Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. NFL, Hollywood, Match.com, and Cupcakes: No Fun for You!

 

I married into a Pittsburgh family. Not just any Pittsburgh family, but a die-hard Steeler family. Twenty years ago our wedding rehearsal dinner was held at a fancy restaurant atop Mt. Washington that looked into the old Three Rivers Stadium. The bright stadium lights were turned on in tribute to our eventual doomed marriage (we’re friends today … it’s all good).

In the mid-’90s, with no home team, I adopted the winningest football club in the NFL that brought us legends such as Green, Bradshaw, Harris, Swann, and Lambert. Today’s Steelers are continuing the tradition of winning with future Hall of Famers Roethlisberger, Bell, and Brown, among others. Living on the West Coast over the last two decades, the only option to see every Pittsburgh game was to invest in the Sunday Ticket package which costs a few hundred hard-earned ducats. My family doesn’t spend much at the movies, shell out for pay-per-view events, and thankfully outgrew video games, but DirectTV would get our perennial donation so we could watch the majesty that is Steelers football.

No matter what else is going on in their world, each autumn Sunday my kids with their Mom and Hudson “the wonder retriever,” bleed black and gold. The meals are prepared ahead, the phone isn’t answered, and don’t even think about changing the channel. Seriously. One Sunday with Pittsburgh comfortably ahead, I had the audacity to turn to another game and … well, let’s just say Dad had to find ice for his bruised stubby fingers.

My oldest son, currently a high school sports reporter, podcaster, radio reporter, future political and sports journalist (the anti-Keith Olberman), hopes to be writing in Washington DC during the next presidential election cycle. I asked his opinion of the NFL “Take A Knee” brouhaha. 17-year-olds don’t talk all that much unless they are interested in something. He immediately remarked “The First Amendment consists of ‘freedom of speech’ and this (kneeling) is a form of freedom of speech. As much as you disagree with someone, it is their individual constitutional right to kneel as they please. Now if the NFL says they must stand, that’s another issue. But each player has the individual freedom to choose to kneel. These freedoms are what we send people to fight for.”

I understand that point of view, and he isn’t alone. If you scroll through Twitter, millions support the players by repeating my son’s opinion.

However, I view the NFL as a business and its players as employees. The goal for this business is to get as many eyeballs as possible as they are renumerated through sponsors who will pay only if people are watching. As we learned in B-School: “The number one goal of a business, before anything else, is to make a profit” (Peter Drucker). Football, with all its history and pageantry, is still just a game, played to entertain its fans. The NFL has a phenomenal business model providing hours of excitement and advertisers will pay handsomely to sell to those same fans.

After yesterday’s divisive spectacle of 200 players kneeling, we now know people turned off their televisions and went outside. People are angry. In fact, the top-grossing NFL jersey sold over the past 24 hours is former Army Ranger Alejandro Villanueva, who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan. Steelers #78 was the only player to ignore Pittsburgh Head Coach Mike Tomlin who had the entire team stay in the locker room instead of deciding for themselves whether they would disrespect the National Anthem on the field.

Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers jerseys are being outsold today by a player most had not heard of until 24 hours ago.

Many on the right feel that politics, especially for those of us who live and breathe it, needs to be compartmentalized for the enjoyment of other activities if not for our sanity. That not everything should be viewed through the lens of partisanship as, well, we need our fun too.

Unfortunately, escaping politics has become almost impossible. We can no longer watch a program, read an article, or even go to religious services without politics being injected by an actor, athlete, commentator, or clergy.

  • I went whale watching earlier last spring and the boat captain complained over the loudspeaker about some environmental policies because … Trump (who had been in office 2 months). So, passengers loudly complained and then vocally booed the captain.
  • At last week’s Rosh Hashana services, our soon to be ex-Rabbi decided to throw another bomb into the sanctuary (I wrote about his first bomb last year) with regard to his complaints about Israel’s policies toward the settlements. His hatred toward Prime Minister Netanyahu is vitriolic and his sermons have become nothing more than progressive claptrap that causes anger at a time we are supposed to be opening our hearts to prayer. So, he will be leaving our sanctuary next spring.
  • I turned down concert tickets to see one of my former favorite singers, Roger Waters perform his new album and some classic Pink Floyd music simply because of his hatred toward this President, Israel, and conservatives. I wasn’t alone, so his new album failed.
  • The Emmys/OscarsSoWhite/Espys have become a progressive Gatlin gun aimed at patriotic Americans by Hollywood’s elite whose auto-erotica was always annoying, but now they don’t even attempt to hide their disdain for those that feed them. So, people are no longer going to see their movies.
  • A single friend sent me this online dating profile earlier this year remarking the growing challenge finding normal girls who don’t think this way:

So, my friend said he’s done with trying to meet girls online and is going old school… “Dude, the girls are at Church!”

