Tech Dude’s Review of Zugu iPad Case

I just upgraded to the iPAD 7th Generation tablet. With the new device, I have been searching for a good case for it. I wanted something lightweight but provided good protection for my new iPad. I have tried a couple already but then I saw this one from Zugu pop up in my Facebook feed (how does Facebook know? Creepy.)

This case got some excellent reviews on Amazon and the videos made this look as if it would be the one for me.

The Zugu case features 8 magnetic angles so you can position your iPad at the perfect viewing angle for you whether you are using it on a flat surface or using it on your lap. If you are good with typing on the on-screen keyboard, you will find the perfect angle for that as well as if you use your Apple Pencil to draw or write on your iPAD.

It is very secure once connected. It is definitely not flimsy. The magnets are powerful enough that you can configure the case to stick to your refrigerator door if you want to refer to recipes or to watch a video.

The case is good for protecting your iPad but it is also very lightweight. The microfiber interior helps from scratching your iPad. It has a 5 foot drop-proof military protection which is pretty good if you tend to drop yours a lot.

The case is only compatible 2019 iPad (7th Gen) 10.2 IN (Model #’s A2197, A2200, A2198)

Okay, so I THOUGHT this was going to be a keeper for me but the only problem I had with it is the location of where you put your Apple Pencil. It has a nifty, stretchy slot but it is on the OUTSIDE of the case which keeps the case from laying flat unless you lay it on the other side which is a bit awkward when you want to open the case. This is the only reason I am returning my case. I’m sorry but I’m not going to risk storing my expensive Apple Pencil on the outside of a case. If you don’t use an Apple Pencil, then you will love this case.

If you want to try out this case, check on the Amazon listing for about $50 or visit https://www.zugucase.com.

When Will Sports Play Again?

With most of America opening up again after the pandemic which caused professional sports leagues to cancel or postpone their seasons, there are plans of restarting professional sports. Here are the latest plans for restarting:

National Basketball Association (NBA)

The NBA Board of Governors has approved a restart of the 2019-20 season on July 31 with 22 of the league’s 30 teams participating in a tournament format. All games will be held without fans at Disney World’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando.

National Hockey League (NHL)

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman recently conducted a press conference outlining the NHL’s Return-to-Play plans.

This format will feature the top-12 teams in each conference playing in a qualifying round, with the top-four seeds in the Eastern and Western Conference (based on points percentage) clinching automatic bids into the first round of the playoffs. That means that the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers have clinched playoff berths in the Eastern Conference, while the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars have clinched in the Western Conference.

These eight teams will also play in an intraconference round-robin event that will determine the top-four seeds of the first round of the playoffs in each conference. These games will be played with regular season overtime and shootout rules, with ties in the final standings broken by regular season points percentage.

The remaining eight teams in each conference will compete in a qualifying round that will feature a bracketed format, meaning that the five-seed will take on the 12-seed, the six-seed will face the 11-seed, the seven-seen battles the 10-seed, and the eight and nine-seed will matchup for the chance to move on to the first round of the playoffs. The matchups for the first round series remain to be set as the Return To Play committee is still determining whether to set the format based on seeding or a bracket.

Here is how that playoff format would look in both conferences:

Eastern Conference:
5 – Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 12 – Montreal Canadiens
6 – Carolina Hurricanes vs. 11 – New York Rangers
7 – New York Islanders vs. 10 – Florida Panthers
8 – Toronto Maple Leafs vs. 9 – Columbus Blue Jackets

Western Conference:
5 – Edmonton Oilers vs. 12 – Chicago Blackhawks
6 – Nashville Predators vs. 11 – Arizona Coyotes
7 – Vancouver Canucks vs. 10 – Minnesota Wild
8 – Calgary Flames vs. 9 – Winnipeg Jets

The qualifying round will be a best-of-five series, while the Return To Play committee has yet to finalize whether the first and second round of the playoffs will be a best-of-five series or a best-of-seven series. However, the Conference Final round and the Stanley Cup Final will all be a best-of-seven series.

Once the round-robin and qualifying rounds have ended, the league will conduct conference-based playoffs in each hub city.

The league is currently still debating over a total of 10 cities, and it will eventually come down to two final cities to host the Return To Play format once the league can officially restart play.

