THE WRITTEN WORD

Pro-football takes a stand

A distasteful expression occasionally comes up, “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one.” It’s a wonderful string of letters, into words, into one strong sentence that proves the written word is often more powerful than the spoken word. However, the actual phrase is “Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one, but they think each other’s stink.” Now before you decide to cancel me, please let me weave this into a tale about professional sports and their people.

Today you will be reading about a firing, “resignation” — or whatever — of Jon Gruden, the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Many of his texts and emails that brought on his demise were written years before working for the Raiders, but we’ll get to that shortly.

Perhaps you don’t know that the Oakland Raiders was one of the original teams in the American Football League, which opened in 1960 as a competitor to the National Football League. Because they played in cities where the NFL was absent, the games became very popular, and eventually the AFL and the NFL merged into what most would consider an ordained monopoly in the US.

Al Davis, the man own worked his way from coach to owner, created the the Raiders image of being a tough bunch from every player, every coach and all the fans. While their black and silver uniforms and logo depicting a football player in a silver helmet and eye patch is scary enough, they added two crossed swords that promise death to their enemies. Al Davis used to say, “Just win, Baby!” They players knew that if they didn’t, it would be time to find a new team. Much has been written about the Raiders because they tend to make news.

They’ve also been nomads. When Davis didn’t get what he wanted from the city of Oakland, he packed up the team, shuffled them to Los Angeles (1982–1994) and grew the fan base in southern California. Then, when L.A. proved too much for the man, he moved his team back to Oakland (1995–2019). Then, in 2020, he shifted the Raiders to Las Vegas. Along with all the moving, they won many division and conference championships and they topped the Super Bowl two times.

Mark Davis

Al Davis died in 2011. His son Mark now runs the show. He has a bowl haircut that many believed was a wig, until someone asked why a $500 million man would buy such a god-awful hairpiece. That haircut has been likened to the style of a Roman centurion. See how I have set the stage for a sort of roman gladiator purge?

Last night (10-11-2021), Jon Gruden resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders because of the embarrassment his emails caused the team. His alleged language was said to be racist, homophobic, and misogynistic. What a beautiful bouquet of hate. Gruden released a statement Monday night which included the words, “I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt anyone.” That common lie is the same one we always hear when a sin is in writing.

Gruden is an atypical football guy. He grew up in Ohio and played football for the University of Dayton, but there are no statistics about his playing. Maybe he went into coaching because he wasn’t a good player. He was an assistant coach at eight different schools until he landed a coaching job with Al Davis and the Raiders in 1998, where he lasted for three years. Then Davis did something strange. He traded his head coach for players from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Amazingly, Gruden won the Super Bowl with the Bucs in 2003, beating the Oakland Raiders! This brought him instant fame, notoriety and, shall I say, respect in this machismo world.

Gruden became less successful, and after he was dismissed from Tampa he began a career as a commentator for ESPN. He was extremely well-suited for this role because of his knowledge, loquacious personality and, at times, colorful language. It was surprising when Mark Davis asked Gruden to return as the Raiders’ head coach in 2018, but a ten-year, $100 million contract sealed the deal. The team had been lackluster and Davis felt Gruden had the ability and skills to turn the Raiders around. The team finished 4–12 in Gruden’s first season back, but after finally moving into a brand-new Las Vegas stadium they opened this year 3 and 0. Since then, they have lost two games.

Jon Gruden

Now let’s look into the what and when of Gruden’s emails? The funny thing about electronic correspondence is the text is stored on servers, even after an author believes they deleted them. Old e-mails are often discovered when a lawsuit enters the discovery phase. In this case, it was a discrimination and harassment suit brought by employees of the Washington Football Team, you know, the one that used to be called the “Redskins.” Gruden had corresponded with an employee of that organization, President Bruce Allen (a former Raiders colleague of Gruden’s), and his emails are now part of the public record. I have no desire to disclose Gruden’s exact language, you can find that published by other sources, but all of this reveals some interesting things.

