Scattershooting on a Saturday night before a day of virus-ravaged NFL games . . .


“Detroit Lions DB Mike Ford got penalized for taunting after teammate Jamal Agnew’s 74-yard punt return cut the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ lead to 40-7,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “They had to rule it taunting, because there’s no such thing as 15 yards for stupidity.”

Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers was one of the many NCAA football coaches who went the entire season without learning how to properly wear a facemask. Of course, he’s also the guy who ranked Ohio State, 6-0 at the time, at No. 11 in the coaches’ poll. That was before the Buckeyes handed his Tigers a 49-28 drubbing in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.

It’s really too bad that someone who pulls strings in the world of NCAA football didn’t instruct the on-field officials to throw flags for unsportsmanlike conduct every time a coach was spotted with his mask under his nose or under his chin. Of course, had that happened it would have taken them about five hours to play one game.


Headline from @TheOnion: Facebook clarifies site not intended to be users’ primary information source.

So . . . when you were a youngster and ate a Christmas orange — OK, a mandarin orange — did you try to get the peel off all in one piece and then wolf down the slices, including all the white stuff? And now that you’re a mature adult, do you sit there and painstakingly remove all that white stuff, one strip at a time from one slice at a time before eating?

RB Alvin Kamara wore one red shoe and one green shoe on Christmas Day as he scored six touchdowns to lead the host New Orleans Saints to a 52-33 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Kamara is well aware that he plays in the No Fun League, so he knew he was going to have to pay for his sin. As he told reporters: “You know that the Grinch always tries to steal Christmas.”


True to form, the No Fun League touched up Kamara for $5,000. As Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times noted, it left “pundits to speculate whether it was $2,500 per shoe, the green shoe put him in the red, or the red shoe cost him some green.”

Back to the NFL for a moment. . . . That’s the league where the Indy Colts could finish 11-5 and miss the playoffs . . . and the New York football Giants could be 6-10 and in. Seriously!

Headline at Report: 750,000 Americans die each year during first attempt to get back in shape.




Entertainment Weekly: Legendary talk show host Larry King has been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19.​

KTVU: Funeral homes in the hot spot of Southern California say they must turn away grieving families as they run out of space for the bodies piling up.​

CNN, Saturday, 8:47 p.m.: 350,000 people in the United States have died from coronavirus.

CNN, Saturday, 7:50 p.m. PT: 20.4 million people in the United States have tested positive for coronavirus.


Tony Romo, CBS-TV’s top NFL analyst, was to have worked the game between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. But he’s out because of COVID-19 protocols and will be replaced by Boomer Esiason. . . .

The New Orleans Saints, who are to play the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, ran out of running backs on Saturday when they placed Latavius Murray, Michael Burton and Dwayne Washington on the reserve/COVID-19 list as close contacts of Alvin Kamara, who had tested positive earlier in the week. . . . Running backs coach Joel Thomas also will be out as a close contact. . . . Also out due to COVID-19 are S D.J. Swearing and S C.J. Gardner-Johnson, while S Marcus Williams is out with an ankle issue.

The Pittsburgh Steelers put CB Joe Haden, TE Eric Ebron and LB Massius Marsh on the reserve/COVID-19 list. . . . They won’t play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns who, on Saturday, closed their facility for the third time in four days after another positive test, this time to wide receivers coach Chad O’Shea. Bill Callahan, the Browns’ offensive line coach, and his assistant, Scott Peters, are out due to COVID-19 protocols. The Browns also will be without CB Denzel Ward, TE Harrison Bryan, LB Malcolm Smith, LB B.J. Gordon and S Andrew Sendejo, all of whom tested positive this week. . . .

The Buffalo Bills placed TE Tyler Kroft on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday so he won’t play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. . . .

The Arizona Cardinals won’t have WR Christian Kirk when they play the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday because he’s on the reserve/COVID-19 list. . . .

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who get the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, have placed LB Devin White, LB Shaq Barrett and DL Steve McLendon on the reserve/COVID-19 list. . . .

