Where Have All the Heroes Gone? – Amanda S. Green

Where Have All the Heroes Gone? – Amanda S. Green

It’s the end of August and that means the beginning of football season. Here in Texas, that is almost as important as Christmas. Friday night lights. Saturday college games. Sunday in front of the TV watching the Cowboys or the Texans. It is also the time when so many parents look at the athletes and shake their heads, wondering how to explain to their children that the spoiled, overpaid boy-men are not who they should be looking up to.

Not every football player or athlete, for that matter, are bad role models. The problem for Dallas Cowboy fans is that we seem to start every season with at least a couple of our players either suspended or facing suspension for violating the NFL player conduct rules. It is often for violations of the substance abuse rules. These rules are, at best, out-of-date, especially with the easing of drug laws in many jurisdictions. But those rules aren’t the ones I have an issue with. Why? Because the players know the rules and know they can and will be tested. They should take the responsibility of making sure they aren’t in violation. It is a choice they make to partake of banned substances. (yes, I know there have been false positives. That’s why there is an appeals process.)

My issue comes with the NFL’s application of its provisions concerning violence against women. First of all, I’m thrilled the organization finally took a stand. There are few things I hate more than domestic violence of any sort. For too long, the NFL turned a blind eye to what some of its players and coaches were doing. That’s changed and not always in a good way.

I’m not going to say the NFL was wrong in suspending Zeke Elliott. Zeke is a supremely talented player and Dallas was lucky to land him. However, he is also a young man who has a lot of maturing to do before he really gets himself in trouble. A sports reporter the other day said it best. To paraphrase, he said Zeke had never faced any real challenges in his life before joining the NFL. So, instead of being taught the excesses he enjoyed – or at least fell into for whatever reason – were wrong, he was given a bye.

Now, after his first year in the NFL, he faces a six-game suspension. The investigation went on for approximately a year. He was accused of assaulting his now ex-girlfriend. Serious charges and charges that had to be taken seriously.

Except, I’m not sure Zeke realized just how serious his position was. During the investigation, he allegedly took part in a bar fight. He was caught on video pulling down the top of a woman’s shirt on a St. Patrick’s Day float. There were other incidents as well. None of which would make the NFL or its investigators lean toward giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Now, before you jump me and remind me that the police did not charge Zeke in the assault case that started this ball rolling, I know. It is one of my problems with the NFL’s decision. The police found conflicting evidence concerning the events and, allegedly, there are texts from the ex-girlfriend attempting to blackmail Zeke into paying her off or she would “ruin him”.

The NFL could silence much of the criticism with their decision where Zeke is concerned if they would point to specific reasons why they handed down the suspension instead of generalities. I know they aren’t held to the same level of proof as the state with regard to criminal charges. But, in many ways, this feels like a witchhunt, especially as some of the purported evidence against the ex-girlfriend comes to life.

Where I have a real problem with the NFL is with how it attacked the NFLPA (NFL Player’s Association). In a statement, it condemned the NFLPA for committing victim-blaming. This is something the NFLPA has vehemently denied. But whether it issued the statement the NFL claimed or not, the NFL’s statement brings to light something that is dangerous – the trend to assume guilt whenever a woman claims a man assaulted her in any way.

I have no idea whether or not Zeke laid hands on this woman. I do know, both as someone who used to work in law enforcement and as someone who has read our Constitution, that a person is presumed innocent and it is up to the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the charges against him. I also know the accused has the right to confront his accusers.

There have been no charges filed against Zeke. For whatever reasons, the authorities decided they did not have enough to prove their case. The NFL, as a business entity, has the right to demand its players (employees) conform to a standard of behavior that was negotiated with the NFLPA. But, when they announce a player is being suspended for some reason, that player has the right to defend himself against those charges.

In this case, there appears to be evidence that there is more to the story about what happened than we, the public, have been told. If the woman in question tried to blackmail Zeke, he should be able to discuss it. Doing so is not victim shaming. It is laying out the facts for people so they can make an informed decision. Again, that is assuming the texts actually exist.

Victim shaming is when you say a woman asked to be raped because she was walking alone at night or because she dressed a certain way or because she wasn’t monogamous. It is saying a prostitute can’t be raped because she sells sex for a living. It isn’t pointing out that the victim might not be a victim or that she might have exaggerated what happened and showing proof why.

Sexual assault is one of the worst crimes anyone can fall victim to. But by claiming that a woman must always be believed when she accuses someone of raping her is to make a mockery of our justice system. There are times when no rape occurred. There have been times when the couple had consensual sex and then, when family members found out, the woman – or her family – claimed rape. There have been times when the woman filed a false claim to get back at the man. These times aren’t anywhere near as numerous as actual rapes, but the fact they exist means we have to give the accused the same presumption of innocence we give any other person accused of a crime.

It is easy, however, to understand how some woman – and men, too – want to change the way we view sexual offenses. After all, there were years when a woman was made to feel like being raped was her fault. The stance of the media to keep a victim’s name out of their reports was well-meant but it made things secret and that builds suspicion in so the minds of so many. Whether they’d admit it or not, they subconsciously wondered why the woman would hide behind anonymity if the crime really happened.

The NFL can’t have it both ways. It can’t say it believes a player hit, or worse, a woman and not expect him to try to defend himself. It also should not drag out an investigation for a year and then expect the player not to defend himself. The time alone on the investigation gives the appearance that they kept it open long enough to dig up something that wasn’t part of the original investigation. Conversely, Zeke should have been mature enough to realize he needed to keep his nose clean and do so.

It is past time for the NFL and the NFLPA to start working with these young men coming into the league and suddenly having more money and fame than they’d ever dreamed possible. Whether through a mentoring program or financial advisors or someone with a baseball bat to hit them up the side of their heads when they step over the line, something has to be done. But the NFL also has to quit moving with the speed of molasses on the cold Alaska morning when coming to a decision.

Team owners have to quit giving these young men a pass simply because of their talent. At some point in time, if they aren’t careful, one of those owners will find himself in the position of being held civilly responsible for what a player did. Perhaps it is time the NFL start looking at how to deal with the enabling owners as well as coaches and players.

As fans and as parents, we bear the burden of teaching our kids not to repeat the mistakes these young men make. There are so many players in the NFL and in other sports who are good role models. It is up to us to look for them and then make sure our kids know about them. I would much rather my son look up to Dak Prescott than Zeke Elliott right now.

Where have all the heroes gone? They’re still there. They are the ones with their heads down, doing their jobs, being responsible adults and taking care of their families. We simply don’t hear about them because they don’t make headlines that sell.

268 responses to “Where Have All the Heroes Gone? – Amanda S. Green

  1. Another post of the same title, different subject?
    Anyway, I agree with the whole thing of the spoiled athlete being held up as this great hero, yet having a body of clay. Appears to be something in the system since it goes back for decades.
    One reason why I rarely view an athlete as a hero. Mind you there are a few of them out there that have done great things inside and outside the arena/rink/field. The true heroes though are few and far between. The rest of the players are paid just to entertain the masses.

    • You’re right and that’s my fault. I check my titles when writing for my own blog and didn’t think to check here when I sent the post to Sarah. Oh well . . .

      I never held a current sports figure up as a hero to my son when he was growing up. If he asked, I pointed to a few, like Roger Staubach, who had played football long before he was born. Roger because he not only was a solid player who you didn’t have to worry about getting into trouble with the law but because he fulfilled his commitment to the military before playing pro ball and who, after his retirement, became a successful businessman. If I had to find someone more “modern”, I would point to the Cowboys’ tight end Jason Witten or J. J. Watt (Houston Texans). Fortunately, my son was more concerned about becoming a good citizen himself than in trying to ape what some pro ball player did.

      • Staubach was a great guy. Totally grounded. I met him several times as a kid (once or twice at the lumber company where my mom worked).
        Jim Sundberg (catcher for the Rangers) was also a great guy. Most of the Rangers were.
        Back in the day, TX teams were full of gentlemen.

        • I’ve had the honor of meeting Staubach several times as well and he has always impressed me. Never met Sunny but he was a class act and community member when he played for the Rangers. There have been others I’ve gotten to know through various means, including teaching martial arts to their kids. Most have been great guys, dedicated family men. Unfortunately, there are times when they seem to be a dying breed.

    • Modern sports figures are no different from the gladiators or charioteers of Rome. They may be admired for their skill and courage upon the field, but they’re probably not people you’d want to invite into your home.

      • I know there have always been “discipline” issues with sports figures. However, it seems we are seeing more of them in this age of huge multi-million dollar salaries than before. Which, in a way, isn’t surprising. Give a young man — or woman — basically unlimited funds and little to no supervision and odds are they will do something stupid. The question becomes if they learn from the consequences of that stupidity or not.

        • It could be a combination of both more problems and more exposure of problems that were always there.

          • More than likely. After all, the media loves nothing more than to point out the bad things that happen. They only thing they love more is pointing the finger of blame, all too often at the wrong target.

            • The MSM is less concerned with “shining the light of Truth on malefactors” than it is with providing the torches and egging on the mob. The lives of (going to be) professional athletes are typically gilded by all the people eager for a share of the warmth of that spotlight, from coaches to (wannabe) entourage members to women enticed by the charisma and (anticipated) wealth of the up-and-coming star. Everybody wants to be friends with a golden goose, after all.

              Yeah, these guys often get away with (nearly everything up to) murder. For many of them that comes with a high price: nobody to hold them accountable, nobody to tell them when they’re outta line, full of [crap] or simply wrong. There are few friends who can be trusted without hesitation and fewer women to demand they behave like menschen rather than like men.