Those cities include:

Chicago
Columbus
Dallas
Edmonton
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Pittsburgh
Toronto
Vancouver

Commissioner Bettman did say that a final decision on the two hub cities to host the conclusion of the 2019-20 season might not come for another 3-4 weeks, and that a final determination will depend on COVID-19 conditions, testing availability, and government regulations.

Major League Baseball (MLB)

There is no decision on how or when Major League Baseball will return. This is largely due to indecision on plans between the league and the players’ union. The latest proposal is for a 76-game season to begin in July and end in October. The issue seems to be cutting player salaries for the shortened season proposal which the MLBPA is rejecting. If the indecision continues, the 2020 season could be cancelled.

Major League Soccer (MLS)

The latest plans are that MLS teams will go to Orlando and play all the tournament games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The teams would be divided into groups like at the World Cup and play three group stage matches, which will be added to the original two matches all teams played towards their regular season totals.

Then 16 teams would advance out of the ‘group stage’ into a 16-team knockout style tournament. The teams that didn’t advance would go home with the others moving through the round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals and finally the championship. Only the group stage matches will be added to the season totals.

Racist or Ignorant?

I was raised by my parents NOT to be racist and to treat everyone with respect. This is odd since I was a child in the 60s and 70s and grew up in small towns in South Georgia. My parents forbid the use of the N-word and taught me to treat everyone the same. So, I never paid attention to someone’s color unless they made an issue of it. Even though I wasn’t racist, I still had times when I was either insensitive or ignorant to it. It is hard for a white person to truly understand. The recent tragedy of George Floyd has uncovered an ugly division that still exists. I had assumed we were better people today that we shouldn’t have a problem with racism.

Obviously that was ignorant thought on my part. It reminded me of other times in the past when I have been ignorant or insensitive about race.

I am reminded of the time when I was going to the football games of my favorite team. There was a protest that was initiated against the band playing “Dixie” as the team’s theme song. I went into the office one day and expressed my disgust that people were protesting a fight song until my co-worker and friend, Sam, explained to me why the song was offensive. Since it offended him, it then offended me. I understood it and I was happy when the school removed any references to “Dixie” to the band.

Speaking of Dixie, it sickens me to see people display or fly the Confederate Flag. The flag should be in a museum and not on public display. The war is over. It is a symbol that is insensitive to the feelings of black men and women.

I was also reminded of the time when I attended a church with a pastor that liked to tell racist jokes when he was not behind the pulpit. He thought it was okay to share these jokes with me since I laughed at them and never called him out about it especially considering the fact that we had some mixed races in the congregation. Looking back now I see that I only encouraged his behavior by laughing at his jokes and not ever calling him out about it. I repented of condoning his jokes and I hope that he has repented of this at some point.

I have also seen where employers have fixed the hiring process to ensure that they hire minorities- not based on qualifications – but simply because of a quota. While I understand the reason for this practice, I also think this is unfair to all minorities to simply make an office or company “look” like they have diversity. Given the appearance of diversity doesn’t mean there is equality.

So, yes, there are still race issues today and I am ignorant if I say there’s not. We really need to fix this.

It is ridiculous that we have police shooting and killing black victims. The actions of these overzealous law enforcement officers taint the many who are good and do their jobs without regard to race. I know I wouldn’t want to be in law enforcement. Unfortunately, officers tend to get jaded and desensitized to their subjects because they do see the negative side of society. It is too easy from some of them to fall into stereotypes and make assumptions about people based upon their race. It’s going to take more than requiring classes on race sensitivity training.

The ugly truth is that America still has race issues. While racism does exist, there is also ignorance and insensitivity.

It is disappointing to see how divided our country is right now on race, politics, sex and religion.

Dude’s Review of Earto’s Bluetooth Keyboard Case

Today I am trying out a new keyboard case for my IPad. I recently purchased the iPad 7th Generation. Instead of plucking down $150 dollars for Apple’s Smart Keyboard, I decided to shop around and Earto’s keyboard was my first stop. I was not disappointed.

First, let me tell you some of the things that are “must-haves” for a keyboard case:

  1. The iPad needs to easily detach from the keyboard case so I can use it as a tablet when I need it.
  2. The keyboard should have backlit keys so I can type in low light conditions.
  3. It should function like a laptop and used in my lap.

