Mistakes were made

Outgoing coach Andy Reid's Eagles marked one of the many low points of 2012.
Outgoing coach Andy Reid's Eagles marked one of the many low points of 2012. (Associated Press)
Posted: January 01, 2013

By Steve Young

Remember the winter Sundays of gridiron excitement that we scheduled our lives around? Remember October, filling South Philly with dreams of Broad Street victory parades? Remember the 7-footer we chucked Andre Iguodala for? Remember hockey?

Neither do I.

But Philadelphia sports held no monopoly on failure last year. 2012 buried the nation under an embarrassment of bad choices and ready-made punch lines. A presidential primary season filled with imploding candidates made it easy for late-night comedians. A film icon's conversation with an empty chair overshadowed what was supposed to be the nominee's greatest moment - a few months before his lowest moment. And a general proved that you needn't accidentally hit "reply all" to let All In on your ill-advised e-mails.

Here are a few other low points from a year that, thank God, has passed on due to natural causes, along with some maxims that remain timeless:

"That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." - William Shakespeare

Or as foul. Philadelphia Traffic Court Judge Christine Solomon told investigators that she was unfamiliar with the term "ticket-fixing," but in a later interview admitted familiarity with the practice of granting "special consideration" - particularly given that as a ward leader, she had helped her constituents get their tickets "specially considered."

"If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."- Grandma

This is especially true when a hidden camera is recording, as Mitt Romney found out when he said he wasn't counting on any support from the "47 percent" of Americans who are "dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them." Unfortunately for Mitt, he was off by about 4 percentage points.

"Money can't buy you happiness, but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery."- Spike Milligan

The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision allowed rich guys to anonymously spend billions on the election. More than half of them got nada for their investments - not even an invitation to the inauguration.

Karl Rove did not return calls seeking comment.

"Don't ever confuse wealth with brains."- Julius Rosenwald

Donald Trump. Just Donald Trump.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again."- Thomas H. Palmer

But after 14 seasons with no championship ring, you might want to try, try something else. Super Bowl? Andy Reid's lineup wouldn't even get into the Wing Bowl.

"Talking doesn't get your rice cooked."- Chinese proverb

Unless you want your Rice to become secretary of state. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice lost the post over a verbal tap dance approved by an administration choreographer.

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don't play at all."- Theodore Roosevelt

President Obama's Secret Service advance team went Fifty Shades of Grey all over the Colombian nightlife. The agents were caught when one refused to pay a prostitute, which reminds me of another little-known adage: "If you sleep with dogs, you'll wake up with fleas, and possibly without your federal benefits."

"One is very crazy when in love."- Sigmund Freud

Especially when in love with semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines. Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, said, "If it's crazy to call for armed officers in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy." Sir, consider your request granted.


Steve Young is the author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful." For more information, see www.greatfailure.com.

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