              These people are not permitted “normal” lives. They are advised to always order a cold entree when they dine out (to limit the effects of fans seeking autographs) and to always carry (and use) their own condoms — and to be sure to dispose of them personally. Their lives are filled with people eager to look the other way and an equal number eager to publicize any possible misbehaviour. They are simultaneously armored against and vulnerable to the vicissitudes of normal life in a way that few can appreciate. Case in point, that of Zeke Elliott: through much of his life he is permitted behaviour that would not ordinarily be tolerated but he is at the same time particularly vulnerable to accusation, false or valid.

              The truly amazing thing is that any of them turn out to be decent human beings.

              • “Yeah, these guys often get away with (nearly everything up to) murder. ”

                I’m not sure I would include the qualifier. See Lewis, Ray.

              • Very true, especially when it comes to athletes like Zeke. IIRC, there is a story about his father doing all he could to enable Zeke’s behavior under the justification of making sure he did it in safe environment (he rented out a floor in a hotel or something similar). So, instead of discouraging the bad behavior, he simply made it easier for his son to misbehave without fear of consequences. Why? I’ve heard it said because he knew Zeke was his meal ticket. If so, one thing is clear, daddy forgot he was supposed to parent and not be his son’s bestie.

        • There’s also the grooming process for sports– a lot of these kids have gotten away with attempted murder because they’re good at sports.

          Of course, a lot of kids have gotten away with attempted murder because schools actively hide it to “protect” the children from legal consequences, and oh yeah by the way keep the school from being brought up for endangering the basic rights of the students that don’t do criminal actions……

    • I wish I could remember the guy’s name. But when I was reclassing one of the pro baseball players from Arizona was interviewed in a local magazine. From the area, etc. He was one of the few players. NOT in financial trouble. Part of that was the longevity of his career. He was in a position where his body could hold up longer than most. But most of it was living like he was making a more normal salary and paying off all the things he could, with everything left over going into savings for when he, inevitably, could no longer play pro-ball. (His only payment on his ranch was property taxes. His wife drove a minivan because they had four kids and while he had a sports car it was a classic ‘vette he and his oldest boy had rebuilt themselves.) At the time of the article he was anticipating, baring injury, maybe 3-5 more years before that happened, but he was financially ready for if it happened the next day.

      I wouldn’t call him a hero, but if you have to look up to a sports guy, that’s one I could see. He certainly broke the pattern of “Get money, go crazy”.

      • I think we need another word besides “hero”. To me a hero is someone who at great personal cost or risk does things to help others. A sports figure who plays through injuries, spends years training, then when injured too badly to continue, goes on to a successful carreer elsewhere is admirable and a good role model, but not a hero, at least to me. The figures that think that they are above the law on the other hand, belong in jail or in the unemployment line.

        • I recall (second hand, as I do not watch sports) that immediately after 9-11 some pro-wrestler(?) or was interviewed and pretty much said, “I am not a role model. Those guys you saw rushing IN to the towers? They are.”

          • The wife would know for sure, but I want to say it was Bret Hart. Canadian, BTW.

            Myself, I’ll watch ice dancing (a sport I never could do physically), steeplechase (a sport I could never do financially), and women’s volleyball (well, I can’t do that one, either, but that isn’t why I watch…).

        • Eh, ‘role model’ works.

      • I often find the finances of athletes completely baffling. Okay, I mean, I understand that if you take a 19-year-old who has been poor all his life and hand him a check for several millions of dollars, his first instinct probably isn’t to put away enough to cover the taxes and then go to his broker to discuss good long-term investment opportunities. Even so, the trouble they get themselves into is astounding. I remember hearing about one who was 10 million dollars in debt. I don’t think I could even spend 10 million dollars without ending up with at least 7 or 8 million in assets.

        • Again, look at lottery winners. So many of them, it’s not only them and their families, it’s the scams from “friends” and neighbors. And if you want to keep back any, you get the Democrat Party Platform: “You didn’t build that.” “At some point you’ve made enough money.” “You’re greedy and selfish because you won’t help the less fortunate.”

          Ptui.

        • For some, it is the impulse to buy everything they ever wanted but never could have. For others, it’s the desire to help out their friends and suddenly they have more friends than they knew about before signing that huge contract. There are also a few agents and financial advisors who aren’t ethical. Still, something needs to be done to help these young men and women to keep them from going completely off the rails.

          And, before someone says that’s not the role of the teams or the agent or whoever, I will say only this. When my son decided to to sign his contract with the Air Force, one of the ROTC instructors at Texas A&M sat down with him and went over what he could expect to earn, what his debts would be when he got out of college, etc. Together they drew up a financial plan that my son kept to and that, combined with his cost of living adjustment for his first assignment, allowed him to pay off his student debt in two years.

        • No concept of money– and no ability to honorably say “no.”

          Heck, I still boggle at the money saving articles that start with something like “cut back to one latte a day” or something.

          In my world, a candy-drink is a TREAT. So is eating something I didn’t prepare.

          With a deformed sense of normal, the results will be deformed.

          • And what’s more, the treats are more enjoyable than the default every-day.

          • (Trialing something here)
            See, right there is one of the things that I’ve found I’ve got problems with. People forcing me to accept that their reality is ‘the normal’ when in fact it is not normal.

            • Truth.

              Especially since “normal” varies by location– it is a serious trek to get a candy coffee in my area, and I think the first option is a McD’s I won’t visit anymore. (They never get anything right, and even when they read the order off it shows up wrong.)

              Contrast with Seattle, where it’s HARD to not find a place that has a candy-coffee.

        • Some of it is the over-buying of “consumables”. When you spend your money on drugs and alcohol (in particular) you don’t have anything to show for it (beyond the temporary high/fun). Drugs alone could suck you dry – especially if you have to buy for your friends, too – in very short order.

          I know there are lots of athletes for whom that isn’t a problem. But it seems to be one for an increasing number. And you get nothing but a wrecked body and mind from it.

      • There are more of those than we hear about. Fortunately. Of the ones I’m aware of, they almost always say they had someone early in the college and pro careers who sat them down and had a very frank discussion with them about how their careers could end with a single tackle. That person, whether it was a parent, an agent or a coach, then made sure they not only finished their education — or found work for the off season in a non-football related field — but also hooked them up with a good financial planner. But, in almost all those instances, the player had at least one parent who had set the right example for them of hard work, family first and being responsible.

    • I’m with P. I don’t know any professional sports team athletes that would qualify for the descriptive of “hero”; with the exception of those one or two who have actually risked their lives to save someone. Running a 100 yard touchdown return through the entire opposing team to win the Super Bowl by a single point doesn’t qualify for “hero” status.

      • Well, it qualifies him for ‘hero’ of the team. Insofar as the team exists to win games, and he came through in an extraordinary fashion to do so, he’s a hero to the team.
        As to being a hero to the rest of the world? Meh. Not so much.

        Again, conflating different spheres of life is one of the problems in our post-modern age.

  2. False accusations of rape (or, more popularly, sexual assault, because which has no objective meaning) aren’t tracked by most law enforcement reporting methods. The overwhelming majority of false accusations are never prosecuted. So, there may be more actual rapes (or sexual assaults, whatever those are these days) than false accusations, but there aren’t any numbers to support the claim.

    Making a false statement or accusation of sexual misconduct is easy, and currently somewhat popular around college campuses. See all the reporting about how ‘one in five, four three’ college women is raped, er, sexually assaulted. (This, incidentally, is incentivized by the Department of Justice. If a college doesn’t report enough rapes every year, the DOJ investigates them for covering up the rapes that must be occurring.)

    The false accusers stand only a slight chance of ever being called to account for their crimes. It’s like women accusing men of violence against them or their children during a divorce case – easy, popular, gets women their way, and is advocated by lawyers. Yes, lawyers advise their female clients to commit perjury on a regular basis, to gain an advantage in divorce court. It’s no different from college administrators assuming a man is guilty of whatever a young woman claims, generally without the slimmest of evidence, and conducting a secret tribunal to determine guilt before letting the man know he has even been accused of misdeeds.

    I completely agree that young men need to be smacked down, hard, when they break the rules of civilized society. Failing to do so results in the destructive mess that we see all across our fair land in the rubble of the inner city urban ghettos. (R. A. Heinlein and H. Beam Piper both described the ‘crazy years’ as if they were watching the news lately.) But let us not forget that young men are indeed men, and that they have some rights as well as the responsibilities they must assume upon entering adulthood. In the current climate, they are being taught that there is no way to win through following the rules. So why should they, when they see bad behavior go unopposed, or even celebrated, week after week? When they are lectured at in school that boys are simply defective girls? That fighting back against the bully will get you punished, not the bully? That standing up for your beliefs and your religion is prohibited? That your sex, race, religion, and culture are inherently bad, evil wicked, and must be shamed and apologized for in ritual debasement and abuse? This is the problem that we have to fix if we wish our civilization to survive. We must teach boys how to be men – it doesn’t come naturally.

    • I am all for smacking down anyone who doesn’t obey the law — or the rules — no matter what their sex. You are correct about the lack of tracking of false accusations. I saw too much of it when I was in law enforcement. It is a problem that needs to be dealt with and those who make false accusations with malice should be prosecuted. I also have no use for those who say we must believe every accusation of rape is true because of all the years of male dominance. That’s bullshit. We have a presumption of innocence in this country and we cannot forget that.

