Texas Liberal

All People Matter

2012 NFL Season Preview—Concussions, Fans Ripped-Off, Scab Referees

With the NFL starting up this Sunday, here is my season preview.

I predict—

1. Life-shortening concussions

2. Ripoff taxpayer built stadiums

3.Unaffordable ticket prices

4. Scab referees.

It is going to be another great NFL season.

Folks should enjoy the upcoming NFL season because it won’t be long until there is serious talk about banning the sport because of the head injuries to players. The link here is to a column on this subject by conservative writer George Will.

Below is a photo of NFL Hall of Fame player Mike Webster. Mr. Webster died in 2002 at age 50. Here is how Mr. Webster was described at a late point in his life by ESPN.com

“After 17 seasons in the National Football League, Webster had lost any semblance of control over his once-invincible body. His brain showed signs of dementia. His head throbbed constantly. He suffered from significant hearing loss. Three lumbar vertebrae and two cervical vertebrae ached from frayed and herniated discs. A chronically damaged right heel caused him to limp. His right shoulder was sore from a torn rotator cuff. His right elbow grew stiff from once being dislocated. His knees, the cartilage in them all but gone, creaked from years of bone grinding against bone. His knuckles were scarred and swollen. His fingers bent gruesomely wayward.”

I think most folks who enjoy watching the NFL know that the players are being maimed and that fans are being ripped off by the teams in any number of ways. I know that people work hard and just want to relax on the weekend and watch some football. It makes perfect sense that this is what fans want to do.

But I think we are reaching a point where there needs to be a conversation about what is happening to many NFL football players as a consequence of playing the game. Already we are seeing at the high school level a reassessment about if the sport should move forward. 

The stands will no doubt be full this weekend in NFL stadiums. I’m not certain that the longterm future of the sport is so bright.

September 8, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cincinnati Bengals-Houston Texans Playoff Preview—Taxpayers Have Already Lost

Two of my home town teams–The Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans–are in the NFL playoffs against each other this weekend. The game is in Houston on Saturday, January 7 at 3:30 PM CST.

(Above–Program From Providence–Green Bay game on October 25, 1931. Green Bay won this game 48-20.  Mention of the Green Bay Packers allows to me link to a post from last year about how Packer coaching icon Vince Lombardi was a Democrat. ) 

In my 44 years, I’ve lived in Providence, R.I., Cincinnati and Houston.

Both the Bengals and Texans have benefited in recent years from public money for new stadiums.

I’ve voted no every chance I’ve gotten against public money for sports stadiums.

Despite the massive public subsidy and sneaking into the playoffs this year with 9-7 record, the Bengals are best known for losing and losing year after year.  The last time Cincinnati won a playoff game was 1990.

Before the opening kick off, taxpayers in both Cincinnati and Houston have already lost. Taxpayers will also keep on losing after the game is over.

My enmity for the Bengals is eternal, as I was a resident of Cincinnati and a Cincinnati City Council staffer when the Bengals were scamming the money.

The taxpayer money the Bengals gouged will seemingly never be paid off. (Told you so.)

My boss at the time, a current Hamilton County, Ohio Municipal Judge named Tyrone Yates, voted no as a Cincinnati Councilmember on enabling the Bengals stadium deal.

Here is a 2004 Houston Chronicle article about publicly financed  stadium deals in Houston. 

This weekend I’ll root for my 3rd hometown team. The Providence Steam Rollers won the NFL title in 1928 and never–as I am aware–demanded public money.

The Providence Steam Rollers played in the NFL between 1925 and 1931. Here are facts about the team from the excellent Pro Football Reference.com.  

The Steam Rollers ask for nothing but that we keep them in our memories. Keeping the Steam Rollers in our memories is something which involves no corporate welfare at all.

Field of Schemes is a good blog about the business of building sports stadiums.

January 5, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rick Perry’s Fed Up!—Not Really The Most Fun You Can Have In A Field In Indiana

I was driving with a friend yesterday in Indiana.

