As I said a few weeks ago Alejandro Villanueva’s T-shirt has become the new best seller around the NFL and the stories of this kept coming. Here was Kerry Picket’s take

Alejandro Villanueva, the lone football player on the Pittsburgh Steelers who stood during the national anthem Sunday while the rest of his team remained in the locker room, has become more popular than ever as sales of his jersey have skyrocketed.

Sales of the former Army Ranger’s jersey on Fanatics.com shot up to the highest-seller among Pittsburgh Steelers jersey as of just 10 PM Eastern time. (RELATED: Former Army Ranger Is Only Steelers Player To Stand For National Anthem [VIDEO])

Additionally, Villanueva’s jersey sales rocketed into the top sellers in the entire league as of 7:45 PM EST behind only Marshawn LynchDerek CarrCarson WentzBrown, and Aaron Rodgers247 Sports reported.

A few hours later he was doing even better:

A spokesman for Fanatics, which runs the NFL’s online store, confirmed to ESPN that, over the past 24 hours, more Villanueva gear, including jerseys and name and number T-shirts, has been ordered than that of any other NFL player.

Villanueva beat out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the top spot. Philadelphia Eaglesquarterback Carson WentzDallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers rounded out the top five over the past day.

Now remember when this was written Tom Brady had staged yet another 4th quarter comeback to win, Aaron Rogers took the Packers to 3-0.  Carson Wentz led his team to a victory over Eli Manning’s Giants, Dak Prescott’s team plays tonight but he’s questionable for the game.

Yet Roger Goodell was happy and proud

“The way we reacted today, and this weekend, made me proud,” Goodell told Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “I’m proud of our league. … They reflected the frustration, the disappointment, of the players over the divisive rhetoric we heard [from the President].”

and tweeted this amazing claim

Yet for all that unity Villanueva who stood along beats them all, former Patriot Matt Light provides a clue why:

When 17 New England Patriots players knelt during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, it sparked a strong reaction from a player who was part of the franchise’s first three Super Bowl championships.

“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,” offensive tackle Matt Light told the Boston Herald. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been ashamed to be a Patriot. And I promise you I’m not the only one.”

Well it’s several weeks later and the day after the VP left a game that he had planned to attend for months to celebrate (as the former governor of Indiana) Peyton Manning what is selling at NFL.com?

How about this:

Salute to service in fact if you go to the NFL store that’s what it’s apparently all about now:

That’s what you see on the front page when you go to the NFL gear page because the NFL is all about service, not about rich guys feeling repressed:

“He knew our team has had the most players protest,” Reid told NBC Sports Bay Area. “He knew that we were probably going to do to it again. This is what systemic oppression looks like.

Or confronting fans

“What you gonna do, b—h ass n—-a,” Penn screamed, with nothing between the fans and the offensive tackle but a small metal barricade and a few security guards.

Perhaps the NFL should consider unity with their fans instead of all this other BS.

Get out of here
You crazy voice
You’re the devil
Not my Father
Or some evil
Flesh desire
Let me be
I am free

Back in the dim and distant past known as last year, upon its rerelease yours truly wrote a review of contemporary Christian music pioneer Oden Fong’s 1979 classic record Come For The Children. Not so much a concept as timeline record, as Fong detailed life on earth spent following Christ as Lord and Savior prior to His return he noted, in the song “Crazy Voices,” how satanic and worldly distractions do their best to lure believers off course, with predictably disastrous consequences.

In a world seemingly gone completely mad, one where instant sports millionaires claim oppression while hellhounds murder innocents for the crime of concert attendance, what is good and acceptable finds itself drowning beneath torrents of vile social media and public discourse rage. The anger over what is happening is understandable by anyone with a heart. The expressions and ideas set forth to prevent future horrors are regrettably often as steeped in lunacy as the acts bringing on these outbursts, for they fail to address the root cause of evil, namely humanity’s inhumanity. Acts of violence are seemingly paradoxically properly addressed solely by an act of violence: a lone figure nailed to a bloody cross so none need descend from this earth into perpetual utter isolation and agony. We do not need more gun control. We need more Spirit-led self-control.

The crazy voices surround us all, sometimes screaming and sometimes whispering their lies. They proclaim they have the answers, the solutions to prevent future evil played out by bullets sprayed about, or bombs or transportation vessels or whatever weapons are available used with murderous intent. They have neither. The only answer is holding on to Christ’s nail-scarred Hand, emulating as best we can in our stubborn state of rumbling fumbling tumbling stumbling bumbling imperfect humanity Jesus’ love. Nothing else works.

