Category Archives: Sports

The Freshest Advices, April 6, 2023

Item: Play Ball: It’s April, and Major League Baseball has returned, complete with a pitch clock, larger bases, and other rule changes designed either to speed up the game or otherwise make it more exciting for the casual fan. So far our beloved Braves are off to a very hot start and look better than the hated Mets or Phillies (the reigning National League champions who finished a distant 3rd place in the NL East)—and better than the version that won the 2021 World Series. Time will tell, but this should be a fun season.

Item: Hoops: In the meantime, I hope you didn’t miss the Women’s Final Four in college basketball or the championship game between LSU and Iowa, instant classics all. Angel Reese, Georgia Amoore, Aliyah Boston, and Caitlin Clark, are all superstars right now, with many years and great games ahead of them in the WNBA–whose season starts May 19 by the way, with 40 games on the schedule this year. Our Atlanta Dream opens the season on Saturday, May 20, at the Dallas Wings, 1pm on ABC. Don’t miss it.

Item: More Hoops/Football: Speaking of college basketball, just one observation—uninhibited by the thought process—about the men’s final, featuring the exciting San Diego State Aztecs. Their run to the final was great fun to watch and they’re an explosive team. But they were a 5th seed and I kept wondering, if they win the championship, can we really believe that they were the best team in all of college basketball through the year—or just the best team over a number of weeks, during the tournament? Doesn’t matter, right, if they win the championship game? Except that I kept thinking that the college football playoffs are about the expand to 12 teams, and it’s inevitable that a low seed with 3 losses during the regular season will get hot for a few weeks and win it all by beating a previously unbeaten team. Will they really be the champions? Or just a hot team at the right time? Yes to both. I get that it’s much more unlikely in college football that a team with three losses will upset an undefeated team on a neutral field, but it’s bound to happen eventually—like a 16th-seed beating a 1-seed in basketball: it’s only happened twice, but it has happened. It will happen in college football too, and it will dilute the sport, no doubt about it. But it’s inevitable. Then again, my team has won back-to-back championships under the current system, so I’m prejudiced. Moving on…

Item: Books, or A Case of Serendipity: I recently bought a copy of T.J. Stiles’s 2015 book, Custer’s Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America, which won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for History. As I was putting it on the appropriate shelf in my office, I noticed immediately beside it my copy of Evan Connell’s 1984 best-seller on Custer, Son of the Morning Star, which has been hailed as a masterpiece. I remember buying the book as an undergraduate at UGA just getting interested in history. Why had I never read it? And who was Evan Connell? I remember reading articles in the mainstream media (like Time magazine) about how this unusual book and author surprisingly took the literary world by storm that year. I did the usual Google searches on Connell and found myself fascinated by what I discovered. Suffice it to say, Connell is considered a writer’s writer, at home in nearly every genre, from fiction, essays, and short stories, to history, biography, and poetry. The contemporary of Jack Kerouac, Philip Roth, and John Updike labored in comparatively undeserved obscurity, but hiding in plain sight was part of his deliberate brand. Connell, who died in 2013 at age 88, was a lifelong unmarried loner, the opposite of a self-promoter, who hated publicity and never courted the spotlight. He granted few interviews (none on camera) and if there’s a picture out there anywhere of him smiling, I’ve never seen it. He never did public readings of his work, never spoke publicly about his writing, never taught classes about writing or literature. He lived in the Bay Area much of adult life, spent some time in local watering holes, and formed few permanent attachments. He died alone in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And yet his novels reveal a remarkably penetrating insight into human relationships that are astonishing for someone who seemed to spend most of his life shunning them. His 1959 novel Mrs. Bridge (a National Book Award finalist) was praised as a masterpiece of spare, lean, concise story-telling, with not a spare word in it, as was his 1969 follow-up, Mr. Bridge. I bought and devoured them both and wished for more. I finally also read Son of the Morning Star (published by then-little-known North Point Press in Berkeley, now owned by FSG) and found it beautifully written and moving as well. The New York Times called it “impressive in its massive presentation of information” and added that “its prose is elegant, its tone the voice of dry wit, its meandering narrative skillfully crafted.” The Washington Post said it “leaves the reader astonished,” and the Wall Street Journal called it “a scintillating book, thoroughly researched and brilliantly constructed.” I can confirm that all of this is true. Happily, for people like me who are fascinated by him, there’s a new literary biography of Connell out by Steve Paul, Literary Alchemist: The Writing Life of Evan S. Connell, published in 2021 by the University of Missouri Press. And so, through the serendipity of shelving one book, Evan Connell is now on my list as a favored author whose writings I plan to work through patiently and in their entirety, one bite at a time. I’ll be spending considerable time with him in the coming years. If you love the power of words, I invite you also to get to know this talented, mysterious man in the only way we can—through his writing.