The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants will play Sunday without some personnel. Dave DeGuglielmo, the Giants’ offensive line coach, tested positive, so he’s out. The Cowboys will be without S Darian Thompson and DT Justin Hamilton, both of whom now are on the reserve/COVID-19 list. As well, assistant head coach Rob Davis, offensive assistant Scott Tolzien and special teams assistant Matt Daniels didn’t make the trip due to protocols.

If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873



Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney 

Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre

Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street

Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9

604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182


Or, for more information, visit right here.


Ferris and Lindsey Backmeyer: A mother’s love is everything when her child continues to fight . . .

If you’re a regular here, you will know that we have been paying particular attention to Ferris Backmeyer and her family, who are from Kamloops.

That’s because her mother, Lindsey, has been keeping friends and family (and us) updated on Ferris via Facebook.

Lindsey has poured out a mother’s heart in her posts, refusing to hold anything back. She has written with angst and anger and pain and, yes, even some humour as Ferris, at just three years of age, continues to travel a road that hopefully will end with a kidney transplant.

The outpouring of emotions is understandable as Lindsey helps guide husband Pat and Ferris’s two sisters — Tavia and Ksenia — through all of this.

The older girls — the “bigs” as Lindsey refers to them — were in Vancouver for three weeks before returning home with Lindsey’s mother after the weekend.

Lindsey and Pat now are completely focused on getting Ferris through this rough patch, helping her get well enough to go back on the transplant list, and back home. But the last bit hasn’t been an easy stretch.

For example, here’s a bit from a Facebook post by Lindsey on July 20 after doctors implanted a central dialysis line:

“Ferris had complications intraoperatively. The line was technically difficult because of her anatomy and while they were placing it they irritated her heart. Her higher potassium levels lower her threshold for things like that and she went into a PEA arrest. She had roughly 3 minutes of CPR and 1 dose of epinephrine when they got her pulse back. She was hypoxemic and difficult to ventilate for a bit afterwards. They were confident that it was noticed very quickly and that she responded fairly quickly. Thankfully they were able to extubate her and pull her art line before going to the dialysis unit.”

One day later, Lindsey wrote:

Despite all that she has been through, Ferris Backmeyer, 3, can still find a smile for the camera. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

“As for today . . . she’s super low key but perked up by evening and wanted to go to the beach and build sand castles . . . so that’s what we did:) she spent about 5 minutes total on her feet today but that’s okay!! Lots of couch time. She’s sore and much happier with Tylenol on board. I’d be lying if I am not super anxious/protective over her right now. She has little pen crosses on her pulses and blood in her hair that I rinsed off into a paper towel. A bath was not a today thing. She has no idea what a big day yesterday was, and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.”

Last Thursday, Ferris had more surgery as a peritoneal dialysis (PD) catheter was implanted. She had been doing PD at home when fungal peritonitis brought it all crashing down. That resulted in this most-recent trek to B.C. Children’s Hospital and all that has followed.

After Thursday was over, Lindsey, her emotions on her sleeve by now, wrote: “It was a super hard, inpatient kinda day.”

A day later, there were more complications, this time with cell counts.

“The question of when she could get listed again (for a transplant) comes up and at this point we just don’t know,” Lindsey wrote. “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shattered by today’s news.

“My heart is breaking for Ferris. She normally takes all the medical stuff in stride and right now she’s really struggling. I call it a trauma cry because it’s one I have hardly ever seen before and she looks like she’s being tortured. With things she used to handle like a champ. As she gets older navigating her mental health is so much more challenging and so ridiculously important!”

The next day, doctors had to put in an IV line, which brought this response from Lindsey:

“Oh man . . . after posting how she’s not doing so well coping . . first time ever IV placement without tears! This is her 5th IV this go-round and she’s not left with a lot of sites. She was so ridiculously cute and compliant for the nurse and she was friggin amazing with Ferris! Decent end to a not so awesome day!!”

And now the Backmeyers are playing something of a waiting game. As Lindsey wrote on Monday:

Ferris likes the couch a whole lot more than a hospital bed. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

“So far the cultures haven’t grown anything! They have stopped the antibiotics. Gonna repeat a sample on Wednesday and if cell counts have trended down will likely drop the antifungals (she’s been on fluconazole since we got down here a month ago). Then it will be a bit of a wait-and-see. I think they will go ahead and start using the catheter as planned. Best case scenario . . . home in a couple of weeks!! Trying so desperately to remain optimistic!!