  • “Sprinkles,” apparently a business that just sells cupcakes (yes, that’s a thing now), posted their support for the NFL social justice warrior players on their Facebook page.

So there’s now an angry bunch of folks who will either get their carbs elsewhere or better yet, stop going to the Ye’ Olde Glutton Shoppes altogether.

If the goal for social justice warriors is to permeate the consciousness of everyone, everywhere, then they have succeeded. If their goal is to change hearts and minds, they are failing miserably.

Their nebulous cause (Police violence? Black Lives Matter? Trump? Does anyone really know?) isn’t what people are talking about. People are simply grousing they don’t want politics mixed in with their escapism. Sunday is for football.

While my family is unlikely to turn off the Steelers anytime soon, they may represent a minority. Calls for an NFL boycott are growing and Reuters reports that 72 percent of NFL fans disagree with players taking a knee.

The social justice warriors graduated college with the gender studies degrees and now, from their boardrooms on Madison Avenue, are poisoning our country with their hatred of all things we normals enjoy. Corporate America is allowing this for, what I would assume, is a misguided attempt to talk with the next generation of customers. But, in an effort to increase their demographics, or more likely fearing the SJW’s wrath if they do not tow the progressive line, they are marginalizing the rest of us, which will result in losing us forever.

It’s not the ’70s or ’80s when we only had three TV stations. We have other sports, games, and activities we can do. Outside of my own family, for most people football just isn’t that important anymore.

It’s time for corporations to remove themselves from the divisive politics. Let us at least have one day a week where we can come together and do something rare. Have fun.

There are 44 comments.

  1. The Reticulator Member

    I believe in Separation of Sports and State. Also Separation of the Arts and State, Separation of Health Care and State, and Separation of Church and State. All for pretty much the same reason.

    • #1
    • September 25, 2017, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • 25 likes
  2. DocJay Inactive

    I guess TD celebrations sexually assaluting a Lady Liberty blow up doll won’t get the 15yd penalty now.

    This is the result of progressivism. All areas of life have been infiltrated with their twisted tendrils.

    • #2
    • September 25, 2017, at 7:53 PM PDT
    • 14 likes
  3. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    DocJay (View Comment):
    I guess TD celebrations sexually assaluting a Lady Liberty blow up doll won’t get the 15yd penalty now.

    This is the result of progressivism. All areas of life have been infiltrated with their twisted tendrils.

    Yes, well Dontcha know Lady Liberty was Muslim?

    • #3
    • September 25, 2017, at 8:11 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Melissa Praemonitus Member

    Guess I’ve boycotted football by default my whole life because it bores me. With stupid politics injected into it, I’d rather stick knitting needles in my eyes than watch it now.

    I have fond memories of my son’s high school swim meets where there were always a few parents in the stands who sang along with the recorded music when they couldn’t find someone to perform the Anthem, and one or two deeply moving times when the recording didn’t work, and the kids on deck spontaneously did it a cappella, with the audience joining in gradually and building to a great big finish. Usually there were a few tears to accompany our performance.

    More than anything the flag has represented unity in a pluralistic nation with many opposing interests. Regardless of our differences, we could always agree that we were something to be proud of. Standing for the Anthem is the adult way we communicate respect – for each other.

    These pampered entertainers are communicating in a very ugly and direct way that they have sorted their fellow Americans into piles and deemed some unworthy of humanity. The feeling that this is what the country has come to, leaves my heart empty.

    • #4
    • September 25, 2017, at 8:59 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  5. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Melissa Praemonitus (View Comment):
    More than anything the flag has represented unity in a pluralistic nation with many opposing interests. Regardless of our differences, we could always agree that we were something to be proud of. Standing for the Anthem is the adult way we communicate respect – for each other.

    These pampered entertainers are communicating in a very ugly and direct way that they have sorted their fellow Americans into piles and deemed some unworthy of humanity. The feeling that this is what the country has come to, leaves my heart empty.

    Well said M.

    The whole thing is ugly. The fact that it’s the Che’ t-shirt wearing, Castro supporting Kaepernick who’s now their martyr adds insult to an injury apparently only socialized medicine can fix.