      We need to return to a time when we taught our kids that there are consequences to their actions. We have a generation — more really — where too many parents didn’t do that. Hell, let’s be honest, we have too many parents, and I use that term loosely, let teachers and others do the parenting because they couldn’t be bothered with it. Little Susie and Jonny need to learn they aren’t the center of the universe and that they won’t always get their way. Until that happens, we will continue seeing some idiots telling us men are evil just because they are men. Sorry, but no.

  3. I feel a song coming on! (and don’t try to convince me that you didn’t too):

  4. Heroes are ordinary people that do extraordinary great/difficult things.

    Sports stars while gifted and hard working are just doing their job as
    athletes and entertainers. I admire the dedication and skills, but I also admire skill craftsmen and musicians among others. Never understood the hero worship or the fanatics that followed sports, but I understand there is need for that in society for many reasons.

    Yes, I played sports as a youngster and an adult, but that’s active participation in games and matches. I’ve met many sports and other celebrities, including many Dallas Cowboys, I respect their accomplishments, but I’m not awestruck. And the older I get, the more I’m “meh” about pro sports.

    As for keeping players out of trouble, I think Jamie Foxx and Kanye West should be paid to host a “Golddigger” seminar.

    Sidenote: I truly don’t care for the overexposure of fictional “SuperHeroes” in todays media. I think it has a erosive effect, but I haven’t pinned down the issue…

    • I’m jumping on your sidenote with my thoughts on the problem with Superheroes in media now. Yes, we’re seeing more of them because people now really do want to see heroes of any sort, but we’re being shown these fictional heroes in the wrong way. Right now people are more obsessed with victims and the notion that everyone is horribly flawed and guilty of something unless they meet the right victim requirements. Because of the notion of being a victim indicating moral superiority heroes can’t be heroic, they have to be flawed and miserable, oppressed and helpless rather than admirable and optimistic, fighting the oppressors and helping those in need, because then they’d stop being victims and lose the moral high ground. Heck, I’ve played a few videogames where fans who weren’t concerned with tallying victim points and looked at what was going on in the setting came to the conclusion that the badguys were totally in the right and what they were doing was technically reasonable. If we’re at the point where reasonable=evil we’re probably not going to get heroic superheroes, we’re going to get special snowflakes with flight, super strength, laser eyes, and the inability to do anything heroic as they’re too busy being victims of whatever contrived thing they need to be victims of.

      Hmm, this starting to get rant-like and I’ve got the urge to keep going so I’m going to stop here and hope that what I’ve got above is at least semi-coherent before I degenerate into a full on rant about what’s been done to comics in the however many years it’s been since I stopped following them…

      • I don’t know. I imagine that if random people somehow started developing super powers in real life, those people WOULD be flawed, because people are. I do see your point that maybe the media takes the flawed person thing too far though.

        • You’ve nailed it right there with what the media is doing. Flaws are overwhelming the characters and being a victim is more important than the fact that a character could, if they got their act together, stop being a victim and do some actual good for them self and the people around them, maybe the world as a whole.

          But that would be sending the kids the wrong message, wouldn’t it? That if people focus less on being a victim and more on doing what they can to better themselves then they can change things for the better.

          • It’s why I always hated the X-Men. I considered them a bunch of whiny brats (OK, Rogue’s power makes her life hell). You’re WHINING because you got super-powers?!? WTF?

            • The X-Men is not about persecution. It’s about persecution complexes.

              I know a high school chemistry teacher who would cite the work in explaining the students’ attitudes.

        • Marion G. Harmon dealt with this issue in Wearing the Cape.

      • To sum up (or more likely, mis-understand)…
        Once upon a time we liked the heroes who looked at flaws in the world and went, “I think I can fix this.” But nowadays all we’re given is stories where everyone is broken.

      • Funny you should say that about bad guys and their pov=reasonable.

        That’s precisely what I felt about The Vulture in the latest Spiderman movie; at least until he decided to add homicide to his crime list. The fact that he had a contract that the government reneged on, that he had invested heavily in and received no compensation for the loss of that contract; provided loads of sympathy for his launching a crime spree stealing from the government and those companies (Stark) who basically stole the contract out from underneath him.

        And Parker risking his life to both stop the villain AND save his life really cemented him as truly heroic.

      • Part of why the Marvel movies are overwhelmingly popular is because the character’s flaws grow naturally from what makes them great.

        Cap is self-sacrificing, thinks the best of others, and is forgiving, so he keeps putting himself at risk rather recklessly, trusts people he probably shouldn’t and pisses some people off.

        Tony is brilliant and impulsive yet systematically minded and terrified of admitting he cares– so he ignores advice out of hand and when things go wrong he tries to make a system so that they won’t…and he has a hard time figuring out that you CAN’T always do something, and that judgement calls are both needed (by other people) and sometimes fail.

        Can probably write up more, but those two come to mind because I enjoy their interplay so much.

    • “Sidenote: I truly don’t care for the overexposure of fictional “SuperHeroes” in todays media. I think it has a erosive effect, but I haven’t pinned down the issue…”

      Well, for one thing, it reinforces the notion that unless you have special abilities, you can’t do anything effective on your own and should wait for a “rescuer” —- and since there are no superheroes in the real world, that means the only powerful “rescuer” is the government.

      • Well, for one thing, it reinforces the notion that unless you have special abilities …

        This is why it matters in the Captain America myth (from comics prior to the films) Steve Rogers was a hero before he was a super-soldier (and in the origin film is contrasted against another recipient of the formula) — the super powers simply enabled him to become an effective hero. It is that, and that the powers didn’t corrupt him, that made him heroic.

        • I’m also trying to see where Wonder Woman is a victim, naive as heck in her stand alone film, but a victim, really?

          Sometimes what people see in art, even pop art, reveals more about themselves than the art.

        • /laugh

          Yeah. Steve Rogers rescuing others being picked on by bullies by becoming their punching bag while the original victims made their escape. Still an effective hero, he saved the victims. But it wasn’t until his transformation that he became able to save himself.

          Which makes me wonder. Many people CAN act to save others from bad things; but most aren’t able to save themselves from the negative consequences. No, I can’t rescue a kid who’s gone over Niagara Falls; but I may be able to jump in and push him to safety while sacrificing myself. That’s heroic. Being able to then save myself from certain death, that becomes super heroic; just as rescuing the kid AFTER they’ve gone over the falls would be super heroic.

        • You nailed it right there!

      • Depends on how it’s used.

        One could, of course, use it as writers use making their characters kings: to make the character’s choices more vivid by cutting down on external pressure. Tom Simon cites an Old English proverb about it: “A man does what he is when he can do what he wants.”

        (here:
        https://bondwine.com/2008/04/29/the-taste-for-magic/
        )

        There’s always just liking the toys. Or disliking them. Through A Mirror Darkly goes after some with a sledge hammer as best I could. (Of course, it has genuinely heroic heroes.)

    • Normal people do not normally do extraordinary things.

      Drive to be EXTRAORDINARY!

    • Chris, I have never considered most sports stars as heroes. Most of them aren’t even good role models. There are some who have been both. However, we have too many people who do look at them as such. Even if they don’t, the fact they hold the sports figure up as an example of what they want their kids to be like when they grow up sends, at best, mixed signals to the kid.

      And, if a parent does hold someone up as a role model or a hero, that person should be someone who knows there are consequences to their actions and weighs those consequences before acting.

      • I don’t know whether I ever looked at athletes as heroes; I suppose I must have, when I was young. That is not fair to athletes, as infamously noted by Charles “I didn’t sign on to be anybody’s role model” Barkley. But it is a part of why they make those big bucks and get those lucrative endorsement deals. It is part of the package and a responsible person keeps awareness of it. As a recent columnist noted,

        We tune in to athletic events partly for the spectacle, sure, but I think we become sports fans for deeper reasons. Athletic excellence requires not only a high level of skill, but also the grit to overcome setbacks and stay cool under pressure. In other words, being a great athlete requires virtue.
        https://acculturated.com/espn-learn-great-british-baking-show/

        Courage has been defined as “grace under pressure” and sports offers opportunities to display such. There are other, more important venues for such displays, but rarely so public, so easily observed.

        That’s why we want our athletes to display other virtues, as well. Being human we like to imagine such things come in package deals rather than à la carte, served alongside soured milk and weevily mutton.

      • Pondering more, some of the “hero worship” is really more “I want to be filthy rich, like him, when I grow up” (for various values of “grow up”).
        It’s not initially an endorsement of the values. But the values end up being emulated, regardless. And the long slide to oblivion begins.

  5. I could be mis-remembering, but doesn’t the NBA have a mentoring and sort of “life-skills” program for young (both new and chronologically young) players? Or just better PR?

    • They do. It includes some pretty solid accounting classes. They still have some of the players having issues because the numbers are big enough that they’re not ‘real’. And it takes a bit to sink in. I don’t follow sports closely enough to know how effective it is, but they did a piece on it, a year or so after we got a pro-basketball team in our little state. Interestingly enough, the spin was pretty light as far as I could tell. It helped that it was local rather than national news and they tend to (at least here) to be more cautious with the spin than the national news. Probably has something to do with having to live here.

      • It’s pretty much winning the lottery, except lottery winners don’t have to perform in public every week.

      • Baseball has an equivalent for that, as well — it’s called the Minor Leagues. First round draft pick or scraped from the bottom of the barrel, all players have to work their way up to the Show. They have to endure the bus rides, the lousy playing conditions and the vicissitudes of everyday life.


        And until they make it to the show and prove they can stay, they aren’t much.

