Tag Archives: NFL

July 27, 2011: Random News

NFL Lockout is over, former UGA players get calls, murder suspect with lengthy juvenile history, school dropouts, remember Jesse Owens, speaking up in representative government, and ATF guns to drugs dealers.

Good luck, Go Dawgs! Former UGA players get calls about free agency. As one young man put, “basically, I’m still trying out.” Yep. We’re all still trying out every day of the week. Good luck.

Too little funding, too little interest. This young man’s story is not uncommon. Juveniles are the most overlooked aspect of society. We don’t fund treatment for kids, we don’t properly fund schools, we don’t properly fund medicaid, we don’t properly fund the Department of Juvenile Justice, kids with big problems result. The deputy should not have died. Could someone or something have changed this child’s outcome?

Exploring School Dropouts and the Cause. NPR is running a series on School Dropouts. Children who live in chaos have no vote about the chaos. They cannot focus on school because their short lives are in a constant state of fruit-basket turnover.

Remembering Jesse Owens at the Berlin Games. What a great accomplishment! Jesse Owens.

Speak up! Whatever your politics. Apparently, people did speak up. 40,000 calls per hour! Let Congress know how you feel. One day of complaints is NOT enough. Unfortunately, my Congressman is a single minded dolt who listens to know one. But you all have hope! Keep calling.

Tough choices, complicated results. While I don’t envy the choices that the ATF must make in dealing with the drug war on the Southern Border of the U.S. One must wonder about the wisdom this particular choice.

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Political Trouble: Fewer Distracting Circuses

As the government shuts down in Minnesota and Congress stalls on the issue of raising the debt limit, the typical vulgate distractions remain locked out. The NBA yesterday joined the NFL in locking players out of their work environment. Fortunately, college football can’t lock out players but the increasing amount of abuse within the NCAA may place a damper on the enthusiasm of devotees.

Why should Congress and state legislators, perhaps even local legislators, be concerned? Fewer distractions for the voting population means more focus on the acts that impact their day to day lives. The vigor and activity involved with viewing and/or attending professional sports, the circuses of Rome of old, will now be seeking a new outlet.

Be careful, politicos, you may not like where the laser focus lands.

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Common Sense Underlies Gun Rights

The U.S. Supreme Court this summer ruled in favor of the right of Americans to bear arms. This proclamation however never mentioned common sense with respect to fire arms. Simply because one may carry a gun does not mean that one SHOULD carry a gun.

Take for example Plaxico Burress, NY Giants football player, who this weekend managed to shoot himself in the leg in public. How completely embarrassing! According to a NY Times report, Burress managed to pass through the metal detectors at the club which became a potential crime scene with the firearm. 

I am curious to know why a person would carry a pistol (I assume the firearm was a pistol) in such a dangerous way. How do we know it was dangerous? He shot himself. Properly maintained and carried a firearm will not hurt anyone unless a person pulls the trigger.  Unfortunately, people like Burress who treat guns like toys and care not for their personal safety or the safety of others provide fodder for the left who would ban all guns.

Burress lacked common sense in the carrying of and management of this firearm. He is an example of those who fail to respect to power and danger associated with guns. A display of common sense and respect would have spared Burress the embarrassment and potential legal troubles.

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Actual Work to Do?

Does Congress have any real work to do? Apparently, Senator Arlen Specter thinks there should be more work. Despite the mandates of Article 2, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which clearly define the tasks to which Congress should address itself, Senator Specter threatened the NFL with a Congressional Investigation if NFL Commission Roger Goodell fails to launch a George Mitchell-esque investigation into the Sign Stealing New England Patriots.

In the age of cameras smaller than a credit card and the information superhighway, Senator Specter wishes to waste taxpayer money investigating a private for profit business. Next, some one will suggest that Pony League Baseball be investigated for runners on second stealing signs from the catcher.

Is he serious? The NFL is a cut throat profit hungry beast. If you do not believe that, then ask yourself why the price of a 30 second Super Bowl ad just increased to $3 million? The Patriots did what any struggling team would do-pushed their luck to get ahead. Fortunately, the NY Giants won the Super Bowl.

Why don’t we just ban video recording equipment from football all together? Wouldn’t that be better-no chance of recording signs or stealing recipes? Criminy!

Senator Specter-solve the problems we already have poverty, over population of undocumented illegal immigrants, launch a Congressional Investigation of what’s causing 1 in 10 Americans to be in prison, gas prices, drilling for oil in Alaska, I could go on. Just do not WASTE my hard earned money investigating a kid’s game where adults steal signs to get ahead in the game. Really.

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Hot Celebrity Accessory: Mugshot

No wonder children and teenagers fail to understand why following the rules and staying out of trouble will benefit them.

Over the weekend, three NFL players joined the new trend. Although, Marvin Harrison of the Indianapolis Colts wasn’t arrested, Harrison is under investigation in a shooting outside a Philadelphia establishment that he owns. Cedric Benson of the Bears was stopped while driving a boat. Michael Boley, Atlanta Falcons, allegedly beat up his wife.