Here’s what I found:

  • Pros:
    • Easily detachable case. I loved it. The case is magnetically attached and slotted to firmly hold the iPad but can be removed quickly. I like having this function so I can still use the iPad as a tablet when I don’t need the laptop configuration.
    • Backlit keys. This case has seven colors with three levels or brightness with over 300 color combinations. You can definitely give your keyboard some personality but honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary to have so many color options but it’s still nice to have..
    • Laptop for your lap. This case actually sits on your lap like a laptop instead of trying to find a tabletop or place to sit your iPad when you need to use it as a laptop.
    • Protective case. It is very sturdy and will fully protect your iPad when the case is closed. I didn’t actually test drop it or anything but the materials used for this case are solid and not some cheap plastic shell.
  • Cons:
    • Apple Pencil holder. It has one but I am not too confident that it will last. For me, this was the biggest negative about the case. The pencil holder is located on the outside of the case which will make it vulnerable to bumps and eventually wearing out. While it has done well keeping my Apple Pencil in place, I find myself constantly checking it to make sure it’s there.
    • Keys. I am a fast typist so it is probably unfair me to list this as a con but they were a little awkward for me. My hands weren’t cramped but the keys seemed somewhat low to the keyboard. I figured it was to cut down on key travel and clicking noises. It is still a good keyboard but, for me, a bit awkward.
    • Weight. There is also a trade off with having a solid keyboard case. It does add some weight to the iPad so you will have to decide if it’s something that will work for you. If you are a minimalist it might not be the thing for you but if you want a case that can sit in your laptop along with backlit keys, you will have to think about that.

The case also gives you the flexibility to adjust to different angles. The shaft bracket design allows the iPad to be tilted up to 135°to provide the most comfortable viewing position for typing, watching videos, playing games or reading.

You also have an auto sleep/wake function with this case which works seamlessly to extend your iPad’s battery life. It automatically wakes when open or goes to sleep when closed.

So will I keep it? Maybe. I’m a tough critic on keyboards but this one is going to be hard to beat. It’s still a better choice – at half the price – of Apple’s Smart Keyboard.

Don’t take my word for it. Give it a try and order one from Amazon by clicking below. If you don’t have an iPAD 7th Generation, no worries, Earto also offers keyboard cases for other models. Go to their website at http://www.earto.net/ and take a look.

The “Real” You

Who are you?

No, who are you really? Who are you when no one else is watching? The “you” who doesn’t have to impress or please others. Are you truly being yourself or are you playing a role that others expect from you? Do you even know who you are?

God knows you.

Just that thought alone scares us because if there really is a God, He knows the good, the bad and the ugly about us. We don’t like knowing someone knows all of our skeletons and who we really are.

I often wonder about people who are different from their social media profile. They are one person on Facebook and totally different in real life. Sometimes we try to project ourselves as being something more than who we really are. We want people to like us and think that we are interesting or special in some way.

Why is that?

Did you know that God thinks we’re pretty special? In fact we are wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14). He also says that “the mountains and hills may crumble, but my love for you will never end” (Isaiah 54:10)

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be enough for us. Instead, we try to play a role and be the person that others want us to be. Why do we feel the need to impress others? We do it because we want others to acceptance us or we lack the confidence in that people will like us for who we really are.

You are special in your own unique way. As for me, I know that I am quite eccentric at times and do things that are totally not what people expect but I am who I am. Some times, like many others, I get pushed to the side because I don’t always say much and not the center of attention in a group setting. You just have to get to the place of accepting yourself and feel good about the person you are.

Will the real you please stand up?

What are you afraid of?

Don’t be afraid to be who you are. What does it really matter if you lose some so-called friends over it? We are all special in our own way. We shouldn’t be ashamed of who we are. If you try to be someone you are really not to please others, you will be the one who is miserable. Don’t conform to the person people THINK you should be.

God has created you for a purpose and it isn’t to be a preacher or to be a missionary in a foreign country. Some think that God’s purpose is always something related to a ministry position in a church or religious organization. That isn’t always true for everyone. Maybe God’s purpose for you is to be the best you that you can be. Your purpose could actually be you secular work. Businesses are desperately needing good, dependable employees. It is becoming increasingly true that good help is hard to find. Just be careful to not let your work define who you are either. You are not what you do. Your job occupation doesn’t describe who you are.

