Le’Veon Bell’s Fight Against Time and Economics

Before the NFL season began Steeler running back Le’Veon Bell told ESPN, “I want to play. …But I’ve got to take this stand. Knowing my worth and knowing I can tear a ligament or get surgery at any time, I knew I couldn’t play 16 games with 400 or more touches.”

Bell’s “stand” meant refusing to play for the Steelers unless they improved on their offer of $14.5 million for one season. That would’ve made Bell the highest–paid RB in the league and works out to $36,250.00 each time he touches the football, fumbles included.

Neither Bell nor the Steelers would budge, so the only football he played this season was Madden 2018.

Kevin B. Blackistone, racial grievance columnist for the Washington Post who appears on the sports page, believes future players will grateful for Bell’s obstinacy, “Bell opted to challenge the league to let a club pay him his worth rather than as an expendable, flesh-and-blood cog under the franchise tag again …Bell decided to …claim ownership of his destiny rather than allow the NFL or the franchise for which he plays to dictate it for him.”

What’s overlooked in the discussion of the tension between what the players want and what the owners say they can afford is the damage past financial decisions have done to the bond between football and the fans.

In the beginning the team that drafted a player had his rights forever and they paid him just enough to keep him from quitting the game and getting a real job. As recently as the 70’s NFL players had off–season jobs to support their families. It took a series of strikes for the players to gain collective bargaining rights and a share of league revenues.

The players portion share of revenue formed the salary cap that limits what each team can pay its roster. This is crucial to league balance and prevents richer teams from stockpiling all the best players at the expense of teams in smaller markets with smaller fan bases.

The downside is veteran players become expendable after only five years. As SB Nation points out, “…the main effect of a hard salary cap was the release of higher paid veteran players in favor of younger players still playing out their cheaper rookie contracts.”

That’s a fine personnel philosophy if you’re running a bank or a car lot. No customer in his right mind forms an emotional attachment to bankers or car dealers. It’s different with sports teams. A soul–less, numbers–first philosophy make keep the accountants happy, but it’s a slap in the face to fans who have an attachment to players they may have met or with whom they’ve vicariously shared great moments in football.

It produces a two–tiered NFL. Well–paid veteran nomads roaming from team to team for higher contracts before Father Time finally tackles them and newbies marking time until they can leave to chase a bigger contract.

That’s why only an optimist buys a team jersey with a current player’s name on it. The expensive jersey will have years of useful life remaining when the player is long gone. Smart fans only buy a jersey with a Hall of Fame player’s name on the back, because those guys aren’t going anywhere.

No father enjoys explaining to his son why the Packer he idolizes is no longer a Packer, but is now playing for a rival. Why fight traffic, pay exorbitant ticket “convenience fees” and be frisked entering the stadium to watch players who are just passin’ through?

Blackistone is angry the league treats players like “expendable, flesh–and–blood cogs.” He’s correct. This Rule of the Accountant undermines the connection between fans and players who are the team. (Only vendors cheer for owners and management.)

A better policy would be to have a player’s impact on the salary cap be significantly reduced the longer he stays with a team. Currently, the only players who have ten–year careers with one team are quarterbacks and kickers. The other 20 roster spots are revolving doors.

Player careers are brief. Owner careers are perpetual. Players deserve to maximize earnings during their moment in the sun and owners need profit to pay the players, the light bill and lobby politicians for more taxpayer stadium subsidies.

The people taken for granted in this dynamic are the fans and it is damaging intangible bonds.

Yahoo finance reported the NFL lost thousands of fans last season who were fed up over politics, had no interest in the teams or some other reason. A wise league would try to rebuild the bond between teams and fans. A good way to start would be making it easier for players to finish their career with one team and one set of fans.

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We Put a Hand Over Our Heart, Nike Puts Thumb in Our Eye

Failed NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick continues to stay culturally relevant by depending on the kindness of strangers. If it weren’t for white folks, beginning with his foster parents, Kaepernick might just be another player who peaked early and disappeared.

The first white person who bailed him out was — of all people! — President Donald Trump. Colin began his ‘take a knee, look at me’ protest with an example of bad timing that should have rendered him a joke from the beginning. He protested black “injustice” during Barack Obama’s second term.

Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle, GA

Now I won’t deny there are still jerks who like nothing better than disparaging black folks while burning a cross in their backyard fire pit. Still, it’s a pretty ramshackle variety of “institutional racism and oppression” that lets a black guy slip through the net and become president.

Cognitive dissonance has never been a feature of the Opposition Media, so the contradictions of Kaepernick’s genuflection were ignored. Colin’s problem was the public was starting to ignore him.

Then Trump came to his rescue. The president’s flag protest tweets made him sole proprietor of the opposition to flag disrespect. Instantly, Kaepernick is relevant again.

Then comes the off season. David Hogg doesn’t play the national anthem at his anti–gun rallies, so no role for Kaepernick there. The same goes for the other America Last functions with which Colin is now allied. Trying playing the Star Spangled Banner at a Black Lives Matter rally and Kaepernick’s knee wouldn’t have time to hit the dais before the violence begins.

Colin needs football more than football needs him. His summer media mentions were boring updates regarding his lawsuit against the NFL for not being willing to pay millions to a self–absorbed customer alienator. Kaepernick was running the risk of sliding into the ‘Disgruntled Employee Sues Former Employer’ pigeonhole with Stormy Daniels.

Then the white folks at Nike came to the rescue.

Kaepernick is now the face of the ‘Just Do It’ campaign. Colin’s acceptance was a certainly. Nike’s making the offer is what’s curious. Decades of Nike marketing is based on an immature, high school rebellion philosophy.

Which means there’re plenty of other Americans who risked all to stand up for their beliefs, but I don’t think Nike will be featuring Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips or former Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis any time soon.

Nike prefers to put its corporate thumb in the eye of 63 percent of white America and 26 percent of black America that is opposed to insulting the flag. This could prove to be a bad financial bet, since I’m not sure how much money the Ultimate Frisbee demographic spends on sports equipment.

Insulting the flag is the short–term damage, but the decision has dangerous long–term implications. Nike has decided to put its corporate weight behind dividing the country in service of lies and propaganda that harm the black community it purports to be supporting. And the campaign has no terminus because It’s impossible to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.

Philippe Lemoine did an analysis of the Police–Public Contact Survey, a 70,000 sample of US residents. He found “just 16 unarmed black men, out of a population of more than 20 million, were killed by the police…These figures are likely close to the number of black men struck by lightning in a given year.”

The case for routine police harassment is equally fraudulent. Black men have less yearly contact with police than whites: 17.5 to 20.7 percent. And as for injury, protesters in the stadium have a greater chance of getting a rug burn at the hands of Monsanto than they do a bruise at the hands of the cops.

Patriots lit up social media with photos of burning Nike products. This seems self–defeating to me since it limits our wardrobe choices without damaging the corporation.

A better option is wealthy collegiate athletic donors informing athletic directors that if Nike isn’t dropped, then their donations to the program certainly will. This type of punishment may make a difference in the Beaverton boardroom. Individuals can save matches and stop buying future Nike products.

My son thinks it’s a big deal about a small affront because he likes Nike Rugby cleats. He’s wrong. The culture is in this situation today because people who love this country sat back in their comfortable chairs and let the insults accumulate.

It was only an ad, or a statement or a single policy. Time after time after time. The result of our indolence is mainstreaming Colin Kaepernick. It’s time to demonstrate that putting a thumb in the eye of middle America is not a cost–free exercise. If for no other reason than we’re running out of eyes.

NFL Limits Demonstrations to the End Zone

It required a high level of self–absorption and a correspondingly low grasp of irony for bench–warming quarterback Colin Kaepernick to begin protesting “racial injustice” during the Obama administration.

In all of recorded history there have been exactly two Western nations that have elected black presidents and in Haiti’s case I’m using the term ‘nation’ loosely. Also, ‘elected.’

Rick McKee, Augusta Chronicle

The protest didn’t offend Obama, who lacks an emotional investment in football. I imagine he’s more of an Ultimate Frisbee kinda guy. The interesting speculation is wondering what George Bush would have said if Kaepernick had begun taking a knee during his administration.

