…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.

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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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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Eric Reed late of the San Francisco 49ers is outraged at the idea that actions have consequences:

“The notion that I can be a great signing for your team for cheap, not because of my skill set but because I’ve protested systemic oppression, is ludicrous,” Reid tweeted Thursday. “If you think is [sic], then your mindset is part of the problem too.”

But not as outraged as the press:

Teams don’t have that excuse to lean on when it comes to Kaepernick’s friend and former teammate, safety Eric Reid, whose market has been quiet since free agency began this week.

Reid, a former first-round pick, has played in four different defensive schemes in San Francisco. He’s played free safety and strong safety. And last year when the 49ers were having depth issues at the position, he even played some inside linebacker.

In Fact Max Engel is very angry at you Dallas fans in particular

You can blame Jerry Jones for everything up to and including the direction of the sunrise, but this type of decision is based on the fans.

And the fans don’t like them kneelers. How pathetic.

Yeah how DARE you fans actually object to what we on the left embrace and even worse how dare the owners, seeing how these protesters turned the NFL into one of the most polarizing brands in the nation as opposed to one of the most popular, choose not to bring them into their clubhouse!

Funny thing not all that long ago Reid didn’t consider the possibility of not being signed a big deal.

“I wouldn’t use the word concerned,” Reid said then. “I would say I understand that’s a possibility. And I’m completely fine with it. The things that I’ve done, I stand by, and I’ve done that for my own personal beliefs. Like I said, I’m fine with whatever outcome happens because of that.”

He was fine with it until the possibility became reality, now he considers himself a victim. After all being signed by the NFL is a right not a privilege and hell hath no fury as a SJW denied what he considers his.

As Glenn Reynolds said, “get woke go broke.” Reid has made this choice, and the media won’t rest until the NFL owners do the same.

Well that’s one way to get people to talk about a game whose result everyone not living in Philly believes in a foregone conclusion.

“Freedom of speech works both ways,” he said. “We respect the rights of those who choose to protest, as these rights are precisely what our members have fought — and in many cases died — for.

“But imposing corporate censorship to deny that same right to those veterans who have secured it for us all is reprehensible and totally beyond the pale.”

The NFL had this to say

In a statement, NFL Vice President of Communications Brian McCarthy said the Super Bowl game program “is designed for fans to commemorate and celebrate the game, players, teams and the Super Bowl. It’s never been a place for advertising that could be considered by some as a political statement.”

Which is ironic as at the same time they were refusing the AMVETS on NFL.com you can find this anouncement:

As part of its ongoing work to support its players, the NFL today announced a joint player and ownership commitment focused on social justice. The campaign, Let’s Listen Together, launches today and includes a multi-layered roll-out including digital content and brand spots highlighting the player-led work on social and racial equality. The platform will also include social media support, as well as individual letters from players and owners sharing their stories and personal reasons for making social justice a priority.

The program is called “let’s listen together” whose purpose is to advance so called “social justice” which is apparently to be defined by the Kaepernick wing of the NFL, because “social justice” and “listening” and the NFL’s so called commitment to “free speech” doesn’t include listening to American Vets justice for American vets or free speech for groups like the AM vets.

BTW here is the ad that they considered so divisive that they didn’t want it in a program.

Oddly enough the NBA and the NHL didn’t think the ad was all that controversial

AMVETS officials said the same #PleaseStand ad was accepted by the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball for inclusion in their all-star games’ programs. The organization sees the advertisement as an extension of their role as a “nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families.”

The NFL is a private corporation and has the right to accept or reject any advertisement on TV or elsewhere. But the rejection of the AMVET ad highlights the paralyzing fear felt by the NFL over the anthem protests that has dramatically affected its popularity.

and here are is the AMVETS answer

Glenn Reynolds nails it:

Pete Rozelle is pretty much doing non-stop 360s in his grave at this point.

