Around the world in just a balloon

| February 16, 2023

Those of us that are in a certain “age range” will recall the original 1956 movie, “Around the World in 80 Days” starring David Niven as the English inventor Phileas Fogg. The film was remade in 2004 and starred Steve Coogan as the inventor. The film was based on the Jules Verne classic 1873 novel of the same name and featured – of course – a hot air balloon as one of the many ways that Fogg and his companions made their way around the world.

What brings me to this state of writing following the big game? Why, the recent spate of balloon shoot downs of course. Anyone would make the connection between the Chinese spy balloon and Phileas Fogg. Didn’t you? Perhaps someone is having a contest that we weren’t invited to. Elon Musk comes to mind.

What is the U.S. government telling us – and more importantly – what are they not telling us – about these intrusions into our airspace? Will we find out is the more delicate question.

I thought the big game (those other words are copyrighted, by the way) was good, but not one of the all-time greats despite what the announcers said. Have you noticed that everything is now “the greatest,” “the best ever,” “that’s the only player that could do that,” etc. You get the point. The halftime show was certainly good, but not the “best ever.” It was cool for sure, and for fans, it was probably nothing short of fantastic and something they will talk about for a long time.

To be fair, I was not that in touch with either team – had the Bengals been there – that would have been very different. Maybe next year. All the pre-game announcers picked the Eagles because they were a more “complete team.” If I recall their words. They forgot that Andy Reid is the coach of the Chiefs and that their quarterback is the MVP of the league, let alone one very tough dude. Like many of you, when Mahomes re-injured his ankle, I figured it was all but over. Nope. And I’m not taking anything away from Jalen Hurts on the other side – I predict that the Eagles will return, possibly next year.

The AFC has multiple teams that could progress to the February contest next year – the Bengals, Chiefs (again), Jacksonville and a handful of others. Staying healthy through the long and grinding NFL season is a toss-up at best and that fact alone can determine the fate of a team.

The best commercial? There were several that had me laughing – the flag football ad was cool, but I think the winner was the Ben Affleck commercial with Jennifer Lopez. They are back together, right? The “Breaking Bad” ad was funny – so was the play on “Caddyshack” and the Dodge Ram Premature Electrification ad was a good one. According to website, the Affleck spot came in ninth. Some of the ads that were ahead of that one I don’t remember. Must have been out of the room.

Maybe by next week’s column, we will know more about the “balloons” in our airspace.

Category: Mark's Musings

About the Author ()

Mark Fortune, along with his wife Nancy, is the former owner and founder of The Coshocton County Beacon, the highest circulated newspaper in Coshocton County. He has over 40 years in the publishing business with sales, marketing, and journalism experience. After selling The Beacon to the AloNovus Corp., in January 2020, Mark has been a Business Development Strategist with the company. They publish a network of weekly news publications with almost a half million distribution weekly, a quarterly tourism magazine and a digital division. Mark enjoys history, and has a passion for genealogy, currently researching and discovering his Fortune ancestry. He and his wife Nancy live on a small farm outside of Coshocton.

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