Nothing.

The small vine with Vinnie’s Grapes

Driven by hunger, a fox tried to reach some grapes hanging high on the vine but was unable to, although he leaped with all his strength. As he went away, the fox remarked ‘Oh, you aren’t even ripe yet! I don’t need any sour grapes.’

The Fox and the Grapes Via Wikipedia

John Nolte, one of the treasure of Breitbart tells us that there is a sudden shift in the land of socially conscious sportscaster Stephen A Smith:

Friday, ESPN “First Take” co-host Stephen A. Smith said he was “tired” of the national anthem protests and linking of arms in unity, adding he is ready to “get back to football.”

What? This can’t be, we’ve been told right along by guys like Smith that the Kaepernick protests not only were important but that it was disgraceful that fewer people in the NFL were taking part. What could possibly be his explanation for this sudden transformation?

Smith reasoned that Colin Kaepernick’s initial protest has been “hijacked” and the message has been “lost” because the protests are now anti-President Donald Trump, which he said just causes more “division.”

Chad Ochocinco is saying the same

Former Cincinnati Bengals star wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson said in an interview with TMZ Sports that he believes the national anthem protests in the NFL are now “politically whitewashed” and have lost their initial meaning,

Vice sports is saying the same:

It’s heartbreaking to say, but this past Sunday shows that brain-dead argument perpetrated by brain-dead hucksters and embraced by brain-dead people is serving its purpose, by deflecting attention away from the protest’s original meaning.

Oddly this is a sentiment that I’ve heard a lot of WEEI from people who were all pro Kaepernick lately on my evening drive. The protests have jumped the shark, they’ve been hijacked etc etc etc.

So the question on the floor is this: why are we suddenly seeing this change in the narrative from the sporting left?

The answer is simple, despite what you might hear from Esquire Trump has won this cultural battle big time.

The NFL is battling to repair its tarnished image and to win back a chunk of the fan base that they’ve forfeited, and the NBA, terrified of mimicking the NFL’s dropping popularity has made it clear that there will be no kneeling allowed.

And thanks to the left turning this into a racial issue we are going to have the pleasure of seeing the 2018 Democrats defending disrespecting the flag to avoid a primary challenge in red states.

Trump has won but our friends on the left can’t admit that, so instead we have the face-saving message, oh the protests have been hijacked message.

If they want to play this game, that’s fine, the political result will be exactly the same and both the NFL and the NBA have learned a valuable lesson about their customer bases that they won’t soon forget.


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Buried in all the news about the NFL is a paragraph in this observer piece by Ashe Snow that perfectly encapsulates what the media don’t get about Donald Trump and twitter

Tweets mean nothing. It takes no effort at all to send one. Acting like Trump actually spent all day Monday caring about the NFL because of what he tweeted is absurd. Does the media really think all he does is tweet? It sure seems like it. They would rather write dozens of articles about every single one of the president’s tweets than look into what he’s actually doing.

That’s the real secret about Donald Trump and twitter, he understand the media mind set, he knows that with just a few tweets he can send them down a rabbit hole all day while he gets work done, or to push them in a direction they don’t want to go, or get the heat off of a project that he is dealing with or lobbying for.

A great example of this has been the reactions on WEEI on Trump that I hear when I drive in and go home from work. For some reason the libs on the station think that Trump is obsessed with the NFL, the reality is that his line at the rally last monday was a throw away applause line and once he saw the reaction it only took a few tweets to get them and the left where he wanted. I doubt he spent more than 3-4 minutes a day on it, but the media was fully committed and while they were congratulating themselves over the NFL’s “victory” over Trump and taking knees in congress Trump was getting things done in Puerto Rico without worrying about the media butting in.

Politico reported, “Rossello and other officials praised the federal government for planning its response in detail before the storm hit, a contrast with what Puerto Rico has long seen as the neglect of 3.4 million Americans living in a territory without a vote in Congress or the electoral college.”

There is only one issue I have with the piece, and that’s this line:

I’m not defending Trump’s tweets. I wish he’d stop.

Snow is dead wrong there. Trump’s tweets are a valuable weapon against the left. Via twitter he gets his message out without them forcing them to react to him rather than the other way around and putting them into battles they don’t want to fight and baiting them into positions they can’t defend. Why do you think they keep attacking his tweets every chance they get?

Tweet away Mr. President, Tweet Away.

