From Déjà Vu Despair to Unhinged Delight: Witnessing the Cubs Win the World Series

It was a day of distraction and anticipation, followed by a beaming burst of hope, which gave way to stomach-churning optimism, only to have it descend into deja vu despair. And then, of course, the grounds crew pushed the tarp onto the playing field at rainy Progressive Field in Cleveland. I nestled into a (relatively) […]

Evidence of Vin Scully’s Greatness: In a Storied 67-Year Career…68 Seconds of Silence

Only days away from retiring after a 67-year broadcasting career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, Vin Scully has possessed many qualities that have made him one of the most respected and admired announcers in Major League Baseball history. Among those traits has been his ability to let history unfold without foisting commentary on […]

To the Marshfield High School Class of ’86, Friends with Abundant Heart: ‘See You Later’

About 1:30 a.m. this past Sunday, two patches of 40-somethings clustered in the parking lot outside The Marshfield Tavern in my hometown on Boston’s South Shore: four women and four men. “Can you take a picture of us?” a woman asked. Three of the men swung into action, each taking photos while the other (that […]

In the Wake of Elijah Sims’ Murder: Fight or Flight, Faith Versus Fear

Today heartbreak seized our community upon learning of the gunshot murder of an Oak Park and River Forest High School senior, Elijah Sims. He was fatally wounded last night in the Austin neighborhood. Initial news accounts noted that Elijah was visiting friends from his old neighborhood—among the most violent and murderous in a violence-and-murder-ravaged Chicago. Shortly […]

Ryan Lochte & The Hazards of Fibbing When Technology Helps `Show’ Trump `Tell’ At Any Time

More than 30 years ago, as a young journalist enrolled in a summer journalism program, the one-liner from a veteran journalism pro prompted chuckles and laughter from me and my 90-plus high school cohorts: “If your mother tells you she loves you…check it out!” The point being: don’t take anything at face value. Question. Dig. […]

Dear donald: Can We Make You Stop Writing Again!?!

Dear donald, On behalf of the National Junior High Contest on How to Respond to the Orlando Tragedy, I want to confirm receipt of your essay, headlined “MAKE AMERICA SAFE AGAIN!” and which you included in an email from your campaign for U.S. President this afternoon. I have re-printed your essay here: “Dear matt, The […]

What To Do When Someone Asks to `Pick Your Brain’

Let’s face it. We’re wildly inconsistent human beings.  Many of us like to think that we are reliable and logical in how we address any number of issues and opportunities that arise, but it simply ain’t so. Take, for example, our response to those times when others say they want to “pick our brain,” a […]

Leadership–Without Being in the Limelight

Last night, the Golden State Warriors capped an impressive comeback–in the game, and in its entire series against the Oklahoma City Thunder–to advance to the NBA Finals. One of the bigger reasons the defending champion Warriors were able to bounce back from a 3-1 series hole: the team’s ability to pass the ball to the […]

Know Why it Pays To Take Your Audience’s Pulse?

Notice this post’s headline? Something I learned long ago: the person in control of the conversation is the one asking questions. As a journalist for many years, going back to my days before I was legally able to drive a motor vehicle, asking questions is something that comes naturally to me. It may not be […]

7 Take-Aways From the Trump Rally in Chicago

Earlier tonight, I was among the thousands of people who journeyed to the UIC Pavilion for the Donald Trump rally. Clearly, the event meant different things to different people: rally, speech, protest, performance art, commercial enterprise. And all of those activities—and then some—transpired. Only Trump didn’t take part in any of it, as security concerns […]