In the early 1980’s, Kool & The Gang urged us to “celebrate good times” in their #1 Billboard hit “Celebration”. Back then, the NFL and it’s players took that message to heart with some of the most entertaining post-score frolic ever displayed at a sporting event. The Billy “White Shoes” Johnson end-zone dance, Ickey Woods’ “Shuffle”, the Fun Bunch jump, and others, delighted crowds and TV watchers alike, helping to propel the league to the top of the American sports popularity charts.
Today, while the iconic disco hit continues to get regular radio airplay, and is a staple of every wedding DJ’s playlist, the NFL has decided to take the opposite approach and secure it’s moniker’s definition as the “No Fun League”. For example, any type of group celebration, or multi-player choreographed revelry is verboten … very odd for the ultimate TEAM sport. Any use of a prop; including the ball, goal posts, or pylons; is forbidden. Further, anything that the officials deem inappropriate or found to be remotely taunting can evoke the dreaded yellow flag indicating a 15 yard Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty.
Granted, the TD hoopla was getting out of hand with the likes of Terrell Owens and his antics – which included carrying a sharpie in his sock to autograph the ball and hand it to the defender, taking the ball to mid-field and spiking it on his opponent’s logo, and taking a nap on the ball in the end-zone on his opponent’s painted name. His celebrations were more taunting in nature, forcing the league’s honchos to reign in his potentially volatile-reaction-inducing acts.
However, as usually happens, the chieftains let the pendulum swing too far. Just this season alone, we’ve seen the penalty flag fly for two players who have imitated shooting an arrow into the air; three players who gathered and waved their arms in the air; and, just yesterday, a player was flagged for shooting the football into the air as if it were a basketball! Players can’t even remove their helmets on the field without incurring a penalty.
It’s time for the NFL to wake up! TV ratings are falling; teams are having trouble selling out; and the air of a fun, and even outlandish, player pool filled with mesmerizing personalities which helped lift the league to unprecedented heights is seemingly disappearing. The powers that be need to allow the hilarity of an Antonio Brown hugging the goal posts, the joy of a Cardinal team dancing, or the delight of a Michael Crabtree throwing the ball 50 feet into the air, to occur WITHOUT CONSEQUENCE. They need to allow their players to “celebrate good times … C’MON!”.
He knew it. We all knew it. But, Peyton Manning was too classy to make his team’s championship moment about him. No … he waited until nearly the last minute possible to announce he was taking that proverbial stroll into the sunset on his brilliant NFL career in order for his teammates, coaches, and organization to bask in the glory of the rare feat of becoming Super Bowl champion. Oh, I’m sure we could all name a player or two (dozen) that would have stolen the spotlight in their post-game interviews and taken center stage in the media circus. But, not this ring leader.
Nor should it be surprising that the ultimate on-field leader would take the high road off-field, as well. He has spent his entire career trying to deflect the well-deserved attention to others; like colleagues Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas; coaches Tony Dungy, John Fox, and Gary Kubiak; or even team owners Jim Irsay and Pat Bowlen. So, when it came time to answer whether the 50th edition of Super Sunday would be his last in the NFL, he decided to merely say he was going to enjoy the moment “with some Buds” (we can only hope that there may have been some Spicoliesque double entendre intended).
In a word, Peyton Manning is “class”. It’s been the mantra of the way he has handled himself his entire time in the limelight of football. No outrageous attitude, no sense of entitlement, no diva behavior (can’t say the same for his QB sibling). Yet, he dedicated himself completely to his craft, honing his gridiron IQ and skills to the very end. If one was to ever search for the penultimate blueprint for success, Peyton Manning’s work ethic, attitude, and approach should certainly be considered.
I will miss Peyton Manning. I will miss the example he set, not only for his fellow football player, but for every fan of the game. I will miss seeing his magician-like play-action fakes, his pinpoint passes under ponderous duress, and his artful last-second audibles. Most of all, I will miss, as the play clock winds down to it’s last few precious ticks, the loud yell of “The Sheriff” preparing the other ten for the impending snap: with the accent on the third syllable … “OMAHA!”
I can’t be quiet any longer! I just can’t!! My self imposed muteness must end. The shit pile we call a country was going down the crapper at a parabolic pace, and there didn’t seem that anything could be done on this end. The louder I screamed, the worse it got.
Many want to blame it on Obama, or the Republican controlled congress. Others take aim at Wall Street, or the Military-Industrial Complex. Still others hold the media responsible, be it liberal or conservative. Me??? I blame them all!
We, as a general populace, are screwed daily, from multiple directions, and from multiple uninvited parties. People into BDSM call it “Air Tight”. Which is what this poltico-socio-economic system we’ve come to accept; that represses, suppresses, and oppresses the vast majority of us in ways we may not even comprehend; seems to be for the very few who thrive splendidly in it.