I’m thinking Bush would have deployed his standard response: Hunker down and hope it goes away. At best we would have received a statement much like Obama’s on–one–hand–and–on–the–other deflection that equated the loss of a United States soldier or Marine as the moral equivalent of the shooting of strong–arm robber Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

Bush was one of those caretaker conservatives who knew better than to rock the Cultural Marxist’s boat. He certainly wouldn’t get into some unseemly social dispute that might matter to conservatives, particularly when the disagreement involved a minority.

That’s why Trump in the White House is such a danger to the leftist elite that currently rules our culture. He will get into those fights. Trump relishes those fights. And the leftist bullies running roughshod over the culture hate it when the victim finally fights back.

They like it even less when the victim wins.

Only in America could a black quarterback who was raised by white parents, attended a prestige university and earned millions as a professional football player think it made sense for him to insult the flag and the patriotic Americans who love it. Not only that, this emotionally immature narcissist thinks he should be praised for his ‘brave’ stand and embraced by the league.

That’s why Kaepernick is currently suing the NFL and alleging he was ‘blacklisted’ and denied the job that’s rightfully his.

This is like a waiter, who moonlights as a member of PETA, demanding he be hired by Outback Steakhouse so he can tell customers: “Meat is Murder.” Or a car salesman demanding he be hired by GMC trucks so he can tell potential buyers that not driving an electric car makes them climate criminals.

Using someone else’s business to deliver a message that insults the customer is economic appropriation. NFL owners decided indulging a leftist–approved protest was one thing and watching TV ratings plunge after the protests began was quite another. That’s why owners, after a boot in the behind from the unhousebroken Trump, have decided to confine all demonstrations to the end zone, while banning them from the sideline.

If the under–the–man’s–boot millionaires of the NFL want to work in a quick protest during the end zone touchdown celebration they can pantomime away, but there won’t be any protest during The Star–Spangled Banner.

Naturally, much of the Opposition Media considers changing employee conduct rules to prevent insulting the customer a racist act.

Kevin B. Blackistone, an oppressed black man who is a Washington Post columnist and university professor, believes Making America Great Again involves putting blacks back on the plantation. His column blasting the new anthem policy begins with the harrowing tale of NBA player Sterling Brown’s encounter with Milwaukee PD.

It’s proof of how debased America’s political culture is when the hero of Blackistone’s tale of oppression crying out for justice is a jerk who takes up TWO handicapped parking spaces and refuses to follow lawful police orders. Brown is perfectly healthy professional athlete who doesn’t believe the rules the rest of us follow apply to him. And besides, didn’t those cops in their ratty polyester pants KNOW WHO HE IS?

That’s the type of injustice Kaepernick and the rest of his hey–look–at–me followers are protesting. Somehow it escapes their notice that the athletic merit that allows blacks to dominate the rosters of NFL teams all out of proportion to their percentage of the population has a flip side. The lack of behavioral merit exhibited by some members of the same racial category results in their being over represented on the arrests and incarceration side of the ledger.

Unfortunately, being a ‘social justice’ advocate means never having to acknowledge the law of cause and effect.

None of these fanboy reporters ever asks the question that any movement should be able to answer, which is: How will you know when you’ve won?

Is it when blacks are allowed to vote? When a black woman has the top rated national talk show? When the US elects a black president?

The fact they can’t answer the question shows how empty their movement really is.

Millionaires & Billionaires Fighting “Oppression”

Oppression certainly isn’t what it used to be. Instead of vicious police dogs, water cannon, billy clubs and Bull Connor, America is greeted with the sight of millionaires and billionaires kneeling in football stadiums trying to make white America feel guilty without so much as a Chihuahua yapping in the background.

And they aren’t alone. The Opposition Media, celebrity culture, leftist pastors, educators, politicians, various groin activists and Hollywood were all united in condemning the USA for the alleged subjugation of blacks. The protesters had no compunction about attacking the president and insulting the flag.

If this is “oppression” it’s news to Stalin, Hitler, Saddam and Kim Jong–Un. If I were a white supremacist, I think I’d demand my money back. From all appearances it’s whites, conservatives of all colors and taxpayers who are being told to sit down and shut up.

Instead of being a lonely and dangerous stand against institutionalized brutality and “oppression” the “take a knee movement” has rapidly become this fall’s Ice Bucket Challenge. The difference being the Challenge was a showy, self–involved effort on behalf of a real disease, while take a knee is a showy, self–involved effort on behalf of a grievance fantasy.

