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High School Soccer Player Punches Referee Over Call in Final Game

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

High school sports can be as competitive as professional sports — especially in the South. Just ask the soccer team at Chattahoochee High School north of Atlanta. At their April 29 game, the last of the season, senior Andrew Gray disagreed with a call from the referee, so Gray responded with a sucker punch.

From WSB-TV:

A police report obtained by Channel 2’s Mike Petchenik said the referee, Christopher Heintzman, told police the incident happened after Chattahoochee lost a playoff game to Milton High School on April 29.

“That student walked over to him and acted as if he wanted to shake hands but instead that student sucker-punched him on the right side of the face,” the report stated.

When police questioned Gray, the report said he began to cry and said that Heintzman’s penalty call against him near the end of the game messed up his career.

“He wanted to apologize to the official,” the report said, but Heintzman told police the next time he wanted to see the student was in front of a judge.

The school system would not comment on the specifics of the case, but athletics director Steven Craft said that the system would take measures to ensure that incidents like the one involving Grey do not happen again.

“When they put on that jersey they’re representing themselves, their family, the school and the community and we want them to understand that,” Craft told Petchenik.  “We have an expectation of what we expect our student athletes to act like.  They’re going to be respectful, they’re going to compete hard…but we’re going to do it the right way.”

Craft said he will require the Chattahoochee High School soccer team and its coaches to undergo sportsmanship training to ensure this does not happen again.

“It is an isolated incident, but it gives us the great opportunity to make sure we’re sending the right message to everybody,” he said.

Gray is due in court later this week to answer to the charges against him. When local media contacted his attorney, the attorney had no comment on the matter.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / Gines Romero

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Reid: Why Care About Tom Brady’s Balls When Redskins Are Being Racist?

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson
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Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) complained on the floor of the upper chamber today that America is more concerned with Tom Brady’s delfating balls than the Washington Redskins’ racist name.

Brady received a four-game suspension as a result of “Deflategate” and the New England Patriots were fine d $1 million and stripped of two draft picks.

“Yesterday the National Football League punished one of its most recognizable players for allegedly having tampered with game balls,” Reid said.

“I find it stunning that the NFL is more concerned about how much air is in a ball than with a racist franchise name that denigrates Native Americans across our country. The Redskins name is a racist name,” he continued.

“So I wish the Commissioner would act as swiftly and decisively in changing the name of the Washington, D.C. team, as he did enforcing how much air is in the football.”

Last summer, Reid sent a letter to Redskins president Bruce Allen, who had invited the senator to attend a game.

“During my time in the United States Senate, I have worked to right many of the injustices endured by Americans throughout the country. Among the most egregious in the history of our country are those injustices inflicted upon American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. This is personal for me. I represent 27 tribes as the Senator from Nevada and have worked to protect their homelands and their sovereignty. I have a duty to ensure that the United States uphold centuries-old treaty and trust obligations towards Native Americans, and I take this responsibility very seriously,” Reid wrote.

“I will not stand idly by while a professional sports team promotes a racial slur as a team name and disparages the American people. Nor will I consider your invitation to attend a home game until your organization chooses to do the right thing and change its offensive name.”

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NFL’s Golden Boy Tom Brady Suspended 4 Games, Team Fined and Loses Draft Picks

Monday, May 11th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

The off-field hits just keep on coming for America’s most ethically troubled sports league.

The Patriots will begin their Super Bowl title defense without the services of the franchise’s greatest all-time player.

The NFL announced Monday that Tom Brady has been suspended without pay for four games for violating the NFL policy on the integrity of the game. This news comes less than a week after independent investigator Ted Wells found that it was “more probable than not” that Brady was “at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities” regarding the deflation of Patriots game balls used in the AFC Championship Game against the Colts.

The team will also be fined $1 million and will forfeit a 2016 first rounder and 2017 fourth-round selection in the NFL Draft.

Brady has played the wide-eyed innocent throughout all of this, but the reality is that nothing happens to the game balls in the NFL without the starting quarterback’s knowledge and approval.

The 2013 NFL season began under the cloud of Aaron Hernandez’s murder arrest. In 2014, the Ray Rice domestic abuse fiasco was just unraveling at the beginning of the season. Now America’s favorite sports league (still) will begin this year with the franchise quarterback for the defending Super Bowl champs suspended for cheating.

It remains to be seen whether these constant problems will eventually have an effect, or if fans are just really good at compartmentalization.

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‘Safety First’ Gives Us a New Low in Baseball — and American — History

Thursday, April 30th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh
45,971 empty chairs

45,971 empty chairs

The Leftist obsession with “safety” above all is not only unmanly, cowardly and disgraceful — if they had been in charge in the 19th century, Americans never would have pushed past the Appalachians, much less the Mississippi — it’s also disheartening. To this we’ve come:

 In Baltimore, game at Orioles’ locked stadium is safe, serene — and sad

It was, by design, the safest and most serene baseball game in major league history. It was also quite possibly the saddest. When the Baltimore Orioles hosted the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday at a locked Camden Yards in riot-torn Baltimore, the word “empty” described more than the stands.

Much like the Obama administration…

Against a backdrop of thousands of vacant green chairs, amid such a deep silence that diving catches sounded like strikeouts, it was an afternoon filled with empty. The game, an 8-2 Orioles victory played in barely two hours by unsettled guys who hurried through their hacks, felt meaningless.

Much like the Obama administration…

The mood, marked by the thunk of foul balls rattling off folded seats and rolling around untouched, felt morose.

Much like the Obama administration…

It was only a baseball game, but sports events are part of the national sports fabric that traditionally binds the diverse economic and ethnic corners of this country. Games have always connected people, not kept them apart. Games are traditionally where unsettled communities find their collective voice, not where they are forced into silence.

Did somebody say “forced into silence”? Was that Lois Lerner?

“It was just a surreal environment,” White Sox Manager Robin Ventura told reporters afterward. “I really don’t think we want to play in another one like this. I don’t think they do, either.”

I don’t think America wants to go through another administration like this, either. Who knew that Leftism could even kill the national pastime? Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair” routine has a whole new meaning now.


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Useless Pro Sports League, the NFL, Gives Up Non-Profit Status, Avoids Further Review

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

Did you know the National Football League, which weekly wastes more time and money than just about anything on the planet short of the federal government itself, was until today tax exempt? You didn’t?

The National Football League’s central office will become a taxable entity, ending its tax-exempt status in a move with minimal financial effect and significant symbolic value. Commissioner Roger Goodell informed team owners and members of Congress of the decision in letters dated Tuesday, saying he was eliminating a “distraction.”

“Every dollar of income generated through television rights fees, licensing agreements, sponsorships, ticket sales, and other means is earned by the 32 clubs and is taxable there,” Goodell wrote. “This will remain the case even when the league office and Management Council file returns as taxable entities, and the change in filing status will make no material difference to our business.”

The league had been under pressure from some U.S. lawmakers who had been questioning whether the NFL deserved a tax exemption.

Those pesky lawmakers! But this move will get them off the back of an industry that mooches off chump, working-stiff taxpayers in order to provide wealthy people and corporations a playground upon which to “entertain clients.”

The move will make the league more opaque, because it will no longer need to disclose Goodell’s salary and other financial information. The U.S. requires that nonprofits file annual tax returns and make portions of them public.

The NFL is the biggest sports league in the U.S. with a record $10 billion in revenue in 2013, up from $7 billion when Goodell took over as commissioner in 2006. Much of that revenue goes to the teams, which are taxable. Goodell received $35 million in salary and bonuses in 2013.

The “non-profit” NFL. Now that was rich.

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Goodell Announces NFL Will End Tax-Exempt Status

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

An idea whose time has come.

