It is causing a lot of confusion for Cranky Son #1. Give it a second.
When times are tough, and they surely are, it is always nice to lose yourself in a Sunday afternoon football game. Not the high school or college kind, but the big leagues, the pros. A simple thing, really, watching our premiere American professional sport on the big screen TV that apparently everyone in America can afford. No cancellations for weather, pure physical aggression and competition, awesome beer commercials (with a sprinkling of Viagra – kids, go get mommy another beer). Right? Well, sorta. A number of rule changes and social developments have really diluted the true nature of the game, such that eventually my kids will play a more exciting game at recess. (Scratch that – there will be no recess, either).
1) Super-detailed list of illegal blocks – of course safety is an issue, but I am guessing that learning the specifics of these rules is a tough sell for these guys who probably did not take their own SATs, or any college exams for that matter. Oh, and the referees will surely be able to identify all the criteria in real-time to determine if said illegal blocks take place. They cannot consistently call pass interference with any kind of accuracy.
2) Weather delays – is there such a thing? Nobody doesn’t like watching those late fall games on the real grass fields that are muddy, and snowy, and a total mess. It is kind of primal – and a nostalgic look at how all these stadiums used to look – crappy, messed up grass and all. The NFL opened the season with two games delayed to weather. Because, you know, there has never been “weather” on game day. Full stadiums of people sat waiting (“sheltering in place”, maybe?) until the recess monitor at the NFL gave the “all-clear”.
3) Anti-taunting policy – the precious snowflakes that are professional football players cannot be taunted or teased. Scored a touchdown? Great, head to the sideline and write about it in your diary, just don’t you dare spike the football, flex your hulk muscles, salute, dance, shout, or even be that mime in the invisible box. Shut your pie hole and move along. You are not so special. Maybe this was done to set an example, but gosh, don’t we encourage our kids to celebrate with high-fives and fist-bumps, even occasional chest bumps. All the kids I know have their own touchdown dance. And they don’t even play football. If they changed the name of the penalty to “Anti-bullying” then everyone would be on board. That is a different conversation altogether.
4) Team name sensitivity – here’s what really gets me. Even in the NFL, Roger Goodell has succumbed to the “if one person is offended, we have to listen”. Are you sure about that, Bob? Cuz I am offended at the boner-medication ads that persist during broadcasts of NFL games, and I don’t see you doing anything about it. An erection lasting longer than five hours??? Color me offended. But don’t put on a firearms commercial during the Super Bowl, because I might be offended at that, too. I am offended that there are dozens of convicted felons and domestic abusers in the NFL, that usually don’t lose their jobs for these offenses (Aaron Hernandez notwithstanding). Ridiculous.
5) Incessant Bureaucratic Fines and Off-Field Rule Enforcement – the NFL is looking a lot like the IRS lately, with a focus on fining players, coaches, and organizations for non-compliance of the seemingly endless list of rules. A weapons charge won’t get you dropped from a team, but God help you if you wear an Addidas t-shirt to practice were people can see you, because the contract is with Reebok, dammit!!!! I especially love when players blow off media interviews and are fined for it, or they show up and get fined for what they say. Players should get bonuses to NOT talk to the press. It’s win-win for the NFL, even if the fines aren’t really all that important to the players, dollar-wise. Stupid, stupid, stupid to turn everything into fines (you know, like the Government does).
Think to the future – when Madden 2016 is released, it will look like a game from 1982 Colecovision pitting the Carolina Climate Change versus the New Jersey Springtime (sounds like a brand name of feminine hygiene product): no player individualism (specific names and numbers only), only politically correct team names included, six legal blocks remain in the game, and a rigorous real-life penalty version that will make Pong popular again (“Your quarterback wore an unapproved brand of t-shirt to practice one day this week, so he has been fined and suspended, please choose another quarterback!”) . To their credit, at least the NFL doesn’t have the insipid caring program that the NBA does” The NBA, Where Caring Happens”. Basketball will be covered in a separate item.
Sunday was the start of Advent, the new liturgical year for the Catholic Church, and the start of the great Christmas count-down. Church was thinly attended, since Thursday was Thanksgiving (and the start of Hanukkah, but I don’t think that had anything to do with low attendance) and apparently most other people in town were traveling (or playing opossum). We were discussing climbing the Lord’s mountain in the first reading, then rejoicing to the house of the Lord in the responsorial psalm, and then we got to the second reading. That’s when we heard:
Let us then throw off the works of darkness
and put on the armor of light;
let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,
not in orgies and drunkenness,
not in promiscuity and lust,
not in rivalry and jealousy.
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ,
and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.
I gave a side-ward glance to the Cranky Daddy, and he just kind of rolled his eyes, knowing that this little nugget probably started the countdown on a difficult question grenade. The grenade blew that evening, and Cranky Son #1 apparently asked about the orgies (he pronounced it OR-gees). I have no idea what the exact questions and answers were, but the questions continued in the car this morning on the same theme of “who would want to go to orgies anyway”? We continue to encounter these grenades (“what is auto-erotic asphyxiation?” “what’s a MILF?”, “Dad says that women have cycles, are you having yours now?”) and I’m sure the floodgates will really open when the kids have “health class” in January. DUCK AND COVER!!! Good Lord.
China Passes Law To Require Visits to Elderly Parents; US Continues Pushing Laws That Will Let you Kill Them
How can it be that China, where human life is arguably the most disposable in the world, could shame US by passing a law that requires families to visit their elderly parents, or at least “share greetings” with some frequency? The law, an amended version of “Law of Protection of Rights and Interests of the Aged” is really fuzzy on details and definitions, but parents who feel snubbed can file suit against their miserable, ungrateful progeny. Generally no money is involved, but court-specified visitation can be ordered. Decades of “market reform” and rapid development has taken its toll on China’s extended families, and there is not a lot of infrastructure to care for the elderly who used to simply live with their families. Meanwhile, in the US, we keep trying to pass laws in many states that allow our elderly to “do the right thing” and eat poison applesauce for a “dignified death”, or to allow us to pull the plug on elders in expensive, icky, and potentially inconvenient long-term ill health. Kind of a good thing we don’t have a law like that here – courts would be flooded with these cases, even with no money involved!
… not the made-up names some joker put on the air at KTVU-TV last week! Asiana airlines attorney Siu Yu has announced that the airline will sue the news station in San Francisco because it
“damaged the airline’s reputation by using bogus and racially offensive names for four pilots on a plane that crashed earlier this month in San Francisco.”
The network has since blamed an intern identified as Sum Yung Gai (who has since been released) for the error, because, you know, summer interns generally run a major city’s news broadcast while on break during their sophomore year of college. And nobody ever checks their work, especially if they are going to a really good school, which is the only place a top-notch news station like KTVU would ever consider hiring. See the epic footage of the bogus names, and the carefully-pronunciating anchor reporting those unusual names (which are obviously Chinese, not Korean!):
The August edition of Al Queda magazine is about to hit newsstands. Though not available on-line, the publisher is promoting the magazine’s cover headlines:
“Best Pressure Cooker Recipes for Summer”
“5 Quick Tips for Disciplining Your Wife”
“Blending In: Shaving Your Beard Without Guilt”
“Infidels and Their Trusting Nature: What You Should Know”