    • The NFL also has a version of this. See http://cleveland.cbslocal.com/2015/06/23/nfl-rookies-getting-crash-course-in-life-lessons-at-symposium/. Whether it’s at all effective to talk to young kids in a classroom type setting when many of those same kids have never had to actually learn or even show up in class for 4 years of college, well that’s a good question. As for money management, most of us learned to do the best we could by slowly building our incomes. How could anyone expect to know how to handle millions of dollars at age 21 when both he and his family have always been dirt poor?

      • I know some MLB teams have a similar program. Last year the Cincinnati Reds sent about a dozen of their up-and-comings through a West Point-style leadership course. Hunter Greene, their #1 draft pick this year (#2 over all) probably doesn’t need it: his father is a LA PI, worked for Cochrane and now has his own firm, counting as clients such as the Kardashians and Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Reggie Bush. According to news reports he has ensured his son knows the perils that accompany stardom.

        And, lest we forget this players are human, when he was eleven he began spending the next two years in hospital, supporting his five-year-old sister through treatment for leukemia.

        For most of the following two years Libriti lived in a corner room across from the janitor’s closet on the fifth floor at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Hollywood, which meant Hunter lived there also. Sometimes he slept on the pull-out, sometimes on the floor, sometimes on two chairs facing each other. When Libriti grew weary of all the shots, he climbed in her bed. They played sports on the Wii, watched iCarly on Nickelodeon, ate macaroni and cheese. They threw flashlight parties in the dark—making the light dance across the empty walls—and put surgical masks over their ears to impersonate Mickey Mouse. They nicknamed Libriti’s IV pole Jackie. Hunter dressed for school in that room, did his homework there, peeled off his dirt-stained uniform and showered there. “On weekends I’d go straight from the hospital to some tournament in Orange County or San Diego,” he recalls. “I was doing all these cool things, having all this success, and I’d talk about it on the car ride back with my dad. But as soon as you park at that hospital, it’s over.”

        Here is where Hunter Greene’s story deviates from so many other prodigies’ bios. In the years his profile swelled, as he morphed from a precocious child into a prized prospect, he batted second in his own household. Of course, his family deconstructed every inning, but then they turned their attention to a 20th bone marrow transplant, a 19th medication, a fifth surgery. “You’re living every parent’s greatest dream,” says Senta, “and every parent’s worst nightmare. And you’re doing it simultaneously.” She delivered her youngest child, Ethan, on the fourth floor at Kaiser—while Libriti was undergoing chemotherapy on the fifth.
        https://www.si.com/mlb/2017/04/24/hunter-greene-mlb-draft

        Just because some kids are star athletes doesn’t mean they’re spoiled. As a Reds fan for nearly sixty years I hope this kid succeeds, but as a human being I think I’d root for him no matter which team he plays for and whatever his career proves to be, whether World Series hero or Tommy John washout, it seems to me that he’s a success.

  6. What is this NFL of which you speak? ~:D

    Conan the Barbarian is the big hero around Chez Phantom. “What is best in life, Conan? …”

  7. “Where Have All the Heroes Gone?”

    USMC?

    • Gone to graveyards every one.
      When will they ever learn?
      When will they ever learn?

      • Only a Liberal-Progressive-Socialist would ask the question, “When will they ever learn?” Those who Served know that those who are laid to rest there already knew the answer, and answered the call.

        • It’s a folk song. Yes, the writer was an filthy commie activist. It’s inspired by an old Cossack folk song, so of course it’s a little depressing. It’s still a pretty song.

          From Wikipedia:
          “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” is a modern folk-style song. The melody and the first three verses were written by Pete Seeger in 1955 and published in Sing Out! magazine.[1] Additional verses were added in May 1960 by Joe Hickerson, who turned it into a circular song.[2] Its rhetorical “where?” and meditation on death place the song in the ubi sunt tradition.[3][better source needed] In 2010, the New Statesman listed it as one of the “Top 20 Political Songs”.[4]
          The 1964 release of the song as a Columbia Records 45 single, 13-33088, by Pete Seeger was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002 in the Folk category.

      • I. Loathe. That. Song. It is one of three that I memorized by accident the first time I heard it and I cannot. Stand. It. Arrrrrrgh!!!!!

        • There are several of about the same vintage that affect me the same way….

          “The answer, my friend, is blow it out your ass, the answer is blow it out your ass….”

          and then there’s LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH; “There’s a girl right next to you, and she’s just waiting for something to do…”

          Like slap you so hard you suddenly go deaf? Gods! I have very little time for Andrea Dworkin and her sect of “all intercourse is rape” femi-nasties, but whenever I hear that line, I think I know what pushed them over the edge.

          • Once a year or so, we sing “Let There Be Peace On Earth” in church. Leaving aside whether it’s an appropriate church song, I hate the way that they gender neutrified three words.
            “With God our creator, children all are we, let us walk with each other, in perfect harmony” misses so much of the meaning.

          • IMAGINE.

            *shudder*

          • I can’t help but get a malicious grin when I hear “love the one you’re with,” because James Lileks worked it into one of his pseudo-rants– something about wishing that the girlfriends of all his jock twerp tormentors would love the ones THEY were with, ie, be as unfaithful as the jocks.

  8. For that matter there seem to have been a bunch living in Texas……..

    • Real heroes rise out of adversity. We saw ample evidence of that with the reaction to the devastation from Harvey both from those affected and all those who heard the call and came running to help.
      But we see that same response over and over again. It was there after Katrina once you looked past the victim sink of NOLA and saw how communities rose to the occasion in rural Louisiana and all along the gulf coast of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle. To their credit FEMA and the rest of government disaster relief seems to have their act together better these days, but it’s the common every day heroes who just hunker down and get the job done however hard, ugly, and distasteful that job might be that we continue to see rise to meet the needs of those most sorely affected that truly make the difference.

    • Not to hear some of the libtards out there right now. Don’cha know what happened was revenge for voting for anyone but Hillary and, according to at least one pundit, what we saw wasn’t heroism or anything other than self-aggrandizing behavior by those evil Texans.

  9. I’m reading James S. Hirsch’s biography of Willie Mays; try it when you get a chance.
    Also Romans 12:9-21.

  10. Elite athletes tend to be given a pass through adolescence, and that often is not to their ultimate benefit. As a fan of Pete Rose since he was a rookie I have been through this too much.

  11. So many of these players get in trouble (or it is touted all over the news) that I ignore it now. I don’t watch football. I only watched football with my late-hubby… and it is now one of the things that remind me of him… Seriously I don’t find it interesting in the least. Plus the players should get the same penalties as a non-player imho.

  12. Well said, and on the money. ONE, and about the only one I can think of that could be perceived as a role model is JJ Watt. What he’s done with the Texans is outstanding for his involvement with the local community, and especially raising $14M through his charity for Harvey victims. And he has been PERSONALLY involved in getting things done.

    • $14 million? Nooooo.
      Last I checked (on Wednesday morning) it was at $27 million. And he started with his own money, and (as you said) he organized the spending of that money and the delivery of the items his own self. *That* is a mensch.

    • There are a few others and I’m holding my breath and crossing my fingers that Dak Prescott doesn’t screw up. But Watt is a role model, as is Jason Witten and a few other. As for the amount that Watt has raised, it’s much higher than that now and I applaud him because he started it with his own money.

    • Texas Highways this month has an extended interview with Dat Nguyen, about his family’s escape from Vietnam and life after football. He’s not a hero, but he’d be a fantastic role model. He now owns restaurants and is raising a family.

  13. I never viewed athletes as heroes. I admired their ability, but, well, sports are a game, and pro sports are games people are willing to pay to see. Offhand, I never knew anyone that wrapped up in sports or actor personalities to consider them heroes, at least not for what they did in a sporting event or on a movie set.

    So, who were our heroes? Our uncles and fathers, who had fought in WWII, some of who had bronze and silver stars that we didn’t know about until after their death; the doctor who stitched up my father’s hand, and his father who I saw administer a cardiac thump; the neighbors who’d always showed up during a wildfire or after a tornado or in an ice storm; a man who severely burned his hands trying to get someone out of a burning truck. These were heroes, those who had actually done something heroic, and who thought nothing of it.

    I’m not shocked at the antics of sports players. I am, in a hand-me-the-popcorn sort of way at the cluelessness of pro sports, who seem unable to fathom that their willingness to tolerate this sort of crap is turning off those who still watch it. But the free market has a way of correcting such behavior, and if they figure it out, fine, if not, well, that’s their hard luck.

    • The problem is that many of these people are no longer spread thru the general population, especially in cities. You have your profession enclaves that may never be left and minimal mixing because there is enough populace to allow the separation and militarily the force is nowhere near as general as it was even in the Vietnam era.
      You may see a paragraph blurb about some heroic rescue but the average person just sees dozens of other people just like him in his life. So they turn to the people that are held up as paragons of success like actors or sports players. But since it’s more distant you don’t see the whole person, just a caricature.

    • There have been a few – a very few – entertainers who make the grade as heroes and role models. David Niven’s career would probably have gone better if he hadn’t gone back to the British Army at the opening of WWII. Then there’s Brigadier General Jimmy Stewart….