A few days ago I wrote that the entire NFL protest business was a trap for Democrats that they cheerfully walked right into:

this helps Trump in places that he needs to win again and hurts him in places that he’s doesn’t, while helping the left in places that they are already winning in and hurts them in swing states and districts.

Because nothing is going to win over white working class voters than a bunch of rich athletes talking about how oppressed they are by the country that made them rich.

I got a lot of grief over thing on twitter both from the left and from nevertrumpers who insisted that this was a huge defeat for Trump and a huge win for the NFL and that the President has embarrassed himself.

Three days later this is from the Hill:

While Democrats broadly say Trump’s fight with the NFL and NBA will help them politically in both the 2018 and 2020 elections, they also appear wary of completely entering the fray on the controversial issue.

Potential candidates such as Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) didn’t put out press releases on the issue or weigh in on Twitter, at least as of Tuesday night.

That’s odd? I thought the media both political and sports called this a losing issue for Trump.

Democratic insiders, strategists and sources close to potential candidates say it’s tricky to work out the right message that knocks Trump for what many privately see as race baiting but that is not perceived as criticism of the flag or anthem.

Being cast as insufficiently patriotic is a charge countless Democrats have had to deal with for generations.

“I think everyone is aware of the tight rope we have to walk on this issue,” said one Democrat who has spoken to Democratic National Committee officials about the latest controversy. “I think that’s something we’re all trying to figure out now.”

Harris’s and Warren’s offices declined to comment for this story. Sanders’s and Booker’s offices did not respond to requests for comment.

Remember these are national democrat candidates who are trying to appeal to Democrat primary voter and not even the candidates of color like Booker or Harris are willing to go out there.

If these national ultra liberals candidates are not willing to put themselves out there, how much less willing will Democrat candidates for Senate in Red States be willing to do so?

To find out I called Claire McCaskill’s office to get commentary I was transferred to the Press office’s voice mail where I left a message asking “Does Senator McCaskill support or oppose NFL players kneeling for the National anthem?”

Over the next several days I’m going to call offices of the all the other Senators running for Re-election in 2018. It will be interesting to see if the answers vary based on both party and how their state voted in 2016.

I’ll give the last word to Ari Fleischer

I think 2018 will be just as much fun.


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There was a big development in the NFL/Protest story today out of CBS Boston:

Just one week after many members of the Patriots kneeled during the national anthem, a new report indicates that they will all stand together as a team next time out.

A league source told CSNNE’s Gary Tanguay on Tuesday that all Patriots players will stand during the national anthem before next Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium. Many stood and interlocked their arms during the anthem last Sunday before the game against the Texans, while a large portion kneeled.

Given the fact that even WNBA fans (not known for their conservatism) booed when the LA Sparks decided to protest the anthem and poll results like this…

national survey by Kansas City-based Remington Research Group of about 2,000 voters claims that America is on Trump’s side. Nearly two-thirds of respondents in the public opinion survey indicated that NFL players should stand while the national anthem is being played as part of pre-game ceremonies. Against the backdrop of a two-year decline in NFL television ratings, about half of the respondents revealed that they are less likely to watch their favorite NFL team moving forward because of the anthem protests.

Of the 51 percent of the respondents who said they are watching less football, about 70 percent noted that it was because players are using the games “as a stage for their political views.” Some 80 percent want less politics during sporting events, and 60 percent suggest that players should use a more appropriate space to protest other than NFL games.

The same data showed a 46 percent/47 percent favorable-unfavorable opinion of President Trump.

…such a decision would make an awful lot of sense.

However since the initial report was based on a “league source” I decided to check with the patriots and give their media department a call.

The man who answered was very polite.  He acknowledged the existence of the CBS report and was aware of what it said but when asked if it was correct he had no comment on it.  For clarity I asked him directly:

“So you can not confirm or deny that the CBS report is accurate?”

“That is correct.”

So there you have it, the Patriots can’t or won’t confirm that their players will be standing for the National Anthem this week.

Closing thought:   I read dawife the initial report, she said that if true she is obliged as a Christian to give the Patriots a 2nd chance, I suspect that if players are kneeling this week they will not get a 3rd from her.



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I don’t usually watch the sunday shows anymore but with the Trump NFL business I was interested in what would be said and on Jake Tapper’s state of the Union and on the panel Jake Tapper’s first commentator Nina Turner had this to say about America

 I mean, really, he should use his energy to fight for our sisters and brothers in Puerto Rico who have no power or the states in Florida where the citizens still need help and other areas where the hurricanes hit.

