By John Ruberry

Four months ago in this space I wrote this entry: Horrible season for White Sox may portend bright future.

Okay, the situation has improved somewhat since May, when the South Siders were on pace to lose a club-record 117 games, which would be just short of the modern day record for futility, 120 losses, which was well, uh, achieved I guess, by the 1962 New York Mets.

With thirteen games left in the 2018 season, the White Sox need just four wins to avoid the landmark millstone of 100 losses. The Sox haven’t reached a triple digit “L” season since 1970.

Two weeks ago I was in attendance at Guaranteed Rate Field on Hawk Day, which honored the retirement of longtime White Sox television broadcaster Ken “Hawk” Harrelson, whose best seasons as a player were with the Boston Red Sox, the South Siders’ opponents that day. The Red Sox are enjoying a stupendous 2018, they’ve already collected 102 wins. But the team Harrelson calls, this is one of his “Hawkisms,” the Carmines, were vulnerable when they visited Chicago, as they were enduring a rash of injuries among its pitching staff, including Chris Sale, who was traded by the White Sox to Boston in 2016 for several prospects, including Michael Kopech.

Kopech jerseys, number 34–Walter Payton’s retired number with the Chicago Bears–were prominently displayed in all of the Guaranteed Rate Field gift shops.

The White Sox split the four game season with the Red Sox; the game I attended was an 8-0 winner for Chicago. It was the South Siders’ sixth straight series without losing one of those series. Not only was the future bright for the White Sox that day–so was the present.

The White Sox are obviously a better team since I wrote my spring Da Tech Guy post. But injuries have plagued the team. Nate Jones, their closer, suffered what was thought to be a season ending forearm injury. But he was back in the bullpen on Friday, picking up the save as the White Sox topped the Baltimore Orioles. The Orioles, by the way, have already lost 106 games. Wellington Castillo, a veteran catcher, was signed as a free agent last winter, so he could mentor Chicago’s young pitching staff. But around the time of the Jones injury, Castillo was suspended for 80 games for violating Major League Baseball’s performance enhancing drug policy. And in July, for the second time this season, right fielder Avisail Garcia, was placed on the disabled list. As in the came with Jones, both players recently returned to the roster.

First baseman Jose Abreu brought some surprising good news to the Pale Hose as he became the first team member to be elected to the All Star Game as a starter since Frank Thomas, who is now a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, did so twenty-two years ago.

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But the cruelest injury came this month. The top prospect in the White Sox farm system was right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech. His first big league three starts went well for him, including one against Boston on August 31. But two of those ended up being no-decisions as Kopech was pulled after long rain delays. In his final start, Kopech was hammered by the Detroit Tigers. A few days later it was announced that Kopech will likely undergo Tommy John surgery, missing the remainder of this season and all of the 2019 campaign.

So the present isn’t looking very good now.

But Kopech should be back by 2020, which has been the season White Sox fans have been looking towards as when the team makes its return to prominence. By then outfielder Eloy Jimenez, one of the prospects traded by the Chicago Cubs for another White Sox starter, is expected to be in his second season on the South Side.

Blogger with Carlton Fisk statue at Guaranteed Rate Field this month

Jimenez batted .337 in the minors this season.

On the quirky side, the White Sox have a Hamilton and Burr in the bullpen. That’s right, Ian Hamilton and Ryan Burr.

No other MLB team can match that pitchers duel.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Yesterday my wife and I visited Sun Trust park and watched the Red Sox, despite a shaky (but scoreless) performance from Nathan Evoaldi, take game one of their 3 game set with the Atlanta Braves 8-2. The game was much closer than the score would indicate and it wasn’t until the Sox added two in the top of the 8th to give a bit of a cushion and 3 more in the 9th that it was comfortable.

It was a grand day for baseball. The huge amount of RedSox fans in attendance meant that it had the feel of a home game for the Alex Cora’s team and there were competing cries of “Let’s go Redsox” and “Let’s go Braves” on a regular basis and everyone was focused not only on a great game but the playoff implications of a game that could be a preview to this year’s World Series making it a great day for Baseball in General and for the Red Sox who won the game and the Braves who sold out the park in particular.