People also tend to judge who you are based on your family. Some folks live off of their family name but that’s not who we are. For most of my young life people assumed that I would become a preacher simply because my father and grandfather were preachers before me. I have had to remind people that being a preacher isn’t hereditary. It’s not a family business. Sure, I would know how to be a preacher but that isn’t who I am. Don’t let people – or even your own family – dictate your life based on your family name.

Who is the person you see in the mirror? We either like the person we see or we don’t. If you don’t then what is it about yourself that you don’t like? Why can’t you look at yourself and accept who you are? You have the power to change things on your own.

One of Satan’s most effective lies is to convince you how unworthy you really are. God is holy and perfect and we are not so compared to that, we can never reach it but God doesn’t want us to compare ourselves with His perfection, He wants to simply love us. We have a hard time letting go because we don’t think we are worthy of that. We feel that somehow we have to earn it.

The end of Romans 8 is a place I always end up if I doubt about God’s love. It starts with verse 38 which says “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Now that pretty much covers it.

We do not have to be bound by being the you that others will accept. IF they accept you they will accept you and if they don’t, they don’t.

Isn’t it time to be who you are?

56 Things

Today as I turn 56, I am reflecting back on 56 things that I have learned about life so far:

  1. The older you get, the faster the world becomes.
  2. People will let you down.
  3. No matter what you do, you will let others down.
  4. Money only brings temporary happiness.
  5. A house is not a home.
  6. Whether or not you attend your high school prom really doesn’t matter.
  7. Don’t base your self-worth on what others think about you. Just because they have an opinion doesn’t mean they are right.
  8. Trust God and leave the results to Him. Don’t try to “help” him out.
  9. Don’t marry the person you can live with, marry the one you can’t live without.
  10. You body will wear out. Things will break or not work as they should.
  11. Everything does happen for a reason but you won’t always like the reason
  12. Church attendance is overrated. Going to church doesn’t make someone a Christian.
  13. You don’t know you are in a cult when you in one.
  14. Don’t breathe through your nose when changing a diaper. (Trust me on this one)
  15. Be good at adjusting to change.
  16. Be quick to forgive. The longer you wait, the more bitterness will set in.
  17. If people gossip about others to you, they will gossip about you to others.
  18. Never make an important decision when you are hungry.
  19. Learn from your mistakes.
  20. Give people a second chance
  21. You can never detect your own bad breath. This amazes me since our nose is so close to our mouth.
  22. Never assume anything.
  23. Never talk about having extra money around your house or car.
  24. Be careful what you post on social media.
  25. All of your Facebook friends aren’t your friends. You also don’t HAVE to friend everyone from high school or all of your relatives.
  26. Know your limitations. Just because you set your mind to do something doesn’t mean that you can.
  27. Don’t judge someone based on how they look. Actions speak louder than anything else.
  28. If work was fun it wouldn’t be called work.
  29. Do the right thing even when no one is looking.
  30. If you do a million good things people will remember the one bad thing.
  31. You can’t pick your family but you can pick your friends.
  32. Follow your heart but take your brain with you.
  33. Be on time.
  34. The one who really cares about you will be the one who cares for you.
  35. You can’t control what others do, you can only control what you do.
  36. When I die I want a representative from the Atlanta Falcons to be a pallbearer so they can let me down one more time.
  37. Don’t get so wrapped up with your favorite sports team.
  38. Take time to sit in silence.
  39. Work isn’t the most important thing in life.
  40. Hallmark doesn’t have a card for everything.
  41. There’s only one God and we’re not it.
  42. Nobody likes a smart ass.
  43. Take a European vacation.
  44. Don’t compare yourself to others.
  45. You can’t finish something you don’t start.
  46. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  47. Time doesn’t always heal all wounds.
  48. It’s never wrong to do the right thing.
  49. Do more than what’s expected.
  50. When one difficult co-worker leaves, they will be replaced by two.
  51. You can’t always plan everything.
  52. When times get tough, hang on.
  53. A good attitude can change everything.
  54. True love does exist.
  55. Wear Sunscreen.
  56. 56 years go by faster than you think.

Biggest U.S. Cities Without Professional Sports

Most professional sports leagues are successful when they have franchises in major U.S. cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Unfortunately, some of the cities with the largest populations get left out. Then you have cities such as Green Bay and Oklahoma City who get professional sports teams even though they aren’t in the top of U.S. population. Some cities are more popular than others.