Item: Bourbon: Speaking of Evan, Evan Williams has long been known among bourbon lovers as one of the best low-priced (read “cheap”) bourbons on the market. This is especially true of Evan Williams 1783 Small Batch, which I highly recommend. The date comes from the year that Williams founded Kentucky’s first distillery. If you’re keeping score, this particular batch is 78 percent corn, 12 percent malted barley, and 10 percent rye. For those uninitiated, enjoying bourbon whiskey is quite simple: pour it into the appropriate glass, either over a few cubes of ice or without, then a) see the bourbon, b) smell the bourbon, and c) taste the bourbon. This one is aged 6-8 years, so you will see a nice copper bronze in your glass. You will smell charred oak, caramel, and vanilla. You will taste all three plus brown sugar and a flash of heat as it goes down. Nicely priced and packaged, widely available, and back up to 90 proof (previously 86), this is a great entry-level bourbon that I highly recommend for the upcoming Kentucky Derby Day—or any upcoming day, actually. As always, I am not getting paid to endorse this product, but I should be.

Item: This week in Literary History: On April 3, 1783, 240 years ago, Washington Irving (not to be confused with famous cricketer Irving Washington), another of my favorite authors, was born in New York City, the youngest of 11 children. He will become the first American author to gain critical and popular fame in this country and in Europe. Charles Dickens, another favorite, said of him: “I don’t go upstairs to bed two nights out of seven without taking Washington Irving under my arm.” On April 6, 1895, author Oscar Wilde is on trial in London for sodomy and gross indecency. He was accused on the stand of having written the story, “The Priest and the Acolyte,” a story of a love affair between an Anglican priest and a 14-year old boy (it was actually written by John Francis Bloxam). Wilde denied authorship and when asked if the story was immoral, he famously replied, “It was much worse than immoral. It was badly written.”

Item: Currently Reading: The Last Chronicle of Barset, by Anthony Trollope (originally published in 1867), the final volume (of 6) in the Barsetshire series that begins with The Warden (1855) then continues with Barchester Towers (1857), Doctor Thorne (1858), Framley Parsonage (1861), and The Small House at Allington (1864), chronicling the always interesting goings-on in the fictional county of Barsetshire and its cathedral town of Barchester during the height of the Victorian Era. The county is peopled with delightful almost-living characters like The Rev. Mr. Quiverful, Mrs. Proudie, Sir Omicron Pie, Dr. Fillgrave, Sir Abraham Haphazard, Sir Raffle Buffle, and many, many others. The series is beloved by Trollope fans, who are legion, ranging from actor Alex Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi), who never travelled without a Trollope novel, to economist John Kenneth Galbraith, to author Sue Grafton. It’s taken me 14 years to read the series, not because the books are hard to read—just the opposite; one critic said they’re like eating peanuts, hard to stop—but because I let too many years elapse between volumes. After this, it’s on to Trollope’s 6-volume Palliser series, which I hope to finish in half the time. Maybe I’ll read those straight through? At any rate, Trollope is also one of my favorite authors, not only for his wonderful books but because of how he wrote them. He famously kept to a disciplined schedule, putting in 3 hours at his writing desk every day before going to his real job at the Post Office, where he is credited with introducing the ubiquitous red pillar mailbox to the United Kingdom (seen here). His literary output was prodigious by any standards: 47 novels, 42 short stories, 5 travel books, 2 works of non-fiction, and an auto-biography. I intend to read them all.