      • A few months back I did a little searchengining on the matter and found that a great many WWII era (and after) movie stars who exhibited considerable bravery in that war (and several in Korea, afterward.) Audie Murphy became a movie star because of his service record, but there were also

        Neville Brand: a sergeant and platoon leader, was wounded in action along the Weser River on April 7, 1945. His upper right arm was hit by a bullet, and he nearly bled to death. Brand was awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest decoration for valor in the U.S. Military, for gallantry in combat. His other awards and decorations were the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Battle Stars, one Overseas Service Bar, one Service Stripe and the Combat Infantryman Badge. In a 1966 interview he explained the Silver Star, stating that withering fire from German machine guns in a hunting lodge kept him and his unit pinned down. “I must have flipped my lid,” he said. “I decided to go into that lodge.” He was discharged from service in October 1945

        Henry Fonda: three years on the destroyer USS Satterlee and was later commissioned as a Lt. Junior Grade in Air Combat Intelligence and was awarded a Presidential Citation and the Bronze Star

        Gene Hackman: In 1946 at 16 (he lied about his age), the future ‘Unforgiven’ star left home to join the Marines, where he reportedly served four-and-a-half years as a field radio operator. According to eDrive, Hackman’s stint included assignments in China, Japan and Hawaii

        Alec Guinness: piloting infantry landing craft in the Mediterranean. A trained thespian, Guinness put his theater career on hold in 1939 to join the Royal Navy. He landed some 200 British soldiers on the beaches of Sicily during the July 1943 invasion of Italy, and went on to ferry arms to partisan fighters in Yugoslavia

        Dennis Franz: After his college graduation in 1968, a notice from the local draft board arrived. The day before Franz was to report, he enlisted in officer’s school serving 11 months with the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions in Vietnam

        If you need a time sink, visit: http://www.angelfire.com/my/mighty8thlh/hwood.html

        • Christopher Lee.
          https://www.steynonline.com/7001/fangs-light-sabers-and-a-supernumary-papilla

          “Before he was an actor, he was an intelligence officer, and had, as they used to say, a good war, attached to the Special Operations Executive, or the “Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare”, responsible for espionage and sabotage in occupied Europe. Afterwards, Lee stayed on to hunt down Nazi war criminals. ”
          “It’s the scene on top of the tower where Lee’s Saruman gets stabbed in the back by Grima Wormtongue, for which the director, Peter Jackson, wanted Lee to let out a scream. The actor felt obliged to explain to Sir Peter why that would be all wrong. He proposed to let out a small groan, a quiet gasp, as the air is pushed out of his punctured lungs. The director was resistant, so Lee said: “Peter, have you ever heard the sound a man makes when he’s stabbed in the back?”

          “Um, no,” replied Jackson.

          “Well, I have,” said Lee, “and I know what to do.'” And from somewhere deep in the recesses of his memory an old SOE agent conjured the sound a Nazi makes when you plunge the knife in.”

          • No wonder that guy’s portrayal rang so true– you have to understand evil to convey it right.

            He knew enough about Nazis to know that they’re not inhuman, they’re inhumane.

            • And that is the Crux of so many issues, both in storybook and rl. There is nothing intrinsically evil that has disappeared from humanity since 1945. The same drives and wants are still there and just as easy to use by different demagogues. But we’ve created a villain class that is just evil and not a function of base humanity so of course we won’t become them.

              Brings back one of lawdog’s essays on the monster in us. Not knowing he’s there causes all the trouble.

            • That brings to mind Conrad Veidt, one of the biggest stars in German cinema (he played the murderous somnambulist Cesare in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, his starring role in The Man Who Laughs, as a disfigured circus performer whose face is cut into a permanent grin, provided the (visual) inspiration for the Batman villain the Joker,) who came here to escape the Nazis, then spent the rest of his career playing Nazis on screen (most notably Casablanca‘s Major Strasser.


              He also donated the bulk of his personal fortune to British war relief.

            • And with that background, I wish we had a “director’s cut” of his commentary on some of the Bond films; they must have been choice. 😎

        • Clark Gable seems to be listed with the wrong Bomb Group under his picture. He was in the 351st Bomb Group, and the movie he made there is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SJQYG_GskY
          (This was on the History Channel a number of years ago, on a series called The Color Of War.)

        • RES, there is a reason it was called the greatest generation. Those men, and a number of women, answered the call of their country and risked life and limb to serve. Unlike so many in Hollyweird today, they put action before words.

          • I never bought that greatest generation bunk. I look at the original settlers, the Founders’ generation, the ones who fought in 1812, the War of Southern Secession, who settled the plains, who fought in The War To End War and don’t see much difference. They were simply Americans, doing what Americans did … at least until the rot set in. Heck, even the majority of the Boomers served honorably, it is just that the reporting has focused elsewhere since WWII.

            • Well, the truth; “One hell of a better generation than the whining bastards that followed” cuts a little close to the bone, neh?

            • Eh, I take it with a grain of salt– as an honor payed by the Boomers. Given how frequently high profile individuals mistreated or rejected their parents, giving them the title seemed like a rather graceful recognition of something less than absolute perfection on the part of the Boomers.

              • That’s it exactly – compensation for how their kids so disrespected their parents, especially now that lip service (rather than following their example) is all that is needed.

              • An even bettter one was Joe Queenan’s BALSAMIC DREAMS. A well written indictment of his own generation’s overweening self-importance. And as an added bonus, his instruction to his son that if, at his funeral, anyone so much as mentions the Tibetan BOOK OF THE DEAD, the son is to break their MFing knees.

          • And they endured the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, along with fighting WWII and the Cold War’s outbreak.

  14. I associate “ball players” with “the bullies that used to knock you down and take your lunch money.” Who were exempt from normal rules of behavior because they were “on the team.” And who had their own special classwork, one step below “remedial.”

    There’s no way I can fold, spindle, or mutilate “hero” to fit that.

    • While I didn’t have quite those exact experiences, the issue in general remains the same. Heroes is what they ain’t.

    • Sometimes I am just so FREAKING glad I was sent to a private prep school. Local high school was a pit; they’d had teachers stabbed.

      The Jocks in my school didn’t act out that way…probably because they were smart enough to know that the geeks would have ganged up on them and exacted some really fiendish revenge.

  15. One thing that bothers me a great deal is the victim blaming blaming that goes on. If you do something stupid and are victimized as a result, I won’t have much if any sympathy for you. Your victimizer still belongs in jail (if they broke the law), but you were still stupid and calling you out on that is not wrong.

    • I’m torn. On the one hand, no I don’t want to go back to the days when “Look how she was dressed; she was asking for it” counted as a defense. On the other; sweet Jesus and little land crabs, girls, what on earth possessed you to go to a FRAT PARTY and get strip-and-go-naked drunk?!?! What possesses a girl to wear a Heineken shirt that says “Grab My Heini”?.

      And, ladies, if you don’t want me to stare at them, PLEASE don’t print on them.

      • Never had a girl flip out at me for reading her shirt–OTOH, I also read quickly, so that probably helps.

        Meanwhile, as to personal choices, it’s more than a little annoying that academic feminists don’t consider telling people to not leave their cars and houses unlocked as somehow victim-blaming, but do consider telling (usually) girls to not make stupid decisions victim-blaming.

      • … ‘Grab my…” … oh hells. How stupid are… no, never mind. It’s clearly evident and needs no further elucidation.

        • And that’s not even the worst I’ve seen. Short shorts with “Pink and juicy” on the butt? Alrighty, then.

          And yes, I realize this is veering close to “she was wearing X so asking for it.” But it might be worth asking whether combining clothing to advertise sexuality, intoxicants, and a legal climate where she can charge men that she didn’t want to attract accepting her invitation with rape / harassment is really a good environment for anyone.

          • Plus an environment where sexualised attention is expected/invited… yeah.

          • I’ve seen those short on pre-teens, no less. Oy f*ing vey.

            • Don’t get me started on toddler girl clothes.

              My two year old is wearing four-year-old’s dresses because 1) they’re short enough that they work on her, and 2) a LOT of people ain’t got no sense.

              Thank goodness for cheap Walmart Easter frocks.

              • These styles seem to be Pedophilia Chic. Kids have more important developmental stages to go through as children. They should not be made aware of sex until they are 12. Or whenever their body changes enough to require wearing a bra. Or the equivalent for guys.

                • ….that I just bristled about a misreading of “aware of sex” vs “aware of THEIR SEX” is like exhibit one of your statement.

                  Yes, I do think that the “you don’t know your sex objectively” junk plus “if you feel ike it do it” is freaking pedophile @#$@@#.

            • I was raised modestly as an Orthodox Jew. I was in therapy during college. I’d button my shirts all the way up. She told me that I should show cleavage. She was a Prog to the core and so she thought my modesty was a symptom of the depression she was treating me for.

              • Erk! That ranks down there with the therapists who told young women that not wanting to “go all the way” with every guy who asked was a sign of psychiatric problems.

              • Not really the same thing, but brings to mind the gal who seriously thought she was helping me by suggesting that I should just go sleep with anybody with a pulse, at 16, because that would make my life better.

                (came up when she was going through my wallet and found a chastity pledge. I did NOT listen to her, and yes my life turned out better than hers…although by the metrics she was better educated and such at graduation…. a decade later, I’m happy[married, with kids, after a trained job], and she …. God I wish it weren’t so…isn’t[either].)

          • I figure it’s more like… when you’re driving down the road, and there’s an idiot biker (either type) who is observing absolutely none of the basic safety rules of the road, pointing out that they are being dangerous idiots isn’t saying “gosh, they deserve to be hit by a car.”

            It’s pointing out that they’re being STUPID.

            • Progtard ‘reasoning’ = “I don’t want to feel bad for my life choices, so I will make you feel bad for yours!”

              Did you get that email where I …just had to rant?

            • Warning: blood pressure raising stupidity ahead.

              • So, by being promiscuous and ignoring all standards of safety you’re protecting other women from rape?

                I. Don’t. Quite. Think. So.

                • The second example I linked further below is even worse in that regard, RES. Exponentially so. By orders of magnitude.