Here are cities currently without a professional sports franchise in the five major leagues (Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League or Major League Soccer):

Austin, Texas (964,254)

The closest professional sports team is the San Antonio Spurs which is about 80 miles away from Texas’ state capital city. Although home to the University of Texas and several minor league teams, there has been no talk of any of the major leagues placing a franchise here. Austin seems to fall behind San Antonio and Houston which are 4th and 7th in U.S. population.

Current minor league teams: Spurs (basketball), Round Rock Express (baseball) and Stars (hockey)

What could work here? Perhaps an National Hockey League (NHL) team since there aren’t any in San Antonio or Houston. Austin was – in fact – awarded an MLS franchise and will begin play in 2021.

Fort Worth, Texas (895,008)

Technically, Fort Worth has the Dallas Cowboys as AT&T Stadium is only 18 minutes away but Fort Worth really has no team to call its’ own. The Texas Rangers are also 18 minutes away as well. Forth Worth has to adopt Dallas as their teams.

Current minor league teams: Vaqueros FC (soccer)

What could work here? Nothing really since they are so close to the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks and Stars. They are just cursed to be so close. Nobody really likes a hyphenated team called the Dallas-Ft. Worth team. St. Paul and Minneapolis are in a similar situation but they use Minnesota as their team name but they are the only sports teams in that state. I can’t see anyone changing names to Texas Cowboys or Texas Mavericks.

El Paso, Texas (682,669)

Here’s another Texas city without a team and they are a long way from the closest one. The Arizona Cardinals are actually the closest team to El Paso at over 400 miles away.

Current minor league Teams: Chihuahuas (baseball) and Coyotes (indoor soccer)

What would work here? With El Paso on the border of Mexico, it would probably work to have an MLS team since soccer would be pretty popular. Unfortunately, there has been no talk of locating an expansion team here.

Louisville, Kentucky (620,118)

Of all the cities on this list, Louisville seems to be the most ideal location for a professional sports franchise. The Cincinnati Reds and Bengals are the closest to Louisville almost 100 miles away. The city had the Kentucky Colonels in the old American Basketball Association (ABA) in the 1960s-1970s but nothing serious since then.

Current minor league teams: Bats (baseball) and Louisville City FC (soccer)

What would work here? Definitely the NBA. Kentucky loves basketball and it would seem a perfect choice for an NBA franchise since the closest one is five hours around in Memphis. It seems odd that no new leagues have even considered Louisville. It would seem like a prime location.

Albuquerque, New Mexico (560,218)

The pro sports teams in Phoenix are the closest at 480 miles away from the largest city in New Mexico. The city did have a short-lived professional volleyball team in the 70s called the Lasers but nothing much except for minor league teams. There hasn’t been any discussion to include Albuquerque from any of the major sports leagues plus it’s not that easy to spell on a consistent basis.

Current minor league teams: Isotopes (baseball), United (soccer) and Duke City Gladiators (indoor football)

What would work here? Probably nothing. It seems that this city will be stuck in the minor leagues. Baseball seems to be the most popular sport here but I wouldn’t think the MLB would expand or move a team here.

Tucson, Arizona (545,975)

Tucson is about 113 miles away from Phoenix for their professional sports teams but none of their own. Tucson loves baseball as they are busy during MLB’s spring training in March every year. This city is completely overshadowed by Phoenix and there has been no serious talk about placing any professional sports teams here.

Current minor league teams: Sugar Skulls (indoor football) and Roadrunners (hockey)

What would work here? MLS would if could snag it away from Phoenix.

Fresno, California (530,093)

Fresno is halfway between the Bay Area and Los Angeles but 150 miles from San Jose and 200 from Los Angeles. It is not likely they would have any interest from any professional league.

Current Minor League teams: Grizzlies (baseball) and Monsters (hockey)

What would work here? Probably nothing. It would be hard to compete with other cities in California.

Mesa, Arizona (508,958)

Mesa suffers the same problem as Fort Worth as they are less than 20 miles from a big league city. Phoenix with the Suns, Cardinals, Diamondbacks and Coyotes are the closest major league teams. Mesa is big with spring training for major league baseball but not much in other pro sports and it is not likely they will get a professional sports franchise.