Two closing thoughts:

Thought 1:  Except for the year the Superbowl was held in the cold, it is generally a place to be for celebs to show how important they are.  I wonder how many of those woke celebs will make it a point to sit or kneel for the national anthem?  After all it’s very important to look “woke”, particularly on national TV

Thought 2:  As it is a given that this President will take advantage of this faux pas to bring back this issue how will red state Democrats answer this question without alienating either their base or the general election voters.

I can’t wait till election day.

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via ebay

Feldman: Ah yes, did you bring the um … the specimen of your um … and so on, and so on?
Martin: Yes I did. It’s in the car. [pause] There’s rather a lot.
Feldman: Good, good.
Martin: Do you really need twelve gallons?
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Martin: Well, why do you want it?
Feldman: Well, we do it to make sure that you’re serious about wanting insurance

Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Royal Episode 13 1970

Last night on the way home from being the only temp who showed up for work I was listening to yet another breathless scoop about how things are falling apart in Patriots land and how the Jimmy G trade is the Patriot apocalypse

This is no surprise lately I’ve been listening to a lot of sports radio on my way to and from work and even without the new story today that’s all I’ve heard for weeks.  Brady in decline, Garoppolo the new king.  I’m rapidly reaching the limits of my patience with the people who are screaming bloody murder both over Jimmy Garoppolo success in San Francisco.

What Jimmy Garoppolo has done in his first four starts with the San Francisco 49ers after coming over via trade from the New England Patriots before the deadline is unprecedented. Quarterbacks don’t simply switch teams midseason and then light the world on fire. Through that lens, Garoppolo has no equal.

and the so called “decline” of Tom Brady.  It’s time to tackle it.

There are two basic lines of complaints, let’s tackle them in order

#1  “We should have traded Tom Brady and kept Jimmy G”!

This argument has but a single basis, but it’s a strong one. Tom Brady is a 40 year old QB and even though he is clearly the greatest QB of all time (youtube arguments not withstanding) if not the greatest football player of all time it is inevitable that either age will finally catch up with him or he will decide that he just doesn’t want to do this anymore. After all the anger over being underestimated or disrespected can only drive a person for so long.

And they do have a point here, based on this page at statisca.com they can argue that Tom Brady is playing on borrowed time since he has already played:

OVER 5 x as many seasons as the average NFL player (5.45)
OVER 4 x as many seasons as the avg QB (4.09)
3 x as many season as the avg rookie who makes an opening day Roster (2000)
OVER 2 x as many seasons as the avg player with 3 pension credited seasons (2.53)
53% longer than players with at least once pro bowl selection

and in what must be his favorite stat

Nearly TWICE as long as the average 1st round pick (1.93) next year it will be over double

On the other hand as he has already blown every single longevity stat out of the water we’ve already established that these state are meaningless when it comes to Brady.  There is no reason to believe he can’t continue for as many as two or three more years he continues to move these stats up.

However while the “Shouda traded Brady” crowd are happy to talk about those stats in terms of borrowed time, nobody is talking about how these same Stats might apply to Jimmy Garoppolo.

Garoppolo has already played longer in the NFL player than the average player (3.3 years)
Garoppolo has already played over 90% as long as the average NFL quarterback (4.4 years)
Garoppolo has already played 67% as long as the average NFL player who makes an opening day roster in their rookie season (2014) (6 yrs)
Garoppolo has already played over 56% as long as the average NFL player with 3 pension credited seasons (7.1)
Garoppolo despite being a 2nd round pick as already played over 43% as long as the average 1st round pick (9.3)

And presuming Garoppolo makes the pro-bowl next year he will have played 42% as long as the average pro-bowl player. (11.7)

So unless you think that Brady will retire after this year or the next based on current averages unless you have some kind of magic 8 ball into the future you have no reason to believe that Jimmy Garoppolo will outlast Tom Brady by enough years to make it worth while.