The NFL has often faced scrutiny over its status as a tax-exempt organization. Now the league is deciding to give up that status.

According to Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal, the NFL will change its status to taxable from tax-exempt. The federal government has granted tax-exempt 501(c)(6) status to the NFL since 1966.

That may reduce the criticism the league takes for being a tax-exempt organization, but more important to the league, it removes the requirement that the NFL disclose the compensation of Commissioner Roger Goodell and other top executives. So Goodell’s salary will no longer be public record.

Although the league has been classified as a tax-exempt organization, the 32 teams are all taxable, for-profit businesses, which means the money made by the league is taxed. This move will not affect the tax burden faced by the teams.

It will still be business as usual, football fans: Goodell will continue unabated in his quest to remove all of the football from football. And some twenty year olds who suddenly become multi-millionaires will be train wrecks.

The only big difference is that Congress now doesn’t have a built-in excuse to shirk other responsibilities to hold hearings about the league whenever it wants.

The fact that any of the major sports leagues are tax-exempt is both a joke and an affront to hard working citizens (especially the self employed) who can’t dance around IRS rules, leaving us less money to spend on NFL merchandise.

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Time to Disband the National Football League

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

First of all, it’s a complete waste of a grownup’s time and money. Second, it’s boring. Third, it’s dangerous. And fourth:

Former San Francisco 49ers running back Lawrence Phillips is suspected of killing his cellmate in a Central California prison. Prison officials said Monday that Phillips’ cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison was found lifeless over the weekend and later pronounced dead.

Phillips, 39, was once one of the nation’s top college football players at Nebraska. Aside from the 49ers, Phillips also played for the St. Louis Rams and the Miami Dolphins in the NFL. He also played in NFL Europe, the Arena Football League and the Canadian Football League.

Phillips was considered by many the best overall player heading into the NFL 1996 draft, but he fell to the Rams with the number six pick following his suspension for an alleged assault on his girlfriend. His career was marked by frequent run-ins with coaches and off-field problems, including accusations of assault and brief stays in jail.

And fifth:

Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez looked on impassively Wednesday as he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole, a new low for a young man who once enjoyed a $40 million pro-football contract and now stands convicted in the 2013 murder of onetime friend Odin Lloyd.

Hernandez, 25, appeared to shake his head “no” earlier as jurors in the Massachusetts trial found him guilty of first-degree murder. He was also found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

“They got it wrong,” Hernandez said as he was being transported from the courthouse to a state prison, according to a law enforcement source close to the case. “I didn’t do it.”

Back in 1976, Chuck Noll, then the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, referred to a “criminal element” in the NFL. Two years later, this happened:

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It’s been all downhill since. As the old saying goes, is the game worth the candle?

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Virginia Tech Football Players Blow Off Feminist SJW Re-Education Camp, Butthurt Ensues

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

This is what sets off the Social Justice Warriors these days:

Members of the Virginia Tech football team have been accused of acting disrespectfully at a campus sexual assault awareness event. Players were required to attend a Take Back the Night event on March 26. The event was organized by a campus female activism group and featured sexual assault survivors speaking about their experiences as victims. Multiple attendees accused the players of infringing upon the “safe space” the event is intended to foster, according to The Roanoke Times.

Take Back the Night is a national organization that seeks “to end sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual abuse and all other forms of sexual violence.” Several attendees wrote letters to the student newspaper, the Collegiate Times, complaining about the players’ behavior. The players arrived late, said they did not know why they were attending the event and spent much of the time looking at their phones, the letters said.

“[T]heir judgmental remarks made it very hard to feel safe,” one wrote. “When survivors took the stage, there was nothing respectful in the way the football team took it, especially in reference to transgender survivors. I am deeply offended and horrified by the disrespectful nature that the players displayed.” Another person said some players “made snide, mocking comments.”

There’s nothing funny about rape — it’s a violent crime and felony — but the “feminist” definition of it has expanded so greatly that the term is practically meaningless these days, especially on college campuses. Were any student actually in favor of literal sexual assault, these sorts of things might serve some sort of purpose. But as the Rolling Stone fiasco just demonstrated, there’s a strong strain of misandry running through the SJW ranks, and that’s likely what the players were reacting to. Could it be that they resented being treated like prospective criminals solely because of their sex?


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MSM Stamps Tiny Feet Again, Refuses to be Confined to Quarters While Prez Golfs

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

You can’t make this stuff up:

For a second day, the “pool” of reporters in Florida to cover President Obama’s golfing weekend refused to be dismissed by the White House, stationing in a maintenance shed near the super exclusive course the president is golfing at for his 223rd round of golf since taking office.

The first “pool report” of the day said that the president’s team said he wouldn’t be making news or appearing in public, thus declaring a news “lid” and allowing the media to stay at their hotel 15 miles away. But as they did Saturday the reporters opted to stay close to Obama in case something happened during his golf outing in Palm City.

In the trade, this is known as “covering the body” — dogging the president’s every move, just in case he makes news or something happens to him. It’s part of the compact between the press and the White House since the JFK assassination — but of course with Barry Hussein Obama, the old rules no longer apply.

The press corps traveled with Obama on Air Force One to the exclusive Floridian National Golf Course. It had no expectation of seeing Obama, since the media very rarely is allowed to get near him on golf courses, but they pledged to carry out their pool duties and stay nearby as long as he was in public. Obama also stayed overnight at the course.

The local Treasure Coast Palm news website, TCPalm.com, ran a blog on the trip but no pictures of the president from the golf course. Two reporters joked about praying for an interview.

Pathetic, humiliating, embarrassing — you choose. This is what the media has been reduced to. Or maybe it’s because the White House doesn’t want any videos of golf swings like this:

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Senators to FIFA President: Strip Russia of 2018 World Cup Hosting Privilege

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was one of the U.S. lawmakers recently placed on a new sanctions list by Russia for his support of a free and democratic Ukraine, and now he’s returning the favor.

Menendez and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) today led a bipartisan letter to FIFA president Sepp Blatter asking that Russia be stripped of its 2018 World Cup hosting duties.

Signing on to the letter were Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.).

“Given Russia’s ongoing violations of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, we respectfully request that you convene an Extraordinary Congress of FIFA to consider stripping Russia of the privilege of hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup,” the senators wrote. “Allowing Russia to host the FIFA World Cup inappropriately bolsters the prestige of the Putin regime at a time when it should be condemned and provides economic relief at a time when much of the international community is imposing economic sanctions.”

“As you know, nearly a full year has passed since unmarked Russian troops and Russian-backed separatists began their dismemberment of Ukraine. Since then, more than 40 countries, all FIFA members, have implemented sanctions on Russia in an effort to end the conflict. It is unacceptable that while nearly half of the 2014 World Cup participants have joined the international sanctions regime to counter Russian aggression, FIFA would not even consider allowing its members to vote on moving the 2018 competition to a country that respects the shared principles of FIFA and international law.”

The senators added that “with the goal of ending the crisis in Ukraine and ensuring a successful 2018 World Cup, we strongly encourage FIFA to deny the Putin regime the privilege of hosting the 2018 World Cup and make preparations for an alternate host country.”

Last month, senators expressed their pride at being sanctioned by Moscow.

“While the United States sanctioned Russians who violated Ukrainian sovereignty and committed human rights violations, Russia’s punitive response is arbitrary,” Menendez said. “My advocacy for Ukraine’s freedom will never waver and if that means appearing on this list next year for a third time, that is a price well worth paying.”

“While I suppose this means I’ll spend this Easter in Sedona rather than Siberia, I couldn’t be more proud of being sanctioned by Vladimir Putin for standing up for freedom and human rights for the Russian people and against Putin’s deadly aggression in Ukraine,” McCain quipped. “I will never stop my efforts to support democracy, free speech, and the rule of law in Russia.”

