Tall Tales of Fact & Fantasy

I was really pleased with the name and logo I chose for my winless fantasy football team in my family’s league last week … Supreme Injustices.

Injustice crop

For this week, I wanted to feature Paul Manafort, especially after hearing that he made a court appearance sitting in a wheelchair in prison clothes while missing a shoe. When I think of Manafort in a wheelchair, I start wishing for this …

wheelchair downhill

But with no cameras allowed in the courtroom, all I could access were these types of sketches that I felt were not fantasy football team logo quality befitting a winless team.

manafort wheelchair sketch

I wanted to see more shoeless detail, and maybe a hole in the toe or heel of the sock.

So I decided to ruminate on my choice of Manafort as my fantasy football team mascot for the week as I headed home from my business trip. I could have stopped in Springfield, IL and sought inspiration from the grave and multiple statues of Abraham Lincoln. I had confidence that the Great Emancipator (or Peter Frampton) could show me the way.

Instead, I headed to Alton, IL and the Curiosity Museum, formerly known as the Historic Museum of Torture Devices. Closed! By appointment only during the week. Rats. I had to settle for the Alton Museum of History & Art. I had trouble holding back a yawn from just typing that.

Let’s be frank. I only stopped at that museum to see the Robert Wadlow exhibit. He was supposedly the world’s tallest man at just a fraction of an inch under 9 feet tall. I wanted to try on a replica of his size 37 shoe. I wanted to see how many fingers I could fit in his Masonic ring. I wanted to try on Wadlow’s big clothes like David Byrne of the Talking Heads wore for his Big Suit tour.

david byrne big suit.gif

Instead, I got to see a lot of pictures of historic buildings that have been torn down. Fascinating. The guide told me they have only one landmark historic building left. I did get to learn about the Piasa Bird which was a large mural painted by Native Americans on limestone bluffs. It was eventually destroyed for the limestone. It was repainted and then destroyed again. Alton seems to really like tearing stuff down. They have repainted it again in a different spot, but now it has wings and the original apparently did not.


That was all just killing time until we reached the Robert Wadlow exhibit at the end of the tour. I did not get to try on a replica of his shoe. I did not get to try to stick anything through his Masonic ring. I did not get to try on a big suit. It was anti-climactic, especially after hearing the story of explorer Alexander von Humboldt.  The museum tour guide regaled me with the story of the 5 year explorations of Alexander von Humboldt in the New World. His explorations seemed to be nowhere close to Alton, Illinois, so I asked about the connection. None, zero, zip, except … von Humboldt ended his travels in 1804, the same year that Lewis & Clark started their travels from the Alton, Illinois area. Hmmm, okay. I guess that’s enough to get you an exhibit in an Alton museum.

Many exhibits in the museum were like that, with tenuous connections to Alton, Illinois. And speaking of tenuous connections, what in the heck does any of this have to do with my family league fantasy football team’s name and logo? Nothing. Visiting the museum gave me no inspiration, and I think Lincoln’s spirit was really pissed at me for not stopping at his grave. So I decided to run with the only Manafort mugshot available, and came up with this team logo for my fantasy football team, Manafart’s Mugshots.

Manafort Mugshots

Yes, I know his name is Manafort, not Manafart. Farts are just more interesting to me than forts, except maybe for that fort I heard about that was not in Alton, but a neighboring area. However, that has been torn down, but memorialized forever in the Alton Museum of History & Art, at least until the Altonians decide to tear that down.




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