They further point to the last five weeks claiming and this ESPN report that this is the beginning of the end for either Belechick or Brady

Let me remind everyone that Brady in December went 4-1 over those last five game in a situation where going 3-2 would have been the difference between the 1st seed or the second seed and anything worse might have been the difference between having a 1st round bye and not, and did so at the end of a season where he’s taken a bunch of hits but the leading contender for MVP

Jimmy G’s 5-0 run while very impressive came in games where the difference between going 5-0 & 0-5 was the difference between finishing last in their division, or finishing last in their division. Before I start crying over having Tom Brady as my QB in 2018 I’d like to see Jimmy and the 49ers win some meaningful games next year against Seattle, Arizona and LA when there is something on the line for both teams.

2.  We only got a 2nd round pick.  We didn’t get proper value for him.

This argument looks at the success of Jimmy Garoppolo as he takes  an inferior team and leads it to victories not only against multiple teams better than his, but defeating playoff bound/caliber teams and it drives people crazy. This take is typical:

With a second-round pick that keeps dropping in value with every win, the 49ers essentially drafted a more polished, experienced version of any passer available in this year’s draft class. They got a a 26-year-old veteran who spent more than three years learning from arguably the best quarterback in NFL history, all the while waiting for his time to shine.

The 49ers are finally giving Garoppolo that opportunity, and the early returns suggest they may have made a franchise-altering decision that could be ushering in a new era for one of the most storied teams in league history.

It’s too early to crown Garoppolo the next Joe Montana or Steve Young, but it’s not hyperbole to say the 49ers may have already won the 2018 NFL draft by spending a Day 2 pick on a polished veteran with all the physical and mental tools to transform their fortunes seemingly overnight.

We had this guy who is obviously great and gave him away for a 2nd round pick.  How badly did we get jobbed?

This argument has three holes that I will handle from the smallest to the largest.

  1.  Yes we only got a 2nd round pick but not only will that be a higher level pick than the one that produced Jimmy G in the first place and there is no reason why a team wise enough to draft Mr. G will not be wise enough to select a QB with similar potential
  2.  It’s  a trade to a team outside our conference meaning that the Patriots will only have to face Mr. G once every four years max (or in a Superbowl) as opposed to at LEAST once every 3 years or more and have the possibility of having to go through a Jimmy G led team to make a superbowl.  It Mr. Garoppolo is as good as the critics think he is (and it’s very possible he is) then it’s  worth getting a later pick to keep Mr. Garoppolo out of our conference.
  3. Football is a sport were everyone is a single play away from being finished permanently.  Yes it’s likely that we might have gotten a 1st round pick perhaps even a top 3-5 pick for Jimmy G before game one.  But for the price of that drop of from a top 5 pick to a top 40 pick the Patriots had eight weeks of insurance if Tom Brady had to be replaced either due to injury or father time finally screaming “enough”.  If Brady had been injured in the 1st 8 weeks and Jimmy G had been traded the same fans and sportswriters screaming about how the pats got jobbed would be talking about how the Patriots threw away their Superbowl chances for 2017.

All of these are reasons why Pats fans have no business complaining about the Jimmy G trade. let me add on one more.

No Dynasty lasts forever, and even if this sensational ESPN story that nobody seems to be able to handle has any merit

As Brady and Belichick left the field, bundled up in the cold, the only thing clear was that the beginning of the end started a long time ago, masked by success and the joy and pain of the rise, leaving both men this year’s playoffs and their collective will to stave off the fall.

Your New England Patriots are two wins away from the 8th Superbowl appearance in 16 years and three wins away from their sixth superbowl victory in 17 years and enter this situation being led by not only the best Quarterback and the most experienced superbowl quarterback of all time, but with said QB being the #1 or #2 candidate for league MVP.

And you’re whining about the fact that next year you’ll be starting the Quarterback that made this possible AND have a top 40 draft pick vs one who has never played an all or nothing game with something meaningful on the line without said pick?

Seriously?

Closing thought. The biggest threat to turning Tom Brady numbers is him waking up one day and saying: “I’ve got nothing left to prove.” Conversely there is nothing that drives Tom Brady like disrespect from others.