Gruden seems to have many entrenched opinions and he has been exposed as a right-wing nutjob with deep seated and disturbing prejudices and phobias. It has been disclosed he was dreadfully against having gay players in the NFL, and he continuously referred to NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, using a gay slur. Mr. Goodell is not gay, but his views on the LGBT community have been shaped by his gay brother, Michael. For whatever reason, Jon was bothered by this and attacked Roger.

Some of the email discussions were about Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL. Gruden used an anti-gay slur to claim that Goodell pressured the Rams to draft the player, which is probably not true. Ironically, this year Las Vegas Raiders‘ defensive end Carl Nassib came out as being gay, the first on the team to do so. Wow, how did Gruden miss that one? I guess his “gaydar” was down.

The New York Times claims that in 2017 Gruden responded to a sexist meme of a newly minted female NFL official on the field by writing, “Nice job Roger.” In the legal discovery of the Washington Football Team case, Bruce Allen and Gruden shared pictures of the team’s cheerleaders clad only in bikini bottoms. So, who has the redskin now? You know, red-faced embarrassed?

Gruden has been very vocal against players taking a stand, by taking a knee. Like a certain former president, he does not like Obama, Biden, or anyone else having a desire to express their views, especially those he thought had a bad smell. He’s a closet racist, which is not a good orientation when 68.7% of players in the pro-football industry are African Americans.

It appears that we can now check three boxes: racism, homophobia and misogynism. Now I know this is football, but those embody the “three strikes and you’re out” concept used in our nation every day. But let’s not miss this point. Mark Davis is not only a good businessperson, he’s also an honest football executive. I am sure his old man is proud of him, despite Mark’s horrible haircut.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them. Kindle and Paperback Click Here

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THE NFL DRAFT: WHO CARES?

Money, Fans, Fun & Fortunate Sons

My family members have been involved in sports, specifically baseball, for several generations and this has given me an objective view of professional athletes. Most fans have an illusion that the game is easy. They may know the rules and watch hours of play, but until they become close to a player or actually attempt to play the game they are never fair in their judgements.

Most of the players who make it to the pros have spent more than a decade playing the sport. Less than one percent of all Little Leaguers make “The Show,” the nickname pros have given Major League Baseball (MLB).  Less than eleven in a hundred, or about 10.5 percent, of National Collegiate Athletic Association senior male baseball players will get drafted by a Major League Baseball team. Approximately one in 200, roughly half a percent, of high school senior boys playing interscholastic baseball will eventually be drafted by an MLB team. Since 1871, out of a total of 19,966 players only 333 have been voted into the Hall of Fame. In other words, only 1.6 percent of all MLB players are considered the “greats.” To further appreciate the difficulty of playing professional baseball, realize that those same great players were unsuccessful at the plate 65% of the time.

This weekend we are experiencing one of the grand traditions of American sports, the drafting of eligible players into the National Football League from the college ranks. Unlike baseball, professional football doesn’t have minor leagues from which to draw new players, so they deploy an organized, rule-based system to obtain the greatest college players into the league. To put it in layman terms, the worst teams get the first choice of available players. This process is designed to bring parody to the league, make competition fair and eliminate the advantage of rich teams in large cities. For the most part it works well but doesn’t stop a well-financed team trading for a higher draft pick by giving another team more than one player or a really great player they would have no chance of getting in the draft.

Even with such cunning skullduggery, there is no guarantee that having the best new players will get a team to the promised land of football, the Superbowl. For example, Tampa Bay had a decent team but when they added Tom Brady, a guaranteed hall of famer, to their lineup – BAM! — they won the big game. However, that achievement also depended on good plays, excellent coaching, and oh yeah, did I mention, a really good quarterback.

Some people put down players by calling them “cry-babies” or “spoiled millionaires,” without considering they worked their asses off for more than ten years to get where they are and they must continue to stay in shape and remain sharp or they will get deleted from the roster. Tons of money supports professional football and the sport demands as much perfection as humanly possible. The resulting pressure has pushed some players to take performance enhancing drugs or seek advantages in the strangest ways. Even the great Tom Brady was accused of asking for the football to be slightly underinflated to give him a better grip. Hey, it’s short of steroids but still not right.