That said, it is not the butt-fucking of the masses by the “of, for, and by the people” mirage that has me back on my cyber pulpit. NOPE! It’s actually the possibility that we could be repeating the unquestionably ugliest chapter in human history, a mere 71 years after the nightmare ended. In case you haven’t read your history, there was a man who rallied a disgruntled electorate behind a culture of distrust, and eventually hatred, of minorities; a belief that their society was superior to all others; and savagely, and eventually murderously, enforced their dogma with a goon squad made up of angry, violent sociopaths.
In the video below, you can see how Donald Trump’s legions treat anyone who does not espouse the same ideals as their vaunted leader. It doesn’t matter if you are vocal protestor, a silent observer, or even a legitimate journalist trying to make your living covering the front runner for the Republican Presidential nomination … you are fair game for a beat down:
The rabid staunchness of his supporters – and the lengths they will go to in order to defend his inane, if not inhumane, tenets – is eerily similar to the early days of what would become the Third Reich. His henchmen, hauntingly reminiscent of what would become the SS. His xenophobia, Islamophobia, and self-admitted chiraptophobia; strikingly similar to the many psychosis exhibited by Adolph Hitler, himself.
I guess it’s not surprising to see the ugly head of fear, race/religion-baiting, and bullying take hold of a significant portion of the public. After all, there is great discord going on in this country. Besides, most of the population can’t name the Vice President, much less remember the murderous crimes against humanity committed by a psychotic, paranoid, schizophrenic and his followers last century. Though, if you were to actually study some history, you might find the parallels unnerving. You might even find yourself wanting to stand up to the insanity and say “ENOUGH!”. I know I do.
With the Holidays impossibly already upon us, I was wondering what was the gift that truly keeps on giving? What would keep on giving not only to the recipient, but also to those they come into contact with? After all, if you are going to give something to someone, they should be able to share the joy of that gift with family, friends … heck, even strangers.
The cynic humorist would readily reply “Herpes is the gift that keeps on giving”. However, in the spirit of the season, I strive to a higher understanding here.
Donating an organ, or even blood for that matter, is a noble act that can offer the ultimate gift of life to it’s beneficiary. While no greater bestowment can surely be offered, it is one that actually stops with the donee. You can argue that the love and affection that friends and family can continue to share is proof of the “keep on giving” assertion. Yet, the gift of heart, lung, et al are only facilitators here, not actual participants in the “keep on” part of our quest. Besides, if the recipient turns out to be such a weenie that they’d make Ebenezer Scrooge seem like the poster-child for the Salvation Army, then the gift actually begins to “take away”.
Love is a wonderful gift to offer. Other than the aforementioned organ donation, there may be no greater thing to offer of one’s self. However, love is fragile and can all too easily be stepped on, like a night snail crossing an unlit sidewalk, ending it’s journey on the eternal conferring quest.
Kindness. Yes, as the recent TV campaign for an insurance company illustrates, random acts of kindness can be passed on infinitum, and actually come back to you in the end. But, get one dick-head slacker caught up in that karmic chain-letter and it gets knocked flatter than Manny Pacquiao.
So, what is it that can be gifted and continue to be passed on for eternity … or, at least, until the gift itself can no longer be viably shared? CASH! Yep … cold hard cash, dough, currency!! Now, before you go branding me a heartless prick who has no concept of the word “giving” or the idea of what constitutes a genuine gift, hear me out.
First, there is no doubt that cash keeps on giving to both acquaintance and stranger alike. If I give you a $100 bill, chances are you are going to spend it. You might treat yourself to a massage and facial, or a full tank of gas and a couple of Happy Meals. You might get the kids the latest toy craze that will undoubtedly go untouched within 60-90 days. You might take your significant other out to a dinner that doesn’t include paper napkins and ketchup packets. You might even put it in the bank to “save it for another day”. Yet, at some point, you are going to spend it … and the person who is next in the c-note reception line will end up spending it, too. And, so on, until that bill ultimately receives it’s untimely end at the end of a lit cigar, in a sunken safe at the bottom of the Laurentian Abyssal, or in a Treasury Department shredder.
Second, a certain freedom comes with an unanticipated windfall of wampum. You are free to spend, share, or dispense it as you please. Sure gift cards are nice. Though, the givee is restricted to the specific choice of establishment, and their offerings, of the giver. With an envelope loaded with legal tender, however, there are no constraints as to the who, what, where, and when the continued giving is conducted.
Lastly, everyone loves the gift of greenbacks! No one has ever stood in line for an hour or more to return or exchange the present of dead Presidents. Nor has anyone ever expressed disappointment, scorn, or regret in the boon of good-gotten booty. The unexpected largess of loot can bring a great sense of relief to the awardee in need; and feeling of frivolity, or even philanthropy, to those who are already flush.