Item: Finally, this little gem from columnist Giles Coren of The Times of London: “I’ve always thought of art as culture for people too thick to read books. The super-rich invariably collect paintings but I’ve never met one who could quote Milton.”—Coren, in The Times of London, February 27, 2023. Ouch.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

A Butt Whipping of the First Magnitude

Four months ago in this space I wrote about the coming college football season and my ambivalent feelings about it. I recalled the glory that was the 2021 Georgia Bulldogs season, the long-awaited first national championship in 41 years, and wondered (and feared) what this year would bring. Here’s what I said then as I signed off with an eye toward championship night on January 9, 2023: “Keep the crying towel handy. Grab your foam fingers, order a side of tranquilizers, and hang on.”

Turns out, Georgia went 15-0, undefeated for the first time in 42 years, with another national title. No crying towels necessary. We still gulped down tranquilizers on two notable occasions—the now-infamous Missouri game on October 1, and the Heart Attack Bowl against Ohio State on New Year’s Eve.

And now that it’s all over, the wonder and magic of it are almost too much to comprehend. After wandering for over 40 years in the college football wilderness, Georgia’s own Moses in the form of Kirby Smart has taken us to the promised land two years in a row. The long championship drought is over with a vengeance. As Sherlock Holmes said when the Hound of the Baskervilles lay dead at last on the Grimpen mire, we’ve laid the family ghost to rest once and for all. Bonus: with the Braves winning the World Series in November 2021, the state of Georgia witnessed three championships in the span of 14 months. Pass the oxygen.

How is this even possible? After all the angst, crushed dreams, and vanished hopes of the years spanning Ray Goff (1989-1995), Jim Donnan (1996-2000), and Mark Richt (2001-2015)—particularly the latter—how in the name of the Chapel Bell, Varsity chili dogs, and fried pies is this even possible?

Yet here we are. Georgia outlasted Ohio State by one point and a missed field goal. TCU got turned into Dawg food. Unlike last year’s championship game against Alabama, there was no drama in the 4th quarter, and no overtime as in 2018. This year the game was over by halftime, thank goodness. Uncle Crummy’s pacemaker couldn’t take another tight tilt like the Coronary Bowl against Ohio State. The beatdown of TCU was an epic butt whipping of magnitudinous proportions, a final score of 65-7, the largest margin of victory in the history of college football bowl games, going back to the first Rose Bowl in 1902. We’re talking dominance on a scale hitherto unmatched. What Shangri-la have we stumbled into?

Georgia fans and the media are already talking about a three-peat and a dynasty built to last. No team in the modern poll era, dating to 1936, has won three in a row. Can Georgia?

What can stand in our way? Three things, as far as I can see:

  • The aforementioned Crimson Tide. Though they didn’t make the playoff, let’s be under no illusions that Bama is going anywhere. They’ll be back, just like we will. But in looking at the long game, Nick Saban is 71, Kirby Smart is 47. My money is on Kirby. He recruits at the highest level, attracting and keeping premier talent. And he’s locked into a long-term contract, which leads us to…
  • Kirby Smart leaving to coach at (gasp) another school or (double gasp!) the NFL. Impossible, right? Tell that to LSU, which watched Nick Saban walk away after the 2004 season to coach the Miami Dolphins. One presumes that for enough money anything’s possible. But let’s hope the example of all those college coaching careers coming a cropper in the pros (Chip Kelly, Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier, Kliff Kingsbury, etc.) provide testament enough to that folly. Besides, that’s what Jim Harbaugh is for.
  • Losing assistant coaches to become head coaches elsewhere. Saban has been bedeviled with this problem at Bama (see Smart, Kirby) but has managed to overcome it for the most part. If Georgia can keep offensive coordinator Todd Monken—a big “if”—that would go far to laying the foundation for future championships. According to some, Monken virtually created Stetson “Gramps” Bennett out of old spare quarterback parts and turned him into a Heisman finalist. Monken is 56 but will undoubtedly be the front runner for lots of other vacant head-coaching jobs. With the transfer portal and coaching carousel, retaining players and assistants will be key to any future success.

In the end, sure, we’d love to win more national titles, but why worry about that now? With the memories still fresh from all those years when seemingly far greater players—Matt Stafford, David Greene, Aaron Murray—left us bereft, leave us pause for 8 months and just stand still. Enjoy the view from the mountaintop. Put that crying towel down—but keep it handy, the Braves start up again in 3 months.