“Ferris wants nothing to do with a hospital bed after she gets out of it in the morning. All bad things start with that bed . . . I can’t really blame her! She’s passed out on the couch the last 3 nights. Hoping for a super uneventful week!!”

BTW, Lindsey and Pat celebrated their 16th anniversary last week.

“Happy Anniversary to the most incredible momma bear,” Pat wrote, above a photo of a snarling grizzly bear. On the photo, it read: “Fate whispers to the warrior, ‘You cannot withstand the storm.’ And the mama bear whispers back, ‘I am the storm.’ ”


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873


Here’s the deal on the above tweet. . . . It’s the story of Carrie, who has had a heart transplant and now has met the family of her donor. . . . From the Provincial Health Services Authority: “Filmed in February 2020, Carrie finally got to hug the family of Darcy, her organ donor. After 17 years of writing letters to each other, she was met with open arms by his mother Marie and brother Daryl in a first ever face-to-face meeting.” . . . The video is right here.

McLennan celebrates two years with friend’s kidney . . . Kamloops woman finally gets her transplant

Two years ago, Hugh McLennan (second from left) and Louis (Big Rig) McIvor were roaming the halls at Vancouver General Hospital, along with Hugh’s wife, Billie. The big question: Where in the big city did they tie up their horses? (Photo: Hugh McLennan/Facebook)

Happy anniversary to Hugh McLennan, who has been living for two years with a transplanted kidney, courtesy of his good friend Louis (Big Rig) McIvor.

Here’s what Hugh wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday:

“Two years ago (Friday) this guy gave me one of his kidneys! We’re both doing fine and we’d encourage you to look into being an organ donor and if you know someone on dialysis look into getting tested as a living donor.”

Now that is really sound advice.

Hugh and his wife, Billie, own and operate a ranch near Pinantan Lake, just outside of Kamloops.

Best wishes to Melissa Wells of Kamloops, who underwent a kidney transplant on Nov. 9.

Melissa has a kidney disease — Type 3 Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) — that resulted in kidney failure. She spent more than six years waiting for a transplant, all the while doing dialysis.

In July, her husband, Marty, wrote:

“She’s been through countless failed surgeries, successful surgeries, and even had a direct line put into her heart just so she was able to get treatment to stay alive.”

Marty also added something that, with all that Dorothy has been through, I think of regularly. It has to do with the number of people walking around who live with kidney disease but don’t give any appearance of being ill.

“If you saw Melissa today she would seem totally normal,” Marty wrote in July. “She goes about her daily life — visiting family, hanging out with friends, going shopping. What you don’t see is her strength. She fights through constant headaches, nausea, fatigue, shooting pains through her arm, and overall pain of having major organ failure. The constant needling of her arm almost every day and the perpetual surgeries she has to deal with in Kamloops, Kelowna, and Vancouver are exhausting and expensive.”

The good news is that Melissa has a new kidney now. Here’s hoping that all goes well.

What happens when an organ or organs come available for transplant? How quickly does the window of opportunity close? When there is a death, how many organs might be available for transplant? What about tissue, corneas, etc.? . . . Shawn Logan of Postmedia has an excellent look at all of that and a whole lot more right here.

Susan Bell and Dorothy Stewart of CBC News have produced a story that includes Colleen Atsynia, a single mother of five.

According to the story, she “was in her mid-40’s when kidney disease forced her to leave her job, her family and her northern Quebec community of Wemindji for dialysis treatment in Montreal.”

As Atsynia told the reporters: “When you first find out you need a transplant, to me it felt like, ‘OK, that’s it. I’m done. I’m just going to die.”

According to the story, Atsynia’s life changed when “someone she doesn’t know gave it all back to her by donating a kidney” in May 2018.

“I was extremely happy because I knew I was going to finally come home,” she said. “My kids were happy . . . they were really happy.”

That story is right here.

This doesn’t have anything to do with transplants or kidney disease, but it is a great watch . . .