Sunday morning (1/16/22), I woke up to go get my morning coffee like I always do and put on the radio.

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On the radio was a syndicated sports gambling show and a disgusting review of the Saturday evening performance of the Las Vegas Raiders and New Fairfield's Rich Bisaccia.

The two men were whining that their bet predictions didn't workout, and of course Bisaccia and the Raiders were to blame. It's not that these two men have chosen to hang their entire careers on sports betting, it was Bisaccia's fault.

It's a predictable commentary based on the superficial, vapid society we live in. Bisaccia was a "moron" and Carr made "idiot" moves and I thought it was trash radio and a terrible way to describe what had gone on with the Raiders and Rich Bisaccia this year.

The Raiders lost the Saturday Wild Card game against the Bengals 26-19 the day prior and not because Coach Bisaccia is a bad coach or Carr is a bad quarterback. The Raiders lost because they had too many penalties, too many dropped balls and the officiating was terrible.

The fact that the Raiders were even in the game after getting a slow start was a miracle and a testament to who Rich Bisaccia is. Not only did Bisaccia have his team in contention until the final whistle, but he set aside a terrible call by the officials in the first half and kept grinding.

The play in question was so bad that it will no doubt cause a review of a loophole in NFL rules. Bengals QB Joe Burrow threw a pass into the end zone and the officials blew and "erroneous" whistle that essentially stopped play but the officials allowed the play to finish leading to a touchdown.

The touchdown was allowed to stand despite the fact that Raiders players obviously stopped playing after the whistle and we learned that this was a non-reviewable mistake by the refs.

At halftime, Bisaccia was asked about it and essentially told reporters the team needed to move on. At the end of the game, he had a different tone according to Pro Football Talk, when addressing the mistake saying: "I've got enough problems with my job, can't do officiating too."

It was the right critique at the right time and I think the coach could've taken it further but he's too classy for that. That's precisely how he handled himself and his team all year, with class.

Bisaccia has dealt with controversy and issues all year and handled himself like a pro. First, he took over as Head Coach in the middle of the Jon Gruden scandal, then his star wide receiver was allegedly to blame for the death of a woman in a drunk driving incident, another player was released after making bizarre gun threats and yet another was arrested for DUI.

He and the Raiders overcame all of that to win their last four games and make the playoffs and they fought to the bitter end Saturday night. These clowns who summed up Bisaccia's year with a few insults because their bets didn't cover don't know the first thing about football, they are gambling experts.

"Gambling experts" are the only people who can be wrong at their jobs half of the time and stay employed. I am a Raiders fan who was inspired by the leadership of Coach Bisaccia and I believe he deserves to have the interim tag removed from his title and become the Raiders full-time coach next year.

Thank you coach for an entertaining and successful season, Raider Nation agrees and I'm sure your fellow New Fairfield folks do too.

P.S. I have Coach Bisaccia's contact information and I sent him a text earlier in the year and he did answer, declining respectfully. After that I didn't want to bother him but I will be sending a text again soon to congratulate him and extend another invite for him to join me on my radio show, the Ethan & Lou Morning Show. I hope he will join us but if he can't I'll understand.

The Trail of the Whispering Giants Runs Cold in CT

Mike Allen is I-95's former News Director and a brilliant researcher. On Tuesday January 11, 2022 he was our guest, on I-95's the Ethan & Lou Morning Show, as he is every week. Mike guides us through a segment we call "The Place You Live." The feature is a deep dive, into a piece of Connecticut history. Allen researches and presents these stories for our audience in a way, no one else can. The most recent story was called "The Trail of the Whispering Giants." 

This past summer (2021) Mike Allen went on a vacation to Ocean City, Maryland and saw an exquisite and massive art installation. It was a 30 foot statue, resting on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, carved out of wood and depicting the face of a Native-American with tears coming down it's cheek. 

He went to read the plaque and learned that this wonderful work of art, is one of fifty, with one in every state in America. The series of statues is called "The Trail of the Whispering Giants" and the artist behind the work is a man named Peter Toth. (PHOTOS BELOW)

After reading the statue's plaque, Mike's journalistic instincts kicked in and he began investigating Peter, and the project. Allen reached out to Toth who lives in Florida and operates an outdoor art gallery/museum

He asked Toth what his inspiration was for the project? Why put a massive Native-American face in every state in the country? Allen relayed some of his conversation with Toth saying, "He was born in Hungary and his parents had their land taken by Russian Communists and he says, his family became refugees and he said he can absolutely empathize with the plight of the Native-Americans and he wanted to make sure people understood what Native Americans have gone through."

Let's backup, I may have buried the lead, because there is a mysterious element to the story, that involves Connecticut. You see, before Allen went in search of the artist, he first went looking for the CT "Trail of the Whispering Giants" statue.

After some internet research Allen learned that the statue was originally installed in Groton, CT but was listed as missing which intrigued him to no end. He kept digging for clues and found one "obscure" website that had one clue, a photo. 

The photograph was of the statue itself, "wrapped up in a sky blue tarp" laying in what he could only describe as a "statue crib." Underneath the photo there was a caption that read Jerry Olson has this, he's holding onto it because it rotted and they are hoping to get repairs done. But, if you contact him, he'll take the tarp off so you can see it.

This was the only clue Allen had and he knew what his next mission was, find out more about Jerry Olson. First Mike called the phone number that was listed under the photo and got an answering machine for the Olde Mistick Village. Allen says he left a message and no one got back to him. 

Mike would later come to learn that Olde Mistick Village was a destination location that was the brainchild of Jerry Olson's father. He also would come to find out that Jerry Olson had a twin sister named Joyce, who was the current manager of Olde Mistick Village. He was also able to gather, that the original site for the CT statue was in front of the Groton Public Library.