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Police Nab Dozens In Atlanta Area Gambling Bust

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015 - by Chris Queen

This time of year, thousands of people make their brackets for the NCAA college basketball tournament, but not many of them go to jail for it. In the suburb of Alpharetta, Georgia, just north of Atlanta, police from four jurisdictions detained over five dozen people at a private party at a bar and grill who were gambling on March Madness games.

Law enforcement from Alpharetta, Milton, Johns Creek, and Roswell all took part in the raid at Pepperoni’s Tavern on Old Milton Parkway. Police say 65 people were inside the restaurant, including employees and the owner.  A large amount of cash and a few handguns were confiscated.

A total of 23 were arrested and hauled off to jail. They’ll likely face illegal gambling and possible weapons charges. We’re told more arrests could be made later.

Investigators originally said the operation centered around the upcoming NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, with bets being made on games. Alpharetta Police maintain the so-called “private party” was less about basketball and actually more about organized gambling.

Alpharetta Police Detective George Gordon gave more details to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“Alpharetta authorities had previously gathered intelligence regarding the planned operation of a large gambling event,” Gordon said in an email.

“Tonight, authorities moved against the gambling operation and detained approximately 65 people,” Gordon said, adding that police found “a large gambling operation in progress based upon the NCAA basketball tournament.”

Gordon said 23 of those detained were charged with illegal gambling, and the others were interviewed and released, but could face future charges.

He said police confiscated several handguns and an undisclosed amount of cash.

Pepperoni’s Tavern advertises March Madness contests on their website offering free food and drinks to winners. Many of the defendants claimed that they weren’t doing anything worse than the countless people who bet on March Madness games in office pools and other contests.

In an update from the Alpharetta Police Department, nine were charged with gambling, six were charged with commercial gambling and keeping a gambling place, and one was charged with disorderly conduct. Authorities interviewed several others, and they may face charges later on.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / SAJE

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24-Year-Old Linebacker Walks Away from NFL Over Head-Injury Concerns

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

Via NBC News:

Chris Borland, a 24-year-old linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and one of the most promising rookies in the NFL last year, says he’s quitting the game because he doesn’t want to risk long-term brain injury.

“I just honestly want to do what’s best for my health,” he told ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” on Monday. “From what I’ve researched and what I’ve experienced, I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”

It takes an extraordinary level of maturity for an athlete in his twenties to ponder what could go wrong physically when he’s older. Most people at that age feel indestructible, even couch potatoes.

As ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit stated on Twitter, this will probably reverberate with parents of kids playing, or considering, youth football.

All of the advancements in equipment and medical protocols for concussions won’t change the fact that football is a brutally violent game and the head injuries will always be there.

Until Roger Goodell bans tackling, of course.

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#SledFreeOrDie: Enemies of the State Defy Capitol Hill Sledding Ban

Thursday, March 5th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

D.C.’s delegate to Congress tried to get the sledding ban on Capitol Hill reversed — at least today through the weekend as a fresh snowfall dumps on the District — but the Capitol Police refused to budge.

In a response to Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), the Capitol Police Board upheld the code section that prohibits Capitol grounds from being “used as playgrounds or otherwise, so far as may be necessary to protect the public property, turf and grass destruction or injury.”

Norton said Wednesday she was “deeply disappointed” that no waiver was granted “despite the spontaneous outpouring from residents, and even my colleagues in Congress, in favor of the waiver.”

“Because the Board did not enforce the sledding ban for many years, it is clearly within its power not to enforce it again during a four-day period,” she said. “…I have not asked for unfettered or unregulated sledding. Rather, I have requested reasonable regulation of sledding to replace the absolute ban.  I do not believe that is too much to ask for the Capitol Grounds, which are used for walking dogs and other activities, in a city that has so few snowfalls that can accommodate sledding.”

Many sledders showed up to the Hill today in protest, and were supported by lawmakers on their own snow day.






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Capitol Grinches Shooing Away Sledders Asked to Stop

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

D.C. delegate to Congress is upset that Capitol Police have been shooing sledders away from Capitol Hill during the recent snow dumps.

“Sledding on U.S. Capitol Grounds is one of the oldest traditions in the nation’s capital,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) wrote yesterday to Senate Sergeant at Arms Frank J. Larkin. “Although I understand that sledding has been banned for years, what I do not understand is why the U.S. Capitol Police have recently decided to enforce this Scrooge-like ban.”

“Because the Capitol Police Board issues the regulations, I am reaching out directly to the Board to request that sledding be permitted on U.S. Capitol Grounds,” she said.

“The District of Columbia received enough snowfall to bring out sledding children and their parents last week. Left to enforce the ban for no good reason, some U.S. Capitol Police turned away families invoking security. Because of high-residential density, there are few places to sled in the city, and the grounds of the U.S. Capitol – the Hill – provide a perfect sledding venue. The sledding ban appears to be arbitrary.”

Norton pointed out that “there is so little snow here that there will not be frequent sledding and, therefore, no significant damage to Capitol Grounds.”

“Moreover, the public is not barred from walking or playing games on the grounds. I understand that there may be reasonable limits placed on sledding, but an absolute ban on sledding in the little snow the District has on the grounds of the People’s House and the Senate is unseemly and unnecessary,” she added.

“Americans should be able to sled on ‘America’s front lawn.’ I am asking that the Capitol Police Board remove the ban on sledding from Capitol Police Regulations.”

Norton asked for a response within 30 days.


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Look Who Just Got Suspended

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

One guess… right! Keith Olbermann, everybody’s favorite nasty Lefty. Did you know he was back at ESPN? Me, neither:

Keith Olbermann has been taken off his ESPN show for the rest of the week after making insulting comments about Penn State students on Twitter. On Monday, a Penn State alum tweeted to Olbermann the phrase “We Are!” and a link to an article about students raising more than $13 million to fight pediatric cancer. Olbermann replied “…Pitiful.”

Olbermann, who often spars with commenters on Twitter, then refused to back down, saying he was referring to Penn State students in general and not the fundraising. On Tuesday, ESPN said in a statement that “it was completely inappropriate and does not reflect the views of ESPN. We have discussed it with Keith, who recognizes he was wrong.”

Olbermann also apologized on Twitter, saying, “I was stupid and childish and way less mature than the students there who did such a great fundraising job.”

Talk about a guy who’s long past his sell-by date. He hasn’t been either funny or entertaining since the Dan Patrick days.


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The Science Is Settled: Super Bowl XLIX Ads Were Horrible

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - by Stephen Kruiser

So it wasn’t just me

It was one of the most memorable Super Bowls of all time but, in terms of the commercials, it was more like a blowout that was over by halftime. “There were some of the worst Super Bowl ads I’ve ever seen – that really missed badly,” said David Steinberg, CEO of Zeta Interactive, a New York-based digital marketing firm.

“It was a somber, very emotional year. There were no epic standouts,” said David Shoffner, senior public relations strategist of Pavone, a Pennsylvania ad agency. An ad that was a particular downer to many people was a Nationwide Insurance spot advising parents to protect their children – or they’ll die. “There’s a time and place for those kind of ads, but the Super Bowl isn’t one of them,” Shoffner explained.

As a hardcore football fan, I’ve long loathed the focus on commercials and half time shows surrounding the Super Bowl, so I’m glad that the people who tend to “only watch for the commercials” had an awful night.

Sports are supposed to be escapist entertainment. We don’t need to be taught life lessons during a football game. The notion that some kind of depth can be conveyed via television advertising during a sporting event is rather pathetic, actually.

The Nationwide ad was extraordinarily awful and was met with almost universal derision. Instead of admitting that it whiffed with its attempt, the company doubled down and issued a statement saying that it was attempting to start a dialogue about home accidents and child deaths.