Meanwhile while key games in pennant races continued to be the focus for baseball, the NFL with its season about to start discovered that the Colin Kaepernick and the kneeling controversy continues to be the gift that keeps on giving:

Nike selected former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick as the face of its “Just Do It” campaign, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Darren Rovell of ESPN reported the choice of Kaepernick, who started the movement to kneel during the United States national anthem to protest racial injustice in August 2016.

In one respect this move by Nike, the official sneaker of the NFL. might make some business sense when you consider the demographic targets for on overpriced sneakers made in Vietnam and China are not likely to be all that upset about protesters kneeling for the National anthem.

Alas this isn’t the case for the NFL. Not only is this move likely to spark even more protests by players which, while embraced by the playsers association and ESPN, will serve to enrage their customer base even further but Nike has guaranteed that the for the rest of the week the lead story for those covering the NFL will not be the opening of the season and the various teams, players and stars but the whole Kaepernick protest business which is the last thing a league that whose ratings are already in decline needs.

Of course in fairness the NFL was already in this position to some degree as the Washington Post noted in a story written before Nike’s Kaepernick anouncement:

In May, the owners of the NFL’s teams were gathered at a hotel in the Buckhead district of Atlanta. As a high-ranking official from one franchise made his way to a coffee break before the meetings began, he wondered what the group would do that week about the national anthem dilemma that had so vexed the league since President Trump inflamed a national controversy last fall about players’ protests during the anthem.

“What we can’t do,” the official said, “is get to next season and still be in this position.”

However, with the opening of the 2018 season days away, that is exactly where the league finds itself.

The Washington Post, not withstanding their mendacious attempt to blame Trump for the players actions, was exactly right about the NFL’s situation before Nike signed Kaepernick and made it worse.

Perhaps the NFL should have thought of this before it decided to allow the Kaepernick protests to go unchallenged. If they did the conversation this week might be about Brady, the Eagles QB situation and the new contract for Aaron Rogers rather than who kneels and who stands. And you better believe that with election day only weeks away, President Trump and the GOP will take full advantage of the gift of idiocy of their opponent in this matter.

FYI in case your interested at yesterday’s Atlanta Braves Boston Redsox game A group of local school children sang the national anthem to start the game and an opera singer followed up with a resounding rendition of God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch. Nobody kneeled during either song and thus nobody other than me found it worth mentioning.

I am an avid golfer and very much a fan of the PGA Tour. Like everyone else, I was impressed by Tiger Woods and rooted for him in his early years on the tour. I did think it was a bit unfair when he had the gallery move a boulder for him at the 1999 Phoenix Open, but I did enjoy many of his early exploits. However, I stopped rooting for him many years ago, and not because of his off-course exploits. No, I stopped rooting for him even before that because of the foul language and emotional outbursts he too often exhibited on the course.

I do think it’s great that he’s finally healthy and able to play in tournaments again, but I find it rather ridiculous when he is covered as the main story in a tournament that he has no chance of winning. And while it’s true that he has played well in the British Open and PGA Championship recently, I don’t follow the hype that this means he’s going to win 5 more major championships to break Jack Nicklaus’ record. In fact, I believe these two tournaments show why he not only won’t win 5 more, but won’t win even one more.

Where Tiger used to be the mentally strongest player on the tour, he is now damaged goods. He is making critical mistakes in key situations and the more it happens, the more frustrated he will become and the more he will press and make more mistakes. That does not mean that the media will not cover him like he’s always about to win the next tournament, even when he barely makes the cut.

It feels to me very much like how the political media are covering the democrats. They are obviously shaken from losing the last election, and they are making critical mistakes in policy, from embracing Socialism to abolishing ICE. The media will continue to put a positive spin on everything the democrats do, like claiming moral victories for democrats who lose special elections or playing up candidates who are trailing in the polls.

But the rest of us will see the violence and intolerance of the democrat base, like Antifa and Black Lives Matter, and just like Tiger Woods’ outbursts on the course, this will cause former fans to root for someone else. Tiger Woods will never win another Major, and there will be no “Blue Wave” in November.


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…because stories like this:

NFL players continued to protest during the national anthem on Thursday night as the league began the first full week of its 2018 preseason.

Some players held their fists in the air, while others decided to kneel, despite the controversy surrounding the action.

Wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson, both of the Miami Dolphins, knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner,” ahead of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Miami Herald reported.

Robert Quinn, a defensive end for the Dolphins, raised his fist. Philadelphia Eagles Malcolm Jenkins, who plays safety, and De’Vante Bausby, a cornerback, also raised their fists prior to a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

and this:

In Philadelphia, Eagles defensive end Michael Bennett walked out of the tunnel Thursday during the anthem and headed to the team bench ahead of a game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.

Eagles captain Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback De’Vante Bausby raised their fists during the song.

“I just think it’s important to keep this conversation going, that we don’t let it get stagnant,” Jenkins said after the game, according to NFL.com. “You know, as we understand it, everybody’s kind of waiting to see what the league is going to do. … It’s just my personal decision to keep these things at the forefront.”

and this:

One Florida establishment won’t tolerate football players kneeling on the nation’s most public lawns anymore.

Curtis and Janet West, the owners of Beef O’Brady’s in Brooksville, Fla., cancelled the bar’s DIRECTV NFL Sunday Ticket subscription over NFL players protesting against police violence in minority communities and racial and economic inequality by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem prior to games, according to Tampa, Fla., television station WTVT. Players’ demonstrations offended the Wests, who explain in posters hung in their bar why patrons won’t be able to watch every NFL game there in 2018.

“Beef O’Brady’s will not be financially supporting the NFL this year due to their lack of compassion and gratitude for our American service members,” the poster reads, per WTVT. “Our National Anthem is one of the methods we as American citizens have always used to show our appreciation to all military service members, past or present, alive or dead. This tradition deserves respect and unfortunately, the NFL does not feel that same way. So, for this season, we will not be purchasing the NFL ticket. Perhaps, it will make a difference if it hits their wallets.”

Beef O’Brady’s will save around $5,200 without the NFL Sunday Ticket. The Wests will invest those savings in a new promotion: offering military veterans 40 percent off food on Sundays during the NFL season.

and especially this:

That’s why it was surprising when Brown spoke out against current NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to bring attention to social issues such as racial inequality.

Jim Brown: ‘I’ll never kneel’

Brown, known as one of the most prominent activist/athletes of his era (and probably all eras), said he would never kneel for the national anthem, according to Tom Withers of the Associated Press.

“I’ll never kneel and I will always respect the flag,” Brown told Withers before the HBO premiere of “Hard Knocks” that features the Browns. 

Brown, who is 82, said he supported the players’ rights to kneel. But he didn’t agree with what they’re doing.

is pretty much an in kind contribution to the Trump re-election campaign of 2020 and the GOP campaign to keep the house in 2018.  Naturally the President was all over it:

President Donald Trump on Friday renewed his attacks on NFL players who protest during the national anthem – after several of them took knees and raised their fists during preseason games.

“The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem,” he tweeted. “Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define.

“They make a fortune doing what they love…… Be happy, be cool!” he continued. “A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest.

“Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!” he said.

This will of course cause the clueless NFL players to protest more which will allow the president to comment again guaranteeing the issue will be alive and well in every swing distinct that he won in 2018 meaning that every single Democrat running in a swing district will have the delightful choice of pissing off their base or their swing voters by stating an opinion on this issue before the election.

Now all of this would  be moot if the NFL simply enforced their policy, if they had then the conversation after week one of pre-season would be all about who might be playing themselves onto a roster, who disappointed etc etc etc instead of who is kneeling and who is not.

Of course if the NFL and the NFLPA want to continue to drop the value of their product (and make their players less marketable for advertising dollars) that’s their prerogative, but for me I’ll settle for just pointing and them and laughing a lot.

If you turned in early to the Red Sox Seattle game you saw a lot of offense.

You saw the Mariners put up 4 in the top of the first and the Red Sox answer with five. Then Mariners put up six more meaning that Red Sox starter Stephen Wright, who had given up a single run in his last game against the very same team, had given up 10 earned runs before the book was closed on him, Nelson Cruz with two 3 run HR’s and a single to drive in seven on those 10 doing most of the damage.

It didn’t stay that way.

The same Seattle pitcher Wade Leblanc who had shut out the Red Sox in that same game against Wright would give up one in the fifth. J. D Martinez would hit a 2 Home run in a 3 run Red Sox 6th and then a key single in a five run seventh with the bases loaded and then three in the 6th and then in the seventh went on a tear to score five more.