    • #5
    • September 25, 2017, at 9:20 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  6. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    I hope the NFL dies and puts every player back on the street. They hate this country and its people? Well it is time to hate them back. I don’t spend a great deal of money on them but what little I do spend, a few hundred a year is now gone.

    • #6
    • September 25, 2017, at 9:49 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  7. MarciN Member

    I think the conflict is going to get worse and spread. Every event in which the Star Spangled Banner is usually played will see people “taking a knee.” At which point, there will be an objection by other people in attendance.

    The result will be that any civic or religious groups that used to have someone lead the audience in singing the anthem will shy away from it. Who wants to start off an event with a problem?

    I don’t think this will stay an NFL problem.

    • #7
    • September 25, 2017, at 10:52 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  8. OccupantCDN Coolidge

    DocJay (View Comment):
    I guess TD celebrations sexually assaluting a Lady Liberty blow up doll won’t get the 15yd penalty now.

    This is the result of progressivism. All areas of life have been infiltrated with their twisted tendrils.

    Isnt there a rule against excessive celebration? That seems like the very definition of excessive…

    • #8
    • September 25, 2017, at 11:07 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Melissa Praemonitus Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):
    The whole thing is ugly. The fact that it’s the Che’ t-shirt wearing, Castro supporting Kaepernick who’s now their martyr adds insult to an injury apparently only socialized medicine can fix.

    Of course, I have a cartoon for that.

    • #9
    • September 25, 2017, at 11:29 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  10. The Whether Man Inactive

    If gender studies majors are really controlling corporate America from Madison Avenue boardrooms, it’s time we stop mocking them for their “useless” degrees.

    • #10
    • September 26, 2017, at 4:28 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Dave Sussman: I adopted the winningest football club in the NFL

    Uh, that would be the Green Bay Packers with 13 World Championships

    Just sayin…

    • #11
    • September 26, 2017, at 5:25 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Hoyacon Member

    Without getting too much in the weeds here, the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law . . .”

    In this country, we respect the right of individual’s to “speech,” but that does not mean that the players’ actions implicate First Amendment guarantees, which apply (with a few exceptions) to governmental restrictions. The NFL is a private entity, and those claiming that the players have “First Amendment rights” in this regard are incorrect IMO.

    • #12
    • September 26, 2017, at 6:57 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  13. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I think the conflict is going to get worse and spread. Every event in which the Star Spangled Banner is usually played will see people “taking a knee.” At which point, there will be an objection by other people in attendance.

    The result will be that any civic or religious groups that used to have someone lead the audience in singing the anthem will shy away from it. Who wants to start off an event with a problem?

    I don’t think this will stay an NFL problem.

    I fear you may be right.

    • #13
    • September 26, 2017, at 7:33 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Kozak (View Comment):

    Dave Sussman: I adopted the winningest football club in the NFL

    Uh, that would be the Green Bay Packers with 13 World Championships

    Just sayin…

    Well, okay. Let me be more specific. No other team has more Super Bowl championships. It was this way in the 90’s and still remains today.

    • #14
    • September 26, 2017, at 7:38 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  15. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Without getting too much in the weeds here, the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law . . .”

    In this country, we respect the right of individual’s to “speech,” but that does not mean that the players’ actions implicate First Amendment guarantees, which apply (with a few exceptions) to governmental restrictions. The NFL is a private entity, and those claiming that the players have “First Amendment rights” in this regard are incorrect IMO.

    I’m with you. And apparently so is the NFL. As discussed following my son’s comment, the NFL is a business. But the current ‘free speech’ in this business is a one-way street. They arbitrarily choose where and when players can speak out on a myriad of issues. While the league currently allows players to disrespect the flag and all that entails, they have fined players for using ‘free speech’ to bring other issues to the forefront, curiously over much more benign issues no one would be against, such as breast cancer awareness, domestic violence, and mental health. When players wore an emblem or a colored shoe, the league fined the players thousands.

    • #15
    • September 26, 2017, at 7:50 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  16. The Reticulator Member

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Without getting too much in the weeds here, the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law . . .”

    In this country, we respect the right of individual’s to “speech,” but that does not mean that the players’ actions implicate First Amendment guarantees, which apply (with a few exceptions) to governmental restrictions. The NFL is a private entity, and those claiming that the players have “First Amendment rights” in this regard are incorrect IMO.

    Strictly speaking you are correct, but the First Amendment rights don’t amount to much where you don’t have a culture of free speech. So I don’t mind this being discussed as a First Amendment issue, as long as we understand it that way.