Um, no, you were trying to scare people into buying insurance.

It did inspire a new slogan for the company which spread throughout social media: “Nationwide Your Kid Has Died”.

Nationwide also started a Twitter hashtag game that I’m sure isn’t the kind of publicity it wanted. If you have a minute, check out #NationwideAMovie.

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Of These 25 ‘Most Dangerous’ Jobs, Only 8 Are Morally Defensible in the 21st Century

Monday, February 2nd, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

#trollface jajaja

A photo posted by Vale Acosta Barreto (@vale.cota_barreto) on

So as the number of comments and some of my twitter replies revealed, it seems that even when I warn right up front that I’m trolling, some people will still take me seriously. (See my Super Bowl piece yesterday, which some had a hard time grasping.) I suppose a significant chunk of people just can’t understand how to read something other than in an earnest, straight-forward, literalist way. So from now on, when I’m trolling, I’ll be sure to have an overt picture indicating as such. How about the one above as a default? Or do you like the one below more, a Wario variation of the infamous meme?


A photo posted by {|}W•I•L•L•I•A•M{|} (@william_eliassen) on

But somebody who did take me a little too literally did share an interesting article in response:

It’s an entertaining list. By my count, only 8 of the jobs are defensible as worth dedicating one’s life to in the 21st century. Some of the deadly jobs may have been respectable as careers in 19th century America (making steel, chopping down trees, mining coal, etc.) but they really aren’t at all anymore, unless you plan on doing it with a robot instead of risking your own body. (And I’m skeptical of a few of the list’s claims — the microchip manufacturer entry seems to rely on facts from the 1980s.)

But these jobs from the list where one risks life and limb for a higher purpose are still worthy of respect in my estimation:

25. Smokejumper [firefighter who leaps out of planes in forests]

21. Bounty Hunter

20. War Correspondent

18. Maximum Security Prison Guard

16. U. S. President

14. Urban Cop

10. Urban Firefighter

5. Soldier In Battle

There are a number of other occupations more honorable and moral than a professional athlete sacrificing their body for sport. Which others do you think were neglected from the list?

(And have I made my point obvious enough yet for all the slow people? That “real men” don’t dedicate their lives to playing and obsessing over sports. They put their lives on the line to fight evil barbarians, bring down slave states, and crush criminal death cults.)

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How Jim Messina Does the Super Bowl

Sunday, February 1st, 2015 - by Bridget Johnson

Jim Messina, President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager and former White House deputy chief of staff, is going to his first Super Bowl today. And he found new friends…


He needed something to cheer him up:


UPDATE: Former Obama adviser David Axelrod gets into the game with ball joke that’s about a week old…


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How Is Football Any More Moral Than Cockfighting?

Sunday, February 1st, 2015 - by Dave Swindle

Buzz Killington reporting for duty on Super Bowl Sunday. Here’s your high-level, unapologetic trolling for the day:

The Super Bowl is a neo-pagan celebration of sex and death. In the future our children and grandchildren will look back on our nation’s annual secular holiday with the same incredulity as they will the recent bi-partisan celebration of the new “king” of the Sharia slave state we dignify with the name “Saudi Arabia.” It’ll be just one more sign of our age’s cultural confusion and primitivism.

One of my last memories of my maternal grandfather before he died was a visit where we sat around the table as he recounted various adventures from his cock-fighting days. Grandpa did all kinds of jobs to hustle money and using the roosters from the family hen house for gambling was one of them. Of course we regard such a practice today as barbaric, and cruel — I remember seeing it portrayed in one of my favorite childhood books on medieval castles.

But isn’t that kind of bloodsport less cruel than what we celebrate as a culture today? Grandpa wasn’t doing much worse than KFC — and he wasn’t teaching teenagers how to smash their skulls together and dedicate their lives to a silly sport. Yet what he was doing is now illegal and the NFL today is a billion dollar industry.

And what’s the deal with the annual discussions about whether football players should miss the Super Bowl for their children’s births?

How much more obvious does it need to be that football appreciation in its extreme forms has become an idol in America today? How much life is worth being sacrificed and risked for a game where a pigskin ball is thrown around a field?

And I’m sorry, but I’ll go a step further: can someone explain to me why it’s moral to ever encourage a child to dedicate their lives to playing sports full-time? Isn’t encouraging a boy to aspire to be a professional football player akin to pushing a little girl to be a pole dancer? That they are essentially told to sacrifice themselves as individuals and dedicate their lives to creating and maintaining some body at the supposed pinnacle of masculine or feminine perfection?

I don’t dispute that sports can be fun to play with others and can foster an understanding of teamwork, etc. Games are good — but we don’t make the country’s top dart-throwing, bowling, or even baseball or basketball games the kind of cultural secular holiday we do with the Super Bowl. What’s the difference?

Does it have to be a bloodsport like football where life is actually on the line to really reach into people’s soul and get them to find something that feels meaningful?

Isn’t there something better to do with one’s life? Aren’t there individuals in our culture more worthy of being celebrated than a bunch of millionaires who play sports on TV?

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Another Good Reason to Hate Pro Football

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 - by Michael Walsh

As if another were needed to despise the biggest waste of time in America:

Two of our favorite Seahawks have made an ad for HealthCare.gov, the health insurance exchange website set up for Obamacare. HealthCare.gov released the ad featuring Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and cornerback Richard Sherman on Friday.

“Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson want you to know that now’s the time to shop for an affordable health insurance plan that fits your budget and health needs at www.HealthCare.gov,” the ad says. The two are not dressed in official Seahawks gear, but are wearing Seahawks blue and allude to the game.

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I rest my case.

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High Fives to Chris Christie for the Most Awkward Thing on the Internet This Week

Monday, January 5th, 2015 - by Paula Bolyard



It’s either super adorable or terribly awkward, depending on whether you love or hate Chris Christie. The New Jersey governor was caught on camera moving in for a celebratory hug when Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones failed to return his high fives after the team’s come-from-behind win on Sunday. Gov. Christie watched from the Cowboys owner’s box as his favorite team defeated the Detroit Lions to advance to the NFC Divisional playoffs.

Whatever you think about Christie cavorting with the Dallas Cowboys, the missed high fives, and his potential presidential run, you have to admit he’s looking rather svelte nearly two years after his Lap-Band weight loss surgery. Christie has reportedly lost 85 lbs. since the February, 2013 surgery.

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Action! White House Lets Press Near Course to Witness Obama’s Golf Game

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

After a Hawaii vacation packed with golf — including inviting the Malaysian prime minister off the course and kicking a wedding of two Army captains off the 16th hole at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course — President Obama finally invited the press pool onto the course for a photo op.

“After a long hold in the clubhouse during POTUS’ round at Mid-Pacific Country Club, pool was brought out for a photo op at the 18th green,” read the White House pool report. “Pool positioned behind a fence separating course from Kaelepulu Drive, a public street that runs adjacent to its eastern end.”

White House photographer Pete Souza was out on the course snapping photos, as well.

The action, per the White House pool report:

Just after 6pm POTUS and his party arrived near the green. POTUS was in a black polo, blue shorts and beige cap. We first heard him with some encouraging small talk with his partners. “That’s a great shot, Greg.” Later: “Great shot, Mike.”

POTUS lined up for a short chip shot for birdie just in front of the green. It looked pretty good, inspiring a tournament-like yell of “Get in the hole” from one of the onlookers, but ended just maybe a foot or so to the right.

POTUS walked up nearer to the pool and the crowd, but rather than make the easy put he picked up the ball. “They actually gave that to me!” he exclaimed, apparently having been offered a gimme by his partners and spared an easy put in front of the cameras. “That’s how you want to end, with a par.”

