Posted by: furmanbisher | December 23, 2010

Reflections & Perplextions

*****It’s soul-stirring, and unrighteous to me, all the fuss that has been made over the reference to Dec. 25 as “Christmas Day.” I never thought of it as anything other than a holy day in our family lives. Our church recognized it through the carols, through the annual depictions kids at our church used to stage, like the birth of Christ with shepherds and Mary and David, and the manger scene, and things us kids had no reason to understand.

Now, as I have grown older, I’m appalled that some people who call themselves Christians refuse to recognize Christmas as a holy day. It never occurred to me in any other sense. Another thing that puzzles me is that radio stations around town no longer play Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas.” I hear “Little Drummer Boy” every time I turn around, but no “White Christmas”. Is it racial? Has nothing to do with anything but snow at Christmas time. I knew Bing well and there no trace of racism in his body. So what’s the reason to boycott “White Christmas?” Tell me, why?

*****If you happen to be in Philadelphia Dec. 26, you may be privileged to recognize a special event. That will be the 50th anniversary of the day Norm Van Brocklin quarterbacked the Eagles to their last NFL championship, his final game of football. You will be able to see his daughter in the stands dressed out in Norm’s old Eagles’ No. 11 jersey, Karen Vanderwyt along with family members celebrating the memory of their famous dad who later coached the Falcons.

*****Darned if I can figure how Maryland has decided ‘to ask for Ralph Friedgen’s exit after one of his best seasons as coach of the Terps, voted ACC Coach of the Year by ACC sports journalists, after ten seasons, including one as Bobby Dodd National Coach of the Year. Told to retire, or be fired—by the school of which he is an alumnus. Anybody at College Park like to explain?

*****Holden Thorp is the chancellor of my old school, the University of North Carolina. It occurs to me that his is the most dramatic name I could imagine in such a position as he holds. Has an athletic ring to it, not to mention that I’m reminded of the name Holden Caulfield-of the novel “Catcher in the Rye,” by that mysterious fellow, J.D. Salinger.

*****Darned if I can understand Cliff Lee, the pitcher who was traded by the Phillies to Seattle, then traded to the Texas Rangers, a team that began the major league season in bankruptcy, won the American League pennant and lost the World Series to the Giants. Then Lee becomes a free agent and elects to take less money to go back to the Phillies. Must be the water in Philly, or Philly cheese steak sandwiches, or what else?



  1. Mr. Bisher,

    It`s not Christmas until I see your article about this time each year. Same way with your Thanksgiving ‘thankfulness’ article, they put the world in perspective as little else ever does.
    Your question on Freidgen may have to do with the ever present perceptual image presented by sports today. Working as a High School teacher I stay fairly abreast with the image consciousness of the younger side of society and would imagine Freidgen probably is losing some recruiting wars due to his physique. Andre Agassi reminded us years ago that image is everything and Ralph looks like anything but an athletic genius. I`m afraid Ralph has fallen prey to the branding of college football and somebody at Maryland decided he was costing the university money by his appearrance. Just my guess.
    Lee is looking at the team with the best opportunity in the last years of his career to obtain multiple WS championships. As the Yankees have proven that money doesn`t buy championships and they are soon to be transitionalizing to a new core set of players they were out of the running for Lee`s services. The Rangers may have more going on behind the scenes than we know. Something such as their manager doing cocaine during the season might possibly be just the tip of the iceberg and Lee could see that was not going to be a place he wanted to be caught up in for the next few years. He never wanted to leave Philly when he was traded and may have found that place we all wish we could work in where everything just feels right. Having one of the top pitching rotations in the majors may have something to do with that feeling. Lastly, at Philly Cliff Lee doesn`t have to be THE ace, just the next guy in the rotation of aces.
    I find it interesting that you look at the fuss over ‘Christmas’ and can`t fathom the cause when you have worked in the last bastion for liberal societal engineering for decades. The media forces in this country declared war on Jesus Christ and Christmas decades ago, so we can`t be surprised at the current results of their efforts. Discomforted, yes. Surprised, hardly. But you and I can take heart that God said it would be like this and told us to remember “they hate you because they hated me first”( loose translation ). Stay focused on the reason for the season….Merry Christmas Mr. Bisher. I look forward to many more with you.

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