Thursday, September 1, 2016

At the end of the day ... stand up, sit down

       Let's see: Colin Kaepernick, sitting, not standing ... Anthony Weiner, doing what (again)? ... Rick Perry, dancing ... Hillary's e-mails and the Clinton Foundation ... Trump and his daily blurtations ... Tony Romo's back ... Ryan Lochte, lying (no, dancing).
    Lots to be angry about, isn't it?
    We can be angry every day, if we choose to be. I'd like to choose to not be angry; done enough of that in my life.
    So I'm going to laugh at all this craziness.
    But, hey, it's college football season. That we can like.
    (But some people -- I can't divulge names -- are so anti-football, period, that we can't discuss it here. I'll leave it at that. It's OK.)
    Quick hitters ...
    -- Colin: Plenty of you are plenty upset about his national anthem sitdown. Fine. Frankly, in my opinion, he can do what he wants. He wants to make a statement, he has to take the criticism that comes with it. (Borrowing these thoughts from a friend.)
      What the hell does he care? He's making $11.9 million this season.
     The way I see it, he isn't playing football worth a darn, so he has to find a way to call attention to himself.
    He has succeeded. He's not the first to protest this way   and he probably won't be the last.
      A friend re-posted an story on Facebook in which Jackie Robinson, in his 1967 autobiography, wrote, in part: "... I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag."
      Jackie Robinson is revered in baseball.
      Look, I think it's disrespectful, and I always would stand for the anthem and the flag. But it's America; he has the right to protest, and at least it's a peaceful protest. We've had too many bloody, angry protests.
      But to call him names, to call anyone names, I'm just not into that. It makes me question your (lack of) respect.
      Here's what I think happened: New 49ers coach Chip Kelly said to him: Colin, you are playing like crap. Go take a seat on the bench. And he did.
       If I was a 49ers fan, I'd be PO'd about that six-year, $126 million contract they gave him two years ago. That's $21 million a year average; that's today's sports world. Salaries so overblown, athletes so overblown. Where are our priorities?
        -- I have a solution: The Cowboys need a quarterback, or at least an experienced backup (to our man from Haughton, the rookie and now-starter Dak Prescott). So Kaepernick goes to join "America's Team." Now that's a laugh.
        Hey, Jerry Jones likes to take chances.
        -- Tony Romo: Three plays -- three preseason plays -- and that might be it for his 2016 season. Sure, they're saying he'll be back. Want to bet $27 million on it? 
        Taken from a Cowboys' web site press release on Romo's contract in November 2014: "Romo's base [salary] is only $8.5 million for 2016, but with 2015's restructure it places his cap hit at $27.1 million; so no way Romo  is not the Cowboy starter in 2016."
          Oh, yes, there is. Back fractures. 
          -- I'll say it again; I said it last year: I do NOT care about the NFL anymore, not even about the Cowboys. Not the Saints, either. Don't intend to watch one second of play this season. (Yes, I've at least partially joined my no-football companion.)
         And here is one major reason why: I was asked by a Facebook friend to check on tickets for a Cowboys' preseason game a couple of weeks ago. I was given a list of ticket prices. One word: outrageous.
       My take: Paying -- any amount -- to see an NFL preseason game is the biggest ripoff in American sports. Period.
        I don't care about the NFL.
        -- Oh, wait, a couple more Romo thoughts:
        (1) We like Romo; we do. But let's face reality: Colin Kaepernick came within a few yards, and one completion, of leading his team to a Super Bowl championship. Romo hasn't come close to the Super Bowl ever.
        (2) Yes, Romo has been a talented, exciting player, and he's handled all of the ups and downs as well as anyone can. And, yet ... In the best imitation of Danny White, he's had the most star-crossed career for what has become a star-crossed franchise.
Not watching, no longer an NFL fan, but I will root for this kid --
 Dak Prescott, of Haughton, La. (photo by Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)
        (3) Not watching, but silently really rooting for Dak Prescott. I'm partial to Shreveport-Bossier athletes, and I have fond memories of many trips for visits and games to Haughton, where Dak went to high school. Still have lots of friends living there. 
        -- Speaking of The Star, here's a real true-to-life outrage item: Frisco, Texas, voters turned down a 13-cent property tax increase that would have funded pay raises for the school district's teachers and help hire new teachers. It means some coaches in the district might lose their jobs. 
      I have a Facebook friend, a newspaper friend, who angrily -- curses! -- denounced Frisco voters and pointed out that a couple of years ago they happily approved $115 million to contribute "to the richest sports franchise on the planet" for  the building of The Star, the Cowboys' superstar office/training complex that just opened in Frisco.
       Another friend, an old Woodlawn High friend who is a longtime teacher in the Frisco district, posted in a more genteel manner how she felt "physically ill," "sadness" and "heartbroken" about the vote, but how much she still loves teaching her students.  
       Entertainment over education? Never should be that way. Especially if it's the NFL and Jerry Jones who benefit.       
      -- My sportswriting buddy, O.K. Davis, tweeted recently that the most overused cliché in interviews these days is "at the end of the day." He's right. See how many times you hear it or read it today?
      -- I was told to not use an Anthony Wiener joke. Can't help myself. Has there ever been a more (in)appropriate name for this -- uh, behavior -- than Wiener?
      -- We've loved watching Dancing With The Stars for years. This might be the season we don't watch. The cast of celebrities was announced this week, and we're dismayed.
      We know Rick Perry should do very well dancing to his right. We know Ryan Lochte will dance around the truth.
      Dancing around the truth brings us back to Donald and Hillary. Oh, never mind. At the end of the day, we don't want to comment. 
        -- Outstanding first weekend of college football matchups: LSU-Wisconsin, Southern Cal-Alabama, Clemson-Auburn, UCLA-Texas A&M, Oklahoma-Houston, Notre Dame-Texas, Ole Miss-Florida State ... and, yes, Louisiana Tech-Arkansas.
        We'll start with a major vs. mid-major matchup tonight: My Smith family's Tennessee Vols at Rocky Top Stadium vs. App State.
         Our youngest grandson, Eli Smith, almost 2, now repeats phrases when prompted. When I asked him to say, "Go Vols," he quickly said, "Go Vols." When I asked him to say, "Go Tigers" ... silence.
         What the ... ?
         I do have two grandsons who know how to say "Geaux Tigers," and they've seen Mike the Tiger and they've been in Tiger Stadium, and they can mimic the LSU band. So there.
         At the end of the day (tonight), I'll be watching college football ... without the other person who lives here. Might even stand up for the national anthem. Thank you.