    • #16
    • September 26, 2017, at 8:19 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. Front Seat Cat Member

    Being from Pittsburgh, I can picture the whole thing – funny! I remember the revolving restaurant! Terrible Towels hanging from the frig door, chipped ham sandwiches and beer, black and yellow clothes and knick knacks like bobbing head player figurines…..it’s also a very blue collar and blue state – so very liberal politically speaking. I left long ago and became a Pats fan – but I am proud of the Pgh Steelers Quarterback’s statement of saying he regretted he did not take a stand for the Anthem. I think the coaches are pressuring the teams to stay united because that’s what coaches do – but this is out of bounds – no pun intended.

    PS Can’t believe someone figured out a way to ruin cupcakes –

    • #17
    • September 26, 2017, at 9:40 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    Terrible Towels hanging from the frig door, chipped ham sandwiches and beer, black and yellow clothes and knick knacks like bobbing head player figurines.

    You and my ex would be besties.

    • #18
    • September 26, 2017, at 11:20 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Hoyacon Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Hoyacon (View Comment):
    Without getting too much in the weeds here, the First Amendment states that “Congress shall make no law . . .”

    In this country, we respect the right of individual’s to “speech,” but that does not mean that the players’ actions implicate First Amendment guarantees, which apply (with a few exceptions) to governmental restrictions. The NFL is a private entity, and those claiming that the players have “First Amendment rights” in this regard are incorrect IMO.

    Strictly speaking you are correct, but the First Amendment rights don’t amount to much where you don’t have a culture of free speech. So I don’t mind this being discussed as a First Amendment issue, as long as we understand it that way.

    I agree totally on what you refer to as a culture of free speech. My textualist approach to the Constitution is showing. I see it essentially as a matter of a national value, as opposed to a constitutional guarantee.

    • #19
    • September 26, 2017, at 12:14 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Bob Thompson Member

    Dave Sussman: However, I view the NFL as a business and its players as employees.

    You know, technically this is accurate, but the relationship of players and owners is frequently almost more like a partnership and the players are really blowing up that quasi-role. They will be employees now when the fans get done.

    I don’t think the players realize how they are being used and guided into this ill-founded approach trying to bring attention to the conditions that are represented as the cause for the disrespect for the flag and the national anthem. The Left and the media (forgive the repetition) are in this to stir the racist pot and to unravel the sport of professional football.

    • #20
    • September 26, 2017, at 2:15 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  21. Bob Thompson Member

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I believe in Separation of Sports and State. Also Separation of the Arts and State, Separation of Health Care and State, and Separation of Church and State. All for pretty much the same reason.

    Did you forget Separation of Business and State?

    • #21
    • September 26, 2017, at 2:16 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  22. Front Seat Cat Member

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):
    Terrible Towels hanging from the frig door, chipped ham sandwiches and beer, black and yellow clothes and knick knacks like bobbing head player figurines.

    You and my ex would be besties.

    Except we’re Pats fans now……

    • #22
    • September 26, 2017, at 2:42 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. James Golden Inactive

    For some reason, the volume on everything in civil society has been cranked up to the max. I wish we could all tone it down a notch. I am able to discuss politics and almost anything else with my Far Left hairdresser because we are — or at least we think we are — able to discuss issues rationally and calmly. When we do, we find much to agree about, though of course we still disagree about much else! I wish we could find ways to do this in society at large.

    In my dream world, this would have happened:

    Kapernick: I’m kneeling for the National Anthem, cause, you know, I need the attention and the money. Oh, and there’s police brutality and stuff.

    Everyone else: [No dialogue.]

    Kapernick: Ah, man!

    ***

    Trump: How dare people not stand for the National Anthem!

    Everyone else: [No dialogue.]

    Trump: Ah, man!

    If we could just ignore these things, I believe we could return to a world where not everything is hyper politicized. As long as everyone chooses to be outraged by everything, though, the decibels will continue to get larger.

    I believe things will get worse before they get better.

    • #23
    • September 26, 2017, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  24. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Melissa Praemonitus (View Comment):
    More than anything the flag has represented unity in a pluralistic nation with many opposing interests. Regardless of our differences, we could always agree that we were something to be proud of. Standing for the Anthem is the adult way we communicate respect – for each other.

    Indeed. Everyone who has ever thought about politics or government can come up with a list of grievances against their government. The NFL kneelers aren’t special because they are dissatisfied. But the flag is not simply the symbol of the federal government and it’s policies. I think most of us take it as the symbol of the American people, more than the government. People are bound to take offense at people displaying spite towards the flag, even if they agree with your reason. Plenty of conservatives would still be ticked off at players not standing for the anthem, even if the reason was to protest the Roe vs. Wade decision.

