put too much on the Sixers for this one.

  • I’ll finish on an “up” note that I don’t think anyone is grumbling about. It was a good news / bad news situation for Phillies fans when Matt Stairs became the hitting coach. I think it could be a good move for the team on the field, but I was going to miss him as an analyst in the TV broadcast booth for games. But the Phils are reportedly bringing in John Kruk to replace Stairs for a good portion of the games. “Krukker” was great in the same role on ESPN.
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