Take a Knee on Taking a Knee

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This past weekend saw NFL players taking a knee or not coming out for the Star Spangled Banner during football games, and both Left and Right went ballistic. The Left cried “free speech” (along with “Trump is a racist/sexist/homophobe/islamophobe/phobe-du-joir), and the Right cried “disrespect.” So, where does your favorite free speech loving, ruggedly handsome independent blogger stand on kneeling?

To put it mildly and in the form of a Facebook relationship status, it’s complicated.

Both sides of this controversy have good points, and both are completely wrong. (Told ya it was complicated.) The football players who decided to protest have a right to express themselves in the ways they did. You may not agree with why they were protesting, but it’s not even up for debate: they have the right to protest.

The people saying their protest was disrespectful to America, the flag, and our fighting men and women are correct. I see it as only slightly less offensive than Michael Moore’s eating habits. But free speech isn’t limited to speech we like. If we limit free speech only to speech we like, we could be looking at a situation where only a handful of people (probably people who post cute dog and cat pictures on the Internet) would be allowed to speak, and even they would be able to be silenced with a single complaint.

So, where exactly do I stand? In favor of free speech for the protesters, and the protesters of the protesters. In a situation like this, I will always opt for whatever guarantees the maximum amount of freedom for the maximum number of people because the alternative sucks. When you put a lot of power in the hands of only a few, abuse occurs. Case in point: the IRS under Lois Lerner. Or the IRS in general.

But I do hope the protesters are open to having their actions criticized in the name of the same free speech they cloak themselves in when it suits their needs. Otherwise, their concern for free speech/protest would look rather…superficial.

Have Dumb Will Travel

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We have a lot on our collective plates right now. A looming possibility of war with North Korea. Unrest on college campuses and in our economy. A new Nickelback CD coming out soon. But all of those pale in comparison to the greatest issue facing this great nation right now.

Colin Kaepernick has yet to be signed with an NFL team.

This is what is keeping Leftists up at night these days (aside from looking for Russians within every connection to Donald Trump, of course). And just like Paris Hilton doing color commentary for a Cleveland Browns game, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

The Left wants us to believe the only reason Kaepernick isn’t signed is because of racism. After all, he stood up for Black Lives Matter while taking a knee for the National Anthem, so obviously NFL owners are all racists! (Which is why these owners keep hiring black players to play on said teams….) But maybe, just maybe, there might be another reason: Kaepernick sucks.

Remember Johnny Manzel? Coming out of the NFL draft, he was going to be a great quarterback, but his skills didn’t match the hype. Combine that with this off-field antics, and Johnny Football became Johnny Would You Like Fries With That. You see, once your negatives outweigh your positives, you run the risk of being fired or, in Kaepernick’s case, not being hired.

There’s another issue at hand that is hurting Kaepernick’s chances. Although his skills aren’t what they used to be, he is still asking for a sizable contract. He has already rejected contracts for the league minimum, which would be a step down for him, but it would be a step in the right direction if he wanted to play on a team. It’s so bad, former Bears interception machine…I mean quarterback Jay Cutler came out of retirement and got hired. Shouldn’t that be a wake-up call for Kaepernick that maybe he needs to adjust his expectations a bit? And by a bit, I mean a lot.

No matter how many stats Leftists bring up about Kaepernick’s performance over the past 2 years, it shows they haven’t watched too many of his games. There is a reason he was riding the pine more than a witch with particular tastes in broomsticks. He sucked. His game hasn’t changed much since he came into the league, and defenses started figuring out how to beat his game. And let’s not forget the fact the San Francisco 49ers had horrible offenses during the past 2 years. Good quarterbacks find ways to work with the players he has to succeed. Great quarterbacks find ways to win with the players he has.

And Kaepernick? He found a way to be mediocre and radioactive at the same time.

Maybe he would be better served by either dropping his expectations or finding a job with Johnny Manzel. But I do have a solution, and it involves an NFL team.

Have the Washington Redskins offer him a contract. If he accepts, Leftists heads will explode!

Football

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I’m watching the granddaddy of college football games, the Rose Bowl. This year it’s USC and Penn State. I do like football more than any other spectator sport. And some of you may have noticed there was a football simulation game posted on this site in the past.

Well it’s no longer here. It’s been moved to its own home at http://d6football.com and is available to download through DriveThruRPG at https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/201363/D6-Football

If you like football please check it out and enjoy the game.

World Series

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Most people who know me are aware that I’m not really a big sports fan. And even less of a fan of baseball. I didn’t like it as a kid and still find it boring as an adult. But this years World Series interested me.

Last night was Game 7 of the 2016 World Series. I predicted on the night of Game 1 that the Chicago Cubs would win by Game 6 shattering the BillyGoat curse and getting their first World Series win since 1908.

And last night proved me wrong. It took 7 games to win instead of 6. But the Cubbies won in the 10th inning. The curse is broken once and for all.

I know a few people who are definitely celebrating that victory and will probably do so all weekend long. Die hard Cub fans. It would be like the Vikings winning the Super Bowl for me. I know how they feel right now.

Good job to the Cubs. Maybe we will see them again in the postseason in 2017. No curse is a good thing.

Disrespect is Never Right

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At all sporting events. From High School through the professional level they have one thing in common. At the beginning of every contest our National Anthem is played.

A stillness falls on the playing field and crowd that was just a moment before full of energy and movement. Everyone rises to their feet if they are physically able to do so. Everyone either places their hand on their heart or, if in Uniform, salutes the Flag of the United States of America.

But lately in our world of professional sports we have had a player and now a whole team not give the respect to our Flag as they should. This has started in the NFL with Colin Kaepernick of the San Fransico 49ers and has now spread over to the entire Seattle Seahawk team.

This is wrong on so many levels. Our young children look to these professional players as heroes and role models. And they will be emulated by those children and even other adults.

Standing at attention and giving the proper respect to our Flag during the National Anthem played at our sporting events is the only proper thing to do. Any other action is a lack of respect. Not only for the Flag, but for those who are in service to our Nation. All the men and women in uniform. All of those men and women who gave their lives in uniform.

You do have the right to protest against any perceived injustice. Real or imagined. But showing disrespect during the National Anthem is not the time or the place for such protests.

These millionaire protesters should be fined by the NFL for this blatant show of disrespect. And I’m not talking the pennies they are fined when violating some minor NFL rules. I’m saying they should be fined at least one million dollars at every occurrence that they do not show any respect for the Flag and what it represents.

And when an entire team shows the same disrespect. Then that is a reflection of the coach and the owner of that team. They should be fined as well. Including forfeiture of games, an automatic loss of a game. Perhaps then they shall understand the gravity of showing respect.

As for these millionaire’s protesting this perceived injustice. What have you done about it Colin Kaepernick? How much of your money have you spent on fighting it? How much of your free time have you spent helping anyone out of injustice? Have you considered public office, leaving the NFL and becoming one of those who can actually make a change in public policy? Or are you enjoying the fruits of your time in the limelight of sports.