The left claims to own science, so lets look at the data. First of all the Us is one of the least racist nations on the planet. An investing and investment newsletter, with the credibility–dissolving name of Insider Monkey, performed an analysis of racism polls that included “responses of over 85,000 people from 61 countries” and found the USA didn’t even make the top 25 of the most racist countries.

The number one for racism was India with South Korea at number 25. What researchers did find was the US ranked #12 on a list of the Least Racist Countries in the World. The report concluded, “We believe America, on average, is one of the most racially tolerant countries on Earth.”

So much for “oppression.” But no protest implying malevolence on the part of whites would be complete without including “police brutality.” Data here proves there may be individually brutal cops of all colors, but there is no institutionally brutal police regime threatening blacks or anyone else.

Philippe Lemoine did an analysis of the Police ­Public Contact Survey (PPCS). It’s a 70,000 sample of US residents 16 or older that’s representative of the whole population. Participants are asked if they had an encounter with the police during the past year. If so they are asked for details, including any use of force.

This means data from the survey is based on personal encounters with law enforcement and not speculation on encounters other people have had with cops based on OpMedia reports or “community rumors.”

Lemoine found “just 16 unarmed black men, out of a population of more than 20 million, were killed by the police…These figures are likely close to the number of black men struck by lightning in a given year. The comparison illustrates that these killings are incredibly rare, and that it’s completely misleading to talk about an ‘epidemic.’ You don’t hear people talk about an epidemic of lightning strikes and claim they are afraid to go outside because of it.”

The case for routine police harassment is just as fraudulent. Black men have less yearly contact with police than whites: 17.5 to 20.7 percent. And as for injury, protesters in the stadium have a greater chance of getting a rug burn at the hands of Monsanto than they do a bruise at the hands of the cops.

“Actual injuries by the police are so rare that one cannot estimate them very precisely even in a survey as big as the PPCS, but the available data suggest that only 0.08 percent of black men are injured by the police each year, approximately the same rate as for white men.” Lemoine reports.

It would make more sense to accuse the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of brutality since black men are 44 times more likely to be injured in a car crash.

Lemoine’s conclusion: “The media’s acceptance of the false narrative poisons the relations between law enforcement and black communities throughout the country and results in violent protests that destroy property and sometimes even claim lives.”

So why are the knee people blaming ticket holders and the audience? There aren’t any billionaires, mayors or Members of Congress in the stands. All the people with real power are on the field insulting the blameless over a grievance that doesn’t exist.

During the Civil War black soldiers in the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry — immortalized in the movie “Glory” — could distinguish between individual bigots and the flag of the nation that was fighting to free the slaves.

I wonder why privileged football players, and their enablers in politics and the media, can’t do the same.

Kaepernick: When Taking a Knee Is All About Me

Just think — if Tim Tebow had taken a knee for Antifa instead of God he might still be in the NFL. Or at least he could be a topic of conversation for people wondering why Tebow wasn’t playing. I find it ironic a league that is now encouraging “celebrations” after a touchdown, frowned on Tebow offering a quick word of thanks after a score.

Offering a word of thanks certainly isn’t a problem with Colin Kaepernick.

Kaepernick loses his starting QB job and decides to make himself a spectacle by kneeling during the National Anthem to protest racism in a league that’s 70 percent black.

Tebow loses his starting QB job and quietly accepts an insulting assignment as a blocker on the punting unit, where he suffers broken ribs as a reward for being a team player.

Kaepernick says he can’t “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” and “there are bodies in the street and [cops] getting away with murder.” How this squares with the fact he was adopted by white parents and felt comfortable wearing socks that depicted police as pigs while cops were standing only a few feet away went unexplained.

Both players aren’t particularly good pocket passers and both frequently resort to running with the ball when pressured.

Tebow isn’t offered another chance in the NFL even after spending an entire off–season working with a QB–whisperer to improve his throwing mechanics. Kaepernick evidently spent his off–season growing an Afro that rivals that of Angela Davis in her heyday. Tebow’s football career is over and no reporters are asking if he was blackballed because of his Pro–life Super Bowl ad.