I’d like to thank ESPN, WEEI and every Sports outlet for pushing this story as it is likely to not only motivate him in this years playoffs, but for 2018 and perhaps many seasons to come.



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by baldilocks

At the New York Post, Jay Cost talks about why he’s considering giving up watching the NFL; mostly about officiating and “freak” injuries.

It’s not that much of an interesting read, but it made me think about the time that I almost became one of those women.

12-year- old me to my dad: “I hate football.”

Dad: “How can you hate something you know nothing about?”

Long before I met the man who became my dad when he married my mom, Dad was a tall — 6’4″ — lanky  teenager who played football and basketball in high school and in college. He says he was better at basketball, but that he enjoyed playing football more.

Later, like almost everyone else’s dad, he’d be in front of the TV on Sundays. This was before he became a Christian and, after that, a pastor.

By the time Dad asked me that fateful question, I was beginning to parrot what I’d heard adult females say, even though I don’t remember if Mom ever gave her opinion on the game. I do know that she wasn’t watching it.

My parents had spotty success with getting me to do what they wanted using threats or shame, but they could almost always manipulate me with logic. So, when Dad asked me The Question, I was forced to conclude that he was right: that I could not come to a valid conclusion about the quality of football because I didn’t know jack about it.

To remedy this, Dad suggested that I join him in front of the TV each Sunday for one season, while he explained the goal, strategies, rules, tactics, etc. of the game, and then, afterward, make an informed opinion about the game.

By the end of that season and for many years afterward, I was a big fan of football and the NFL. Then something happened; something long before Colin Kaepernick first knelt during a rendering of the National Anthem.

I got tired of football players and their off-the-field antics. I think Rae Carruth was the death knell – in more ways than one. Kaepernick was the cremation.

Something that has always been an aversion to me is ingratitude for the blessings which God bestows, whatever the nature of that blessing: intellect, physical gifts, earthly opportunities, etc. I’ve only been able to articulate this aversion in recent years, but it has always been there as nebulous, un-evaluated disgust. And, as the character quality of NFL players seemed to descend, my interest in being entertained by them varied directly. (The same thing happened with the NBA; I stopped watching them even earlier.)

The future LA Stadium in the Rams’ and Chargers’ dreams

But now that I’ve evaluated that disgust, I do wonder how long the NFL will last, considering that I’m far from alone

in turning my back on the NFL, if all the empty stadiums and the losses incurred by ESPN, etc. are indications. Here in LA, we have two football teams that can barely sell its dirt-cheap tickets.

Back to Dad. As I said, he long ago readjusted his Sunday priorities – and so did I. It’s for the best.

One wonders what an NFL-less America would look like.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

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The best way to descrive the effect of the tax cut bill that just passed will have on our already improving economy is to think of it as the difference between Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady.

By any standard Ben Roethlisberger is a great quarterback. His stats are impressive. He has thrown for over 4000 yards five times, has thrown 25 or more touchdowns a season seven times, had seasons with a QB rating over 100 three times, thrown less than 10 interceptions a season 4 times. Counting this season He has led the Steelers to ten playoff appearances, seven division titles and two Super Bowls both wins.

Any competent list of elite NFL quarterbacks over the last decade includes him and in different era a credible case could be made for listing him as said era’s top Quarterback.

But unfortunately for Big Ben this isn’t another era. It’s the Tom Brady era and as excellent as Roethlisberger’s stats are they pale before Brady’s. Tom has thrown for 4000 or more yards 9 times (over 5000 in 2011) He has thrown 25 or more touchdowns 13 times (including 50 in 2007) , ha seasons with a QB rating over 100 6 times (three seasons over 110), thrown less than 10 interceptions a season 7 times (only 2 last year)

And of course counting this season Tom Brady has led the Patriots to the Division every single year (15 seasons years) but one (2002) and has taken his team to the Superbowl seven times winning five.

