2020 has been pretty crappy. Terrible year.

At least we’ve made it halfway through, which has to mean something. Maybe it’s a symbolic moment that gives us hope for the future as we look forward to the return of American sports while trying to pull ourselves out of this pandemic, despite the best efforts of Florida, Texas, and Arizona to screw it up for the rest of us.

Considering the circumstances, this edition of the award-winning hot takes column might come off as a little grumpy, but in the interest of telling it how it is, here are 50 more sizzlers to think about:

  1. If we all just wear the fucking masks, then people will stop condescendingly telling us to wear them.
  2. None of this is about infringing on your personal freedoms. We’re in a global pandemic and we’re simply being asked to look out for the well-being of other people.
  3. Anybody who says that wearing a mask doesn’t bother them is lying. It’s an obstructive piece of fabric over your mouth and nose. Of course it’s uncomfortable.
  4. If you want to set off fireworks on Friday night or Saturday night, earlier in the evening, it’s no problem at all. Seriously. The reason people are pissed is because we’re hearing nonstop explosions at midnight on a Tuesday. It sounds like Baghdad in Philadelphia.
  5. Sympathy for the Devil would not make my top-10 Rolling Stones songs.
  6. The piano is not a rock and roll instrument and does not belong in rock and roll songs.
  7. A lot of companies, from various industries, used COVID as a convenient excuse to fire people that had been in the crosshairs for a long time.
  8. I don’t know why people care about Kelly Green so much. It’s just a color. If the Eagles wear it again, cool. If they don’t, no big deal.
  9. Biggest snoozer topic of all time: the designated hitter in baseball.
  10. I honestly didn’t even know the ESPYs were on two weeks ago.
  11. Deadwood doesn’t get enough respect for being a fantastic HBO series.
  12. Parents of special needs children are the real MVP and deserve more respect. Toughest job in the world.
  13. Donovan McNabb was a GREAT quarterback and it seems like we’re in some trendy phase right now where we act like he wasn’t that good.
  14. I bet all you bastards who criticized Wawa missed the convenience and familiarity during self-isolation.
  15. At least 50% of people trying to pull down and deface statues don’t know anything about the figure in question.
  16. Angelo Cataldi’s Paige Spiranac tweet wasn’t even that bad. Just kind of ‘old man creepy.’
  17. When jogging, you should try to lengthen your strides and angle your arms around 80 degrees. Keep them tucked in, no chicken wings. I see a lot of people who waste energy and adversely impact their workout with “shuffling” feet motions and side-to-side arm movement.
  18. The virtue-signaling “cancel sports” tweets are so bad. If the rest of the world can figure it out, so can we. If the players want to opt out, they can opt out. Nobody is forcing anybody to do anything.
  19. The people who say we should stop playing the national anthem before sporting events have never seen Ron Brooks do it.
  20. It hurts every fiber of my being when I think about how bad the recent Star Wars trilogy was.
  21. Cancel culture absolutely does exist. See the Washington Post article on the 2018 Halloween party for proof.
  22. I wouldn’t cut DeSean Jackson. Suspend, fine, educate, and move on. We’ve always been a society that values second chances, and if firing people is the default behavior for all infractions, then it sets a poor precedent moving forward.
  23. Brioche is the best bun.
  24. The Wendy’s method of putting a slice of cheese on each side of the hamburger patty is underrated.
  25. There’s really not enough love for provolone cheese out there.
  26. Freewill (up in Perkasie) is now on my Mount Rushmore of Philadelphia-area breweries. Haven’t had a bad beer there.
  27. The federal government should mandate that breweries must cap IPA offerings at 50% of their menu. You can’t have 10 beers on tap and six of them are IPAs. It’s ridiculous.
  28. Neil Peart’s death hit me pretty hard. It’s gonna be sad over the next 5-10 years when all the old school rockers of the 70s and 80s start to pass on.
  29. Baseball is not dead, it’s just evolved into more of a hyper-local sport in recent years. Whereas the average Eagles fan would watch a Packers/Steelers prime time game, I don’t think the typical Yankees fan is watching the Dodgers and Diamondbacks on Sunday Night baseball.
  30. The record and compact disc were great music formats because they came packaged with artwork and/or a booklet containing lyrics. Downloading songs to your computer or phone just doesn’t provide a full artistic experience in 2020.
  31. We really need to replace high school economics class with a more practical course that teaches kids about taxes, the stock market, credit scores, and real world stuff.
  32. More people should get into gardening or similar arboreal activities. These are great relaxers and stress relievers where you can put your brain into a lower gear and do some something productive outside, away from your phone and television.
  33. On a similar note, more people should learn how to cook, men specifically. It’s another practical, low-energy activity that keeps you away from a screen.
  34. It’s a violation to use a riding mower if you’re an able-bodied person with a small lawn.
  35. There are no girly trucks.
  36. There is no such thing as girly beer. It’s just a derogatory way to say that something actually has flavor.
  37. The people who took advantage of sparse traffic during lockdown to drive 100 miles an hour on the highway are total jerks.
  38. We should tip extra if we can afford it right now. Restaurant servers and bartenders and food service workers got hit really hard during COVID.
  39. Sports writers should only be able to complain about Donald Trump once per day. When you sit there and rip the guy nonstop, it no longer means anything. We got the point after your first 4,000 anti-Trump tweets back in 2017. #DiminishingReturns
  40. Nobody blows more sunshine up their own butts than sports writers. The way people talk about the profession, you’d think we were saving lives or sending a rocket to Mars.
  41. You’ll start to appreciate mixed martial arts if you treat it as more than two guys trying to knock each other’s lights out. There’s so much nuance to the sport.
  42. The Union and the Sixers are both going to surprise a lot of people in Orlando, in a good way.
  43. With sports betting now legal, I just can’t get interested in fantasy football. Anybody else feel the same way?
  44. The worst part about getting older is that kids don’t understand your classic movie references. Half Baked, Black Sheep, Happy Gilmore, etc – the Zoomers have no idea what I’m talking about.
  45. Some of the COVID adjustments businesses have been making are honestly really impressive. I’ve seen breweries build outdoor beer gardens while restaurants find creative ways to move tables around and accommodate socially-distanced guests. There’s a lot of American ingenuity and resourcefulness on display.
  46. Twitter in 2020 is the worst its ever been. Just an absolute hellhole of lecturing, scolding, virtue signaling, and other divisive and unnecessary behavior. It used to be a great place to talk sports and news, and communicate with people you don’t often see in person, but now it’s borderline unbearable.
  47. We need a legitimate third political party in the worst way imaginable, and/or the retirement of these veteran career politicians. They all gotta go.
  48. It’s okay to be a moderate in 2020. Don’t let any far left or far right people tell you otherwise. We’re the ones keeping things sane around here.
  49. During COVID-19 I’ve discovered that a lot of people are selfish assholes.
  50. Yeah, America has its problems, and we’re going through a rough period right now, but you should wake up every morning feeling thankful that you weren’t born in China or North Korea. All of the protests, demonstrations, and meaningful discussions we’re having right now would have been crushed in five seconds if we lived in a country that afforded us zero freedoms.

That’s it! Happy belated Independence Day and hopefully we’ll be out of this COVID-19 nonsense sooner rather than later. I know the mask is annoying, but it is what it is. Put the dumb thing on and it’ll help us get to a point where we don’t need to wear them anymore.

FYI if you’re looking for more of the hottest takes, check out two of the more recent installments in the series:

50 Hot Takes for the Philadelphia Sports Fan: Special Guest Edition

50 Hot Takes for the Philadelphia Sports Fan: Self-Isolation Edition