As I’m writing this the score is 14-10 with one out in the bottom of the 8th, now the top of the ninth. Seattle is coming to the plate and while it looks very good for the Rox Sox they will still have to get those three final outs before Seattle scores 4 to get that win.

And that is why Baseball is better than Basketball, Hockey, Football or Soccer and it isn’t even close.

No matter how big a lead you have you still have to get those outs before you can celebrate, and no matter how bleak it looks, you team will still have a chance to score as many runs as you can before that third out is recorded.

No Clocks, no taking a knee, no pulling a goalie, no LeBron sitting down because he knows its hopeless. As long as you still have a single out yet to be given your team is not done.

That’s baseball and that’s why it’s the best.

Oh and the Sox won 14-10

by baldilocks

Last week, at the request of one Kim Kardashian West, President Trump commuted the life sentence of a non-violent drug dealer Alice Marie Johnson. Johnson had served 21 years.

Now the president wants to keep the ball rolling, as it were.

I’ve been LMAO ever since I read about this yesterday.

U.S. President Donald Trump held out an olive branch in his feud with National Football League players on Friday, asking them for recommendations as he considers pardoning several thousand people who may have been unfairly treated by the criminal justice system. (…)

On Friday, speaking to reporters before leaving for a Group of Seven summit in Canada, Trump challenged those players, the majority of whom are African-American, to advise him on employing his pardon power. He said his staff was examining some 3,000 cases of people who might deserve clemency.

“I am going to ask all of those people to recommend to me, because that’s what they’re protesting – people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system. And I understand that,” Trump said. “They’ve seen a lot of abuse and they’ve seen a lot of unfairness.”

I’m told that this is classic Art of the Deal, which I have downloaded from the LA Public Library. It’s also giving me some Ferengi Rules of Acquisition vibes. (Deep Space Nine fans will understand.)

Whatever way this plays out, this is a win-win situation for the president. And, even if no ballplayers send him a list, other prominent people probably will – a potential win for some deserving prisoners who have behaved well while paying their debt to society or for those who have been unjustly imprisoned.

But some observers are grumbling.

“His suggestion that he might bring NFL players into the pardon process must be viewed as nothing less than a cynical, self-serving ploy to create a photo op with NFL players, many of whom have made it clear that they would not be caught standing downwind from him, much less next to him,” said Harry Edwards, a sociologist and longtime civil rights activist at the University of California at Berkeley. (…)

“This is just another attempt to divert attention and, of course, it places Donald Trump as the master of everything, just appeal to me personally and I’ll let your friends out or maybe I will pardon them,” said Jeffrey Robinson, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

One would think that Longtime Civil Rights Activists and Venerable Civil Liberties Organizations would care more about injustice being rectified more than who gets the credit for the rectification.

Unless it was all about the Look At Me moral narcissism and preening for them – and for the pro ballplayers — in the first place.

Nah, couldn’t be that.

Snark aside, I do hope that some ballplayers have enough integrity and perspective to accept the president’s offer.

We need some healing in this country.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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You might remember last week I wrote this about Matt Light, who after excoriating his New England Patriots for kneeling during the national anthem was voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame by the fans:

While I don’t expect the league or the Patriots to acknowledge the part Light’s unequivocal response to those anthem protests had in his victory you better believe that not only has the league noticed this but every GM & Owner who might be consider signing one of the kneelers has too.

Well apparently they got the message because this is the breaking news from the NFL

Two years of bad publicity and the attacks from the President was not enough to make the owners bend.

But the knowledge that fans, even in the bluest states in the country have not forgotten or forgiven these actions combined with the knowledge that the Trump administration is becoming more, not less, popular, means their position and the prospect for a week to week count of who is kneeling and how is not, make their position untennable.

Of course people will note who stays in the tunnel and who will not and there will still be a little bit of pushback but all of that will be away from the sight of the cameras which is all the NFL really wants.

This is a huge win for Donald Trump who can take credit for this result but it is a bigger win for Democrat candidates who were rightly terrified of having to answer questions on this issue in districts they desperately need to win.

