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Tag Archives: NFL

Memorial Day Thoughts

I’m just about as anti-war as a person can be, and being an American I have had to watch countless military adventures our country’s leaders have taken us on. I have opposed virtually every one of those adventures. I came of age with Grenada and Lebanon and useless fist-shaking military strikes authorized by President Reagan.

The one I supported … well, actually, there have been two. The first was our military intervention to put a stop to the ethnic slaughters that were taking place in the former Yugoslavia. I felt that was a situation where we could use our military might for a good cause that didn’t necessarily have anything to do with our strategic interests. We actually used our power for an unselfish purpose.

The second was the post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan to put an end to the Taliban and al Qaeda and to help Afghanistan enter the modern world of nations. My support of this effort turned sour when it became clear that the Bush Administration actually had no real plan for accomplishing those objectives. Almost seventeen years later, that “war” grinds on with no end in sight, no clear idea of what the objective is, no exit strategy. nothing. Just soldiers continuing to try to do the right thing while fighting and dying.

As anti-war as I am I also am fascinated with the stories of war and the soldiers that fight them. A few months ago, I saw previews for Thank You For Your Service. The previews seemed far too jingoistic for me and I haven’t seen the movie. I did, however, buy the book and am reading it now. The author, David Finkel, also wrote The Good Soldiers, an excellent book about our Iraq War. The book is a no holds barred, in your face, gut-wrenching look at the after-effects of war on soldiers who return home.

I have read countless books on Afghanistan and Iraq, on World War II, Vietnam, the Civil War, The War to End All Wars (yeah, right), and others. I am fascinated with these stories. My favorite movie (if I’m not counting The Holy Grail) is Saving Private Ryan.  Band of Brothers is just incredible.

The point for me is this. I may be anti-war, but I honor those who serve and put their lives on the line. They do something I could never do, and I feel compelled to know their story. That’s the least I can do. So, on this Memorial Day, if you don’t want to read a book, read this. Honor a fallen hero by knowing his story and those who have lost him.

* * * * *

Meanwhile, the NFL is a joke and our President is worse. The former announced a new policy that allows its players to continue protesting just so long as they do it behind closed doors so nobody can see it. They claim the owners supported it unanimously, but the 49ers abstained from the “vote” and the Jets have already said they won’t discipline any of their players if they continue to protest. So, not only did they adopt a policy that doesn’t stop the protesting, but treats the protesters like … well, they belong on the back of the bus … but they lied about it. I will do everything I can to skip the NFL this fall.

As for our President… After the NFL announced their new policy, he tweeted that players who kneel during the National Anthem should find another country. The idea that the only way to honor this country, to be patriotic, to demonstrate your love for this country, is to stand for the National Anthem — that kneeling during the song is disrespectful — is so dictatorial, authoritarian, and anti-American, I will not stand for the National Anthem as long as he is President. He has bastardized American and is destroying it from within. And disrespecting those who have fought and died for the freedoms and principles this country was founded on.

“Move to another country?” I think not. I’m staying right here, exercising my rights as an American to have a different opinion and to express it freely. I look forward to when we have a President again who respects those rights for all citizens.

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I Apologize in Advance

I may piss people off with this … but I’m troubled by the reaction to Ray Rice.

First, let me say this.  There is no place in the world for domestic violence.  There is no place in the world for men to hit women, abuse women, assault women, punch them into unconsciousness.  What Ray Rice did to his fiancee is disgusting and there is no excuse for it.  No plausible justification.  I will not ever condone somebody doing anything like what Ray Rice did.

That all said…

We’re talking about the NFL.  American Football.  Where the point of the game is to destroy the opponent.  To tackle them and slam their bodies to the ground.  Many of these athletes have been playing the game since they first were able to walk.  They are worshipped and treated as heroes for nothing more than the ability to pound their opponent into the ground.  It is a violent game.  The most violent of the major sports in this country.  OK, hockey is a close second.

I just have a real problem with the league and its owners profiting off of such a violent game acting so outraged at something like this.  It seems massively hypocritical.  But, then, that is what ultimately defines the NFL these days … hypocrisy.

 

Why?

Green Paint Splashed on the Lincoln Memorial.

Why can’t there be certain places that are so sacred that they are untouchable?  Top of the list for me would probably be the Lincoln Memorial.

Bankrupt Detroit to Build $444 Million Hockey Stadium.

With city taxpayers footing 2/3 of the bill for the stadium, why do I now feel as though the bankruptcy filed by the city of Detroit is a sham instead of a shame?

Zimmerman Juror Thought He Was Guilty.

Why didn’t she vote her belief and her conscience then?  She says “the law didn’t prove it.”  I call bullshit.  She should have stood up to B37 who seems to have gone into the trial and deliberations with an agenda — writing a book and getting rich off of it.

The Monday Morning Quarterback.

This last link is to Sports Illustrated’s new website dedicated to the NFL 365 days a year.  Why does a sport that lasts from August through January, and in which each team only plays once a week during the regular season, have to dominate sports for an entire year?   It’s nearing the end of July.  Pennant races are heating up, the trade deadline approaches.  This is when baseball takes it up a notch.  And what are the headlines on all of the sports websites?  NFL training camps begin soon — what teams will surprise, what teams will disappoint, blah, blah, blah.

The Monday Morning Quarterback began as a very well written, multipage, multistory look at each Sunday’s NFL games.  Peter King wrote that weekly column.  Eventually it was expanded to a shorter Tuesday edition as well.  Now, it is a multi-authored, daily website.  All about the NFL.  I think they jumped the shark on this one.  Peter King was worth reading once a week.  The daily effort, including other writers, will water down the effort.

Never mind that the NFL is quickly becoming the second most boring major sport.  Right behind the NBA.

What’s Wrong with America

The Super Bowl, or what my psycho ex-girlfriend referred to as the Stupid Bowl, is over and what’s one of the sub-headlines on this week’s Sports Illustrated?  I’ll tell you because I know you want to know. 

NFL Off-Season Preview.

Yes, that’s right.  The football season is over.  Finally.  And rather than turning to baseball or hockey, soccer or basketball, there are pages of discussion of what each NFL team needs to address for next year. 

I absolutely cannot stand this nation’s obsession with the National Football League.  As of about 7:30 PST Sunday evening, it was the off-season.  Take a break.  Deep breath.  Relax.  Let it go for a few months. 

NFL Warriors

I have a love-hate relationship with the NFL.  Well, actually more of an indifference-hate relationship.  Yes, I follow the sport.  I watch on the weekends.  I’m a Steelers fan who has enjoyed rooting the one team that has been more or less consistently competitive over the past 40 years.  But, were the NFL to disappear tomorrow, I wouldn’t care.  Give me baseball twelve months a year and I’d be happy.

The thing that fascinates me about the NFL — more particularly, the players — is the abuse they take to keep playing the game.  Every time a running back, quarterback, or wide receiver is slammed to the ground and they bounce back up like it was nothing, I’m amazed.  Lay me down gently on a thick rug and I’m staying there for a moment or two.  Slam me down on a surface that is remarkably similar to concrete and I’ll be seeing you in the doctor’s office.

This piece does nothing to dispel my fascination.  I don’t get it.

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