Kaepernick appears to be done, too and the Opposition Media, which invaded the sports page, is convinced he’s being blackballed.

Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post condemns NFL owners, “They care that he is a disrupter–dissenter who refuses to play the stock character role assigned to him and might threaten a bottom line. As a result, they have blacklisted him — there is no other term for it — and in doing so have unintentionally underscored his message about pervasive injustice for blacks.”

Then she can’t tell the difference between being fired for an internal memo meant to stay inside the company and a public workplace insult that offends a majority of the customer base. Jenkins sees equivalence between James Damore, Google engineer who authored the memo, and Kaepernick, “You don’t have to agree with Kaepernick taking a knee during the anthem last season — or Damore’s reasoning and language — to be offended by the fact that they are out of jobs for speaking their well–intentioned minds.”

Her colleague, Jerry Brewer, appears to think Kaepernick is a modern Paul Revere warning America of a resurgence of the Klan as “racists feel empowered again.”

Neither of these hyperventilators gives any credence to what Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown said of Kaepernick. Brown knows something about racism. He played in the Jim Crow NFL before the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Brown knows about personally suffering systemic, government–imposed racism and he thinks Kaepernick is a poseur.

Brown told The Post Game, “I’m going to give you the real deal: I’m an American. I don’t desecrate my flag and my national anthem. I’m not gonna do anything against the flag and national anthem… this is my country, and I’ll work out the problems, but I’ll do it in an intelligent manner.”

That’s not a observation that’s going to generate coverage for Brown in the OpMedia, just as Green Bay Packers Safety Ha Ha Clinton–Dix wearing socks with the names of four Dallas police officers murdered by a Black Lives Matter assassin fell into the media’s memory hole.

I’ve never heard a reporter ask Kaepernick what country he prefers to the US? I doubt it’s China, even though white people have no privilege there. The People’s Republic just passed a law making it illegal to mock the Chinese national anthem and the offense is punishable by up to 15 days in jail.

Reporters also never ask Kaepernick how he will know he’s achieved success. Will it be when blacks are allowed the vote? When a black woman has a top–rated national talk show? When the US elects a black president?

The fact is Kaepernick is a marginal QB with a bad attitude who missed the limelight. He’s also a guy whose commitment to “racial justice” was so immutable he backed off the protests when he was trying to land another team.

It’s time for Kaepernick to find another line of work where insulting Americans is part of the company culture. I hear ESPN is hiring.

Siri Plans to Stop Taking Orders and Start Giving Them

Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced the company is going to focus on developing self–driving car “systems” instead of the car itself. In an interview with Bloomberg Television he explained this qualifies as an “MOA” effort as in “The Mother Of All AI projects.”

The decision to concentrate on software, rather than both hardware and software is a new one for Apple. Normally the company designs the hardware along with the operating software and then ships the entire package off to China for manufacturing and intellectual property theft.

When the finished product returns to the US, Apple does its best to control the sales of all related products.

I’ve been with Apple longer than I’ve been with my wife. This is a fitting comparison since buying Apple is the hardware equivalent of matrimony. And even more fitting personally, since I’ve had excellent luck with refurbs, regardless of whether it’s Apple computers or wives.

Apple, like my wife, is a closed system that takes a dim view of playing the field. Cupertino prefers customers make all software purchases through the App Store. The same goes for hardware and the Apple Store.

Android, on the other hand, is a wild and wooly open system with many hardware manufacturers, many software producers and little if any standardization. Apple’s closed system is designed with control in mind.

Think of Hillary Clinton running a Best Buy.

Under Apple there is much more look–and–feel uniformity across the product spectrum, which comes with a price. Usually higher.

So, I would have had mixed feelings about owning an iCar.

I wouldn’t have liked being limited to buying gas at Apple stations. Sure the free operating software updates are nice, but that’s balanced with the thought of being lectured on the size of my carbon footprint by an Apple “Genius.”

Cook, at the time, hadn’t ruled out electric vehicles. He rhapsodized, “It’s a marvelous experience not to stop at the filling station or the gas station.” This only proves the chauffer maintains the car without Cook’s help.

Gassing up takes about five minutes. Charging up takes hours. Electricity may start cheap, but at the rate Apple changes the design of its propriety connectors, the cost of new adapters to plug into the power outlet will no doubt balance out the iFuel cost.

