Notes from around the Human Experience…
HUT, HUT HIKE: The NFL decided to nothing regarding player conduct during the playing of the national anthem in at its annual fall meeting this past week. Owners were so intent on good PR from this evolution they even invited players to take part, showing the type of concern usually reserved when money is at stake.
Because money is at stake. The average Americans that watch NFL games and buy NFL tickets and jerseys are not enjoying these anthem protests. The long-term stability of the private mint that is the National Football League is being threatened.
Status Quo On Two: The league ended up doing nothing. No change was made to the NFL policy suggesting team personnel “should” stand for the national anthem.
Dry, Technical Matter: This was funny. The NFL had every option and they had zero options. They had an open field ahead of them yet they were completely hamstrung. Oftentimes in these situations, regardless of the circumstances, nothing is sometimes the best thing to do. It was this time.
Fly In The Ointment: Let’s say the NFL did mandate everyone from team captains to water boys pop-to and stand for the national anthem? And what if they mandated penalties for non-compliance?
Well, invariably some, perhaps many, would not stand. And then what? America being America right now the issue would end up in court because the NFL cannot even suspend players anymore without judicial review. The NFL may well end up backing down and none of this would result in anything remotely resembling the PR the NFL needs.
Read My Lips: Nothing Of Substance: Of course, nothing resembling straight talk on the matter came out of the NFL office. Commissioner Roger Goodell was, as ever, standing by with the usual corporate claptrap. After first denying the issue was even discussed – which no one really believes – Goodell then explained why showing that few others are better at talking without actually saying anything:
It wasn’t necessary. We had a real focus on making sure all of our teams understood the kind of dialogue that took place and the kind of things that they were interested in getting support.
The Bottom Line: The NFL was in a box, damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. By doing nothing they will continue to alienate the average Americans who buy their tickets and jerseys and who watch their games on TV, but they will also avoid the headaches and further alienation, that would have attended mandatory compliance.
IN THE BEGINNING: According to a chronology promulgated by James Ussher, an archbishop in the Church of Ireland, the Earth is formed on this date in 4004 BC. Ussher used a variety of chronologies, both sacred pagan, to arrive at this date and his theory remains the most widely-known of several of that ilk that were issued around that time.
Football Vs. Harvard Saturday: Princeton University, then known as the College of New Jersey, receives its charter on this date in 1746. Its original purpose was to train ministers, it became Princeton University in 1896 and is the fourth-oldest college in the United States.
I Do Solemnly Swear: Sam Houston is inaugurated as president of the Republic of Texas on this date in 1836, replacing Interim President David Burnet. Texas had become an independent nation in April and would remain its own nation it was admitted as the 28th state of the Union in 1845.
Great Moments In Being On The Brink Of Nuclear War: One day after ordering a military blockade of Cuba, and six days after first being advised the Russians had nuclear weapons in Cuba, President John F Kennedy addresses the American people, and the world, on this date in 1963. Among other things, he announces that an attack by the goddamned Soviets on anyone in the Western Hemisphere would be considered an attack on the United States that would require a full retaliatory response.
The decision to order a naval blockade was not met with unanimous approval in the United States. Some, including many in Congress, wanted a stronger response. Kennedy’s decision was influenced, in part, by a phone conversation he had with former president Dwight Eisenhower earlier in the day.
Dry, Technical Matter: Listening to a recording of this conversation, some things stand out. One, Kennedy, like all great leaders, is a superb listener. Two, he seemed utterly at home with the specter of nuclear war on his shoulders. And Eisenhower, has he did well, cut right to the heart of the matter:
The damn Soviets will do whatever they want, what they figure is good for them….They just find out what they can do here and there…
A brilliant observation, applicable, though often forgotten, in most human situations. In the end, of course, the Soviets decided what was good for them was to remove their missiles from Cuba.
Going…Going…Gone: Albert Pujols of St Louis Cardinals becomes the third player to hit three home runs in a World Series game, doing so against the Texas Rangers on this date in 2011. The Cardinals won the game 16-7 to take a two games to one lead in the series and would win the series in seven games.
The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: Pujols joined Babe Ruth, who did it twice, and Reggie Jackson as the only players to hit three home runs in a World Series game. Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants would join the club the following year.
Quotebook: [he] taught with a fervid, burning passion, like that which moves martyrs and heroes. – William Woodward, The Way Our People Lived
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The USS Constitution last saw battle for the United States in the War of 1812.
Today’s Stumper: What three United States universities are older than Princeton? – Answer next time!