                  When I was 13 years old and curious about sex and love, I asked my mom if she had had sex before marrying my father (of whom she is still married to, and has been since before I was born). She said that that wasn’t really a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question. I said ‘sure it is, you’ve either had sex before him, or you haven’t’. She brought me onto the couch and sat me down and told me about the boy she liked when she was young and how one night she snuck into his house while his parents were gone and they were kissing and he said they should have sex and she said that she wanted to save sex for marriage and he laughed and basically took all her clothes off and he raped her and as my mom was telling the story she cried and this was the second time I had ever seen my mom cry. She was 12 when it happened.

                  You’d think that from that example and story… the girl writing this would’ve been more wary and careful. Nope. Not even after several of her friends were raped, according to her tale.

                  a few months later I skipped class and was in the car with a guy who i had had unprotected sex with in the past while under the influence of cocaine but this time I was sober and I insisted we use a condom but he told me he couldn’t feel anything while the condom was on so he ripped it off and I said I refused to have unprotected sex again and so he just grabbed me and forced himself into my mouth and I was crying and he pulled me onto him and I just kept saying “stop” over and over like a broken record but he must’ve heard something different because he went until he came and I just sat naked in the backseat while he drove me back to the school and said “we should do this again sometime”. And I had five showers that night and I scratched at my skin so hard to try and rip his fingerprints off of me, I still have the scars.

                  I had to highlight that bit above because it needs that extra emphasis. She goes on with some more storytelling and then ends with this:

                  And I’m so FUCKING SICK AND TIRED OF THIS WORLD WE ARE LIVING IN. How many rape victims eyes have I already looked into? How many more will I? And how many more friends will I hold while they shake? Because I don’t know how many more I can take. And who the fuck still has the nerve to make rape jokes? And… Something just has to change. Please, someone just start being that change.

                  I have no words.

                  • while under the influence of cocaine
                    Ummmmm…… methinks this girl is an idiot.

                    Please, someone just start being that change.
                    How about starting it with yourself? By not getting high or drunk, and thereby controlling your animal impulses? You know, like civilized humans have done for millennia?

                    Sheesh. The progtardry is strong in this one.

                    • The whole post.

                      Not one of them is really described to be doing safe behaviour, including the mother who snuck out late at night and went to the guy’s house when his parents weren’t home. The only two who were innocent in behaviour was the girl who was made by her older cousin to give him a hand job, and the girl who invited her best friend to watch Disney movies.

                      The other thing that utterly baffles me is how many of these girls are described as sneaking out, having drugs, drinking booze (severely underage mind you), etc. In my day, sneaking out was done because you were grounded and you wanted to play with your friends. PLAY. Or watch movies at someone’s house because they were the one with the video player. Chatting to the two other adults at my household, that’s pretty much true – and none of us really got into the kind of trouble being described. I think only the Housemate ever really snuck out of the house too – and it was to play video games with a bunch of other teenagers, and there were girls and boys, and they were more interested in beating the other person at the game than banging. Heck, actually, I just turned to him and asked and he started rattling the names of the people who would do the ‘sneak out and play’ at the unofficial LAN in Kevin’s shed… and then ended with “Actually, there were more girls than guys” after he recalled a bunch of female names. (Apparently he was also promoted a girl to the position of Officer in his gaming clan on the old Blizzard Battle.net by having two players vying for the position to duke it out in game, ‘the winner gets the position.’) …so that bullshit about there being no female gamers way back in the day is also incomprehensible bullshit to folks like us.

                      The whole ‘trying to drink and act older’ thing didn’t start with most of us til like 16 or later. Since my parents were the sort who would let us taste the liquors Dad was drinking my sibs and I didn’t drink till we were older, because of the memory of the bad taste.

                      My reaction to that whole thing is “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! You’re NOT OLD ENOUGH TO EVEN THINK ABOUT THAT SHIT.”

                    • Ah, fark. It posted the whole post, I’m sorry. I should’ve a href-linked it.

                  • Girls tend to get the kinds of guys they look for. They need to learn to be less quick to settle, lest they end up like that girl above, sick of the world they’re living in without realizing how much it is one of their own creation.


                    “Oh, Goddamn ’em to hell. I hate those guys that walked out of here. I hate them. I’m the only one that’s coming back, and I’m getting all the blame.”

                  • I wasn’t going to comment (I read the gal’s post yesterday) but after reading it again all I can do is shake my head. She’s not even 16 and she’s hooking up with some older guy in his car to do cocaine and have sex, and the one time he doesn’t give her drugs she raises some issues? And suddenly is surprised that he wants what he’s been getting all along?

                    I suspect her friends, who are undoubtedly the same age, are engaging in the same sort of behavior: Hanging out with criminals and are then suddenly shocked when they are subjected to criminal behavior. The amount of stupid in these girls is just too large to comprehend. I also have to wonder just where the -hell- their parents are, letting them hang out with hoodlums and do drugs at such a young age.

                    You walk into a lion’s den, you really can’t complain if the lion mauls you. These gals are just too young and too stupid and obviously their parents just don’t give a damn about them. Don’t want to get raped? Don’t hang out with rapists! DUH.

                    • Assuming that it’s neither creative writing nor a Loser Olympics situation– for some unspeakable reason, there are cliques of girls who will basically try to one-up eachother on how horrible their lives are.

                      I don’t get it.

                    • The synchnronicity of the web is wonderful:

                      How a change in parenting can improve education at no cost to taxpayers
                      As our children head back to school again, it is useful to ask why so many are doing so poorly. It seems we’ve tried everything to improve standardized test scores among disadvantaged students, with little success.

                      But perhaps the answer partially lies in the home, not in the school. It turns out that children raised by single parents account for 71 percent of high school dropouts, according to federal statistics, and that children who have shared parenting after their parents separate due to divorce do considerably better.

                      Shared parenting is a flexible arrangement in which children spend as close to equal time as possible with each parent after separation or divorce – if both parents are fit and there has been no domestic violence. This stands in sharp contrast to the outdated traditions of most family courts, which assign sole physical custody to one parent, usually the mother, and just a small amount of “visitation” to the other parent.

                      Consider the wealth of data that shows as much.

                      As far back as 1977, a study by the National Center for Education Statistics entitled “Fathers’ Involvement in Their Children’s Schools” concluded that, “There is also evidence that the involvement of nonresident fathers increases the likelihood that children in grades 6 through 12 get mostly A’s and that they enjoy school…”

                      Linda Nielsen, a professor of educational and adolescent psychology at Wake Forest University, recently published research titled, “Divorced Fathers and Their Daughters: A Review of Recent Research.” She found that children, specifically daughters, need a relationship with their father post-divorce. Pantene and Mattel used her research to create 30-second Super Bowl spots in 2016 and 2017, respectively, showing dads playing with their daughters. Her research concluded that daughters who have actively involved fathers tend to have more self-confidence, better mental health, and are more successful in school.

                      The Office for National Statistics (in the U.K.) report shows a father’s level of education is the strongest factor in determining a child’s future success at school, while a mother’s education level was important to a lesser degree.

                      [END EXCERPT]

                      Tell me again how the State can replace the father.

              • I’ve said it before and I will ko doubt say it again: yes, yes I am. Because predators are gonna predate, and I will not be a willing sacrifice to your stupidity. Note that this doesn’t preclude bystander intervention.

              • Not the first time I’ve seen that sentiment. Alas.

            • you’re entitled to attack a police officer if he tells you to stop walking down the middle of the road, you know. And he’s not entitled to fight back.

    • As I see it, there’s no contradiction between saying, “It doesn’t matter where she was, what she had taken, or what she was wearing, there’s no excuse for what he did to her,” and “If you don’t want to be the ‘her’ in the previous sentence, there are some basic common sense steps you can take to make it less likely.”

      • There shouldn’t be, but given the freak out that happens whenever someone says, “If you want to stay safe do x, y, and z and don’t do a, b, and c,” apparently some people think so.

        • Logical consistency is a tool of the Patriarchy, used to deny women’s freedom of expression.

          What else would you expect from people who oppose fascism by being fastest to employ it?

        • These folks obviously had parents who didn’t give them the old fashioned talk. And I don’t mean the birds and the bees.

          • Obviously. As a good (male) friend said “In an ideal world, getting drunk as a skunk and losing all sense of judgement while deliberately wearing revealing clothes would not have consequences. This is not that world.”

            • Why is sex before marriage considered to be an unalloyed good? It seems to me that some people treat sex like vitamins. If you don’t have sex you’ll have some kind deficiency disease. What’s wrong with waiting until marriage? If kids can work and can drive a car at 16. And drink and vote when they’re 18, they’re incapable of not following their impulses to have sex.

              • I have no idea. I really wonder if it comes from a (IMHO toxic) blend of “self control is repression, follow your urges and be ‘Real'”, the desire to shock the mundanes, and a few warped souls who push other people into sex or whatever in order to make themselves feel less guilty about their own desires.

                When I was a teen, I did not know anyone I would have been willing to be intimate with, and as I grew older, I saw the all-too-often unhappy results of sex-without-marriage.

              • What’s wrong? It leads to happier marriages and better sex lives, that’s what’s wrong. That would make them feel bad about their own lives, so it can’t be permitted.

  16. Eh.
    This is the least of the NFL’s problems.

    Much more serious is that they decided to make the rules of the game opaque, that they’ve compromised their product for a short term increase in ad revenue, and that they’ve let virtue signaling Leftists run amuk while ham-handedly slapping down respectful tributes to slain policemen and soldiers.

