SAD DAYS ON THE ISLAND
Much mourning on Aquidneck Island recently with the passing of Mark Weed, husband of state Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed, and Ellen Brady, the spouse of State House vet and head of the Newport Ancient Order of Hibernians, Joe Brady. Both fought tough battles against cancer, and left us too soon. Our deepest sympathies to both families.
NOT SO JOCKULAR
A friend of P+J points out that the on-again/off-again drama queen actions of NFL QB Brett Favre are classic and absolutely unstable alcoholic/addict control freak behaviors. As Favre has had a problem with drugs and alcohol in the past and needed to go to rehab, we should not be surprised, but it would be nice to have it called what it is, rather than simply "waffling," as many denizens of the media's toy department suggest. But that would involve pointing out the truth regarding an American icon, which of course rules it out.
The same goes at the local level for glam college basketball coaches Rick Pitino and John Calipari, the head ramrods at Louisville and Kentucky, respectively. Both have strong New England roots, with Pitino being a famed former Providence College coach who reached the Final Four with the Friars, as did Calipari when he coached at UMass.
Pitino is in the midst of a sordid (if somewhat comical can also be sordid) and obscene scandal that involves him banging a broad in a restaurant (hey, we're going full crass mode here, the story deserves it) and then offering to pay for her subsequent abortion, before she then marries his equipment manager and allegedly threatens to blackmail Slick Rick. You can't make it up.
Calipari, who left the University of Memphis for the high-visibility job that Pitino once had (Ricky won the NCAA title with the Wildcats), is found to have had his star player employ a stand-in to take his SATs (after he flunked them three times) so he could be accepted at Memphis. Said player led the team to the NCAA Finals with a 38-2 record. Ooops, make that 0-40 record, as the NCAA has now sanctioned Memphis by taking away the wins and ordering the school to pay back the NCAA money they won . . . which is hey, guess what? . . . the same thing they did to UMass, which was found to have blatantly violated NCCA rules with the star player on that Final Four unit.
Fortunately for Pitino and Calipari, the presidents of both schools have not found these embarrassing and damning events to be reasons to let their marquee coaches go, and both the Kentucky governor, in the case of Calipari, and the Catholic Church, in the case of Pitino, have adopted a "boys will be boys" approach to these farces. Jeez, Galileo wishes he got the same treatment, eh, Rick?
KICKING (THINGS OFF IN) THE BUCKET
From the fevered brow of Herb Weiss to your house, it's time once again for the Pawtucket Arts Festival. There have been a few early events, but things go full-bore starting Friday with the Festival Gala on Roosevelt Avenue from Exchange Street to Main. It features the big Taste of Pawtucket, with great food from a diverse group of excellent restaurants that happen to be in Pawtucket (keep away from Rasoi, though, P&J are thinking of commandeering the booth). There will be dancing music courtesy of C.J. Chenier and his band and Slippery Sneakers (featuring the mighty Jack Moore on the skins), and the YMCA is sponsoring a "family fun night" with kid-friendly activities and a Disney film screening at the Pawtucket Visitors Center.