See you in September.

Podcast S6E1: Star Trek, Horrifying Cliches, & Goodbye Georgy Girl

This week Stan looks back at one of the most popular TV shows ever, a Mad magazine cartoonist who left his mark on the holidays, a critical day in the American Civil War, a milestone birthday of a legendary football coach, one of the most momentous days in Olympic history, Travis McGee novels, and much more.

Let the Big Dog Eat

It’s that time of year again my friends. College football season begins this weekend. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but there it is. It’s been 7+ months since our beloved Dogs finally slayed the big bad Bama dragon back on January 10 and won the National Championship. The final score, lest you’ve forgotten, was Us 33, Them 18. You can watch all the glorious highlights here.

Full confession: no matter how much I love college football, I’m never ready for the season to begin. Never.  I don’t look forward to it. There are many reasons for that.

I’ve written about the joys of college football elsewhere on this blog, particularly the difference between the college and pro game, and since I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel, I’ll just repeat myself:

“College football is more exciting [than the pro game] and more fun to watch, in my humble and uninformed opinion.

The rivalries are much more intense, and the game-day atmosphere at big-time college football games is unmatched in any other sport.

For game-day excitement, try the Big House in Ann Arbor when Michigan plays Ohio State (ask Michigan alum Tom Brady about it). Or the Horseshoe in Columbus when it’s played there. Or in Oklahoma during Bedlam. Utah during the Holy War or Oregon’s Civil War. Also try finding cool names like these for NFL rivalries. You won’t.

The NFL has nothing—nothing—to compare to the Iron Bowl. Or the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. Notre Dame vs. Southern Cal. Texas and Texas A&M (though temporarily suspended). Catholics vs. Convicts.

I’m not saying there aren’t great rivalries in the NFL—the Redskins and Cowboys, Patriots and Jets, and Packers and Bears all come to mind.

But it’s not the same as the blood feuds in college football, where many of these rivalries go back 130 years. The NFL has been around since the 1920s, but most franchises barely predate the 1960s. And rivalries are divisional (Cowboys-Redskins) not geographical, like Florida and Florida State, and don’t have nearly the emotional intensity of a life and death college football grudge match.”

And it’s that last part that always makes it difficult for me to welcome the college football season—the “emotional intensity”. Let me explain.

Long-suffering readers of this blog know I love baseball. I love the rhythm of the game and the leisurely-ness of the season, as it meanders across 7 months of the year. If you don’t win today’s game, no big deal. There’ll be a hundred more to play, for months yet, nothing to get upset about. And the rivalries are fun, not death grudge matches [Game 7 of the World Series is another universe]. Yes, Braves fans don’t like the Mets or the Dodgers and vice-versa but it’s not civil war. It’s baseball. Have a hot dog. Relax.

But college football is different, especially now that UGA has won it all. Nothing less will do now, and if you lose one game, that’s it, your season is done. No trip to the College Football Playoff for you.

Yes, I know that’s not literally true, but you have to be very careful when you lose that one game. Georgia lost to Bama in last year’s SEC championship game and still made the Playoff only because we went undefeated through the rest of the season. Gasp. One little slip-up against Kentucky or South Carolina would have spelled doom. Pro football teams can lose 7 or 8 games and still make the playoffs, even win the Super Bowl. Not in the college game, and not even close.

The intensity of the season, of every play, every dropped pass, every boneheaded fumble by our “college” QB (who’s old enough to draw Social Security), every missed field goal, every interception, every blown pass coverage—everything is always on the line, waiting to derail the entire season.

And unlike in baseball, there’s no 3-game series to make up for a bad loss. There’s no pre-season to work out the kinks in the offense, or begin to gel as a team, as in the pros. It’s all or nothing all the time, beginning with the very first snap.

Even then you have to count on a bit of luck to wind up in the top four and get invited to the Playoff. Teams ahead of you in the rankings have to lose to someone they weren’t supposed to. You have to catch a lucky break. Sometimes it’s pure chaos, and yes, that can be enormously fun to watch—and it is—if it doesn’t give you an ulcer in the meantime.