  17. Honestly, this behavior will only change when people stop endorsing it. Yes, it’s being endorsed by all those people who buy jerseys and throw pillows and flags for their truck and every other branded thing out there. And when they subscribe to all the sports channels. And when the pro stadiums sit empty. Only when the ridiculous amounts of money spent on this dry up will the behavior change.

    • We have only one cable company here. Which is also the only broadband provider.

      There’s no way to *not* get twenty channels of spawrts; it’s part of the “basic” package, which includes an array of shopping channels and other stuff few people want, like all the Spanish-language channels.

      And in order to get broadband, we’re forced to pay for “cable TV”, even though we don’t own a TV. So internet access is $150/mo, Yee-freakin’-haw.

      • Ouch. Cable here was “Do you want TV and, or phone with that? No? Alright.” But then we did go for the “Business” connection.

        • The recently named Spectrum(Time Warner) is pushing their tv streaming to the whole area, whether you have their broadband services or not. starts at $29 but most of the sport channels are not included at that price. I have the broadband and not the tv or phone.
          If Ala Cart was allowed many channels would simply go away. Frustratingly for me almost every channel I want to watch is only on a premium service, but more and more they are offering a streaming version. for now, it isn’t viable for me to go that route (price would be higher for what I want and quality less) but as I type this, I have a stream of BTsport2 coverage of MotoGP qualifying running. quality is a bit low, but I don’t have to pay for yet another premium package to watch one or two sports on an otherwise worthless channel (Bein has MotoGP and WSB in the US).
          But, more and more, this is happening around the planet. People are tiring of paying for pap that they are not going to watch. Add the things lots of folks used to watch that is doing its best to push them away (NFL means Not For Long now-a-days), and the ability to do as I am and watch what you want from elsewhwere and they need to make changes.
          Fast.
          Or perish.

      • That sound like a monopolistic practice. I’m pretty sure it’s been ruled illegal elsewhere (you should be able to pay for internet only).

  18. In regards the Zeke Elliott incident, he was probably treated better by the NFL than he would have been at almost any American university these days. The NFL isn’t going to suspend their football program, are they?

    Not that this is much of a hurdle.

  19. The attitude of football players being heroes extends all the way down to the high school level in Texas. That is what caused the whole kerfuffle surrounding the original “Friday Night Lights” events that made it into the book and later the movie. (The TV show has little connection to the original events.) Football is king there because football is what brings in the cash to the high schools. So the players are treated like kings and nobody blinks an eye at misbehavior unless it gets them arrested. Cheating on grades so the players were “eligible” to play. Starting practices earlier than mandated. Drinking or anything else. Seeing the Texas high school attitudes towards football first hand actually put me off football. Those attitudes in high school lead directly to how those players act in college and the NFL. No class on financial literacy will overcome that attitude without serious life adjustments.

    • Except it’s not just Texas. I’ve seen the same attitude around the country when it comes to high school football. And football isn’t the only sport.

      • My high school won one game.

        That’s not “a year.” That’s “the entire time I was there, from Junior High to graduation.”

        The rimshot? ….it was a forfeit. The other team called it for safety concerns because the busdriver said something like oh heck no, but it wasn’t official called as too dangerous so we got credit for it.

        They still enabled horrible behavior by the football guys, and put in a requirement for a sports fee and physical for the non-physical “sports.” (Backfired. We demanded all the same recognition, so I lettered in basically team Jeopardy.)

        • You did Scholars’/Quiz Bowl?

        • How lucky I was….

          Only “Jock on non-jock” incident I can remember was a case of an idiot riding one of the football playes for about a week. Player finally snapped and hit him. Once. Broke the nitwit’s nose, blacked both eyes, and knocked out two teeth. Jock was seriously upset afterwards, too.

          I kinda like that the school essentially said “Hey, idiot, that’s what you’d been begging for.”. Said it to the imbecile’s parents, too.

          Lesson; if you spend enough time pestering somebody who benches 350, you WILL get hurt.

          • Sounds like your school had REAL coaches, not losers who happened to age out of high school.

            • That was once the purpose of high school and college athletics: to build character. For all his bad publicity, Indiana’s Bobby Knight was reputedly revered by his players and not simply for his ability to diagram plays. Chapel Hill’s Dean Smith was similarly respected for his player development, with Michael Jordan being his best known product.

              Boys of a certain age and interest in sports would do well to read the Chip Hilton books, a YA series written (especially in the later entries) to put an emphasis on character development through sports.

              Unfortunately, character does not show up in the box score.

        • There were enough people who are anti-sport (and pro-theatre) at my high school that students can letter in drama.

          Of course, there was quite a bit of overlap in the portions of the student population that participated in each activity. (It was a small school)

          • Our biggest grade was 70-some kids– a toxic coach still managed to screw it up.

            With a lot of enabling from the leadership, but still.

            (For those keeping track– he was also the math teacher. Actually had a college diploma to teach math. Copied the answers from the back of the book to the white board, and wouldn’t answer a question until you’d nagged everyone else. “It’s not my job to teach, it’s your job to learn.” I was one of the folks who ended up teaching it instead. I signed up for…calculus, I think it was, first “teach a half-dozen schools by video” class offered, after they swore he wouldn’t teach it. I walked into the class at the start of the school year, he walked in, I walked right back out and to the councilor’s office to demand a new class. I seem to remember that he set such new records for failure that he single-highhandedly killed off the video teaching for our district.)

          • My high school was small. The football team had a first string, and half of a second string. Yet they won the championship almost every single year in their class. So eventually, to make it ‘fair’ they moved the high school into a division where the other team had three full strings (there were less that a thousand students in our high school total, the division there were moved into each year had over a thousand students).

            So not only did the other teams have a bigger pool to pick from, but they had more players to rotate through, and of course, a lot more money.
            They still did well, but eventually got moved back to their original division.

            As a side note, I think at least half of the team went to college on football scholarships every year, but I don’t think any of them ever made the pros. It really was all the couch. The man was a genius.

      • Where I live now in ruralsville I know people who have held their kids back a year from kindergarten so they’d they’d be bigger, better, faster athletes in their school group. And if it’s common enough here that I’ve seen it, it’s common practice elsewhere. We did it the other way, got our kids in to school as fast as possible. All were athletes, none of them stars. But they all graduated in top 10% of their class or better.

        Used to be, when I was a kid, going to catechism or a Scout meeting was ample excuse to miss a sports practice. Now missing a practice for ANY reason and you’re not participating in the next game or meet. I’ve had discussion with the superintendents of schools about that over the years (I’m a Scout leader) and they agree it’s not right, but they seem to be afraid to change it….

        • A couple of decades ago, there was an infamous Sports Illustrated article that (among other things) essentially accused the LDS Church of doing the exact same thing that you’re describing for those Kindergarten Parents. i.e. having young LDS men serve two year missions so that they’d have an extra couple of years to bulk up before coming back to play football at BYU.

          /rolleyes

    • Heh. One night there was trouble brewing after a game, as the football players were loading the buses. A friend, who helped with the team, happened to stand in front of our car and let loose with invective laced orders that would have made a DI tremble. Later, when he found out my wife heard it, he apologized, but my wife thought it was funny, and knew why he clamped the lid down hard.

      I think that attitude among the coaching staff made a difference. The players knew they’d have to face them afterward.

    • > Football is king there because football is
      > what brings in the cash to the high schools.

      How does that work?

      We sat on the floor because there weren’t enough desks, and shared books because there weren’t enough books, while the school blew $3.5M on a special, separate gym for the feetball teem, so they wouldn’t be contaminated by using the same gym as the lesser beings. Couple that with the general upkeep for several buildings, the field, coaches, equipment, and special classes to meet their schedules and performance levels, and let’s not forget the special buses to ferry them to games, that’s a hell of a lot of expenditure for, maybe one classrooms’ worth of students, if you include all the newbies and extras. (average class size was 40 to 50)

      Then there were things like the Mandatory Candy Sales, where they’d knock off whole letter grades from your coursework if you didn’t meet your quota… a lot of parents bought unwanted candy to keep their kids’ grades from being hammered.

      • Basically, an awful lot of daddies who know they weren’t good enough for the team cherish the hope that their sons will make it.

        It’s also an officially sanctioned gang; this song actually describes it fairly well:

      • Not to mention the bragging rights for saying “We brought in so many scholarships from our programs.” Yeah. Our high school got shafted because they kept gerrymandering the high school boundaries to guarantee that the good players went to the other school. That made rivalry games really nasty. At the same time, it eventually got my high school to force the district to allow us money for academics so we started blowing them away with AP programs, Academic Decathlon and other things. Then the other school said “Not fair!” and the district then opened up a bit of “school choice” where people could choose where to attend. That kind of evened things up a little, but since we were also a long ways from the big cities, both our schools were at a severe disadvantage competing in sports or academics against Plano or DFW or Houston.

      • Any fondness I had for high School sports got terminated when I had to pay my way to State for academics, and I got a whole $3/day stipend from the district for food. The jocks and jockettes got all travel costs paid and $15/meal. Early 1990s.

      • When I was in Mansfield, tanker drivers would ask “What college plays at that big stadium I see off I30?” and be shocked when, after I asked was is north or south of the road, let them know it was a high school stadium (South side is Royse City, North is Rockwall). Burleson has a baseball stadium better than many minor league pro teams, a decent football stadium (Not a patch on RC or Rw though) , a softball field, and 12 tennis courts. Then they built a second High School. It has what will be the Football Stadium (not yet fully finished) a practice field, the two stickball fields, and “only” 8 tennis courts.