When the 2020 Covid-19 crisis threatened the college football and basketball seasons, many were concerned about the potential damage that would affect players trying to make the pros. Basketball teams are smaller in numbers and the shutdown of March Madness last year was bad for the players. College football finally got up to full speed and championship games were played, giving potential pros a chance to strut their stuff. This weekend’s draft will bring us the results of that play.

The number one pick in this year’s draft was Clemson’s quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and he was taken by the team with last year’s worst NFL record, Jacksonville, Florida.  The Jaguars will probably give Mr. Lawrence a contract worth nearly $37 million, and if he produces and the team has a winning year the investment will be well worth it. Not all number one picks go on to be Hall of Famers. Injuries, underperforming teams and mishandling fame and fortune have dethroned many in the history of football, but such things give the fans lots to talk about.

Trevor Lawrence #1

My hometown team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, always look for great players. I was happy to see them get some good ones this year, but it’s a big business and all the other teams are trying to do the same thing. Beyond the money and fortunate sons, there is a desire for city pride, intense excitement and the glory of a championship. The word “fan” came about when someone called them “fanatics,” and such obsession is not purely American. All over the world people are more than fanatical about their “football” teams. It’s just FUN! Stop complaining about how much money they make. Well, maybe complain a little bit. Have you seen the prices of the tickets today? WTF? Why do they make so much? Oh yeah, because someone pays them that much. Chill, it’s out of your hands.

Every new season brings rebirth and a fresh start. May the best teams win, especially my team, and should that not happen I’m sure the fans will be yelling, “Hey, open up your checkbook and buy some good players.” So, you see, we are the problem.

Book for the Recovery – Build Back Better!

How to Hire Great People: Tips, Tricks and Templates for Success

Great companies hire great people. This short, easy-to-read book will help you recruit, review and refocus your new workers into the style and culture of your company. Motivating people to do great work will manage turnover and keeping good workers at your company will maintain your success. Employee inspiration makes a positive difference in our competitive world. HOW TO HIRE GREAT PEOPLE covers everything, including testing, training, tricks and tips. Follow this guide and you’ll assemble strong teams with smart workers, and you’ll learn some time-tested techniques about how to keep them.

Kindle and Paperback Click Here

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


THE QUICKSAND OF CORRUPTION

Trump Weighing Down America

I am very proud to be an American, but my faith is being tested by the unfit human in the White House. There is a principle of science that says an unstable surface can support only a certain amount of strain before it collapses and takes all that’s good with it.

There is something inherently wrong with a company who has been given an unreasonable amount of control over its own compliance. As I pointed out in my new book, Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs:

“The airline industry and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have cooked up an idea of “cooperative compliance” on rules and regulations. It’s a thinly disguised delay tactic.”

Donald Trump is so incompetent that he is unable to comprehend, let alone correct, this flaw in governance. It’s another reason why he and his cohorts must be stopped as soon as possible. The first job of any president is to keep the people safe, and mismanagement in this important regard can kill people.

And what’s up with President Donald Trump’s ongoing and rabid criticism of our fallen hero, the late great John McCain? His attacks are based on nothing short of envy and partisan needs rather than the good, fair and right treatment of a veteran. If members of Congress don’t stand up against this horrible verbal abuse and bullying of a veteran family, then those fat cats are in the quicksand and will sink with Trump in the end. Every Representative and Senator should state their disagreement of this continual flogging of another American.

Now we hear from Florida that Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots and friend of Donald Trump, has been offered a deal in the case of his solicitation and payment of a prostitute. The pretrial deal is part of a deferred prosecution program offered to first-time offenders who concede the state would have been able to prove their guilt. Isn’t that the same as pleading guilty?

Call me stupid, but part of the deal is just as embarrassing as his possible $10,000 fine. Under Florida law, Kraft would also be required to perform 100 hours of community service, pay for and attend an educational program about the negative effects of prostitution and human trafficking and enroll in a sexual violence prevention education program. He must be tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases. Why should this man be allowed to own an NFL team?

