. . . or is it?
The always excellent Bob Molinaro notes that the fuss itself is part of the fuss:
I think a person can support Michael Sam and his desire to play in the NFL and still wonder why the media are going so far overboard in reporting his story. The cover of Sports Illustrated? Really? Instead of harping on how players, team officials and other folks are going to have problems handling the first openly gay pro football player, the media might want to examine how their own handling of the story warps perspective.
Daniel Ruth takes on the hate-full reactions of some in the NFL to Michael Sam’s announcement that he is gay. A nugget:
Both USA Today and the San Diego Union-Tribune have maintained a database of player arrests since 2000. By the end of 2013, at least 685 players have had run-ins with the law, including DUI charges, assault, failure to pay child support, spousal abuse, disorderly conduct, illegal weapons and drug possession. Of course, the gold medal of mug shots goes to former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge.
And the NFL is worried that a football player in the next locker who might have a boyfriend rises to a distraction? Peyton Manning doesn’t need to be shouting “Omaha! Omaha!” at the line of scrimmage. It should be “Miranda! Miranda!”
Also, the normally tepid and conventional Frank Bruni weighs in.
Dave Neiwert looks behind the curtain.
It’s vital to pay attention, amid all the glitz and Olympic glamor, to what’s going on under the surface in Russia. The show we are seeing in Sochi this month is all facade, and what’s beneath, as I’ve been saying, is profoundly disturbing.
One of the reasons I have railed in the past about right-wing efforts to confuse the public’s understanding of the meaning and nature of fascism — embodied in Jonah Goldberg’s travesty, Liberal Fascism — is that people would cease being able to distinguish the real thing when it came along. Well, it is on our doorstep in much of Eastern Europe now, as we speak, and particularly in Russia. And hardly anyone, it seems, recognizes it.
As I’ve noted previously, the real red flag when it comes to fascism isn’t merely the spread of scapegoating politics (focusing for now on gays and immigrants), producing eliminationist thuggery in the classic Brownshirt mold — it is when officialdom, the government authorities and church leaders, not only condone such behavior but encourage and reinforce it.
Follow the link for more and for the video.
Reg Henry is not impressed. A nugget:
No, my problem is the lingering suspicion that the Winter Games are a sort of made-up, compensatory affair. They are like Take Your Daughter to Work Day becoming Take Your Child to Work Day. You have to include everybody or others will feel left out.
The sports that make up the Winter Games are also a little suspect. You will note that they tend to be activities most people do for fun in the winter out of a sheer boredom, not a sense of competition. People have skated for centuries, but originally when they leaped about in imaginative ways it was just called showing off, not a perfect 10 on the judges’ scorecards.
Follow the link, then watch an NCIS rerun.
Listen to the words of a veteran Olympic athlete:
Now I understand my failure to connect to the pomp of the opening ceremonies, the confused emptiness that consumed me as I stood in the cold of a Turin winter, wrapped in the American flag, wincing under the cruel glare of a thousand flashbulbs. The real function of the Olympic athlete in the world of corporatized sports is clear to me now. Amateur status is mandatory for any Olympic hopeful, but athletic training at the elite level is a full-time job. Most nations get around the problem by giving their Olympic athletes significant government support, but our best athletes are almost entirely dependent on corporate sponsorship. For the athletes, the consequences of this addiction can be disastrous.
The socialization of my allegiance to Verizon began the moment I was selected—as an 11-year-old—for the US development team. The culture within the US Luge Association viewed brand loyalty as integral to the survival of the organization. All of my clothing was plastered with the Verizon logo. I was not allowed near any camera without giving a visual and verbal statement of thanks to Verizon for making all of my dreams come true. I went through intensive media training each year to reinforce this allegiance—to learn how to be a better spokesperson for Verizon.
Read the rest, then watch a Castle rerun.
If you like watching large men court concussions by running into each other high speed for a machine that chews them and spits them out, enjoy.
Otherwise, do something useful, like a crossword puzzle or a game of Canfield.
Yes, I’m fed up with Big Football and the endless inane news
wankery “coverage” of it all.
Didn’t miss much, did I?
The home-team coaches thought they had found a creative way to fire up their team: spray paint.
The scandal began with the discovery of vandalism on Nov. 1, 2013, when orange and black spray paint — South Pittsburg’s school colors — was used to scribble vulgarities on Marion County’s field house. The colors were intended to make it look like South Pittsburg Pirates supporters were the culprits.
The vandalism consisted of spray-painted words on the side doors and along the back of the school’s field house and a storage building and a concrete parking lot. Trash was scattered around the field house and derogatory names aimed at Marion County coaches and players, as well as a large “P” — South Pittsburg’s logo — were painted on the buildings.
I am getting closer and closer to concluding that American football is broken at every level of play.
Even though I have not watched a football game on the telly vision all this season (and have realized that life is much more fun without watching large men on steroids run into each other), I can still take some satisfaction that the New England Patriots, a team quarterbacked by a jerk and coached by a bigger jerk, managed to lose a ball game.
I look forward to not watching the Stupor Bowl.
Is there any reputedly “legitimate” endeavor (other than possibly Wall Street banking) more corrupt and venal than big-time college sports?
Hmmmm. Games worth watching divided by games on TV today.
I can’t remember.
What happens when you divide into zero?
(Follow the link for his answer.)
Bertolt Brecht said
Perhaps he was talking about big-time football:
A Michigan native who has lived in Philadelphia for two years says he was harassed and beaten unconscious by a group of Eagles fans outside Lincoln Financial Field after the Eagles’ 34-20 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Follow the link. The story has, as the folks who want to appear street-wise say, “cred.”
This is big-time sports, the circuses (of the famous “bread and circuses,” but without the bread) for the 99%.
The corruption of big-time football infects everything it touches.