At this point he'd gathered a lot of information but still doesn't know for sure who is in possession of the statue, and he's not spoken with Jerry or Joyce. When men can't find things, what do they usually do? That's right, they ask their wife and that is precisely what Allen did. 

Mike asked his wife Yvonne what to do, she happens to be a librarian and told him to reach out the Groton Public Library, he did that and learned even more. Mike spoke to Jennifer Miele, the Director of the Groton Public Library and she had more leads for him. 

Miele confirmed to Allen, that the Groton Public Library was the original site for the CT "Trail of Whispering Giants" statue. She also explained that the statue was taken down and placed in storage after people began to worry it would fall on someone. Mike was stalled out again when he learned Miele didn't know where it was stored. 

Enter Peter Toth. Yes, we made it back to Peter but sadly, he didn't know where the statue was either. Toth explained that if Allen could find it, he'd be happy to get involved with the statue's restoration. 

Mike was back to square one looking for Jerry Olson and using the first phone number he had, he called again. Allen told us "sure enough a woman picks up the phone." Mike introduced himself, the woman introduced herself and he's now speaking with Jerry Olson's sister Joyce. 

Allen shared the story of his search for the statue and asked to speak to Jerry, and after a moment of silence, Joyce told Allen that Jerry passed away three years ago. After sharing his deep regret, Allen asked Joyce if she knew what happened to the CT "Whispering Trail" statue and he says, she replied by saying "I don't know what you're talking about." The call ended soon after but Mike was in no position to give up. He'd come this far and his years of journalism experience taught him he was onto something. 

The part I found most intriguing about Mike's journey, was the part he couldn't or wouldn't tell us. Allen said "I can't tell you exactly who I called and what I did but I had come to find out that there were some people I needed to speak to."

Doing whatever it was, he could not tell us, led Mike to two former Groton Town Managers. The first was a man named Ron who told Allen the statue was there when he left office. Ron put Mike in touch with his successor, a man named Mark. 

Mark told Allen that the core of the statue had rotted out, so for safety reasons, they took it down and gave it to the Department of Public Works. They held it for awhile but when they needed more space they made arrangements to give it to, you guessed it, Jerry Olson. 

According to Mark, Olson kept the statue in his maintenance garage in Olde Mistick Village. Allen followed up, and spoke to the former Director of Public Works. That person confirmed they did give the statue to Jerry Olson. 

Armed with a lot of information indicating Jerry Olson had this statue at some point, Allen called Joyce back and shared what he learned. Allen told Joyce, what he'd been told and asked to speak to Joyce's son Chris who manages the grounds at Olde Mistick Village. Chris got on the phone, Allen asked about the statue and according to Mike he said, "yeah, we've got it." 

Finally, Mike Allen knows where the statue is, and he's talked to almost everyone who has ever been involved with it, now what? Now the trail starts to reassemble itself. Chris told Allen the statue was in really bad shape so Mike called the artist Peter Toth. They arranged a conference call for all the involved parties. Based on what Mike told us, that conversation is taking place today (1/13/21). 

Furthermore, the Town of Groton has gotten involved, a Town Councilperson has told Allen they will introduce a resolution to get the statue restored. Allen said after the conference call, he'll be stepping aside and leaving the rest to the Town of Groton and the other involved parties. 

So, the "Trail of the Whispering Giants" ran cold in CT but Mike Allen heated things up and it's looking like, a happy ending is coming. A wonderful piece of art, with an important message will be fixed, put back where it belongs and a CT town will be reunited with a piece of it's history. 

So, what about the artist, Peter Toth? Peter is not done creating thought provoking works of art. There are 50 "Whispering Trail" statues and he's done an additional 24 worldwide for a grand total of 74 statues. His 75th project, is one he's very much looking forward to. Toth said he intends to build a statue of an angel (artist rendering below), and install it on the banks of the Amazon River, on the edge of the Amazon Forest. 

Toth told Allen this will be done as a reminder that the Amazon cleans and purifies the air that we breathe. Toth has already reached out to a notable Brazilian Chief about the project. Mike was in awe of Toth's brilliant artwork and life perspective and called him a "genius' several times during our discussion. 

If you missed our live segment of the "Trail of the Whispering Giants", you can go back and listen to it on the Ethan and Lou Show Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, the I-95 Website and the I-95 Rock Mobile app. 

Mike also has his own podcast where he presented additional information on the "Trail of the Whispering Giants." The podcast is called "Amazing Tales from Off and On Connecticut‘s Beaten Path" and is available wherever you get podcasts. 

New Milford Parents Have Facebook Debate On Whether Remote Learning is a Viable Option During COVID Surge

Many Americans are concerned for their health and the health of their children with a recent surge in positive COVID numbers and this rings true in New Milford, CT. Recently one parent created a Facebook post that read:

“One of my daughter’s said to me last night that she is scared of going to school and asked why we can’t do remote learning?’

The mother added that her daughter remarked there were “barely and kids” in her math class. She wanted to know what everyone else on the New Milford Facebook page thought, asking if they think remote learning should be an option. Finally, she shared a screen shot, she took of the New Milford Public Schools COVID Dashboard. The picture showed the statistics that were available for January of 2022 so far. Below are some of the responses the woman received. 

5 Sports Movie Speeches That Can Get Anyone Hyped

Whether it's based on a true story or pure fiction, great sports movie moments can get anyone pumped up. Sports movies tell the stories of figures and teams that were undervalued, overlooked or stood very little chance of becoming a champion. These moments can be a source of inspiration or just valued entertainment.

They can make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, send a tingle down your spine and make you want to run through a brick wall. These are the sports movie speeches that can get anyone hyped. 

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