Then there’s the sheer amount of good ‘ol fashioned hate that you constantly harbor for all your opponents. I’m talking seething, teeth-clenched, can’t stand those a-holes hatred. Florida. Bama. Auburn. Tennessee. Texas A&M. LSU. Kentucky. South Carolina, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Georgia Tech.

Not to mention the teams not in your conference that you don’t even play but that you just have to hate on principle, like Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, USC, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas, Penn State. Some of these teams you hate because they’re just arrogant; some because their coach is a jackass; some because their coach is an arrogant jackass (every Florida coach till now, and maybe the new guy too once we get to know him). Not to mention, what grownup goes by the name Dabo or Jimbo? C’mon man.

For some reason, the level of jackass-ery among college coaches is astounding. They often run their mouths denigrating other teams at a level that you never see in any other major sport. There are the occasional NFL jackass coaches (see Rex Ryan), but they don’t usually last long. No major league baseball manager denigrates other teams. But college football coaches do it all the time. Partly that’s a function of there being only four playoff spots, and no parity of strength of schedule, so coaches often talk up their team while denigrating others.

But jackass coaches long pre-date the current playoff system. The college game just seems to attract them. Steve Spurrier at the University of Florida is the primo example, and of course he’s long gone. Many others have taken his place, and many of them coached at Florida. Incidentally, I can hear my mother’s voice saying, “Stanley, you don’t hate anybody!” But this is college football hate, and it’s different. Even God hated Steve Spurrier.

As you can see, it’s all mentally and emotionally exhausting. But it must be done if you’re going to follow the sport, week in and week out, from August till January. There’s just no other way.

By now you’re thinking, geez Stan, get a grip. No one is making you do this. And you’re right. I’ve tried in the past to just be a casual fan. Why put my emotional state in the hands of 18–22-year-olds? Who cares if we lose to Florida? It’s not the end of the world. No big deal. Have a hot dog. Relax.

But in college football, that just doesn’t work. For reasons that only psychologists can explain, there’s an emotional attachment that fans feel towards college football teams that is different than any other American sport (though I believe it holds in European football as well).

Let the trash-talking, complaining about weak schedules, wailing, and gnashing of teeth begin. A short slate of games kicks off this weekend, then #3 Georgia will tee it up against #11 Oregon on September 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. The madness will continue through the National Championship game next January 9, five months from now.

Keep the crying towel handy. Grab your foam fingers, order a side of tranquilizers, and hang on.

The Freshest Advices

Item: In this column on September 24 I noted that a very rare original copy of the US Constitution was coming up for auction at Sotheby’s and that it would likely sell for $20 million. Those estimates were wrong by half. As GHS President Dr. Todd Groce noted in the AJC, the document sold for an astounding and record-setting $43.2 million. GHS owns a draft copy of the Constitution, one of only 12 in existence, that is annotated and signed by Georgia delegate Abraham Baldwin. The copy at auction was bought by hedge fund manager Kenneth Griffin, who will lend the document to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, for public exhibition. The museum, founded by Alice Walton, the daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, opened in 2011. And in case you were wondering, Bill Gates set the previous auction record for a book or manuscript in 1994 when he purchased the Codex Leicester by Leonardo da Vinci at Christie’s for $30.8 million.

Item: As you no doubt heard, the Georgia Bulldogs—thanks to their undefeated regular season—have made the College Football Playoff for the second time, despite losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship in Atlanta on December 4. Yes, we all hoped this might be the year we finally beat Nick Satan and his Crimson Tide, but there’s no denying that Bama’s had Georgia’s number for a while now—seven straight losses since the last Georgia win in the series 14 years ago in 2007.

Who can blame Dog fans for thinking this was the year? Bama had looked positively human against all its SEC foes, scraping out wins over Arkansas, LSU, and Florida, taking four overtimes to beat Auburn (on the same field where Georgia crushed the Tigers), while actually losing to Texas A&M. In the week leading up to the game, the press in typical fashion dished out what Bama coach Nick Saban calls “rat poison”—hyping Georgia’s defense, yammering about Bama’s porous offensive line, even the threat that Georgia’s Jordan Davis might eat Bama QB Bryce Young like a Varsity chili dog. None of that happened. Georgia’s defense received a good-ol-fashioned butt whipping, Young looked like the Heisman Trophy winner he is, and overall Bama played like the New England Patriots.

