14 October 2009


Has anyone noticed the new rage gripping America? The "6 Degrees of Separation" game? How any Joe Sixpack or Donna Doublewide is 6 (or fewer) acquaintances away from someone famous? Have we all become so desperate for notoriety that we'll start dropping names like a Gotti hitman at a Senate RICO Hearing?

Well, with that in mind, I got to thinking (I do that once a day) about how close I am to John Wooden. The All-Time Greatest Basketball Coach in History, who is celebrating his 99th birthday today. John Wooden is truly a living icon, the Wizard of Westwood, as his great UCLA teams of the 60's brought national attention to college basketball which, in turn, made March Madness and office gambling pools as popular in America as political corruption and Wall St. trading scams.

So I figured out how close I am to being a good acquaintance of John Wooden.

  • John Wooden is 99 years old today.
  • Nena wrote and performed 99 Red Balloons (99 Luftballons for those of you of Teutonic Heritage), and started out as the lead singer in a German band called "Stripes" in 1983 .
  • I saw a VHS copy of the movie "Stripes" starring Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, in 1985.
  • Bill Murray and Harold Ramis are from Chicago and were big supporters of Barack Obama, also from Chicago, last year. (And most likely asked to bust some Bush Ghosts out of the White House).
  • Barack Obama ran a campaign marathon against a lady named Sarah Palin last year.
  • Sarah Palin was a High School basketball star in Wasilla during the early 80's, the same time that your's truly was dropping numerous dollars in Wasilla hotspots named "Huppy's Roadhouse" and "Haa'lea Lodge".

So how come I'm not invited to Coach Wooden's birthday party?

(Bonus minutes from Two Time Zones Away to anyone who correctly guesses how many Red Balloons are in the picture posted here).


  1. you're about as close to john wooden as i am to billy graham

  2. 505, I know you're away now, and for the time being I hope all is going splendidly with the wedding.

    When you get back and have time, you may want to see this KDBO post .