  1. From Maxie Hays: I totally agree on most everything you said. I have other issues with the QB and the anthem. I wouldn't care if there were NO professional sports. Just high school and college, baby! And that started last week. I really enjoyed the read.

  2. From Raleigh Whitehead: Read your blog and have to say this: At the end of the day, that's some good sh*t you wrote.

  3. From Brian Baker: Meagan and I are among the stupid Frisco voters who voted against the property tax increase. I'm not anti-tax by any means. In fact, I might be the most liberal Baker in history, but I won't vote for another property tax increase until they demonstrate that they are wisely spending the tax dollars we're already paying.
    Our property taxes have increased by nearly $4,000 in the past three years (same house). I'm just not sure paying FISD funds to a billionaire to lure his football team to town is the best use of those dollars.

  4. From Jim McLain: Your blog thoughts on NFL are mine exactly.

  5. From Don Birkelbach: One of your best. Don't really understand your differentiation between college football and NFL. It's pretty much the same 4-hour marathon that you can watch in an hour and 15 minutes if you tape and fast forward. And they say baseball is slow. Football starts in November in my household. It's not meant to be played in 100-degree weather. No fundamentals in either game any more, but I can enjoy baseball on mute. I know that I am in the minority but football is a cold-weather sport.

  6. From Karen Bryant Dye: I'm with you on college football. I've never been that big a fan of the NFL, but I am rooting for Dak. Our pastor's son is a student coach at Mississippi State, and that family has raved about Dak Prescott. (BTW, our pastor, Joe Champion, played football at LSU back in the Tommy Hodson days.)