Or to put it another way. While Ben Roethlisberger is a great quarterback, a Hall of Fame Quarterback, a quarterback any team would be proud to have, he is not even in the same league as Tom Brady who is the greatest and most successful Quarterback to ever play the game.

What does that have to do with the Trump Tax plan? Just this.

The Obama Economy was, put simply a disaster:

The latest numbers mean that Obama’s economic forecasters missed their growth targets every year that he was in office. And, once again, economists who had been promising that strong growth was just around the corner — most recently because of a relatively strong third quarter — had to eat crow.

It also means that GDP growth has not exceeded 3% for 11 straight years. . . .

And despite th predictions of naysayers and experts galore:

Jason Furman, who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President Barack Obama, told reporters earlier this year that the chances of reaching 3 percent growth over a decade were about 1 in 25 — which is what many political experts said was Trump’s chance of winning the election. Another Obama economist, Alan Krueger, called the 3 percent growth forecast “extremely rosy.”

Larry Summers, a top economic adviser to Obama, questioned the “standards of integrity” of the Trump economic team’s forecast for 3 percent (or more) growth. “I do not see how any examination of U.S. history could possibly support the Trump forecast as a reasonable expectation,” he wrote in The Washington Post.

It took Donald Trump less than one year to change this achieving the 3% economic growth that others have said was not possible

President Donald Trump’s goal of 3 percent growth has been realized in two of the three quarters since he took office, and economists say the trend can keep going for at least another quarter and possibly longer.

Third-quarter GDP grew by 3 percent, well above the 2.5 percent expected by economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters and below the 2.8 percent in the CNBC/Moody’s Rapid Update. The third-quarter number comes on top of 3.1 percent growth in the second quarter, making for the best back-to-back quarters since 2014 and ending a long streak of sluggish 2 percent growth.

To put it one way. Trump’s first year Economic numbers are something to be proud of, particularly compared to Obama’s. Clearly above average and heading in the right direction. They are the Ben Roethlisberger of economic stats.

Now take that above average economy and add to it a tax plan that cuts corporate tax rates from 35% to 21% while cutting taxes on a resurgent middle class a package that produced this reactions from Germans:

“The tax competition will have a new dimension,” said Christoph Spengel, chairman of the corporate tax department at the University of Mannheim. Mr. Spengel, who is also a research associate at the Center for European Economic Research, and a group of tax experts at the university have done a detailed comparison of the two countries’ tax systems and published a report under the heading, “Germany loses out in US tax reform.”

Clemens Fuest, who heads the Ifo economic think tank, also said he believed German business would suffer. “Investments and jobs will migrate to the US,” he said.

Once the full effect of this tax bill hits we will go from a Roethlisberger economy to a Brady economy and leave that solid 3% growth in the dust.

Get ready folks, golden days are ahead.

Forgetting the kneeling and other things the end of yesterday Steelers / Patriots game is everything that’s wrong with the NFL.

I only had a chance to listen to a little bit of the Patriots / Steelers game on my 1st break but had to go turn it off just after the pats kicked their 4th quarter field goal to come within five but as several residents at the nursing home where my wife works she was able to catch bits and pieces of it.

She was taking care of a patient when Big Ben threw to James and heard the call of “Touchdown” and the first replay but as she was doing her job didn’t have time to stay beyond that.

About 30 minutes later she was taking care of another patient who was saying how the Patriots won. She told him that she had seen the Steelers score a touchdown with a few seconds left. The resident told her, no the Patriots won and my wife didn’t argue figuring he was having a moment and didn’t find out otherwise till much later.

Now I know that according to the rules the reversal was valid and this lousy call doesn’t remove Ben’s responsibility for a really bad decision in trying to force that ball on the next to last play rather than throwing it way and shooting for overtime but let’s cut to the chase.

If what the NFL rules consider a “catch” is different that what a normal person who doesn’t follow the game thinks a catch is, the problem is not with the normal person, but with the rule.

At least that’s what I think.