Pool was quickly wrangled back to the van even as POTUS began to approach crowd. “How’s it going guys?” he asked. “Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.”

Obama’s golfing partners for most of his trip have been longtime friend Bobby Titcomb (arrested in a Honolulu prostitution sting operation a few years ago), old classmate Greg Orme (who was part of the “Choom Gang“), and Mike Ramos, another childhood friend and Obama bundler.

But Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razzak is catching flack back home for his golf outing with Obama — as his country suffers the worst flooding in decades, killing several people and causing some 100,000 to flee their homes.

From the Straits Times:

Mr Najib himself came under fire, however, when photos emerged of the Premier playing golf with Mr Obama in Hawaii, with Malaysians questioning why he was not at home to deal with the crisis in posts on his official Facebook page.

Critics have also charged his government with failing to respond quickly enough, with some lambasting the authorities for not declaring a state of emergency in the worst-hit regions.

“The PM needs time to take a break,” Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was quoted as saying by The New Straits Times.

“He has been working very hard so let’s be fair to him as a human being. Don’t worry, I’m in charge.”


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Let’s Face It: Pro Football Sucks

Monday, December 22nd, 2014 - by Michael Walsh

There, I said it. What a stupendous waste of time, watching eight hours or so of pro football back to back on Sunday, plus whatever other nights of the week this useless sport takes up. It’s slow, boring, pointless. It’s filled with criminals.  It injures young men who think they are immortal and leaves them shambling husks in later life. It takes up an inordinate amount of Rush Limbaugh’s air time to no purpose. And now, fittingly, its ratings are cratering in the wake of the Seahawks-Cardinals game Sunday night:

Undoubtedly, because of the blowout, the night was not so great for NBC and the NFL. In fact, in fast nationals, it was a season low among adults 18-49 for SNF, and one it’ll be hard pressed to make up when the final numbers come in. In a season that has seen SNF tackled by a series of big margin games, last night’s match-up was down 32% from the fast nationals of last week’s SNF. It was also down 39% from the 8.6/25 that the Dallas Cowboys victory over the Philadelphia Eagles game of December 14 rose to in final nationals.

Yes, the overall ratings remain high among boob tube watchers, but as Barnum said, there’s a sucker born every minute. What’s ominous, though, is that the audiences are skewing older:

Just as countless parties are tackling it over its handling of the recent Ray Rice controversy, its recent disclosure that its players are more likely than the general population to sustain severe brain injuries, and the news that Minnesota Vikings player Adrian Peterson has been indicted on charges of child abuse, the NFL may have to contend with something potentially even more devastating.

Younger viewers are walking away from broadcasts of its games.

The average audience between 18 and 49 for NFL broadcasts across CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and the NFL Network has declined by about 10.6% over the last four seasons, according to Nielsen data prepared by Horizon Media, to about 7.7 million in 2013 from about 8.62 million in 2010. Meantime, male viewers between 18 and 24 watching the sport have also fallen off, tumbling about 5.3% in the same time period, to approximately 847,000 in 2013 from 894,000 in 2010.

“This segment is not passionate about the NFL like older age groups,” says Kirk Wakefield, executive director of sports and entertainment marketing at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. “The social status of NFL teams and players may be deteriorating compared to other pastimes or interests that are more personally engaging.”An NFL spokesman did not respond to a query about the ratings declines.

Good. Get a life, get a job, or just read a book. You’ll thank me for it.

More at PJ Media on football: 

Next Big Culture Clash: Banning Football



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Happy Ending: Vin Scully, the Ribs, and THE Ring

Friday, December 19th, 2014 - by Michael Walsh

Jesus, Mary and Joseph and all the saints: for the greatest baseball announcer in the history of the planet, a recent trip to Costco in Westlake Village, Calif., might have been a disaster, but it wasn’t:

Vin Scully can find his way into our hearts even during the gloomiest winter afternoons, as he proved again Thursday when he unwittingly starred in his own holiday movie. The Ribs That Saved Christmas.

“I feel like such a dummy,” Scully said with a laugh. “Only Scully could lose a ring while putting meat in a bag.”

Seems that the legendary Dodgers announcer, 87, enjoys his outings to Costco, but on a recent trip he lost his 1988 World Series ring while piling some packaged ribs onto his cart. You remember the 1988 World Series:

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One of the most memorable calls in baseball history, especially noteworthy for the more than one minute of announcer silence that precedes Scully’s great line, “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!”

Meanwhile, back in Costco:

“I went into a panic, I assured him we’d do everything to help find the ring, Vin is like family to us,” said Rahhal, who printed out Scully’s receipt and began a painstaking retracing of Scully’s steps through the tower stacks and free food samples. Meanwhile, Vin called the Dodgers publicity sage Steve Brener, who immediately sent out a tweet informing the nation that Scully had lost the ring and asking anybody with information to call the Dodger Stadium switchboard. Then Vin and Sandi drove home while Vin continued to remind himself it was only jewelry and paled in comparison to the large and loving family that awaited his 88th holiday celebration.

“You know, maybe God heard me say that,” he said. Sure enough, while Vin was unloading the stacks of items, he heard a cry from inside the house. While emptying the ribs, Sandi found the ring at the bottom of the bag.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.


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FCC: Hail to the Redskins

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 - by Michael Walsh

Washington Redskins fans can relax for now: the word “Redskins” is okay:

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday ruled the name “Redskins” is not profane or obscene. In a formal ruling, the commission rejected calls to yank the broadcast license of a radio station owned by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder for excessively using the team’s name, which some find offensive.

George Washington University professor John Banzhaf filed a petition in September opposing the license renewal of the D.C. station, WWXX-FM.

In case you’re wondering who John Banzhaf is, take a look at his website:

Prof. John Banzhaf has been called the “Ralph Nader of the Tobacco Industry,” “One of America’s Premier Legal Activists,” “An Unsung American Hero.” “The Man Behind the Ban on Cigarette Commercials,” “the Ralph Nader of Junk Food,” “The Man Who Is Taking Fat to Court” [for using legal action to fight OBESITY], “Mr. Anti-Smoking,” “One of the Most Vocal and Effective Anti-Tobacco Attorneys,” a “Radical Feminist,” a “Man Who Lives by his Writs,” the “Father of Potty Parity,” “the Area’s Best-Known ‘Radical’ Law Professor,” ” Legal Academia’s Instigator in Chief,” One of the World’s Top “Game Theorists,” and an “Entrepreneur of Litigation, [and] a Trial Lawyer’s Trial Lawyer.”

He’s also been called — by his enemies — a “Legal Terrorist”,” the “Osama bin Laden of Torts,” a “Legal Bomb-Thrower,” and a “Legal Flamethrower,” and he has frequently been attacked on web sites (which are often inaccurate) [see, e.g., BanzhafWatch.com] by those who opposed his activities; clear indications, he says, that his many targets fear him and his legal actions.

The FCC bounced Banzhaf’s complaint on First Amendment grounds:

The commission cited the First Amendment, saying it does not withhold licenses based on a subjective view of what is appropriate programming. It noted that some racial or religious slurs are offensive to many, but it has previously declined “extending the bounds of profanity to reach such language given constitutional considerations.”

“Indeed, the Commission has held that ‘if there is to be free speech, it must be free for speech that we abhor and hate as well as for speech that we find tolerable and congenial,’” according to the commission. The commission rejected a number of complaints lodged by Banzhaf and noted that his petition was issued nearly three years too late to be considered.

But don’t worry: there are plenty of other folks, including the Senate Democratic Caucus, who will keep up the pressure until they get their way. Such is life in a “fundamentally transformed” America.