I think for the foreseeable future I’ll keep my manual car. If I want to drive with a woman that argues about routes and how fast I drive, I’ll just invite the wife.

CORRECTION: I was wrong last week. That column concerned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decree allowing NFL players scoring touchdowns to make fools of themselves — while the blockers that made it possible are ignored.

That may have been attractive for ballerina ball fans accustomed to method acting from their players, but football should be a serious game.

If I wanted to watch bad dancing and mini–charades I’d attend a GOP townhall meeting when Obamacare repeal was on the agenda. When I watch the NFL, I’m hoping professional football players will act professional.

You may recall my temporary burst of optimism when Cameron DaSilva of Fox Sports reminded us next season the NFL will also institute a snap clock. It starts when an official signals touchdown and teams will have 40 seconds to get set and begin the conversion.

DaSilva reported there were 32 touchdowns that weren’t followed by a booth review, penalty or injury. Even without the Original Tap–Dancing Kid performing his routine, teams were taking an average of 45 seconds to snap the ball. Adding choreography would only make the situation worse.

My optimism crashed when I mistakenly calculated those 32 TDs were thinly spread over the 119 games in the season’s last seven weeks and playoffs. At that rate only one quarter of a TD per game would be influenced by the snap clock.

But I was wrong!

It wasn’t the last seven weeks, plus the playoff games. His survey was only for the seven playoff games.

I should have known something was off. Reviewing 119 games, even with fast–forward or NFL Red Zone is a significant investment in a research project for a reporter facing multiple deadlines. That kind of time commitment spent watching streaming video is more characteristic of the government; say the US Patent and Trademark Office.

While only seven games cuts the sample size and increases the margin of error, the results will do in a pinch. (If you know someone in the USPTO who is not under investigation by the Inspector General, maybe you could ask them to examine the other 112 games.) For me, 4.5 touchdowns per game, unsullied by freestyle ego–mania, is much better than what I feared.

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.

Welfare Mother Meet Welfare Mogul

Team Owners by CategoryOne only has to glance at the long line of NFL owners flying to the league’s annual meeting in their private jets to know for a fact that welfare handouts only serve to create a culture of dependency. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the face of one–percenter entitlement, solemnly announced at the gathering that stadiums in St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland are “inadequate and unsatisfactory.”

If that’s the case why don’t the billionaires start remodeling? The Benham brothers could use the work.

Unfortunately NFL owners suffer from entitlement ennui. Owners expect government to pile on inducements until the total satisfies a billionaire. Determining a satisfactory amount is the problem.

Roose Bolton, in Game of Thrones, knew the dowry for marrying one of Walder Frey’s daughters would be her weight in silver. Since fat was more valuable than fair, he choose the orca–sized Walda. But how many tax dollars attract a fat–and–happy NFL owner?

The uncertainly had St. Louis in a tizzy. All signs pointed to the city having to return the NFL team it borrowed from LA 22 years ago. And Lord Goodell ruled Edward Jones Dome was too ramshackle for a team with a 7–10 record.

How did this all work out? That’s easy, to the advantage of the owners. Please click the link below to be transported to my Newsmax Insider column where the gods of copyright demand you finish the column.

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Goodell-LA-NFL-Stadium/2016/01/15/id/709675/

 

Conservatives Ready for Sexual Cowardice

Mainstream media closely follows the Michael Sam story

Mainstream media closely follows the Michael Sam story

When does doing something — other than charging a machine gun nest — that has been done countless times previously stop being ‘courageous?’ Sally Jenkins of the WaPost has ruled that football player Michael Sam’s advice to people interested in dating him is a monumental story: “There are great courageous sports stories being played on the international stage at the Sochi Olympics, yet nothing has resonated like this.”

Ho hum. Pardon me if I’m not vibrating like Ms. Jenkins. If Sam doesn’t want awkward situations where female groupies try to make time with him, why doesn’t he just open an account on eHomony.com?

Other than the occasional soap–on–a–rope joke whispered out of Sam and the gaystapo’s earshot, he will have smooth sailing in the locker room. The Canadian Football League may be treating Sam comments as international hate crimes. (Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive tackle Bryant Turner Jr.  was fined after tweeting: “Michael Sam locker room gonna come with complimentary robes.”)

