I received an e-mail from one of my high school buddies, a member of our 1971 South Tama unbeaten football team, the only unbeaten team in school history. He signed off “G.O.A.T” and I couldn’t figure out what the heck that meant.

I asked my granddaughter, who sighed and said, “Greatest Of All Time.” And added, “Geez, Grandpa.”

Sorry, I’m not spun up on all of the latest acrostics, although I kind of think the country has been using G.O.A.T. for several years now. I just hadn’t paid any attention to it. Now I’m hearing it all of the time.

Tom Brady is G.O.A.T. as an NFL quarterback. Elvis, Springsteen, John Wayne, Mother Theresa, you can add G.O.A.T. to any of them. And when we’re suffering zero degree weather for two straight weeks and covered in 30 inches of snow, it’s sort of fun to consider the “G.O.A.T.s” in our lives.

It’s very subjective, you know. Just like my unbeaten, conference champion and mythical state championship South Tama team. Another STC team made it to the semi-finals of the Class 3A state championship about 20 years ago and finished with a 12-1 record. Most wins in school history, yet a blemished record. We were perfect, thus (in the minds of the guys on my team) G.O.A.T.

My eight-year-old grandson would tell you the G.O.A.T. movie is “Wild Hogs,” with Tim Allen, John Travolta, William Macy and Martin Lawrence.

Sports is probably where G.O.A.T. is used most, although I can tell you if you mentioned President of the United States, Ronald Reagan would be G.O.A.T., although that is just as subjective given the variants of time. The four guys on Mount Rushmore, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt should get votes. Franklin Roosevelt for his war-time leadership as well. The Trumpster? I think time will judge him more fairly for the things he actually accomplished for the American people as opposed to personality politics.

Sports, cars, actors and actresses, movies, soda, rock bands, basketball shoes, board games, I mean these are great conversation starters. G.O.A.T. NFL football game, obviously the 1959 championship between the New York Giants and the Baltimore Colts of Johnny Unitas. Don’t even try to argue that with me. It was the first NFL game I saw on television as a five-year-old.

G.O.A.T. NBA player, John Havlicek (Boston Celtics), okay and Michael Jordan.

G.O.A.T. Major League baseball player, Willie Mays.

G.O.A.T. car. That’s a tough one. I’m thinking any of the coupes built in 1939 with flathead 8 engines, but the 1966 Mustang with the .289 four-barrel also comes to mind…with like a dozen other models.

It’s almost impossible to argue G.O.A.T. rock bands and songs with people of different ages. A lot of people my age would immediately say the Beatles, but a teenage neighbor girl ruined them for me because she was so nuts over Ringo. I would suggest The Coasters, the Supremes, the Crickets, the Grassroots, Steppenwolf, CCR and my kids would look and me and say, “Who?” Had you asked my folks, they would have become all starry-eyed and said, Frank Sinatra, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey or Louis Armstrong and they wouldn’t be wrong.

Ask adults who grew up in the 80s and it might be Queen, Guns ‘N Roses or Metallica and I’d say, “Who?”

See, my ability to judge is severely impaired because I stopped listening to modern rock sometime around 1977, when Oldies radio stations came on line.

G.O.A.T. soda, without question Nesbitt’s Orange.

G.O.A.T. basketball shoe, the original Adias white low top.

G.O.A.T. movie, “Second Hand Lions,” “Tommy Boy,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Bang the Drum Slowly,” any pre-1970 John Wayne movie. I can’t choose.

G.O.A.T. fast food burger, the original Marc’s Big Boy.

I can see a lively argument coming on. Send me your list of G.O.A.T.s in various categories. We’ll publish them and then argue about them the rest of the winter. dave@albianews.com. You can add your reasons why if you’d like.

This is how clueless Joe Biden and his administration is about public school attendance. His big goal in his first 100 days is to have 50 percent of public school students attending classes one day a week in person. Big whoop, right.

Clearly, Biden has forgotten about rural Midwestern, Plains and Southern states run mostly by Republican governors with teacher’s unions who actually care about children. Currently 66 percent of all children in the U.S. are back in school. Talk about aiming high as we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden’s 50 percent, one-day a week plan ought to be reachable by April 1.

Say “amen” if you’re glad to be living in rural Iowa where our school administrators, our teachers, our parents have all busted their humps to make sure kids have (mostly) been back in class face-to-face with teachers. Say “amen” if you’re thankful we have a governor and high school athletic associations that have clearly seen the need to keep our kids on playing fields, in wrestling rooms and on the court and have done so successfully.

Say, “thank you Lord” for people of medicine in Iowa who, for the most part, have actually studied and understand the science of the spread of COVID-19 and haven’t forced us into a bunker mentality.

People are fomenting over the Governor easing COVID-19 restrictions. Basically she said she trusted Iowans to do the right thing. Personal responsibility is a frightening thing for people who want government to control everything. I attended a regional basketball game on Saturday. Close to 100 percent were wearing masks. Then we stayed in a hotel in Fairfield to attend a club volleyball tournament on Sunday. Again, the AmericInn in Fairfield still had a mask policy that almost everybody adhered to. The recreation center in Fairfield still had a mask policy and between 85-95 percent of people adhered to it. McDonald’s still didn’t have its dining room open, Subway did, but all its employees were masked.

The Governor said she trusts us. I think we’ll repay her for that vote of confidence.