One could legitimately ask, where had this Bama team been all season long? Which is the real Crimson Tide: the one that played with razor-thin margins all season, or the Super Bowl champs who dominated in Atlanta? Looming over it all is this: should Georgia get by Michigan in the Orange Bowl, and Bama beats Cincinnati in the Cotton, the two teams will meet yet again for a national championship. Could Bama really do that to us again? Surely, they can’t channel the Patriots twice in one season. Can they? All I can say is, no one of sane mind should ever underestimate Satan and the Tide. The question of the year: how much misery can Georgia fans be expected to endure in one single season? I don’t know about you, but maybe this is the year to record the game and sign up for that New Year’s Eve pinochle tournament down at the Mason’s lodge.

Item: December is upon us, and at some point this month you’re bound to hear Andy Williams’s classic Christmas song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Williams recorded the song, written in triple time, on September 10, 1963, and released it on his Christmas album that October. It has become a seasonal staple and has been enormously popular since its first release 58 years ago, appearing in commercials, movies, and TV shows, including in the trailer for the new Disney/Marvel series Hawkeye. But here’s the interesting part to me–the song was co-written by George Wyle, who also co-wrote the theme song to Gilligan’s Island. How’d you like to have those royalty checks? By the way, Wyle’s grandson, Aaron Levy, plays in Norah Jones’s band. Now you know.

Item: December means Dickens, and this year I’m reading the first book he ever published, Sketches by Boz: Illustrative of Every-Day Life and Every-Day People. Pre-dating Dickens’s first novel, The Pickwick Papers, Sketches is a collection of short essays that Boz (Dickens’s nickname) published in various newspapers and magazines between 1833 and 1836, when he was ages 21 to 24. I’m reading the Oxford Illustrated Dickens edition with illustrations by George Cruikshank, first published in February and August 1836. It’s still astonishing to me that anyone could write with this level of maturity and insight into the human condition at the equivalent age of a freshly minted college graduate. Though it lacks the appeal of a full-fledged Dickens novel, there are still some vintage Dickensian character sketches here. You can see him limbering up, stretching himself for the great novels to come.

Item:  Speaking of Dickens, as the Season is upon us, if you’ve not seen the 1984 film version of A Christmas Carol, starring George C. Scott, check it out. It’s the best of all the theatrical versions of the Dickens classic, from the location setting in Shrewsbury to the perfect casting, right down to Old Fezziwig. Frank Finlay’s Marley is the best you’ll ever see, though Edward Woodward’s (of The Equalizer fame) Ghost of Christmas Present is a strong runner-up. David Warner as Bob Cratchit, Roger Rees as Scrooge’s nephew, and Angela Pleasence as the Ghost of Christmas Past top off a stellar cast. And for good measure, director Clive Donner worked on the 1951 rendition, Scrooge. Now you know that too.

Item: Speaking of A Christmas Carol, fans of audio books who want to experience the original 1843 novella in a new way should check out the versions read by Simon Prebble (whose father, historian John Prebble, authored the famous Fire and Sword Trilogy of Scottish history) and the version narrated by Dr. Frank-n-Furter himself, Tim Curry.

Item: Speaking of Old Fezziwig—and this will be the last Dickens reference in this post—if you’re a fan of great seasonal Christmas brews, you’ll be happy to hear that Sam Adams has brought back in its holiday pack both Holiday Porter (“inspired by the famous drink of London’s Victorian era luggage porters. Brewed with generous portions of Caramel, Munich and Chocolate malt, this hearty porter finishes with traditional English Fuggles and East Kent Goldings”) and—joy to the world—Old Fezziwig Ale (“Like the character that inspired it, this beer is festive and worthy of a celebration all its own. Bursting with spices of the season, its full body accompanies a deep malt character, with notes of sweet toffee and rich, dark caramel”). Old Fezziwig was missing from last year’s holiday pack, turning festive ale lovers everywhere into small-hearted grumpy grinches who refused to bang their slew-slunkers. And no, I’m not getting paid to write this, nor is Sam Adams a sponsor of this blog, but I and they should be.

Hoist a glass and enjoy the holidays. See you in 2022.