Current minor league teams: Rattlers (indoor football) and Cubs (baseball)

What would work here? Maybe build an arena to lure one of the teams to Mesa.

Colorado Springs, Colorado (472,688)

The home to the Air Force Academy is about 70 miles from Denver’s professional sports teams. College sports seems to have a strong hold on this city and it doesn’t seem likely that any major sports league would put a team here.

Current minor league teams: Switchbacks FC (soccer) and Rocky Mountain Vibes (baseball)

What would work here? Probably nothing. Denver is close enough and they have a franchise in all the professional sports leagues.

Omaha, Nebraska (468,262)

Omaha gets attention with hosting the College Baseball World Series but no one talks much about anything else. The closest they have been was the Omaha Knighthawks in the United Football League (UFL) which tried to become a feeder league for the NFL. The Knighthawks drew well but the league failed. They also had a brief stint in the NBA as they split the Kansas City-Omaha Kings from 1972-1975.

Current minor league teams: Storm Chasers (baseball), Lancers (hockey) and Beef (indoor football)

What would work here? Maybe the Kings should move back here. The NHL could possibly work here too.

For many of these cities, you can’t say it would never happen. I never thought Oklahoma City would get an NBA team to move there so there is hope for these top cities.

When The Stanley Cup Was Affected By A Pandemic

We are still not sure how the current COVID-19 pandemic will affect this season’s Stanley Cup Final but we can look back to see how a similar pandemic affected the 1919 final. In 1919, the Spanish Flu outbreak impacted the Stanley Cup Final when it was cancelled after five games and no champion was crowned.

The final featured the Seattle Metropolitans of Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) champions hosting the Montreal Canadiens of National Hockey League (NHL). Seattle was the host of the Stanley Cup Finals which was a best-of-five series.

Game #1 – Seattle 7, Montreal 0: Seattle took advantage of playing by PCHA rules as they scored two in the first period, three in the second and two in the third.

Game #2 – Montreal 4, Seattle 2: The Canadiens evened the series in game two with Newsy Lalonde scoring all of Montreal’s goals. Montreal took the lead and never relinquished it, although Seattle scored two in the third in 32 seconds to make it close.

Game #3 – Seattle 7, Montreal 2: Seattle scored four goals in the first to take a commanding lead. No goals were scored in the second. In the third, Seattle prevented any comeback, outscoring Montreal 3–2.

Game #4 – Montreal 0, Seattle 0: Ended in a tie after 20 minutes of overtime, with both Holmes and Montreal’s Georges Vezina blocking every shot. At the end of the first period, the Seattle’s Cully Wilson scored a goal but it was waved off as it was scored just after he had blown the period’s final whistle. Near the close of the second overtime, Louis Berlinguette of Montreal had an outstanding chance to win it but missed by inches. At the end of the game, players laid collapsed across the ice, the crowd gave both teams an ovation after the game in appreciation of the teams’ play.

Game #5 – Montreal 4, Seattle 3: Montreal rallied from a 3–0 deficit after two periods and scored three to force overtime. Montreal’s Jack McDonald scored the game winning goal with Seattle down a player when Frank Foyston was injured.

The teams had planned to play the series deciding game on April 1st but the Spanish Flu outbreak affected several players on both teams. Newsy Lalonde, Joe Hall, Winfred Billy Coutu, Louis Berlinguette and Jack McDonald of Montreal were sick with high fevers. Montreal was going to forfeit the Cup to Seattle but Seattle’s manager/coach Pete Mudoon refused since it was a result of the illness.

Four days later, Montreal’s Joe Hall died of pneumonia brought about by the flu. His funeral was held in Vancouver on April 8, with most team members attending. Manager George Kennedy also fell ill. He seemed to recover and was released from the hospital, but he died a few days later.

No official Stanley Cup winner was declared in 1919. None of their names were engraved onto the trophy; however, when the Cup was redesigned in 1948 and a new collar was added to include those teams that did not engrave their names on the trophy.

Friday Flashback: Jacksonville Firebirds

The Spring/Summer version of American football has historically had a difficult time surviving even without the competition from high school, college or pro football. The Jacksonville Firebirds had some brief success during the summers of 1979-1981 in Jacksonville, Florida with the American Football Association (AFA). The AFA was established shortly after the demise of the World Football League (WFL) which disbanded in 1976 and created a league with teams mostly in the Southeastern United States.

