Friday, September 10, 2010

Borifying the NFL

Every year the NFL tinkers with a great sport, which usually results in a negative effect. This year has so far followed suit. Football is a delicate balance between sport and business; for several years now the scale has been tipping toward business, and it's getting ever harder to enjoy the competition.

-- Tonight I watched the 2010 opening game between the Saints and Vikings. Favre was clearly rusty and unfit due to his late arrival to camp. Why was he late? Who knows, but once the Vikings offered him a huge raise and massaged his delicate ego he changed his mind and showed up to camp.

-- Every year my favorite team seems to turn over large numbers of players. How can I stay committed to a team every year when the locker room sports a revolving door?

-- Rules changes have damaged competitiveness. Quarterbacks are over-valued and over-protected; defensive backs can barely look at receivers without getting flagged for interference; there is an unbelievable amount of time-outs, commercial breaks and slow-downs due to instant replay calls; players fall down and drop the ball, but don't get charged with a fumble, etc.

-- Pass interference is the most ridiculous rule the NFL has. It's called so much during a game that games are often decided on the basis of a referee blowing his whistle. The penalty for offensive pass interference results in the offensive team advancing to the spot of the foul. If, then, a quarterback throws a sixty-yard pass, and the defender is called for pass interference, it is tantamount to a sixty yard gain. The assumption is that the offensive player, were it not for being interfered with, would have caught the ball. However, if the pass interference happened in the end zone, there is no assumption that the receiver would have caught the ball. So, the offensive team gets the ball at the one-yard-line instead. Does that make sense? Of course not. There is never a guarantee that a receiver will catch any ball thrown his way.

-- When offensive pass interference is called, there never exists the assumption that, were it not for the pass being interfered with, the defender would have caught the ball. To be consistent, whenever an offensive player is called with pass interference shouldn't the defensive team be credited with an interception?

-- The league itself is structured and run as if it were a small communist country in Eastern Europe. Instead of allowing teams to reap the benefits of hard work, and spend their profits any way they wish, the NFL is forcing parity upon the league. It is patently un-American to force teams to share their wealth, either through extorting profits or limiting teams' ability to use those profits to gain an edge on the competition.

-- Parity slowly ruins the sport. The more parity there is, the less distinction there is between teams. Following the league is more fun when there are teams to hate (usually the "haves") and underdogs to root for (the "have nots"). Right now, on any given Sunday any team could beat another. On its face, this seems positive. But it ultimately dumbs down the league; it's exciting when a weaker team squeaks out a win against a giant, but there really are no "weaker" teams any more (maybe a few). The only real difference between teams nowadays is the jerseys.

-- Instant replay is just plain boring, and it smacks of self-importance. Instant replays almost always occur at pivotal and exciting times during a game. They destroy momentum, excitement and pace, and they force folks to endure ever more TV commercials. In the end, even the Superbowl is just a game. It's just not that important to get each and every call perfectly correct.

-- Corporate influence hurts the blue collar fan. How many middle-class fans, the ones who wear their team's jerseys and buy advertisers' products, actually get to attend playoff games and Superbowls? Very few. Corporate sponsors, NFL cronies, families and friends, media employees and guests of the above people get seats at the most important games.

-- Greed is ruining the sport. Both owners and players alike are greedy; neither of these entities care a lick about the basic fan, and it's the basic fan that pays for everything through ticket sales, concessions, team merchandise and advertisers' products. Players charge for autographs, owners and players combine to overcharge for tickets and, thanks to greed, fans are priced-out of important games. Not only are they priced-out of playoff and Superbowl tickets, but taking Joe fan's seat in the stadium is usually some corporate sponsor.

Despite all of these annoying aspects to professional football I, like millions of Americans, will continue to be riveted to Sunday and Monday football on TV. It is still a great sport. Like a lot of things in our culture, however, the folks in charge need to learn when to leave a good thing alone. A few more changes to football and they'll lose me, and I won't be the only one hitting the door.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bush vs. OJ

Where does the NCAA find the cojones to strip Reggie Bush of the Heisman Trophy, while allowing O.J. Simpson to keep his?

The Two-Faced Left

Is burning a pile of Korans constitutionally protected? Yes. Should people burn a pile of Korans? Probably not.

That was simple. So, why can't liberals see this predicament as nearly synonymous with the mosque controversy near Ground Zero? It's not that they can't; they won't.

The Reverend Terry Jones, pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL, is planning a huge cookout. What's on the menu? The Koran. He plans to burn a pile of Islamic "holy books" on September 11, the anniversary of the largest terrorist attack ever perpetrated against the United States. The attack, of course, was carried out by Islamic extremists.