There is a precedent here. During an investigation into Jerry Richardson, the former owner of the Carolina Panthers, he was accused of sexual misconduct and racist language in the workplace. He was forced to sell his team and did so. If the Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell gives Robert Kraft a pass, he too slides into the mud pit. Corruption in a monopoly is unamerican and should be investigated by Congress. This just in, Kraft and his legal team have announced they will not take the deal. We are going to court!

And finally, we have a very fat cow who has been in the quicksand pit with Trump from the beginning, Devin Nunes. This braindead Representative from California has taken a step that is a glowing example of someone who will get exactly the opposite of what he wants. Nunes has decided to sue Twitter and a few Twitter users because they said bad things about him. Poor baby.

According to the New York Times, “Mr. Nunes singled out Liz Mair, a Republican strategist who said on Twitter that she would not comment on the lawsuit, and two parody accounts: @DevinNunesMom, which was suspended last year, and @DevinCow, which is still active. The complaint says that Ms. Mair coordinated with the anonymous accounts on “a vicious defamation campaign” but did not offer evidence she was behind them or communicated with them, except for one tweet encouraging people to follow @DevinCow.”

Now most legal experts will quote statues claiming that internet service providers are not publishing companies but are simply accommodating users and giving them a platform to say practically whatever they want. You know, just like this @realDonaldTrump guy. Even if they were publishing companies, they would be protected by the First Amendment. This lawsuit is nothing more than bovine stupidity and Nunes just made the sites more popular with his legal action.

Trump Steps In Manure on White House lawn

@DevinCow had only 1,200 followers prior to the lawsuit, but the site now has more than 370,000 followers and it’s growing. Like the expanding udder of a cow that has been out to pasture too long, Nunes has just proven his complete ignorance about how the internet and social media work. The hind teat dragging in the mud is Nunes, not Twitter.

Those sites in his lawsuit are not unlawful and do not violate Twitter policy. Many large corporations have used anonymous sites to push slogans and create ideas with the goal of going viral. And now, like a viral germ spreading through the herd, those highly vocal want-to-be political critics and digital comics are ready to stampede. This generation of posters will do anything to stop those who challenge the power of a free internet. Devin Nunes has simply left the gate open and we are coming to get him, snorting and galloping all the way.

Sadly, this is all part of what America asked for and got with the election of Donald J. Trump. Perhaps it is time to eliminate the Electoral College, but in the meantime, let’s get rid of Trump. Let’s send him back to the Southern District of New York where justice awaits this giant, overweight criminal. The quicksand will get him.

BRAND NEW BOOK ON AMERICA

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


FLY LIKE AN EAGLE

National Anthem and Flag Props

On June 20, 1782, the Bald Eagle became our national emblem, and those who made that selection felt strongly that the bird was a great example of long life, great strength and majestic looks.

The Bald Eagle of North America ran into problems due to hunting and the use of pesticides, like DDT, which almost wiped them out. In 1960, experts believed that there were only 400 breeding pairs left and they were put on the endangered species list. After lots of hard work by conservationists, the birds were back and removed from the list in 2007. If you’ve ever seen a Bald Eagle up close, they are indeed one of the most special birds in the world. Their wing-span can take your breath away.

Why are we talking about eagles? Well, they are the emblem of the football team from the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. After 57 years, the Philadelphia Eagles finally won the National Football League Championship game, the Super Bowl. In the U.S.A., the team winning that big game traditionally gets an invite to the White House to be honored by the Commander-in-Chief. And that was the plan, until Donald Trump learned that only ten of the Eagles’ players were going to attend the White House celebration. Professional football teams have between 60 and 80 players and personnel.

Like a spoiled child, Trump canceled the party and attempted to blame the Eagles for the last-minute change. This President, who prides himself on fast action and flexibility, seemed rigid with the requirements on this one. To say that the Eagles were not sending a big enough team for the photo op because they wanted to pull off some political stunt was not true. The Donald immediately put together a political stunt of his own by staging a patriotic song fest on the south lawn. It’s never his fault when things go wrong.

A Philadelphia TV journalist who attended the flag waving party at the White House had an interesting report. After asking six people at the event to name the Eagles’ quarterback, none could answer. In fact, most of the people on the lawn that day were not fans of the Super Bowl Champs, but rather command-performance extras from government offices — in effect, event actors. Trump once again showed his lack of tact and inability to let a setback rest.