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Jon Stewart Thinks Geraldo Shouldn’t Be So Quick to Give LeBron Fashion Advice

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard


Jon Stewart reacted to Geraldo Rivera’s criticism of Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, who wore a a t-shirt emblazoned with “I Can’t Breathe” to a recent game. Stewart said on Wednesday, “This should be a perfectly acceptable way to express one’s feelings about political issues.”

“Last time I checked, t-shirts don’t block traffic. They don’t prevent you from shopping at Macy’s,” Stewart said.

Geraldo Rivera said he wondered if LeBron should instead wear a shirt that said, “Be a better father to your son. Raise your children.”

Stewart said that LeBron (the father of three) actually lives that message. But added, “If he wants advice on shirts, I’m sure he’ll ask someone who wears one.”

Ooh. Ouch.

Pre-Christmas pro-tip: Don’t forget to talk to your kids — and parents — about responsible social media usage.




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This One Minor Detail of LeBron’s ‘I Can’t Breathe Shirt’ Outraged Fans

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard
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Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James appeared during warm-ups before Monday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets wearing a shirt that said “I CAN’T BREATHE,” in support of the family of Eric Garner, who died in New York after a confrontation with police. Several players on both teams joined LeBron in wearing the shirts including Kevin Garnett, Kyrie Irving, and Deron Williams. They followed the lead of Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who wore the same shirt before a game on Saturday night.

After the game, James explained to reporters why he wore the shirt.

“It was a message to the family that I’m sorry for their loss. Sorry to his wife. And that’s what it’s about. I think everybody else get caught up in everything else besides who’s really feelin’ it, and that’s the family. That’s what it’s about,” he said.

“Obviously we know our society needs to do better, but like I said before, violence is not the answer and retaliation isn’t the solution. As a society we know we have to get better but it’s not going to be done in one day. Rome wasn’t built in a day and we know that, but we all have to do better,” James continued.

While a lot of fans agreed with LeBron’s message in principle, many were disturbed by — of all things — the font choice.

We are now at a point in the culture where civil discourse has blown past anything resembling meaningful debate, past memes and soundbites, even past short t-shirt slogans. Now it’s devolved into whether or not the message carries the right font:

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Does Maury Wills Belong in the Hall of Fame?

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 - by Michael Walsh

Minnie Minoso? Jim “Kitty” Kaat? Dick Allen? Luis Tiant? Rolling Stone’s Dan Epstein thinks at least some of them do, and is pretty cheesed at baseball’s Golden Era Committee for not voting any of them in:

What the hell, guys?

You, the 16 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Golden Era Committee, were given a ballot with 10 candidates on it. All of them – nine players and one executive – have made significant contributions to the game and its history, and all of them had decent (at least) cases for enshrinement in Cooperstown. And yet, thanks to your dithering, none of them will be getting a plaque in 2015…

The Golden Era Committee’s decision ensures that these players will have to wait another three years for their cases to be heard again. Meanwhile, the backlog of worthy candidates grows longer; some of these guys who are still alive will probably die before they do get inducted and Cooperstown loses out on the additional injection of excitement and fan interest that most of these potential inductees could have provided.

Um, I dunno. I’m old enough to have seen all these players in their primes,on television , and I can’t say there’s a one whose omission from Cooperstown would be an outrage. Yes, they were all good ballplayers — but is “good” what admission to the Hall is all about? What do you think?

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NFL Reveals Double Standard in Treatment of RG3, Rams ‘Hands Up’ Player Protest

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

On Sunday, a handful of St. Louis Rams players entered the game mimicking the Ferguson “hands up, don’t shoot” protest.

The gesture is clearly a political statement intended to signal solidarity with the Ferguson protesters, who continue to insist that Michael Brown had his hands up to surrender when police Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot him on August 9. Witness testimony plus forensic evidence say that Brown started an altercation with Wilson and tried to grab the officer’s gun. Brown was shot when he charged at the officer.

The NFL says that the Rams players will not face any disciplinary action for making a political statement while they were in uniform.

But the NFL isn’t always so tolerant of players making personal statements. Earlier this season, now benched Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was wearing a T-shirt that said “Know Jesus, Know Peace” just ahead of a post-game press conference. RG3 is a graduate of Baylor University and an outspoken Christian.

Griffin flipped his T-shirt inside-out moments before the presser, and there were claims at the time that the NFL had forced him to make the change. An NFL spokesman denied forcing Griffin to change his shirt, but did point out that players can face a fine for wearing clothing that makes a personal statement on game days. So the threat of discipline was in the air, and RG3 responded to it.

The Rams players made a personal statement on network TV while in uniform, as they emerged to play their game versus the Oakland Raiders. But the NFL says that they will face no fines or any other disciplinary action.

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NO Saints Benjamin Watson: Government Can Only Do So Much Against Racism

Monday, December 1st, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson wrote a Facebook post on Nov. 25 about Ferguson. It went viral, for a whole lot of reasons, but mainly how he chose to end it:

I’M HOPELESS, because I’ve lived long enough to expect things like this to continue to happen. I’m not surprised and at some point my little children are going to inherit the weight of being a minority and all that it entails.

I’M HOPEFUL, because I know that while we still have race issues in America, we enjoy a much different normal than those of our parents and grandparents. I see it in my personal relationships with teammates, friends and mentors. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I’M ENCOURAGED, because ultimately the problem is not a SKIN problem, it is a SIN problem. SIN is the reason we rebel against authority. SIN is the reason we abuse our authority. SIN is the reason we are racist, prejudiced and lie to cover for our own. SIN is the reason we riot, loot and burn. BUT I’M ENCOURAGED because God has provided a solution for sin through the his son Jesus and with it, a transformed heart and mind. One that’s capable of looking past the outward and seeing what’s truly important in every human being. The cure for the Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner tragedies is not education or exposure. It’s the Gospel. So, finally, I’M ENCOURAGED because the Gospel gives mankind hope.

Watson appeared on MSNBC today and elaborated on the post. Host Ronan Farrow asked him about government response to racial issues, and the three meetings about Ferguson that President Obama will have at the White House today. Watson said that government cannot solve the problem.

“I think there is only so much that a government can do, when it comes to race issues,” Watson said. “There are questions of law that the government can enact and put things in place. As I mentioned in my post, it’s a hard issue.

“I think that when it comes down to it, we have this thing called sin in our heart that makes us prejudiced and lash out at people and treat people wrong. No matter if you are are white or black, we have this basic issue that can only be fixed by the blood of Christ. That’s my view on it. We can do as much as we want from a government standpoint and change laws and put people through training and all those things are well and good, but the issue of sin still remains, until we deal with it.”

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Interior Secretary Calls Redskins’ Name a ‘Relic of the Past’ That ‘Should Be Changed’

Friday, November 28th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

The secretary of the Interior Department says she believes the Washington Redskins’ name must be changed, but stresses it’s still not a high priority agenda among tribes that face bigger problems.

In September, Secretary Sally Jewell told ABC News that “personally” she found it “surprising that in this day and age, the name is not different.”

“I think we would never consider naming a team the ‘Blackskins’ or the ‘Brownskins’ or the ‘Whiteskins,’” Jewell said, adding “my personal views are not necessarily reflected in the tribes that I talk to. It isn’t high on their agenda.”

Today on MSNBC, Jewell called the Redskins’ name ”a relic of the past” that “should be changed, in my opinion.”

“There are many things that tribal leaders face, and when they talk to me, they’re talking about those things that I have control over or things that I have influence over, like their budgets, like Indian education, like coordinating the federal family to work together,” she added.

“I don’t control the name of a football team, but I think it’s very clear that it’s a name that is a relic of the past, and I think it’s time that the owners take a hard look at it.”

As Interior secretary, Jewell oversees the Bureau on Indian Affairs. On Wednesday, she’ll deliver remarks at the annual White House Tribal Nations Conference.

