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Happy birthday, Leaplings.

Yeah, the name kind of stinks, but if you were born on this day — Feb. 29 — that's the tag you get. Leaplings. (Better than being born on Feb. 2, I guess, because then it might be a Groundhoggy.)

Rapper Ja Rule was born on this day in 1976. He's 44 but this is his 11th birthday.

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins is 60 (or 15) today, Alex Rocco (he played Moe Greene in "The Godfather") would have been 84 (or 21) today, and Dinah Shore would have been 104 (or 26) today.

And while most Leaplings either celebrate on Feb. 28 or March 1, you can make up for lost time. Among the multitude of birthday freebies offered up today was the national chain Olive Garden saying it would give away four desserts to those Leaplings to make up for lost time. (Check your local Olive Garden's participation beforehand, friends.)

 

Because, well, politics

There have been a lot of "shut up and dribble" conversations among folks who want to keep politics out of sports.

It's hard these days, with controversies ranging from Kapernick or Rapinoe to the backlash Travis Kelce created this week.

Kelce, a star on the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, openly talked about being super excited about visiting the White House, a statement most public figures avoid like calling a Q on celebrity "Wheel of Fortune" or shaking hands with someone getting off a Chinese cruise ship.

Crazy, right? Well, it's even tougher to keep sports free from politics when everyone is so quick to make everything about politics today.

Case in point: Country music superstar Garth Brooks was in Michigan for a show this week and wore a Detroit Lions football jersey with the No. 20 and the name "Sanders" on the back.

Conservatives went nuts on ol' Garth and called him every name in the book thinking the name was for Bernie Sanders and the number was for the election year.

Uh, gang, that's BARRY Sanders, the greatest NFL running back since Walter Payton and easily the most famous Lion since the Wizard of Oz.

 

A bell a racist symbol?

Everyone is offended by something — you should read my email if you doubt that for a second.

But now overreactions in our hyper-PC world have moved from pronouns to simple nouns.

Follow along.

At Tulane University, a great school in Louisiana, the powers that be have discontinued a longstanding tradition because of its tie to slavery almost 200 years ago.

The culprit? A bell. Specifically, the McAlister Victory Bell. The president and board decided to remove the bell from the front of McAlister Auditorium because it is believed the bell was used on a plantation that had slaves in the early 1800s.

The bell, used to celebrate basketball wins and graduation ceremonies for all Tulane students over the last 60 years, was moved to storage while the university investigates more deeply into its origins.

It's a bell, for Pete's sake. Ding-dong indeed.

Contact Jay Greeson at jgreeson@timesfreepress.com.

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