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By John Ruberry

“Baseball is a lot like life. It’s a day-to-day existence, full of ups and downs. You make the most of your opportunities in baseball as you do in life.”
Longtime Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell.

For the 2018 Chicago White Sox, so far there have been a lot of downs. The South Siders, at 12-30, have the worst record in baseball. If their current pace continues, the Sox will lose 117 games and end up just a few games ahead of the most hapless teams since MLB expanded its schedule to 162 games, the 2003 Detroit Tigers and the 1962 New York Mets.

Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox, has been anything but sweet for them. Their record is a pitiful 5-16 there so far this season.. On a cold afternoon in April, just 974 fans were in attendance as the host dropped a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was at home when the team’s sole 2017 all star, right fielder Avisail Garcia, suffered a hamstring industry which placed him on the disabled list. Just two nights ago left fielder Nicky Delmonico was put on the DL after his right hand was broken after getting hit by a pitch. And it was on the South Side last month when reliever Danny Farquhar collapsed in the dugout when he suffered a severe brain aneurysm, which knocked him out for the season.

On the upside, the team slogan for 2018 is “Ricky’s Boys Don’t Quit,” a reference to manager Ricky Renteria, a patient man–that’s the type of skipper the Sox need–Ricky Renteria. While plagued by some bad baserunning miscues, the White Sox aren’t infected by laziness. It’s just that they don’t have very many good players. First baseman and designated hitter Jose Abreu is the only South Sider batting over 300. MSN Sports listed the best player so far this season for each team, for the Sox they chose right hand starter Reynaldo López, who coincidentally starts at home this afternoon against the Texas Rangers. His ERA is a 3.50, but his record is 0-3 with 46 innings under his belt, which led its writer Greg Papke to opine that it “shows how abject the team is that he has failed to win a game despite those solid numbers.”

Team statistics betray the awful truth. The White Sox rank next to last in Major League Baseball in ERA and runs scored and they’re at the bottom in WHIP, that is, walks plus hits per inning pitched.

“Ricky’s boys don’t quit, as the Sox marketing plan insists,” the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan remarked last week, “but neither do they score nor pitch.” The White Sox were expected to perform poorly this year, but not this badly. Last season they lost 95 games, but they ended last September one game over .500.

Back to the good news:: The White Sox are only nine games out of first place, but they play in MLB’s worst division, the American League Central, which the Cleveland Indians, at 22-22, leads. And the Sox are only a half-game behind the team ahead of them in the Central standings, the Kansas City Royals, who obviously are also enduring a horrible 2018.

But help is on the way. Last summer the White Sox traded their ace, Chris Sale, to the Boston Red Sox for several prospects, including Yoan Mocada, who is their starting second baseman this season, and hard throwing starter Michael Kopech, who is currently pitching in AAA and is expected to join the Sox later this season. Also last summer the White Sox traded another starter, Jose Quintana, to the Chicago Cubs for two of that organization’s top prospects, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Crease.

Earlier this decade the Houston Astros, who the White Sox swept in the 2005 World Series, went through a similar rebuilding process. Now they are the reigning World Series champions. In 2011 the Astros lost 106 games, in 2012 they dropped 107 games, and the following season 111 games.

Then the upswing began.

UPDATE 7:20pm EDT: My post must have been good luck for the White Sox. The heretofore hard luck López pitched eight shutout innings this afternoon against the Rangers while giving up only two hits. His record is now I-3.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Most Members of sports media are liberal and it’s interesting to see the parallels between their conventional wisdom on the NBA playoffs regarding the Boston Celtics and the Conventional wisdom concerning Trump.

When Gordon Hayward went down in game one of the season Conventional Wisdom on sports radio said that the Celtics chances to make the NBA finals were practically gone, that was until Kyrie Irving led the team to an incredible run.

When Kyrie Irving went down with injury conventional wisdom on sports radio said that while the Celtics would make the playoffs because of their start they were doomed.

When the Celtics faced the Bucks conventional wisdom on sports said that Milwaukee would win because they had stars and the Celtics did not but it’s OK because it’s because their guys are hurt anyways.