Panel discussions at the White House event will focus on topics such as climate change, education reform, economic developments and treaty obligations, the Interior Department said.

Jewell said she looking to put government in more of a supporting role in tribal affairs and “turn control of the things that tribes know they need most over to the tribes.”

“For hundreds of years, we’ve had trust and treaty obligations to our — our country’s first people, and yet, we have not fulfilled the obligations that we are supposed to under those trust and treaty obligations,” Jewell told MSNBC.

“One of the things this administration has really pushed, at the encouragement of tribal leaders, is self-governance and self-determination. It’s been a movement now for a few decades toward this, and we’re accelerating it forward through the work of the White House Council on Native American Affairs.”

This would include reforming Bureau of Indian Education schools that teach about 44,000 children. “Their academic performance is substantially below just about any other group of students,” Jewell said. “So we are not serving Indian children in the way that we’re really committed to do, and what we’re doing isn’t working.”

“So we are in the process of some very significant reforms, which actually involve turning control of those schools over to the tribes and then providing them with the kind of support that they need to do a much better job than we’ve been able to do.”

She’s pushing Congress for an additional $3 billion in funding in 2015 to bring these schools up to par. “I have been to a number of schools across the country, I’ve been to 20 different reservations, and pretty consistently, I see facilities that have gone without repairs for many years.”

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DEA Launches Surprise Raids on NFL Teams

Monday, November 17th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

The Drug Enforcement Agency added to the NFL’s problems over the weekend. On a day that saw the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots each take key wins to stand atop the league, the DEA launched surprise raids on several traveling teams, according to the Washington Post. The raids were triggered by the class-action lawsuit that was filed against the league by more than 1,300 former players.

Federal drug agents conducted surprise inspections of National Football League team medical staffs on Sunday as part of an ongoing investigation into prescription drug abuse in the league. The inspections, which entailed bag searches and questioning of team doctors by Drug Enforcement Administration agents, were based on the suspicion that NFL teams dispense drugs illegally to keep players on the field in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, according to a senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation.

The medical staffs were part of travel parties whose teams were playing at stadiums across the country. The law enforcement official said DEA agents, working in cooperation with the Transportation Security Administration, inspected multiple teams but would not specify which ones were inspected or where.

Inspected teams include the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, all of which played on the road Sunday. That’s key, because the DEA’s investigation centers on whether team doctors are registering the drugs that they may administer to football players in the states where they play when they’re traveling.

Federal law prohibits anyone but a physician or nurse practitioner from distributing prescription drugs, and they must meet myriad regulations for acquiring, storing, labeling and transporting them. It is also illegal for a physician to distribute prescription drugs outside of his geographic area of practice. And it is illegal for trainers to dispense or even handle controlled substances in any way.

At first blush, then, this looks like a hunt for technicalities as well as possible actual violations. Some players allege that team doctors have given them unlabeled medications during games, and filling out prescriptions in players’ names without their knowledge. They also allege that trainers have been known to pass out pills in team hotels and locker rooms and team planes after games.

Team doctors and trainers are presumably certified to practice in the states where the teams they serve are located (if they’re not, the DEA isn’t the only legal authority that would like to have words with them). Is the DEA saying that team docs have to get certified in every state where their team might possibly play a game, or they’re in violation of the law, even if everything else they do is otherwise legal?

Going after the football league is a curious choice, for an administration that has released thousands of known violent illegal aliens back into the wild — and misled the public about that.

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Redskins War Continues as Bill Introduced to Revoke Team’s Tax-Exempt Status

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 - by Bridget Johnson

Congress coming back into session after the long campaign break means quick legislative action — against the Washington Redskins.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) introduced on Wednesday a bill to amend section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code to “prohibit tax-exempt status for professional sports leagues that promote or allow a member club or franchise connected to that league to benefit from the Washington football team name, a derogatory term that has officially been found offensive.”

It’s companion legislation to a bill filed in the upper chamber by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

The lawmakers are encouraged by Federal Communication Commission consideration of a petition to ban the use of “Redskins” on the air.

Over the summer, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Redskins’ trademark; the team has appealed. Norton says the ruling has “the potential to affect the profits received from the sale of the team’s merchandise.”

“Over 300 tribes and two million Native Americans, as well as religious and human rights organizations, have called on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Daniel Snyder, the Washington football team owner, to change the name of the Washington football team because the name and mascot insult native people. In addition, several media outlets around the country no longer print or use the term ‘Redskins’ when referring to the Washington football team because the term is offensive,” Norton said on the House floor Wednesday when introducing her bill.

“American taxpayers have been subsidizing a multibillion dollar league that promotes what has now been officially found to be a racial slur for profitable gain,” she continued. “Relief from taxes should no longer be given to a league that profits from the continued use of a racial slur, which degrades some Americans.”

“As an organization that enjoys tax-exempt benefits, the NFL also has a duty to American taxpayers to ensure that its teams are not promoting or benefiting from a racial slur. This bill would revoke the tax-exempt status of professional sports leagues that choose to continue to use the offensive and derogatory term ‘Redskins.’”

The bill only revokes the tax-exempt status of leagues that use the term Redskins, Norton, added, and would not affect other leagues that fall under the same 501(c)(6) tax exemption.

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Cowboys Return to Bad Old Habits in Loss to Redskins

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 - by Bryan Preston

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo didn’t thrown the decisive, game-losing interception last night. He did come back into the game in the fourth quarter, after suffering a back injury midway through the third, with the game on the line. Owner Jerry Jones, Romo and the coaches wanted a fairy-tale ending more than they just wanted to grind out a win.

While he was out, backup Brandon Weeden came in, the Cowboys kept things simple, and they stayed in the game. While Weeden was in, and with Colt McCoy leading the Redskins from the start, there were two former Browns QBs in the game.

That’s not generally a sign of quality, but both players played well enough. Weeden produced 10 points in two drives including an 80-yarder capped by a touchdown pass to TE Jason Witten. He was efficient. McCoy started to melt down as the pressure built, making little mistakes at the line that stalled Redskins drives. But when it mattered most, he looked like the player who became famous in Austin and came within an injury of winning the NCAA national title. And when it mattered most, the Cowboys forgot what has given them their best season start in ages.

Upon his return, late in the fourth, with the score tied at 17 apiece, Romo succumbed to the Redskins pressure and fumbled on his own five. The Cowboys recovered that fumble. A play or two later Romo almost threw that decisive interception, but the pass fell incomplete.

The Dallas Cowboys of 2014 have not looked or played like the Cowboys of recent seasons. The pass-happy Cowboys of the Romo era had been replaced by a more bullish offensive line that’s capable of providing the foundation for a productive running game. RB DeMarco Murray has started off this season making history, as the first ball carrier in NFL history to start a season off with seven consecutive 100-yard games. He had well over 100 yards on the ground last night, as well as another good night receiving. The Redskins could not stop him. Murray made roadkill of their defensive backs.

When Romo went out, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went in — almost literally. The Palpatine-esque owner had given a live interview to ESPN earlier in the game, during which he noted that the Cowboys had finally figured out how to protect Romo from opposing defenses.

Within a few plays of that, Romo was sacked for the fourth or fifth time of the game, took a knee to the kidney, and went down. As Tony Romo lay on the turf in Arlington and ESPN went to commercial, Cowboys fans saw the team’s strong start to the season for the fragile thing that it truly is. The Cowboys may have been 6-1 going into the Monday Night Football showdown with their arch rivals, but they are a suspect 6-1, with a defense that can still be too generous and no serious backups to several key starters. If Murray or Romo or Witten go down…?