But in the NFL he’ll be treated like Bao Bao, the new panda baby at the national zoo. For teammates and football fans, Sam will be just another seldom–seen species that has problems when it comes to reproduction. Maybe he’ll be able to share Internet bandwidth with Bao Bao after he gets his own Sam Cam.

I tell you what real courage would be in a situation like this. A married potential NFL draftee announcing that he’s open to adulterous relationships and no one’s wife, girlfriend or daughter is off limits. Now that takes some courage and would certainly create a frisson of sexual tension at home, the locker room and various team functions.

Sam, on the other hand, is just a me–too narcissist hoping for a spot as Grand Marshall in a ‘pride parade.’ He’s certainly not the first athlete to go public. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a figure skater that walks on the wild side. Then you’ve got Billie Jean King, Jason Collins, innumerable female softball players and gymnasts.

In showbiz there’s Ellen, Rosie, Jodie and Neil and that’s just the ones with ‘e’ in their name. Even superheroes are getting in on the act. Green Lantern only lets his love light shine for men. Society has reached a point where we can start hanging clothes in that particular closet because it’s now empty.

And for the sake of accuracy, Sam is in limbo right now. He’s a former college player who has yet to make an NFL team. And it’s entirely possible he won’t be the only homosexual player in the NFL, just the most vocal.

(If you ask Deacon Jones, he probably considers all NFL kickers to be gay, but at least they’ve made the team, in contrast to Sam who is merely potential.)

Besides, when is giving in to a compulsion courageous? How about a linebacker who holds a news conference announcing he’s only interested in 18–year–old cheerleaders? Is that brave? Would Woody Allen be courageous if he finally admitted to abusing Dylan? The statute of limitations is up and like Woody says, “The heart wants what the heart wants.” Which is pretty much the foundational philosophy of the alternate lifestyle left.

In the wake of his proclamation Sam’s NFL draft value dropped almost a hundred points. This will be blamed on homophobia, but the real reason is how many teams — other than the Dallas Cowboys — need another narcissistic exhibitionist?

If NFL teams avoided signing Tim Tebow because of the alleged ‘distraction’ factor, what director of player personnel is going to volunteer to draft the Michael Sam three–ring circus?

The Broncos’ John Elway volunteered to lead the ‘some of my best friends…’ caucus when he said he would have no problem with Sam on his team, which is easy for Elway to say since he’s retired and showers at home.

But the real question is why announce now? Sam told his Missouri teammates that he was playing for the other side before last season. It was a simple statement that didn’t require a phone call to the New York Times. This current public relations campaign screams exploitation and not by the hetero community. It sounds like national homosexual advocacy organizations snooped into his private life and convinced Sam to take a stand that will benefit their fund raising.

If Sam has any doubts about his NFL future, and he’s not a sure thing, then his public statement guarantees a lucrative future career as a homosexual symbol. If he makes the NFL he demonstrates homosexuals are everywhere. If he doesn’t make the team he’s a living symbol of heterosexual bigotry. Either way Sam is on the speaking and interview circuit for a decade and national lobby groups stay current and in the news.

And while we’re discussing fanatics, the homosexual lobby is starting to remind me of some of the more zealous Mormons. There are groups of Latter Day Saints who baptize the dead by proxy so the deceased can enter into heaven in spite of the poor choices they made while alive. In like fashion homosexual scholars browse through history looking for notable figures they can recruit into the homosexual hall of fame.

Leonardo da Vinci comes to mind, along with Abraham Lincoln, my relative President James Buchanan and Janis Joplin to mention but a few. Something tells me activists are going to be taking a long hard look at unmarried early professional football players.

In the meantime, I’m ready for some sexual cowardice. How about returning to the days of a gentleman never tells? I know it’s unlikely, but one can dream.

So let’s close with a riddle: What do Michael Sam and Manti Te’o have in common? All their girlfriends are imaginary.

Is the NFL Becoming the No Fan League?

just spoke my first wordThe result of NFL’s experiment in negative market dynamics has just come in and the news is not good for Commissioner Roger Goodell. Last September the NFL greatly increased the irritation factor of attending games when the league banned women’s purses that were larger than a pack of cigarettes for ‘security’ reasons. (Complete details here.)