    • #24
    • September 26, 2017, at 2:45 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  25. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    Dave Sussman (View Comment):
    But the current ‘free speech’ in this business is a one-way street. They arbitrarily choose where and when players can speak out on a myriad of issues. While the league currently allows players to disrespect the flag and all that entails, they have fined players for using ‘free speech’ to bring other issues to the forefront

    Yup, that’s precisely why the NFL owns this. I seriously doubt this reflects the attitude of team owners and league management, but they’ve given this “speech” their implicit endorsement.

    I do feel some sympathy for the league. There is no way they could avoid political consequences. If they cracked down on Kaepernick they would have incurred the wrath of BLM and countless other lefties, so I get why they tried to ignore it. But Trump’s statements both made it impossible to ignore, and upped the consequences of cracking down. A significant plurality of the players got behind the kneelers, and no employer benefits from that kind of contention with its workforce. Additionally, the entire left will go to war with the NFL if it “sides with Trump”. In these days of socially-conscious corporations that means losing advertisers. The NFL is between a rock and a hard place.

    The NFL doesn’t want to be political. They’re just trying to make the best business decisions they can. They know that crossing the SJW’s often costs money, but they don’t have the same fear of normal, patriotic Americans. If we ever want this silliness to stop we’ll have to show that crossing us is as bad or worse for business then crossing the left. Protests and boycotts are not instinctive for us, but this may be the issue that finally generates sufficient, broad-based outrage. Only when they fear the consequences of staking out political positions on either side will corporations resume focus on their core political interests – advancing favorable regulations and collecting corporate welfare.

    • #25
    • September 26, 2017, at 2:54 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Judge Mental Member

    A modest proposal…

    If they do this, I’ll start watching after about 25 years of not.

    • #26
    • September 26, 2017, at 3:05 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  27. Chuck Enfield Coolidge

    James Golden (View Comment):
    If we could just ignore these things, I believe we could return to a world where not everything is hyper politicized. As long as everyone chooses to be outraged by everything, though, the decibels will continue to get larger.

    I agree, and that was my response to the kneeling. The world is full of boneheads, and Colin Kaepernick is far from the worst of them. (To be honest, he doesn’t strike me as a bad young man.) But often somebody is willing to escalate things to the point where they can’t be ignored anymore. This time it was Trump, but it’s far more frequently somebody on the left.

    I believe things will get worse before they get better.

    Yup. Things will have to get worse before some people will allow them to get better.

    • #27
    • September 26, 2017, at 3:06 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  28. Big Green Inactive

    Based on my experience with several folks from the ‘Burg, your second sentence is a redundancy.

    • #28
    • September 26, 2017, at 4:58 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  29. LisaKoers Inactive

    Football & cupcakes… what else can the left ruin for me?

    There’s a reason da Bears won Sunday… they aren’t leftist wussies… check out this spectacular video of the Navy Leap Frogs bringing the American Flag into Soldier (nice name, eh?) Field

    #dabears

    U.S. Navy Parachute Team invades Solider Field

    🗣 Look out below!The Navy Leap Frogs parachuted into Soldier Field Sunday – check out the best view in the house… their view.

    Posted by Chicago Bears on Monday, September 25, 2017

    • #29
    • September 26, 2017, at 8:52 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. The Reticulator Member

    James Golden (View Comment):
    For some reason, the volume on everything in civil society has been cranked up to the max. I wish we could all tone it down a notch. I am able to discuss politics and almost anything else with my Far Left hairdresser because we are — or at least we think we are — able to discuss issues rationally and calmly. When we do, we find much to agree about, though of course we still disagree about much else! I wish we could find ways to do this in society at large.

    In my dream world, this would have happened:

    Kapernick: I’m kneeling for the National Anthem, cause, you know, I need the attention and the money. Oh, and there’s police brutality and stuff.

    Everyone else: [No dialogue.]

    Kapernick: Ah, man!

    ***

    Trump: How dare people not stand for the National Anthem!

    Everyone else: [No dialogue.]

    Trump: Ah, man!

    If we could just ignore these things, I believe we could return to a world where not everything is hyper politicized. As long as everyone chooses to be outraged by everything, though, the decibels will continue to get larger.

    I believe things will get worse before they get better.

    One problem is that 99 percent of Americans get the same news feed. Yes, there are difference among NPR, Fox, and Yahoo News,etc., but it’s all basically the same topic. And not very much of it is actual news.

    • #30
    • September 26, 2017, at 9:09 PM PDT
    • 3 likes