When the Celtics beat the Bucks and found themselves faced with Philly conventional wisdom on sports radio said that Philly would beat them but the Celtics should be proud to have gotten this far and any wins here are gravey

When the Celtics demolished Philly conventional wisdom on the radio said that the Celtics didn’t have a chance against the Cleveland team and LeBron James who swept Toronto but they should celebrate getting that far

When the Celtics won game one vs the Cavs conventional wisdom on the radio said that LeBron would have a monster game two to make up for it and the Celtics, while game still were unlikely to beat Cleveland.

When the Celtics won game 2 (despite LeBron’s monster game) suddenly the conventional wisdom on the radio was that Cleveland was finished that LeBron didn’t have the horses and it was only a matter of time.

Yesterday Cleveland beat the Celtics convincingly on their own home court 116-86 leading the Celtics the entire game. I’ve not listened to the radio yet but I predict that when I do the conventional wisdom will suddenly once again turn on a dime.

The lesson of all of this? “Conventional Wisdom” is only reality if the people said wisdom is speaking about allow it to be so.

Because neither Cleveland nor the Celtics have allowed themselves to be led by conventional wisdom of sports reporters they will be masters of their own destiny in these game.

This is a lesson that President Trump has learned in regard to the political press and pundits. Would that the rest of the GOP would figure the same thing out.

On WEEI as I was driving into work today in between expressions of delight at the unexpected success of the Celtics vs LeBron James and Cleveland I was listening to the hosts express surprise that Matt Light won the fan vote for the Patriots Hall of fame over Richard Seymour and Mike Vrabel.

On Wednesday, the team announced the fans have voted for Light to be the 27th person to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. Light spent his entire 11-year career (2001-11) with the Patriots. The left tackle joins Kevin Faulk (2016), Troy Brown (2012) and Tedy Bruschi (2013) as the fourth player to enter The Hall as a career Patriot with three Super Bowl rings.

Light beat out Mike Vrabel and Richard Seymour.

“For 11 seasons, Matt’s many accomplishments, both on and off the field, made him the consummate Patriot,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft in a statement. “His contributions helped the Patriots become champions on the field and in the community. For more than a decade, Matt fearlessly protected Tom Brady’s blind side and played an immeasurably important role in delivering three Super Bowl titles and five conference championships. As proud as I am of Matt’s many contributions to those championship teams, I truly believe that his lasting legacy will be measured by the many positive things he and his wife, Susie, have done to help others in the community. Their investment in the lives of children will pay dividends for generations to come.”

Light’s induction ceremony will be held on the NRG Plaza outside The Hall at Patriot Place on Saturday, Sept. 29.

Both Seymour and Vrabel would have been more than worthy choices as they made huge contributions to the team as players and one could argue that despite Light’s longer tenure on the team that either one of the would have been expected to beat Light in fan balloting, particularly given that they both played in higher visibility positions and had been on the ballot in years past.

But there is one thing that Matt Light did that neither Vrabel or Seymour did:  When the New England Patriots did this last year

Light spoke up very publicly saying this:

The former Patriots offensive lineman took issue with nearly 20 players taking a knee during the national anthem ahead of the team’s win over the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium. Light went so far as to say he was “ashamed” to be a former Patriot. “If you think it’s OK to take a knee during our national anthem and disrespect openly the national anthem,” Light told the Boston Herald, “you are wrong. I don’t care if you have a ‘but what about’ or a ‘it’s because of,’ that doesn’t matter.” Light also said something like that wouldn’t have happened during his time with the club. “As a guy that’s been there and helped set up the Patriot Way so they can walk in there and do what they do, it’s beyond disheartening. It’s the first time I’ve ever been ashamed to be a Patriot. And I promise you I’m not the only one.”

As I recall Light took a lot of heat on WEEI for doing so but while Boston sports talk hosts didn’t appreciate his objections apparently the fans did and when it came time to vote for the Patriots Hall of Fame, their first choice was a real Patriot.

The fact that, at least while I was listening, the crew at WEEI had no idea why Light would have won over Seymour and Vrabel and the fact that these guys didn’t instantly realize that this was the difference says a whole lot more about them then it does about Light.

Update: I had a question for the NFL

While I don’t expect the league or the Patriots to acknowledge the part Light’s unequivocal response to those anthem protests had in his victory you better believe that not only has the league noticed this but every GM & Owner who might be consider signing one of the kneelers has too.


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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.