The media hype around Brittany Spears’ custody hearing that hasn’t happened yet is disgusting. The Brittany hiatus is over. Lindsey Lohan complains about the use of her mugshot in an ad.

The media only minimally covered Keifer Sutherland’s admission to DUI and his voluntary incarceration. Sutherland took responsibility for his actions and has hopefully gotten some treatment. Also, good news from LSU, the football team kicked their quarterback off the team for failing to comply with team rules.

When the media and the public treat investigation, arrest and incarceration like a badge of honor and do NOT shun people who fail to take responsibility for their actions and glorify the criminal activity, children and teenagers learn negative lessons and society will suffer. Parents should use these opportunities to teach children right from wrong, good from bad. But, it’s just easier to sit kids in front of the t.v., computer or video game and ignore them. So, soon their children will inexplicably (to the parents) obtain the new celebrity accessory. And the parents won’t understand how THEIR child could have been arrested.

Update: 05/08/08

Please add to accessory bearers–Gary Dourdan, CSI (the original) star and now saddled with drug possession charges. Also, Joe Hamilton, former Ga Tech QB and now former Ga Tech football staff member, was arrested for DUI and drug possession and left his job with Ga Tech yesterday.

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Note to Arthur Blank

Dear Mr. Blank:

Please accept my sincere congratulations on the drafting of an exceptional quarterback. As with every NFL season, Falcons fans will see this year as a rebuilding season. My simple request: Honor us this one time.

We are tired of the hype. Michael Vick alone could not lead this team. Michael Vick could not lead any team, he was in it for himself. Convince the team and yourself to rebuild. Give young Ryan time to establish a relationship with the team. Their psyches might be better served by an empty dome than by one filled with people full of false hope and booing.

You made a long term investment, Mr. Blank. Now is the time to sit and let your investment mature. Quite frankly, Atlanta fans know this drill all too well. (See history of Braves, Hawks, Flames, etc.) Don’t put pressure on the team because we’re not attending the games.

Once you and the new coach (what’s his name anyway) establish a team philosophy and the team gels, then maybe start a P.R. campaign. Please, just leave us alone. We won’t attend your games until we’re convinced you actually have a football TEAM-not just a bunch of egos running around on turf earning millions while we pay $4/gallon to travel to the game.

Sincerely,

Salmon and Grits, native Georgian and sports fan

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Role Model?

Clifford Harris, Jr., also known as T.I., enjoys celebrity. Not only does Harris enjoy the fame of being a Rap artist, he can now add legal controversy to his notoriety. According to an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Harris’s plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta (Northern District of Georgia) created consternation amongst some in the legal community and the Federal Penitentiary. See http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/atlanta/stories/2008/04/12/tisentence_0413.html?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab

Initially as a former prosecutor, I cast a jaundiced eye on the plea. Upon looking further, however, Harris’s deal offers significant obstacles to overcome. The conditions of the plea include: house arrest for Harris (per my recollection of the initial media reports), 1,000 hours community service speaking to at risk children and young adults during the next year, and 500 hours more community service in the same line after his one year and one day confinement sentence.

Like many who encounter the criminal justice system, Harris’s decision to enter a plea of guilty exhibits a “change of life” decision. Change of life decisions, commonly observed in the justice system, often times do not bear fruit. Individuals, forced into solitude and outside of their normal conditions, sincerely and insincerely find God. For even the seasoned observer, the distinction is difficult to ascertain in the brief amount of court time allotted to individual cases. No, time will always tell. Upon release from confinement, a change of life decision will either become real or it falls apart at the seams.

Exhibit A: Michael Vick. Following his plea to Federal Charges, released on bond awaiting sentencing, Vick called a press conference to say: I found God and I’m sorry I got caught by law enforcement (really that’s what I heard, not what he said). Subsequent to his change of life speech and but prior to his plea, Vick tested positive for drug use, at least once. (Perhaps, he thought that the NFL would manage his random drug screens…) Michael Vick failed many people, but he failed the most important person, himself. Vick talked the talk. Vick failed to walk the walk.

U.S. Attorney David Nahmais went out on a limb in this case, but Harris sits right next to him. Harris is the one who will fall if Harris fails. Nahmais’s plea agreement contains both carrot and stick. Fail to abide by the terms of the plea for the period of probation, not just the next two years, and Harris will be explaining to a Federal Judge why the judge should permit Harris to remain free. Freedom is the carrot, like it or not. If Harris walks the walk, and talks the talk, then his message of reform will reach those who need to hear it. If he fails to follow the terms of his plea, the legal system will be watching as well as the media, I hope.

If the media cover his speeches for positive change with the same vigor and fanfare that the media covered his arrest, the message against violence will spread further than the individual speeches themselves. Alas, the rape and pillage media is another topic for another day…

Challenge to the media: Follow Clifford Harris’s speaking engagements with the same tenacity you follow the presidential candidates. Insure that he living up to his plea agreement. Who knows: y’all might change the life of a troubled teen!

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