Sure, banknotes do not carry the sentimental value that many other “gifts from the heart” may possess. But, sentimentality is not our pursuit here. And, please, don’t confuse cash with a check, which lends itself to be deposited rather than dispensed. Don’t even get me started on the cold, callous “electronic transfer”!
So, if you are wondering what to get Dorkus for the Holiday, allow me some literary license with, if not outright butchery of, the words of Lady Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your crumpled masses of Fins, Sawbucks, Jacksons, and Benjamins yearning to breathe free … Send these, the spondulick, pocket-money to me. I lift my lamp beside the folding-green door!” Most importantly, I promise to pass them on!!
If you haven’t heard, several states have issued post-election secession petitions to the White House. Gun sales have also skyrocketed since President Obama won a convincing reelection bid last week. Some are now correlating that these two responses portend an impending Civil War II. While I won’t argue the ridiculousness of that assertion, based on the fact that the vast majority of the population in those states oppose such a radical reaction to a Black man inhabiting the Oval Office, I will offer a simple peaceful solution to the remote possibility that Americans will once again take up arms against each other: LET THEM SECEDE!
It’s not so much that many of these “America: Love It, Or Leave It!” bumper sticker toting hypocrites, who don’t believe in science; the separation of church and state; or true individual liberty, are trying to drag the rest of us into an apocalyptic quagmire they gleefully call “The Rapture”. It’s more that while they claim to want the feds to stop giving handouts to the so-called “takers” in this country, it is actually them that are the true recipients of handouts from “big government”. Yep! THEY are the ones creating a real drag on our economy and inflating our national debt with their insatiable hunger to suck on the tax-payer-teat. Six, count ’em, six of the top-ten per-capita recipients of federal assistance dollars are states that are leading this secession campaign.
I say, let ’em go! We’ll save money, we’ll instantly raise the IQ level of our country, and we’ll have a neighboring country to whom we can export the high tech products we will be producing: from alternate energy sources to efficient cars, innovative communications to cutting-edge entertainment, and new medical breakthroughs to natural resources. It will also make it much easier for the elected representatives that remain, the majority of which will come from “Blue States” based on the states leading this new Confederate charge, to move forward with the business of governing the country rather than trying to negotiate with reactionaries that are more committed to filibusters and political ideology than to compromise and real patriotism.
In short, it will be an expeditious way to clean the American gene pool, and get this country back on a track that honors and respects individual freedom, intelligent discourse, and the American tradition of including the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free”. Besides, if you truly want to leave this country because a person of color has become your leader, you were never a true American to begin with … and, please, let the door hit you in the ass on your way out!
First, let me say that I have ignored this cyber rag for way too long. But, that doesn’t mean that my mind hasn’t been whirling like Donald Trump’s hair during Hurricane Sandy. Only that I haven’t had a spare moment to tap away at this QWERTY keyboard. Hopefully, there won’t be the same hiatus between posts.
Now, on to the subject at hand. If you haven’t heard Bill O’Reilly’s lamentation on the results of Tuesday’s election, then you probably don’t know that the political sky is falling! That’s right!! Chicken Neck Bill took a page from his apparent ancestor, Chicken Little’s, take on the atmospheric state of affairs. According to the Fox Not News host (I can’t bring myself to refer to him as an “anchor”), rich, old, white guys (ROWG’s) no longer run the United States Of America!
While his ignorance of this national trend – that actually began in the 1800’s with the elections of Joseph Hayne Rainey and Hiram Revels, continued in the early 1900’s with the election of Jeannette Rankin, and has progressed to unprecedented heights in the 21st century – serves to underscore that most, if not all, of Chicken Neck’s opinions are based on little, if any, merit, facts, or truth. ROWG’s have been losing their piece of the pie for some time. It’s just that now, with a Black President re-elected for a second term, more women coming to Capitol Hill than ever before (including an entirely female New Hampshire delegation), more minorities serving in Congress than ever before, an electorate that has become decidedly colorized, and several states giving their okey-dokey to both gay marriage and recreational marijuana use, the cold hard facts are sinking in for the minions over at the reality-starved network.
While, in the face of this week’s election results, the Republican Party is getting a wake up call that they need to hear the voices of women, minorities, and young people if they are to remain a viable political entity in years to come, FOX Not News needs to come to a similar realization if they are to remain a viable media entity. Otherwise, they run the risk of looking like a black and white rerun of “Father Know’s Best” … nostalgic, but not very relevant. Though, by the look on Chicken Neck’s face, any progressive change that may come from either the GOP or FOX will, at best, come very begrudgingly, if at all. Perhaps, the ROWG’s skies are indeed falling.
Temperatures in excess of 114° Fahrenheit spawned a few brush fires today, including this one on US 101 just north of Westlake Village, CA just across the Los Angeles/Ventura County line. It was still burning at the time of this post. So far, there are no reports of injuries or property damage.