It is utterly ridiculous for him to pick up this fight. Is he talking about our heritage, as in the heritage of this country that enslaved black folks or took lands from native Americans or the heritage that still has systemic racism in this country? Which heritage is he talking about?

And to pick a fight with NFL players? I mean, this flag and this country is just as much about Patrick Henry saying, give me liberty or give me death. As it is about Fannie Lou Hamer saying, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

These players have every right to express themselves and to challenge the system and in the same spirit of Muhammad Ali or even when James Baldwin said that, I love this country more than any other country, and that is why I reserve my — you know, the right to critique this country. That is what those NFL players are doing. They’re upholding their first amendment right and they are pushing this country to recognize its bigotry, its oppression, and its racism.

And that is very much American.

Check out the video (she starts at 28:35) and watch how the contempt for this country she has come out in a very vivid way.

I found her tirade very interesting about how horrible and oppressive America has been but what was much more interesting was comparing it to a conversation I had the previous Thursday at work before President Trump had said a word.

I was working in a section of the warehouse where I would only occasionally run into someone else.  There was a rather friendly fellow from Africa whose English was iffy who I bumped into.  During on and off conversation I found out he was from the Congo and had been here 3 years. I asked him the question I always ask of any immigrant I meet:  Why America?  In the two clearest words of English I would hear in our on again off again conversation he said with a huge smile:

“America Good”

In broken and halting phrases he talked about being able to work and feed himself and clothe his family.  He spoke the violence in Congo and how so many others had died (actually he said “Congo and made a movement of his hands and a machine gun noise” ) he thanked God that he was here and free to do these things in safety.

Now this man is working in a warehouse and make’s an hourly wage 300 times less than the lowest paid athlete who took a knee on Sunday.  I suspect he makes a lot less than Nina Turner as well.

How is it then that he, a hard working poor man in a job that I suspect those athletes would think beneath them, can see America for what it and what it means is and they can’t?

Closing thought: Funny how so many of those who scream about the evils of oppressive America are always insisting on open boarders. If America was as evil as they say you’d think they’d want keep them away from such a horrible place.



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Local ElectionsA quick reminder to all of those in the MSM, on the left, piling on Trump on twitter etc and declaring victory like this fool:

Thanks to you, the NFL and the media every Democrat running in a red state, especially those vulnerable Democrat senators, now gets to answer this question during election 2018.

“Do you support or oppose professional sports players kneeling for the national anthem in protest?”

I’m sure Manchin & McCaskill et/all and all the dem class of 2018 are dying to answer that question.

If they answer “support” in the primary it will doom them in the general

If they answer “oppose” it will certainly draw a primary challenge from the left that will either be too far left to win or force them to position even farther left to ensure primary voters still show.

Either way Trump wins.

Thanks NFL & Dems, because of you Trump will have to extra GOP votes to repeal Obamacare after 2018 and can tell McCain Collins et/al to pound sand.


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Over the last two years my wife has really fallen in love with the Patriots, she has consumed the game with a passion that only matches her love of quilting.

Today despite my own misgivings I turned on the game for her (I’m pretty indifferent except for Brady) and while Tom Brady, Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick all stood there were a bunch of Patriots taking a knee.

When she saw this something happened that I didn’t expect.

She told me to shut it off.

As she said: “they’re paid to throw and catch pigskin, protest on your own dime, your own dime and your own time…this girl is not going to fall all over anybody because they are babies, spoiled overpaid babies. Put on your big boy pants and grow up.” ”

She didn’t stop there “the Patriots are supposed to be a class act and that shows no class at all.”

she had plenty more to say but I can’t type that fast.

She also apologizes to Tom, Grok and everyone who stood and while she will always root for her boys but as of today as long as there is a Patriot kneeling for the anthem, the TV gets shut off or changed.

The people at work will be shocked when she doesn’t ask for the score of the game, but if they want to make a statement fine, this is hers.

I really didn’t think this would happen and I suspect neither did the NFL.

May they be happy with the path they have chosen.

Update: Apparently they lost a large chunk of the crowd at the game too:

During the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Gillette Stadium, 17 Patriots players decided to take a knee, including defensive starters Devin McCourty, Malcolm Butler, Duron Harmon and Stephon Gilmore.

The fans didn’t like that

Fortunately for the NFL as MSNBC show you can still make a good living with a niche market.


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