The Firebirds tapped into some of the top high school coaches in the Jacksonville area, such as Bob Williams, Corky Rogers, Jimmie Johnson and Jerry Disch. Among the players were former University of Florida quarterbacks Don Gaffney and Jimmy Fisher.

The team played their first game on May 26,1979 against the Kentucky Trackers. The Firebirds won 48-14 in front of a crowd of 15,102 in the Gator Bowl. That kind of attendance was the exception for most AFA teams in the league. At the time, Jacksonville football fans were hungry for a team after both the Jacksonville Sharks and Express failed along with the World Football League (WFL).

Gaffney in a game against the Arkansas Champs
(Firebirds won 44-6)

The Firebirds played their home games at the Gator Bowl and drew over 153,000 fans for 13 games with respectable competition on the field during their first season and averaged 12,930 fans per game.

Gaffney had an outstanding season for the Firebirds in 1979 going 292 of 416 pass attempts for 4,290 yards and 50 touchdowns. Gaffney led the Firebirds to the AFA title. They defeated the Carolina Chargers in front of over 22,000 fans which is currently the fifth largest single game crowd for a semi-pro football game. (https://www.americanfootballassn.com/attendance-records.html)

Kicker Allan Leavitt kicked the Firebirds’ longest field goal in a game against the Carolina Chargers on August 9, 1980 when he booted a 55-yard field goal in an 19-18 win. Leavitt had played college football at the University of Georgia (1973-1976) and one season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the National Football League (NFL) in 1977.

The Firebirds went 26-13 during their three seasons of existence. The team’s biggest rivalries were the Orlando Americans, Alabama Vulcans and Carolina Chargers.

They played their final game on August 23, 1981 where they lost in a first round playoff game against the Chicago Fire, 24-17. The Firebirds were threatening to score late in the game and were prepared to go for two according to game reports from that final contest.

The success of the team finally ran out before the 1982 season as the franchise was rumored to move to Lake City, Florida. The team was eventually sold and renamed the Sunbirds. The AFA played one more season and folded.

YearRecordPlayoffs
197912-3First Round
Defeated Alabama Vulcans, 28-21
Championship
Defeated Carolina Chargers, 27-7
19807-5None
19817-5First Round
Lost to Chicago Fire, 24-17
Jacksonville Firebirds Season-by-Season Results

If you want some really good information on the AFA, check out http://www.birminghamprosports.com/ website. (Thanks to Gene Crowley for permission to use photos from his website. His site has a lot of photos and information you won’t find anywhere else.)

Firebirds vs. Alabama Vulcans (1979)
Firebirds vs. Carolina Chargers in 1979 AFA Championship Game

If you would like more information about the American Football Association and other minor league football teams, check out this book on Amazon:

What Is Cabin Fever?

With most of us in lockdown mode for over a month now, people are getting antsy and anxious to opening up their lives again. Although there are some legitimate reasons for caution, people are ready to get rid of their “cabin fever”.

What exactly is cabin fever? Is it really a thing?

Cabin fever is defined as irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors. It isn’t actually a fever; however, it can lead to some psychological and emotional issues. It can also lead to a higher risk of depression or, in some cases, suicidal thoughts. The lack of natural sunlight can increase a person’s anxiety.

With us coping with stay-at-home orders, this can lead to cabin fever as we grow restless, bored, lack of patience, overeating and sadness. If you are already a person who suffers from depression, being isolated for long periods of time can make you more vulnerable to serious effects of cabin fever.

So how can you cure cabin fever?

  • Get outside. Find a way to spend some time outside and enjoy some fresh air.
  • Work on a hobby. We all have something we enjoy doing. This is a perfect time to focus on it.
  • Start a good book. With society taking a time-out, we finally have time to sit down and read a book.
  • Work on some chores you never had time to tackle.
  • Write a letter to someone. An actual handwritten letter can brighten someone’s day.
  • Exercise. When you exercise the body, you are giving your mind a break.

It is easy to let the mind get lazy when you succumb to cabin fever. Giving into it can also contribute to physical problems such as headaches and nerve problems. It is important to recognize cabin fever early and make a plan to derail it before it drives you – and the people around you crazy.

To help cure your cabin fever during this Coronavirus pandemic, check on this game from Amazon: