Finneran: The Male Ego & Other Absurdities

Friday, February 02, 2018
Tom Finneran, GoLocalProv MINDSETTERâ„¢

Tom Finneran

You’ve heard of the male ego right?

It makes the dumb side of the species even dumber. I should know.

Dumb, dumber, dumbest. That’s me.

I’m now restricted to typing with one hand because of my male ego.

The medical diagnosis is torn rotator cuff. The causative factor is the pea-sized male brain, shrunk even further by the never dormant male ego.

Last Friday, on the eve of my birthday and acting on a two month old goal, I was determined to bench press a particular weight. It was a reasonable goal and one I had already done two days before. But, being the birthday boy, and affected by the showoff male ego, I decided that I was going to do it all over again.

Nice try. Goodbye right shoulder. Hello torn rotator cuff.

I have long passed the age where birthdays hold any significance. At this point, they are only reminders that I have rounded third and am heading for home. Beyond the bench press, my other goals were to beat the West Point graduation standards for pushups, pullups, situps and the three-mile run.

Check, check, check, and check. Done! I’m actually in good shape and I was getting better every week. Until the male ego took over........................

My wife is torn by a smidgeon of sympathy for her beloved husband and a boatload of I told-you-so/ what were you thinking/how stupid can you be laughter.

Of course by now you’d think that my male ego would slink off to a cave forever. Nah, no such thing. I told my wife that I think I have one more Marathon in me! My ego thinks that the girls at Wellesley College surely want to see me run by stripped to the waist, ripped and ready to dance.

By the way, the many Happy Birthday wishes I received last weekend made the shoulder pain a bit more bearable. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Don’t you just love those car ads that run this time of year? Beautiful snow-covered roads, twisting and turning without a sander in sight. Apparently no plows are needed there, for every car is zooming along throwing up waves of snow. The car never skids, it never goes sideways, it never does a heart-stopping 360. It’s as if God is behind the wheel.

In one sense, I suppose that it’s fairly harmless. No New England driver could take these ads seriously. We’re all too familiar with freezing rain, black ice, and slick snow. We’ve all slid through an intersection or two, barely avoiding disaster and quickly alternating between devout prayer and brutal cursing.

Yet in another sense, the ads seem to create an aura of invincibility........perhaps related to the male ego! The next time you’re out driving in crappy winter conditions, count the cowboys behind the wheel. On a snow-covered road where twenty miles an hour is borderline, they’ll go whizzing by you at fifty. Maybe they think that four wheel drive, or all wheel drive, or front wheel drive immunizes them from the laws of physics. God are they stupid. If they want to wrap themselves around a light pole I can’t do much about it. But do they have to put the rest of us at risk? And, is it just a figment of my imagination that the biggest percentage of snow cowboys are either driving a pickup truck or a BMW? What’s with that? Even German engineering has its limits. Slow down and let us all get home safe and sound.


The extravaganza is upon us. Another spectacle of excess envelops America. Supermarkets and liquor stores will be mobbed. Bets will be placed on everything---the coin toss, the length of the National Anthem, the first injury, the last penalty. Everything is subject to a wager.

I’ll tune in about ten minutes to game time, thereby avoiding about eight hours of ads for Budweiser, Viagra, and cars that zoom right along through blizzards.

My hope is that we see a good game, one that’s competitive to the end. My prediction is that the Patriots win. They have a better coach, a better quarterback, and they have Gronkowski. The three of them are All-Universe in my book. And they have played on this stage before. Talent and experience matter. Patriots win.

Dust off the duck-boats.


Tom Finneran is the former Speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, served as the head the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, and was a longstanding radio voice in Boston radio

  • Sponsor: GoLocalProv

    Sample: N=403

    Rhode Island General Election Voters Margin of Error: +/- 4.9% at 95% Confidence Level

    Interviewing Period: October 9-11, 2017

    Mode: Landline (61%) and Mobile (39%)

    Telephone Directed by: John Della Volpe, SocialSphere, Inc.

  • Are you registered to vote at this address?

    Yes: 100%

  • When it comes to voting, do you consider yourself to be affiliated with the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, Moderate, or Unaffiliated with a major party?

    Unaffiliated: 49%

    Democrat: 32%

    Republican: 15%

    Moderate: .4%

  • Next year, in November of 2018, there will be a statewide general election for Governor and many other state offices. How likely is it that you will vote in this election?

    Will you definitely be voting, will you probably be voting, are you 50-50...

    Definitely be voting: 78%

    Probably be voting: 13%

    50-50: 9%

  • In general, would you say things in Rhode Island are headed in the right direction or are they off on the wrong track?

    Right track: 39%

    Wrong track: 45%

    Mixed: 10%

    Don't know/Refused: .6%

  • What would you say is the number one problem facing Rhode Island that you would like the Governor to address?

    Jobs and economy:  21%

    Education: 12%

    Taxes: 12%

    Roads: 12%

    State budget: 9%

    Corruption/Public integrity: .8%

    Healthcare: 3%

    Governor: 3%

    Homelessness: 2%

    Immigration: 2%

    Other: 7%

    Don’t know: .9%

  • Over the past three years or so, would you say the economy in Rhode Island has improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

    Changed for the better: 35%

    Changed for the worse: 16%

    Not changed at all: 43%

    Don't know/Refused: 5%

  • Over the same time, has your family's financial situation improved, gotten worse, or not changed at all?

    Changed for the better: 26%

    Changed for the worse: 19%

    Not changed at all: 54%

    Don't know/Refused: 1%

  • Recently, a proposal has been made to permit the issuance of $81 million in bonds by the State to build a new stadium for the Pawtucket Red Sox. If there was an election today on this issue, would you vote to approve or reject issuing $81 million in financing supported moral obligation bonds to build the stadium?

    Net: Approve: 28%

    Definitely approve: 15%

    Probably approve: 14%

    Net: Reject: 67%

    Probably reject: 19%

    Definitely reject: 48%

    Don't know: 4%

  • Could you please tell me your age?

    18-24: 7%

    25-34: 15%

    35-44: 15%

    45-54: 20%

    55-64: 17%

    65+: 25%

    Don't know/refused: 1%

  • What was the last grade you completed in school?

    0-11: 2%

    High school grad: 16%

    Technical/Vocational school: 1%

    Some college: 23%

    College grad: 34%

    Graduate degree: 24%

    Don't know/refused: 1%

  • The next question is about the total income of YOUR HOUSEHOLD for the PAST 12 MONTHS. Please include your income PLUS the income of all members living in your household (including cohabiting partners and armed forces members living at home).

    $50,000 or less: 27%

    More $50,000 but less than $75,000: 13%

    More $75,000 but less than $100,000: 13%

    More $100,000 but less than $150,000: 17%

    $150,000 or more: 13%

    Don't know/refused: 17%

  • What particular ethnic group or nationality - such as English, French, Italian, Irish, Latino, Jewish, African American, and so forth - do you consider yourself a part of or feel closest to?

    American/None: 21%

    English: 13%

    Italian: 13%

    Irish: 12%

    Black or African American: 6%

    Latino/Hispanic: 6%

    French: 6%

    Portuguese: 3%

    Jewish: 3%

    German: 1%

  • Would you say that Donald Trump has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as President?

    Excellent: 13%
    Good: 12%
    Fair: 14%
    Poor: 57%
    Never heard of:  0%
    Cannot rate: 3%

  • Would you say that Jack Reed has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a United States Senator?

    Excellent: 22%
    Good: 29%
    Fair: 23%
    Poor: 15%
    Never heard of: 6%
    Cannot rate: 6%

  • Would you say that Sheldon Whitehouse has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a United States Senator?

    Excellent: 17%
    Good: 22%
    Fair: 21%
    Poor: 28%
    Never heard of: 6%
    Cannot rate: 7%

  • Would you say that David Cicilline has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a Member of Congress?

    Excellent: 9%
    Good: 29%
    Fair: 21%
    Poor: 27%
    Never heard of: 6%
    Cannot rate:  8%

  • Would you say that James Langevin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as a Member of Congress?

    Excellent: 7%
    Good: 30%
    Fair: 20%
    Poor: 18%
    Never heard of: 13%
    Cannot rate: 11%

  • Would you say that Gina Raimondo has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Governor?

    Excellent: 6%
    Good: 28%
    Fair: 30%
    Poor: 31%
    Never heard of: 1%
    Cannot rate: 3%

  • Would you say that Daniel McKee has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Lieutenant Governor?

    Excellent: 3%
    Good: 16%
    Fair: 21%
    Poor: 8%
    Never heard of: 26%
    Cannot rate: 25%

  • Would you say that Peter Kilmartin has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Attorney General?

    Excellent: 3%
    Good: 20%
    Fair: 28%
    Poor: 17%
    Never heard of: 13%
    Cannot rate: 19%

  • Would you say that Seth Magaziner has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as General Treasurer?

    Excellent: 4%
    Good: 18%
    Fair: 24%
    Poor: 13%
    Never heard of: 21%
    Cannot rate: 21%

  • Would you say that Nellie Gorbea has done an excellent good, fair or poor job as Secretary of State?

    Excellent: 5%
    Good: 21%
    Fair: 21%
    Poor: 10%
    Never heard of: 20%
    Cannot rate: 23%



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