This development was added to the existing $10 hotdog, $10 beer, $40 parking place, pauses in the action for commercials you mercifully can’t see, wildly expensive ticket prices and the owner prancing around on the sidelines.

It’s enough to make you want to dedicate your life to eradicating ‘income inequality.’

I wondered how long it would take the descending curve of a fan’s desire to attend an increasingly expensive NFL game to cross the rising nuisance curve of pettifogging NFL rules. Well now we know: It took four months.

As this is written three of the four first–round NFL playoff games have failed to sell out even though the deadlines for all three have been extended. Even in Green Bay — home of put the baby on the waiting list for season tickets — still has seats available. The important point about a playoff game failing to sell out for the fan base is not the dent in the owner’s bottom line. It’s the fact the game will be blacked out in the local viewing area.

This has not happened since 2002 when the Dolphins – Ravens game in Miami failed to sell out.

So why does the unrest surface now? Because this is the first time season ticket holders have been asked to make an additional ticket purchase since the new ‘security’ rules took effect. Up until now season tickets were already paid for and not using them would be like throwing money away. Or buying a Redskin’s ticket.

Many are finding the extraordinary cost of attending the game when added to the degrading, increasingly TSA–like experience of entering the stadium is simply too much. It’s easier, warmer and the seats are better when one watches the game at home. Assuming the rest of the sheep in your locale continue buying enough tickets to fill the stadium.

I realize the TV commentary can be annoying, but so are the observations of nearby drunks in the stadium and there’s always the off chance they may hurl on you. (Something that never happens at home. Although I’ve been known to get a touch of indigestion following Pam Oliver’s inane sideline commentary.)

Since I’m part owner of the Packers, lets look at that situation in detail. It may be as cold as 4 below at game time Sunday, but that’s not keeping the fans away. In 1967 the Ice Bowl between the Packers and the Cowboys was even more frigid, yet the stadium was full. The difference? In 1967 fans weren’t strip searched before they were seated. Now I can only imagine the lines of parka–clad fans extending outside Lambeau Field waiting for their carefully selected layering to be explored in detail by suspicious ‘security’ fingers.

And how exactly does the ‘no purse large than a pack of Marlboros’ work when both of the pockets on my parka are the size of dinner plates? I’ve seen kangaroos with smaller pouches. Are you required to stuff large pockets with cardboard to reduce carrying capacity? Or is it one of the dreaded case–by–case safety decisions?

And how about the fan that uses battery-powered gloves and boots to keep warm? He’s going to be treated like a suicide bomber when guards get a load of his power pack and the jumble of wires connecting. At the Ice Bowl you could have brought a Duraflame log into the stadium, today they confiscate your matches.

As a result there were 8,500 seats still unsold on Wednesday. This represents almost 12 percent of stadium capacity in Green Bay. In Cincinnati there were 5,000 to 6,000 unsold tickets and in Indianapolis the number was 3,000.

If these tickets were unsold in the summer for an exhibition game no one would notice. But playoff games are for all the marbles and should be of peak interest to fans. The Packers have sold out EVERY regular season game since 1959, a string of 55 years, and for part of that time the team played in two different cities. Alienating 12 percent of the base is a significant insult that does not bode well for the future.

(UPDATE: Green Bay has sold out and so have the other sites. But this does not negate my conclusion. In the Packer’s case the tickets were purchased in bulk by civic–minded businesses so the game would be televised. This only encourages long-term erosion in stadium attendance. In addition, the seats will now be given away, which means the cost portion of cost/annoyance ratio is significantly reduced, so the fans will probably attend. But the market had already spoken beforehand when 12 percent were unsold.)

Most of the commentary regarding the unsold seats focuses on the cost of attending games, which is high. But I think the straw that crippled this camel is the arrogance of the NFL owners and the constant annoyance of ‘security theatre’ drama before you get to your seat.

For fat cats like the Redskins’ Dan Snyder, fans are slightly overweight ATM machines that need to be milked regularly. If people object to being treated like cattle then let them buy their own football team. But the cattle are getting restless and the beginning of a slow motion stampede for the exits may have begun this year.