Notes from around the Human Experience…
HUT, HUT HIKE: From time to time here we’ve discussed whether or not the NFL will be around in a generation or two. It’s a discussion worth having because it is not entirely certain it will be.
Dry, Technical Matter: At first we brought it up because with all the attention head injuries and their consequences are getting fewer kids are playing football. This attention will not decrease and over the years fewer and fewer kids will be playing football. It won’t happen immediately, but in time there won’t be enough good football players to man a professional football league. The NFL will fade away and we will be doing something else with our Sunday afternoons.
Fly In The Ointment: A complete lack of fan interest might beat a lack of players to the punch, though. Last year TV ratings took a dip. In 2015 your average NFL game was watched by about 17.9 million people. Last year your average NFL game was watched by roughly 16.5 million viewers.
More Fly In The Ointment: They didn’t rebound Thursday night, either, as roughly 21.3 million people watched the season opener on NBC, down 13 percent from the 2015 opener.
Play Ball!: All of these figures are still more people than have usually watched the World Series this century.
Back On Message: Last year the ratings dropped was blamed on the presidential election stealing viewers, which nobody outside of NFL headquarters really believed. An excuse for Thursday night has not been issued yet, but if they say anything other than “backlash from Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the National Anthem” we think they are deluding themselves.
USA! USA!: America is perfectly content to let blacks addle their brains for our pleasure, but let them get uppity and start protesting the benefits white America has decided to confer on them and there is going to be trouble. We believe it’s folly to think national anthem protests do not have something to do with the decline in the NFL’s TV ratings.
Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: Any athlete can sit, stand or kneel for the National Anthem for all we care. We’re veterans here and one of the things we served for was to defend any American’s right to say what they damn well please when they feel like saying it. We personally issue a hand salute for the National Anthem, but that’s us. It’s America. You want to kneel, knock yourself out. Be advised, though, there will be consequences for this, though, and every NFL players should note Kaepernick has yet to find work as an NFL quarterback and jobs that pay what you make playing professional football are not passed out with the jock straps.
ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! Two months and a week after declaring independence from Great Britain, the Continental Congress declares the name United States is to be used when referring to the union of the several states.
Typical of the Congress, the moment is mentioned in the Journals of the Continental Congress with no great fanfare:
Resolved, That in all continental commissions, and other instruments, where, heretofore, the words “United Colonies” have been used, the stile be altered, for the future, to the “United States.”
Dry, Technical Matter: The resolution came after the Congress appointed some members to a committee and before the Congress heard a report from the Board of War.
Get Out Your History Books: Sandy Koufax pitches the eighth perfect game in major league history on this date in 1965, a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
The game was historic on many levels. It was Koufax’s fourth no-hitter, breaking the ML record of three that had been held by Bob Feller. The Dodgers had 24 at-bats plus Lou Johnson’s walk and Ron Fairly’s sacrifice, which are not official at-bats, the only time in ML history a winning team in a nine-inning game sent less than 27 men to the plate.
Hey, Look What I Did, Not Bad: Bob Hendley of the Cubs pitched a one-hitter that night, and the game remains the only one in ML history with one hit.
The Post Game Show Is Brought To You Old Style Beer: The first base runner was Lou Johnson, who walked to start the fifth inning. He was sacrificed to second by Fairly, stole third and scored on a throwing error by Cubs catcher Chris Krug. Johnson had the game’s only hit, a double, in the seventh.
Great Moments In Prison Rioting: The Attica Prison riots begin on this date in 1972 at the Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York. The festivities began when prisoners overpowered guards on the way to breakfast, ending up in an area known as Times Square, which gave them access to all cell blocks. By afternoon, and without bloodshed, authorities had retaken control of most of the prison.
Most, but not all. Over 1,200 convicts occupied D yard, holding 39 guards and other employees hostage. Negotiations didn’t accomplish anything and on September 13 the state of New York said screw it and sent in the state police. The results were a disaster. They shot tear gas into the yard then began firing at random, killing ten hostages and 29 inmates. 89 more were injured.
Quotebook: He was not so unreasonable-usually- as to demand both freedom and the fruits of popular slavery. – Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The Cleveland Spiders replaced the Detroit Wolverines in the National League for the 1889 season.
Today’s Stumper: Who the was the governor of New York who ordered the state police to retake Attica prison by force? – Answer next time!