Notes from around the Human Experience…
HUT, HUT HIKE: From time to time in this space we have wondered if the NFL is going to be around in a generation or two. This is because fewer people are watching their games on television and fewer kids are playing it at the youth and high school level and it is not unreasonable to conclude that eventually there will be nobody watching or playing professional football.
Now there is even infighting inside the league between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones – a recent Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinee and one the league’s most powerful owners – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the rest of the league’s owners. Jones recently ran a lawsuit against the league up the flagpole over an extension to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract, a move that was met with the scorn it deserved. Other NFL owners are peeved enough so that talk about punishing Jones for this is being discussed.
Dry, Technical Matter: Recently every NFL owner, including Jones, approved Goodell’s extension and referred the matter to a committee to finalize the details. Jones is now fighting this because he is peeved Goodell suspended his star running back Ezekiel Elliot for six games for violating their personal conduct policy, even though Elliot was not charged with a crime. After the obligatory farting around in court, Elliot has begun serving his suspension.
This is all rather riveting, and if they are squabbling like this in public, you can imagine the fun going on behind closed doors.
The Bottom Line: Years from now we may well look back at this time and realize we were watching the start of the NFL imploding on itself. Now, the league ain’t going anywhere anytime soon, of course, but it is certainly possible TV ratings will continue to slide. It is definite participation numbers will continue to fall. And once the cancer of infighting infiltrates an organization it is tough to get rid of. We may very well be witnessing the beginning of the end of the NFL.
“Four Score And Seven Years Ago…”: President Abraham Lincoln delivers one of History’s most momentous speeches on this date in 1863.
“…Dedicated To The Proposition That All Men Are Created Equal”: Lincoln was speaking at the dedication of a cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, about four months after a Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. Gettysburg was the deadliest battle of the Civil War and was the last Confederate invasion of the North.
“The World Will Little Note, Nor Long Remember What We Say Here…”: Lincoln entered the history books with a speech that took slightly more than two minutes. This followed a two-hour chat – about normal for that time, actually – by former Secretary of State Edward Everett that nobody remembers anything about. We actually read Everett’s speech for this feature a few years ago and we recall it not being completely uninteresting, though two hours is a long time to listen to one person yap.
Fly In The Ointment: Five handwritten copies of the Gettysburg address are known to exist. All are slightly different and all differ from newspaper accounts of the day.
3…2…1…Touchdown: Man reaches the moon for the second time when Apollo 12 landed on the moon on this date in 1969. Apollo 12 was commanded by Pete Conrad and Alan Bean was the lunar module pilot while Command Module Pilot Richard Gordon remained in lunar orbit.
Whoops, My Bad: The Apollo 12 crew had brought the first color TV camera with them, but the first lunar color TV broadcast was canceled when Bean inadvertently pointed the camera directly at Mr Sun during setup, ruining a tube inside.
USA! USA! The crew also visited nearby Surveyor 3, which had landed in April 1967 and brought back portions of it. Surveyor 3 remains the only probe visited by humans on another world.
“I Did Not…Well, Yes I Did”: The Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives begins impeachment hearings against President Bill Clinton on this date in 1998. Clinton would be impeached by the entire House on December 18, thought Senate would acquit Clinton of single charges of perjury and obstruction of justice the following February.
FunFact: Clinton joined Richard Nixon and Andrew Johnson as presidents the House had considered impeachment charges against. Johnson was impeached and acquitted by the Senate in 1868 and Nixon resigned the presidency before the House could consider impeachment resolutions.
Quotebook: …and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth – Abraham Lincoln
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: James Hinds was the first US Congressman to be assassinated while in office, shot to death in 1868. Despite the fact he identified the shooter before he died, the suspect was never arrested, much less prosecuted.
Today’s Stumper: How far away from Apollo 11’s landing site did Apollo 12 land?- Answer next time!