NFL End Zones Now Sponsored by Jackass

Sophistication functionaries all across the nation are in a tizzy. President Trump’s budget calls for the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, which is a festering legacy of the Johnson administration.

From the program’s beginning in 1965 until 2015 bureaucrats at the NEA made 140,000 grants totaling over $5 billion. Outright NEA elimination could set off domino effect warnings like we haven’t seen since the last chopper lifted off from the embassy in Saigon.

The people squealing the loudest aren’t necessarily artists; it’s the arts infrastructure. The culture claque that doles out taxpayer money will suffer a double whammy. First their social life will take a tremendous hit. Since these bureaucrats will no longer control the distribution of free taxpayer money, there’s no reason for the culture combine to comp their tickets.

They’ll be queuing up at the cash bar with the rest of us common folk.

Trump won’t be fighting just federal sophisticate swamp denizens. State level leeches will attack, too.

In the past state arts organizations could finesse elimination by offering gullible legislators a deal: An across–the–board budget cut for all state agencies. The state police lay off 10 percent of their troopers and we’ll lay off 10 percent of our mimes.

Outright elimination in DC could ripple all the way down to Des Moines.

Still, there may be a glimmer of hope for interpretive dance. It looks like the NFL is preparing to grasp the torch and allow self–absorbed athletes to “get down” in the end zone.

Or as one puerile columnist for NFL.com put it, “NFL is putting the fun back in football. 


Thank goodness Roger Goodell has decided to end the unrelieved tedium football fans have suffered through from 1939 until 2003 when Joe Horn made a spectacle of himself during a Monday night game.

Goodell made the announcement using the same robotic corporate–speak he’s made famous: “We know that you love the spontaneous displays of emotion that come after a spectacular touchdown.”

Only the exhibitionism isn’t “spontaneous.” Players rehearse their little dances in practice. And performances aren’t confined to “spectacular” scores. A player that trips over a referee and falls into the end zone gives us the same “look at me” exhibition that comes after a 50–yard TD run.

Sportswriters who may secretly yearn to be gymnastics judges are all lathered up about the return of approved exhibitionism. Their consensus is toddler–style “look at me, look at me!” antics are just what the game needs. The Washington Post is looking forward to “showmanship” while I yearn for a return to professionalism.

If fans like those little end zone jigs so much, why isn’t modern dance more popular?

Players that want to express individuality can enter American Idol. Football is a team game. Only these dancing machines spell it “teaME.” Former running back Jamal Anderson calls the new rule, “the Odell Beckham freedom clause.”

What a great example for young players! Beckham is the teaME–first receiver who convinced the NY Giants’ receiving corps to join him for party time in Miami before their first playoff game against Green Bay – which NY lost.

This year the coach’s dream is skipping practice sessions in favor of nuzzling with his new girlfriend. A fresh influx of self–important, selfish players is just what Dr. Goodell ordered.

The only sensible coverage comes from Cameron DaSilva and even he supports this teenage showing off. DaSilva reminds us the NFL will start the play clock after the official signals a touchdown. Teams have :40 to snap the ball or be penalized.

He put a stopwatch on the last seven games of the season and all the playoff contests and found teams are taking :45 seconds between the call and the snap. So without any festivities teams are five seconds late.

For just a moment there was a glimmer of hope for mature fans that are tired of freestyle egomania, then DaSilva dropped the bomb. In 119 games he evaluated there were only 32 touchdowns that weren’t followed by a booth review, penalty or injury. That comes out to one quarter of a TD per game that will be affected by the snap clock.

After the vast majority of the scores there will be time for the entire team to rumble into the end zone and form a chorus line like the Rockettes.

Even worse, if the NFL allows cut–rate choreography the decay will soon travel from college to high school to Pee Wee football. Pushy parents will be sending junior to a dance teacher in the off–season to get his YouTube on.

Horn, who has some investment in showing off, says kids “like seeing the guys act a fool.” That may be correct, but the kids aren’t buying the tickets.

Penn State: A Season in Purgatory

Possible location of the new JoePa memorial shower?

On Saturday, September 8th, the University of Virginia has a once–in–a–lifetime opportunity to demonstrate how an institution obeys the same honor code that governs its students.

The Cavaliers can prove to the world that UVA’s honor code is more than mere words when they refuse to play their football game against Penn State.

But wait, you say, that would be premature. The NCAA has not made its decision regarding possible sanctions. So what. That’s like the 37 neighbors who heard Kitty Genovese screaming for help while being stabbed to death, claiming they didn’t want to get involved because the police hadn’t begun an investigation.

One of the core values at UVA is “honor and integrity.” What’s more, “students are expected to hold themselves and their peers to high standards inside and outside the classroom and to engage ethically in their local, national and international communities.”

How can the university hold its students to a standard it’s not willing to meet? Playing Penn State means turning a blind eye to depravity and what the Freeh report termed “the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s child victims.” An individual or institution cannot associate with the dishonorable without tarnishing its own honor.

What Joe Paterno and the See No, Hear No and Speak No Evil cabal did at Penn State was against the law and the laws of decency, but it did not violate NCAA rules. The only role for the NCAA in this scandal is allowing any Penn State player who wishes to transfer to do so without losing a second of eligibility.

Any “death penalty” sanctions the NCAA might take are outside its authority and simply unnecessary if the universities on Penn State’s football schedule live up to the bromides they broadcast to students.

One of the many problems undermining the country’s future is American passivity. We sit and wait for government or some outside “authority” to take action while we check The Drudge Report to see if anything has happened. We don’t trust our instincts on almost anything. We rely on “experts” who tell us how to raise our children, train our dogs and relate to our fellow man.

In the face of great outrage a self–reliant person or institution can and should act individually to try and repair the fabric of society. I believe the operative phrase is “think globally, act locally.”

Sure, refusing to play Penn State and urging the other schools to do the same requires a little more effort and commitment than starting a Facebook page, but the result is much more impressive.

Still I can hear the administration’s objections. Refusing to play the game will result in lost revenue for the football team. What that excuse tells students is UVA’s convictions are rock–solid as long as they are convenient and cost free. Besides this reasoning is eerily similar to the rationalizations Paterno and his shower sleuths used to justify refusing to report child rape to the police.

Where I grew up a decision by UVA to live by its honor code and refuse to associate with a football program defined by lies and exploitation is called putting your money where your mouth is. (Here in Washington I believe the term is a “fiscal commitment demonstration project.”)

Then there is the legal excuse: UVA has a signed contract; the school is committed.  Then break the contract. Surely it contains a “moral turpitude” clause, and if not I’ll contribute to UVA’s legal defense fund.

There is, however, a solution to the revenue problem that allows UVA to maintain its honor. Instead of playing Penn State, UVA plays the University of Ohio, which is Penn State’s first opponent. The Bobcats expected to be annihilated by Penn State anyway; so visiting Charlottesville merely changes the locale of the execution.

Once UVA and Ohio refuse to play Penn State the pressure not to play begins to cascade on the remaining schools. Positive peer pressure — a phenomenon almost unknown in modern America — is revitalized and the rest of the schedule falls into line.

It’s fine if Big Ten conference schools attempt to replace Penn State by scheduling a team that doesn’t bring the ghosts of molested boys into the locker room. Or, on what would’ve been game day, the schools can hold one of the “conversations” that are so popular in academia and discuss “social justice” for little boys.

Refusing to play Penn State is the right and honorable thing to do. Even better, the refusal leaves Joe Paterno with a fitting legacy for his last team. The 2012 Nittany Lions will be undefeated, unscored upon and untouchable.