And this has given the Great Orange Leader an excuse to resurrect one of his major campaign rally cries and false assertions that the players have a lack of patriotism. He stirs his base with the lie that professional athletes disrespect the flag, the country and the military. Perhaps what began as a way for football players to show that black players distrust the judicial system and are focused on police brutality against people of color has now kind of become a protest against Trump himself?

As we write this, the National Basketball Championship is underway. The star player of each squad, Steph Curry and Lebron James, have said that if they win it’s unlikely their team would accept an invitation to the White House.

So, we see that when someone protests the protesters, another protest ignites. The simple calculus of this president is to never stop fighting, never apologize and never attempt to hear what anyone is saying about the other side of an issue. America is dealing with this right now, and the President who knows not what he does.

Some strategists say Trump’s putting the flag, the military and the National Anthem between himself and the large number of African-Americans who play sports is actually a form of micro-aggression against a whole race. Some trained psychiatrists might offer that the real reason behind this farce is not Trump’s hyper-patriotism, but the Donald’s downright racism.

What’s truly weird is Donald Trump thinks he is doing African-Americans a favor by being President. In his quest for votes from minorities he said to a whole race of Americans, “What do you have to lose?” The answer is in. They lost a little bit of their freedom and First Amendment rights. Thanks Goofball.

Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL, along with the owners of the 32 teams have come up with their version of “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.” They ruled that players on the field during the National Anthem must stand, but those who wanted to protest could stay in the locker room. That is like sending a surrogate to a protest march. If I cannot see you, how do I know whether you’re protesting or just taking a last-minute pee?

The President’s remarks hurt a U.S. business and industry. There is a cause and effect reality that fewer people watched the game to honor the President. He has created an anti-athlete bias among his followers on an issue that would have gone away had he simply ignored it. But the big mouth Orange Man has made it a problem. Now, this matter will be played out in the courts.

Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49er who started the take-a-knee protest, has filed a grievance against the NFL for collusion against him. Kaepernick claims that the owners of the 32 teams made a pact to keep him out of the game. Most sports fans know that when the San Francisco team dropped Kaepernick, he was more qualified than most of the back-up quarterbacks in the league. Despite that, not one team offered him a job. He was “blacklisted,” a term with double meaning in this case.

It is interesting that the word “collusion” is now a part of this situation and Trump has already taken a side. I am sure when Donald Trump talks to Roger Goodell, he tells him there was “no collusion.” In fact, the use of the word collusion here is entirely correct. Trump fixates on the word “collusion” because that was a major part of his business dealings to get a leg up on the competition.

However, collusion between Russian agents and a candidate, with the intent of them helping him to win the election in the United States, is treason. Donald Trump is his own worst enemy. I’ll predict that the NFL will lose the case against Kaepernick and will have to pay him large sums of money. Trump’s words will be used against the League, which means he will once again hurt the NFL, just like he challenged the same league when Trump owned the New Jersey Generals. Trump wants only to hurt his perceived enemies, even at the risk of wounding America.

The First 200 Days Of Trump – ONLY ONE MILLION LEFT

These daily diatribes from a delusional blogger give you a day by day overview of the 45th President’s first two-hundred days in office. Follow Donald Trump through the tough times on his way to impeachment. Kindle Version HERE, or Get the printed book now, CLICK HERE.

 

The Jonas Bronck Series

BOOK ONE (IF GOD COULD TALK) A Cable TV talk show host is approached by a friend who offers a guest for his show who has never been on TV before. The Diary of a TV Journalist is the story about the host of the show and his executive producer vetting the guest and attempting to determine what would happnen If God Could Talk…

BOOK TWO (IF GOD COULD CRY) One of the most eye-opening stories about terrorism. The famous cable TV talk show host, Jonas Bronck, leaves New York on a quest for truth. He finds himself in the middle of terror and personal torment in the name of journalism. He once again asks, If God Could Cry, would he be crying for us, or with us?

Books available on Amazon: