Wednesday, August 12, 2015
AMERICA STUCK IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
I've long said that while most American adults graduated from elementary school, a good
majority of us just seem unable to truly leave it behind.
The events in both the sports world and political arena over the last month confirmed it for me.
The attitudes, beliefs, and most of all, the behavior of those who are supposed to be mature
adults and role models for America's youth has been close to reprehensible. Teammates
beating each other up, presidential candidates acting anything but presidential, and leaders
bumbling and stumbling their way to nine-figure salaries, yet can't seem to get out of their way
is downright comical.
Exhibit A: Deflategate. This most ridiculous scandal in sports is already deep into its
seventh month and holding football America hostage. Seriously, if this case was taken to fairly-
educated people in a foreign country who had no idea about football or who the players
are, they'd most likely say, "What grade are these people in? First or second?"
The NFL is a multi-billion dollar corporation that clearly succeeds in spite of itself.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has botched nearly every "controversy" coming out of the
league he presides over from Bountygate to the domestic violence issues of last season.
He was so baffled and befuddled, Goodell had to hire a blue-ribbon panel for the NFL
help deal with domestic violence issues.
Seriously, you're the commissioner of league that has players beating up women and
you can't decide how to handle it? Good, Lord, Mr. Goodell, Sports Illustrated named you
as the most powerful man in sports in 2013 and you're showing the strength of Pee Wee
Goodell botched the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson scandals so badly, he's tried to use
Deflategate as an opportunity to get some respect back. Yeah, that's right, go after Tom
Brady, the face of the league and show him who is boss! Way to go, Roger. The rules say
if a team tampers with footballs, it pays a $25,000 fine and everybody moves on, yet, you've
allowed it to grow bigger than Tony Mandarich on steroids. And for no good reason.
This case should have been clear cut, right over wrong, fact overpowering fiction. Instead,
Deflategate is nothing more than a power struggle and a commissioner seeking the chance to
redeem himself with the entire world watching.
Did the Patriots and Brady do anything wrong? Absolutely. But it should've been dealt with
fairly and everybody should've move on. It certainly wasn't enough to make this case drag
on longer than an episode of the Kardashians.
Exhibit B: Geno Smth gets punched out over $600. Oh, this is a true example of child's
play at its best. The Jets quarterback apparently owed some third-string linebacker named
I.K. some money for a plane ticket. A confrontation ensued in the locker room and Geno
ended up with a broken jaw (much to the delight of many Jets fans). Instead of talking it
out man-to-man, I.K. blew a fuse and channeled his inner Rachel Rousey and knocked
I.K. got released but Rex Ryan, in desperate need of some bullies to help the Bills beat
on somebody in the AFC East field, signed him within 24 hours of the punch heard around
the NFL. Man, can't wait until the Jets host the Bills. Should make for one helluva reunion
between, Rex, I.K, Geno, and the Jets.
If I.K. did what he did on the street, he'd probably be facing 5-10 behind bars, but because
he chose to do it in the the NFL's Romper Room, he got signed to a contract by a new team.
What a league!
Exhibit C: The Donald vs Megyn Kelly. How bout that presidential debate? It got record
ratings for Fox mainly because America wanted to see a train wreck. Boy, did they ever.
A NASCAR race broke out and Kelly ended up pushing the pedal to the metal and side-swiping
Trump. Instead of asking Trump about something really important, like say, the economy,
immigration, job creation, and ISIS, the Fox moderator asked Trump about disparaging
remarks he made about women in the past. The Donald, always quick with the draw said
he was talking only about Rosie O'Donnell, which brought down the house.
Ah, but it didn't end there. The next day, Trump said Kelly was unfair and had blood
in her eyes or wherever, which most of our elementary-school educated public thought
meant Trump was talking about a women's period.
Yes, of course! That's where America's mind was, truly in the gutter. Much of America
didn't hear Trump actually say the magic words but they read something on the Internet
about it, and as we know by know, (wink, wink) everything on the Internet HAS to be true.
We heard the talking heads around the country talking about it, which surely meant that
Trump had said those terrible things.
This isn't much different from the gossip section of elementary school, is it? Yeah,
they heard something about somebody from somebody else and it must be true.
Good, grief. I talked to several woman about the incident and these highly-educated
woman said it never even crossed their minds, and for those that it did, they must be
There word, not mine.
And yes, unfortunately, our country obsessed about this ridiculous topic for almost a
week. It was so overblown, I called it the DeflateGate of politics.
Oh, there were other "exhibits" like Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson. Wait
a minute, another Jet? Man, the season hasn't even started and they are in last place.
Richardson, who had been suspended four games for violating the NFL's substance
abuse policy, violated a few more rules when he was caught going 143-MPH with
a 12-year-old kid in his car, not to mention the loaded weapon under his seat. (But
that apparently, was legal)
Richardson said he wanted the "kid to have a little fun because he had never been in
a car like that." Really? Wow. Frightening.
Oh, I don't want to get into the incident where a grown man on the coaching staff
of the Buffalo Bills got suspended six games for beating up a 15-year old kid down
As I write about these incidents, I'm finding it hard to believe that "adults" can act like
this. Sad, it's truly sad.
What the heck is going on in this country? Can't we get out of elementary school once
and for all?