The Weekday Ramble is a daily dose of sports, music, culture, and more from Rambling On founder Erik Ritland. For more information check us out on Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.
Friday January 2, 2015
Today: The Gophers lose to Missouri, David Wong calls out losers, St. Basil the great lives the Christian life (really), and remembering a polka icon.
Yesterday the Minnesota Gophers lost to Missouri 33-17 in their first New Year’s Day bowl game appearance since 1962. The score makes it seem like a blowout but the Gophers kept it a game for three quarters. In fact, if not for several mental errors and silliness early on (like getting fooled by a fake punt and an onside kick) it would have been much closer and they could have even won. As it is, it proved that coach Jerry Kill still has a ways to go to take his team to the next level. Considering that he has steadily improved the team in his tenure I predict that won’t be an issue.
“But I’m a nice person!”
My friend Will Farley turned me on to a brilliant article from Cracked today. In 6 Truths that Will Make You a Better Person David Wong perfectly describes those who cop out and make excuse after excuse for not bettering themselves. A must-read.
Inventing Christian charity…and charity period
Today the Catholic Church celebrates the memorial of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory Nazianzen. A pair of bishops from the region of Cappadocia in the 4th century, they turned their city into a truly Christian place by building a hospital, a hospice, and a free hotel for travelers. This was in a time when helping people wasn’t exactly…well, nobody really wanted to do it. They were innovators and truly lived the Christian life. They were also genius theologians. Check out a video that explains all that Basil did here and read more about Gregory Nazianzen here.
Happy music for happy people: Rest in Peace Big Joe
When I moved into my house on the east side of St. Paul in 2009 the first thing I discovered was niche cable stations that indulged by eccentricities. RFD-TV, billed as rural America’s network, is still one of my favorites. There’s a lot of updates on the price of cattle and stuff but their entertainment programming includes several of my favorite old school country shows, Hee Haw, The Marty Stuart Show, Pop! Goes the Country, and more.
One program I watched early on (but wasn’t on for very long) was Big Joe’s Polka Show. Big Joe Siedlick’s weekly program featured a variety of hot polka bands from around the US. As a fan of the ethnic music of my heritage I enjoyed it very much. I also loved the positive message, Joe constantly reminding us that polka is “happy music for happy people.”
I found out on my Facebook feed this morning that Siedlick died yesterday. I extend my deepest condolences to his family. May he rest in peace in the arms of his Savior.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He is also a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.