  20. IIRC, the percentage of NFL players that actually commit crimes is lower than that of the general male population. The media of course, focuses on the bad seeds, ie ‘if it bleeds it leads.’ Headlines like ‘fifth round draft pick learned the play book, went home, played CoD with his practice squad roommate’ don’t get much notice.

  21. I’m a geek–about the only current sports guy I can think of that I’d call heroic is that one with all the kids.

    You know, the one that was treated like some sort of irresponsible freak, because he married their mother, and then started having kids, and gosh do you know she’s given birth to more than like four?

    Hit the news a little bit when he got a full on grilling by a reporter about it.
    (Phillip Rivers of the Chargers– by all accounts a rather decent guy, too.)

    I do kinda admire that “Beast Mode” kid up in Seattle for how he deals with reporters, though. (infamous quote when some whined about his monosyllable responses, along the lines of “I’m here because my contract requires it.”)

    • Yep, Rivers is indeed a role-model as far as I can tell. Devout Catholic with 8 children, and a wife he married early in college because he wasn’t going to commit adultery just because the culture said it’s what you do. (No it wasn’t because he got his girl friend in trouble, as they say.) They had at least one child while they were still in college, so he learned a thing or two about spending money wisely.

      He’s known as a “trash talker”, but no one has ever heard him say anything worse than “shoot” or “gol darn!” I think I’ve even heard him utter a, “dad gummit!”

      We’ve been blessed as sports fans in San Diego between him and Tony Gwynn. They make up for a lot of the spoiled brats.

  22. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I don’t quite believe in Jason, Odysseus, or Romulus.

    Horatio is still immortal.

    The Spartans, Thebans, and Thesbians at Thermopylae are still immortal.

    The Legionnaires at Cameron are still immortal.

    I remember the Texans at The Alamo.

    Being pro-Union, I am a fan of Sherman and Grant. But they would have done nothing but for the Union fighting man, who is due his mead of glory. For that reason, I must also speak to the Confederate, who was more courageous, honorable, and valorous than the Copperhead. I remember the American fighting man.

    I acknowledge my foremothers, who worked and sacrificed that I may have the privilege that I enjoy. Some of my forefathers were good, some bad, and some a combination. I still have their examples to inform my own life choices. I am thankful for the ones who were able to spend time with me, talking about their life choices, and what I should do. I have not done their lessons justice.

    As an American, I am thankful to the past generations of Americans, who have showed me how to be an American in reality, and not just legally.

    As a thinker, I owe debts to Steven Denbeste, Tom Kratman, Eric Raymond, and I think Crane Brinton.

    As a professional, my role models include the men in Kipling’s Sappers and Sons of Martha, and Ed Teller.

    I don’t pay attention to sports or acting, and wouldn’t know the good men from the bad men.

    • Bob, you should get unregistered; you’re no fool.

    • Not sure how Copperhead qualifies as unheroic. Standing on your Constitutional principles while they can get you vilified, if not persecuted (or prosecuted), by your family, friends, neighbors and the PTB seems fairly gutsy to me. I suppose being a *secret*, not to say discreet, Copperhead, perhaps working surreptitiously to impede the war effort, would make the grade as craven.

      • Dude. Even Dayton, Ohio had Copperhead mobs occasionally roaming the streets and destroying stuff, with some persecution of free blacks on the side. But they were all for peace, so the torches were okay.

        The farm people were mostly for the Union and their sons served, so the political situation got very interesting.

  23. Sad news at Instapundit at 6:59PM: Jerry Pournelle has died.

    • omg no

      Absent companions, gentlemen *hoists drink

    • Christopher M. Chupik

      I shall drink to his shade.

    • Oh, no….

      God bless and keep him, and his family.

    • Sad, indeed. His comments here were always a pleasure to read and informative of an era most of us hadn’t experienced, and his Chaos Manor a welcome site to visit. My sympathies for his family and friends.

    • Indeed. (Hoists tankard) I’m glad he got to go to DragonCon.

    • I view it as a singular honor that Dr. Pournelle frequented the comments here from time to time – the fact he commented the same place I did is my own little brush with an inestimable talent. I will hoist an adult beverage to his memory as well. He will most definitely be missed.

    • If you want a hero, he’d be a good start. The SF paid the bills, but it was The Strategy of Technology that laid the foundation for the defeat of the Soviet Union.

    • Nag dabbit! *raises glass*

    • I first read Mote in a book club edition, and was hooked. I read his columns in Byte and picked all of his books that I could find; alas many in paperback (lost to moves). I have a copy of Footfall that he and Larry signed in a bookshop in San Jose; we talked computers for a few seconds. 🙂 Reading his blog was a treat, and I was thrilled to share a couple of emails with him.

      Yeah, I’ll miss him. [Hoists a virtual Jack Daniels in his honor.]

    • analytical-engine-mechanic

      And boy, will Dr. Pournelle really be missed. Not just for the SF or the strategic vision or the blog (which he called a daybook, because it predated both weblogs and the Web), but also for the science fact and the editorial work too.

      If one had to pick one book, predating this blog and Our Esteemed Blogmistress’ work in general, that was most “consonant” with this page and its creator and the amazing community that’s (so obviously) grown up around it, for me at least it would have to be his (as editor) “Survival of Freedom” — and which I recommend still to everyone here, in case they’ve managed to miss any of the good stuff inside.
      And Baen Books, assuming they haven’t already, could do far worse than to reissue (if “only” in e-book) some of the editorial work he did for them, like his “There Will Be War” series.

      His science column “A Step Farther Out” wasn’t just interesting, it was something of a sovereign antidote to the whole doomy-gloomy “malaise”-ridden undercurrent of the late 70s and early 80s, Limits To Growth and all that. In a completely straightfoward and undramatic way, he step by step counteracted all that grim follly, year after year.

      He was by his own description one of the few people (and maybe the only one) ever “deputized” by H. Beam Piper to write stories in his worlds. Much as I’ve enjoyed the work of people like William Tuning, I’m always going to miss the “authorized” extensions to Piper’s universe/s we’re now surely never gonna see — much like the stories Piper himself would’ve written, if not for the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune he faced.

      We’ll just have to pay it forward, boys and girls. ‘Cuz there’s no lookin’ back now.
      Bon voyage.

      • He also put out two or three dead tree books of his 80s era Byte columns. Adventures in Microland was one. I asked him one time why he didn’t release them on e-book and the answer boiled down to time, both to put the columns in e-book format and to resolve all the permissions issues. Hopefully Roberta or Alex will reconsider. I’d buy those in a heartbeat. I have the dead tree versions but they’re falling apart.

        • Those columns of Jerry’s were a major influence on my IT philosophy; they convinced me that it didn’t matter a tinker’s damn how much “kewl tech” you stuffed in if your users couldn’t actually get useful work done with what you were building.

          “Users Unite! It’s US they’re after.”

      • FWIW, castaliahouse.com got republishing rights, and has released most of them. The Blogger Who Shall Not Be Named just posted that Volumes VII and VIII will be released this month, and the series was restarted with Volume X, all with Jerry’s blessing. (No idea about Volume IX…)

    • RIP. He was one of the great Old Wise Men of what I think of as my tribe.

    • RIP Mr Pournelle.
      *hoists drink*

  24. From https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/

    ALEX POURNELLE TEXTS:

    Hi
    I’m afraid that Jerry passed away
    We had a great time at DragonCon
    He did not suffer. Please feel free to post this news.

    Rest in peace, Jerry. You will be missed.
    68

  25. Breaking News!!! Sarah provides answer to the question: Where do I stick my yacht?

    Where Do I Park My Yacht?
    By Sarah Hoyt
    There are lots of jokes about how the other half lives. However, I didn’t fully realize just how the other half lived until I got in the car last week, and turned the radio on to a commercial. I thought it had to be a spoof. The commercial opened with a plummy British voice saying, “I know your biggest problem is where to park your yacht.”

    As I stared at the radio in disbelief, the commercial proceeded to cheerily – no, actually snootily – advertise a specific marina, whose price was somewhat lower than others, or its service better or something.

    I’m not sure, because barring us winning the lottery (which would be more likely – note not likely – to happen if we bought tickets more than about twice a year. And then we buy them so we can dream for two days before the drawing and not in any expectation of winning) we’re unlikely to ever own a yacht. And even if we won the lottery, we’d be more likely to buy a publishing house or two.

    The station then went on to advertise itself as Radio Riviera, the station for expatriates living in the South of France.

    I’ve been in the South of France for the last two weeks – two days to go, and ya’ll better make sure I still have a country when I return. …

    • I’ve often mentioned that one way to realize there’s a lot of unreported income in the U.S. is to drive up or down the east coast and stop in all the little coastal communities and count the number of large sailboats and power craft, figure out how much they cost to obtain and maintain, then figure out how many people can actually afford them- by reported income.

  26. I have given up on watching the NFL, didn’t watch a single game last year, will not watch a game this year. IF they’re NOT going to fire the people disrespecting our country and our flag but WILL punish those trying to honor our fallen heroes, well fuck them.

    It was bad enough when they started dressing the men in pink to give awareness for women who don’t even watch the game. The NFL has been making it a primary goal to insult men, especially American men, and drive them away.

    Well, it worked. I’m gone, and I hope the fold up and go out of business. The NFL is proudly anti-man and anti-American. So I’m done with them. Everyone else should be too.

  27. It is a terrible mistake to look to sports figures for one’s heroes. It misconceives heroism, which is a potentially fatal problem for any society — but especially one built on enduring principles and ideals, such as ours.

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