Jones first went to the locker room to check on Romo, and told ESPN’s Lisa Salters that his QB was lobbying to get back into the game. Then Jones went to the sideline to play cheerleader.

The Cowboys already have cheerleaders. World famous cheerleaders.

Jones’ decision to go to the sidelines is one that Head Coach Jason Garrett and everyone else associated with, connected to, or supporting the Cowboys wishes he had made differently. As in, stay in your box. Keep out of the way. No coach should have to deal with the spectacle of the team owner prancing about on the sidelines and making faces for the cameras — and looking like he is telling the coach whether their injured veteran quarterback, who has had back surgery, is going to come back into the game.

At any rate, with Jones on the sidelines, he also earns a share of the blame. Not that he will accept that.

Regulation ends with the score tied at 17. The Redskins win the toss, take the ball, and march right down over the Cowboys’ suspect defense and kick a field goal — 20-17 to the visitors. Colt McCoy looked like the Longhorns Colt McCoy during that drive, using his legs, using his arm, making crisp, accurate throws to his receivers to keep the ball moving. The Cowboys’ unrebuilt defense was exposed by a man who had not started a game in nearly three years.

The Cowboys now must score or the game is over. A field goal keeps the game going, while a touchdown wins it.

The Cowboys get the ball, run to Murray on first down and he drives forward. Other than one really bad play earlier, when Murray capped off a brilliant catch and run with a fumble in the red zone, Murray had had a lights out game.

Murray picks up 8 yards on first down. Second and two, Murray is unstoppable on the ground, roadkill on the Redskins defense, the Cowboys run again, right?

No, they forget how to run. They set up for a pass across the middle to tight end Jason Witten, but he’s covered, so Romo checks down to Murray on the screen right. The Redskins read that and stuff it. He loses two yards. The Cowboys lost the game on that play, they just didn’t know it yet.

Romo had been unable to read the Redskins blitz on third downs all night. The Dallas defensive coaches had been similarly baffled, even though everyone else in the stadium and watching on TV could see the Skins blitzes coming every single time. Third and four or more, they’re going to blitz. They had done it all night. The Cowboys have been great on third downs all season but they never picked it up Monday night.

The sacks on Romo had taken their toll, especially the one that sent him out for a quarter. When he returned, it was clear that Romo’s head was a little foggy and was not as mobile as he usually is. He was, essentially, a fixed target in the backfield. Everyone in the stadium could see that, too, and the Redskins knew that while Romo’s arm still might be a threat, his receivers are always a threat, his feet no longer were, and he could not wriggle out of pressure the way he has successfully done all of his career. They also know his history. Tony Romo either leads the Cowboys on a brilliant, last-minute game-winning drive, or he throws the interception or drops the fumble that costs them the game. He either beats you or he implodes. With that back injury, as long as the ball is in Romo’s hands, which is more likely to happen?

As it turned out, Romo didn’t lead a game-winning drive, but he wasn’t to blame this time.

Third and about four in overtime, so it’s four-down territory all the way. Romo is a stationary tackling dummy but he has the best running back in the NFL and an offensive line that has been great for the ground game all night.

The Cowboys run Murray again to grind out a few yards or get the first down and keep the game alive, right?

Nope, they pass, incomplete.

Fourth down, blitz, pass, incomplete.

And that’s the game, ending with a whimper this time. The 9-point underdog Washington Redskins, without several key starters and down to their third string quarterback — a man who had not started a game since December 8, 2011 — had just ended the Cowboys’ six-game winning streak.

They had also gotten the Cowboys to abandon their NFL-best running game with the game on the line, and put the ball into the head and hands of an injured Tony Romo.

The Dallas Cowboys have already won more game this season than I expected them to win all year, so anything beyond this point is still gravy. But at 6-1, fans had a right to expect that the Cowboys coaches and owner had learned from previous failures. Stay balanced between the pass and run and you win. Get pass happy and you lose. Keep Jones from making questionable decisions like, say, drafting Johnny Manziel when you need offensive linemen, and you build a team that just might even win a playoff game.

It doesn’t look like that’s the case. Jerry Jones barged down to the sidelines and all but demanded that the coaches suit him up and give him the ball. Whether he or Garrett made the decision to put Romo back in we don’t know yet, but the visuals suggested that it was Jones making that call. With Romo back in, the Cowboys never scored again. The Cowboys abandoned the running game when it mattered most, and when Murray could well have broken off another long run to win the game.

The Cowboys lost to the Redskins at home last night because they reverted to thinking and playing like the same old mediocre Dallas Cowboys who make terrible decisions in key moments, and cannot get out of their own way.

They’re still 6-2, that’s the good news. The bad news is their quarterback is now a doubt and will carry that back injury for a while, and they’re still three wins away from actually having a winning season. Will they get those three wins?



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Aaron Lewis Messes Up the National Anthem at the World Series and the Internet Freaks Out

Monday, October 27th, 2014 - by Paula Bolyard
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“Aaron Lewis Screws Up National Anthem At World Series Game,” the Huffington Post headline read.

Mediaite said that Lewisbollocksed up the National Anthem before Sunday evening’s World Series game. Lewis has DON’T TREAD ON ME tattooed on his neck, in case you were in the market for a handy political metaphor.”

Twitter was also abuzz with criticism of the lead singer of the rock group, Staind.



Eric Burke, a reporter at Fox 4 in Kansas City tweeted:



MLB Yahoo! sports columnist Jeff Passan also brought up the prominent tattoo on Lewis’ neck.



Deadspin was a little less tactful: “World Series National Anthem Botched By That A**hole From Staind, said their headline. ”This is Aaron Lewis of the shi**y noise band Staind, and don’t ask us why he’s singing in San Francisco tonight because Staind is from Massachusetts,” Deadspin complained. “Huey Lewis is still available, jerks, and he knows the words.”

After singing the opening line, “O say can you see by the dawn’s early light, what so proudly we hailed,” Lewis flubbed the next line. Instead of “at the twilight’s last gleaming” he sang ” were so gallantly streaming.” He handled it professionally, not missing a beat and continuing the song without any further problems. The crowd didn’t seem to mind, cheering as he finished with “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”


So did Lewis deserve the scorn of the Internet for desecrating our National Anthem on Sunday night?


It’s not as if he disrespectfully shouted the lyrics and grabbed his crotch like Roseann Barr did at a 1990 San Diego Padres game. And he didn’t screech out the tune like Steven Tyler did at the 2001 Indianapolis 500.  Nor did he sing a soul version, a la R. Kelly, at a boxing match, asking the crowd to clap along.


Nothing quite so dramatic. He just messed up a line.


Not that anyone would ever judge Deadspin’s motives because surely, they’re motives are purely patriotic and no doubt the writers there feel great anguish at hearing someone flub a line of the National Anthem, but I suspect the writers there have heard that Lewis describes himself as a “Constitutionalist.” The gun-loving singer told MassLive in 2011, shortly after the release of his solo country CD,” I believe in the Constitution, the powers that it sets forth, I believe in the limited powers that it sets forth. I believe that the government – on both sides – is just as responsible and just as out of control.” Lewis added, “The fact of the matter is that the federal government is supposed to be doing 18 things efficiently and properly. Most of these things don’t even get looked at because they’re so busy doing stuff that they’re not even supposed to be doing. Everything is supposed to be on the state and local level.”


Lewis’ hit single from that CD, “Country Boy” features guns, hunting, and the American and Gadsden flags. “I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, cuz’ I’ve never needed government to hold my hand,” Lewis sings. At the end of the song country singer George Jones, who is featured along with Charlie Daniels says, “I love my guns. I love my family. I love the way it is now. And anybody that tries to change it has to come through me. That should be all of our attitudes.”


After the game, Lewis posted a heartfelt apology on his Facebook page:


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