Pastor Jones has every right under the constitution to burn the Koran, but he has almost no backing from the American public. Rightly so. This is one of those rare occasions in which both Democrats and Republicans stand together. He has the right, but on moral grounds he really should refrain from exercising it.

Even today, the eve of this fiery event, President Obama is contemplating a personal call to Pastor Jones entreating restraint. The FBI has already spoken to him, so has Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Even General Petraeus has chimed in against the Koran burning event.

The president won't lift a finger, however, to discourage building a mosque near Ground Zero, despite the disdain expressed by an overwhelming majority of U.S. citizens. He won't call the Imam in charge of building the mosque, won't send the FBI or Secretary Gates. In fact, President Obama will no longer entertain questions about the mosque; he won't even proffer an opinion. Additionally, the Imam has now warned us that moving the mosque location will result in further violence against the U.S. In response to this threat, the White House has offered only its silence.

Liberals have been barking the same drivel regarding the mosque from the start: It's constitutionally protected. They have accused conservatives of denying Muslims the right to worship and the right to purchase private property. If you are conservative, liberals have pegged you as constitutionally illiterate and bigoted.

Lost in the din of liberal bluster is the truth: conservatives have throughout the controversy trenchantly affirmed the Muslims' right to build near ground zero. They have questioned only the wisdom and sensitivity of building so close to Ground Zero. Nothing more.

The mosque issue and the Koran burning issue are nearly identical. Both leaders have the right to carry out their plans, but neither should exercise that right. Only one of these situations has the liberals in a tizzy, that would be the one involving a professing Christian and his church.

Might there be religious bigotry harbored in the hearts of liberals? They might be saying no, unfortunately I can't hear their words over the deafening volume of their actions.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Arguing With Fools

Let's get a few things straight. There is no such mental illness as Homophobia, nor is there a disorder called Islamophobia. Both terms are political in nature and are meant to denote bigotry in anyone disagreeing with either the homosexual or Islamic agenda. Additionally, both terms are derived from groups unqualified to psychologically diagnose.

Homophobia has a much longer history than Islamophobia. If a person happens to express disagreement with any aspect of the homosexual political and/or social agenda, that person will be tagged "homophobic." This tag is used to quash criticism and slap a label on people. This label is currently akin to calling someone a racist. It is often applied to Christians, who find homosexuality anathema to God's will. Despite the paranoia and anger homosexuals seem to harbor against Christians, there is no such term as Christophobia -- nor should there be.

Islamophobia is now the new trendy label to throw around. Currently, anyone against building a mosque near Ground Zero is "Islamophobic." Rational arguments against building the mosque are shot down in shame once this term is applied. Again, it's akin to being labelled a racist, which in America seems to be the absolute worst label one may be stuck with. And yet, there is no such mental illness as Islamophobia.

Tossing these labels around is tantamount to covering ones ears and shouting la la la la at the top of ones lungs. It is a cheap, arrogant and pathetic tactic used to win an argument. Most of us, however, see through this petty and immoral maneuver and ultimately lose all respect for the one employing it. It doesn't silence people due to shame; rather, people clam up once they realize they are arguing with a fool.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Are You Serious?

Why is our federal government subsidizing Imam Rauf's books and trips to Europe? He has been exposed as a slum lord and yet the federal government and city of New York are poised to entrust him with millions of federal dollars. He has blamed the U.S. for "creating Osama Bin Laden" and has even blamed us for 9/11 itself. He refuses to denounce Hamas, a universally recognized terrorist organization.

This is more than an intelligence gaffe on our part. It's bigger than President Obama's usual naivete in thinking he can build bridges reaching terrorist entities who hate us. Our government, more specifically liberals and progressives within our government, are standing behind this man. This is outrageous and completely unacceptable.

Imam Rauf has deliberately hidden information about funding for the NYC mosque, and he is clearly untrustworthy. There is no reasonable defense for this man, yet our current leaders are not just defending him but actually standing beside him. The Obama administration has aligned itself with an obvious terrorist sympathizer at best and at least a Muslim extremist.

As citizens of this great country, is this what we want from our leader and his administration? He has split allegiances. That's right -- split. Can you seriously say with any confidence that President Obama is for America over-against all others?

You may or may not agree with the policies of any particular president, but Bush I & II, Clinton, Reagan and even Carter at the very least made America's interests their highest priority. Can you say the same for Obama? If you can, you just may be delusional.