We came across the field you see in the first picture below.

This field contained both a farm silo and a football goalpost and upright.

My friend and I figured that this just had to be the most wholesome middle-America location in all the nation.

Farm and football in one spot in Indiana.

I just happened to have in my rental car a copy of Rick Perry’s book Fed Up!

I wondered if reading Fed Up! as an everyday middle American in such a wholesome spot in Indiana would cause the book to make some sense.

So far I’ve just read the book as a liberal snob in the big city of Houston.

In the bottom picture you see me reading Fed Up! in front of the silo.

I’ve got to tell you that this book reads just as stupid and mean-spirited in rural America as it does in the big city.

Though, of course, Indiana voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

People all over the nation have the decency and common sense to know that we should care for one another, and to know that government has a role to play in our lives.

If Rick Perry is nominated by the Republican Party in 2012, his extreme views will be rejected in all parts of our great republic

 

August 31, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Non-Profit Community-Owned Green Bay Packers Win Super Bowl—Vince Lombardi Was A Democrat

The Green Bay Packers, who just won the Super Bowl, are the only community-owned non-profit team in American major league sports.

(Above–Citizen-owners at the Packers game. Photo by yunggunn2k3.)

From the Georgetown University newspaper The Hoya

“Unlike the 31 other professional football teams, or any other sports team for that matter, the Packers are not owned by some wealthy individual (or group of individuals) seeking a profit. Instead, they’re owned and managed by 111,968 devoted fans. In that lies their power….Green Bay fans themselves vote on and serve as part of the board of directors, which appoints the pivotal managerial and coaching staff of the Packers. Unlike most other teams across the nation, when Packers fans are frustrated, they don’t have to suck it up. They have the ability to enact change through shareholder votes and air their grievances directly with Packer management.Socialism has worked pretty well in this case.”

Socialism seems to work pretty well for the Packers.

Not only that, legendary Packers Coach Vince Lombardi, for whom the Super Bowl trophy is named, was a loyal Democrat.

Coach Lombardi was close friends with John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy.

Here is a great quote from Coach Lombardi—

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society.”

Congratulations to the citizen-owners of the Green Bay Packers.

Building on a foundation of teamwork provided in good part by the enduring example of the visionary Vince Lombardi, a true people’s championship has been won at Super Bowl XLV.

(Below—Coach Vince Lombardi–A Great American.)


February 7, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Need Not Spend Thanksgiving With Family—All People Matter

Thanksgiving is coming up. It’s a day we are supposed to spend with family, eating a large meal, and watching football. If that’s what you do, good for you. You’ll get no argument here. (Despite my dislike of football and the concussionsand long-term disability suffered by football players.)

However, for many, Thanksgiving is a different holiday than the popular image of the day.

Some spend the day with friends instead of family. Some are alone.

Maybe you don’t like your family or maybe your schedule and/or  budget does not allow travel to where your family lives. Maybe you’re alone at this point in life.

Whatever Thanksgiving is for you, it’s your choice or your circumstance. Many popular notions and conceptions are as unrealistic as the menu above. How many people are serving pumpkin bread in the shape of a pumpkin? Or mashed turnips?

Each year my wife goes to see her family in Chicago for Thanksgiving. For scheduling reasons, I’m unable to go with her to Chicago or to my parents home in Cincinnati. Most years I’m fortunate enough to get an offer from a co-worker here in Houston for Thanksgiving dinner. I politely decline.

Instead, I drive down to Galveston and have a day at the ocean. I eat at some seafood house. It’s always packed and I’m always the only person there alone. I survive just fine. People are too busy stuffing themselves to notice I’m alone.

One year I did not go to Galveston. Instead, I went to the House Of Pies on Kirby Drive in Houston. I had just purchased all three volumes of Robert Remini’s life of Andrew Jackson. I had a lot of reading to do. I sat in that restaurant for maybe three hours reading about President Jackson. It was a wonderful day.

In the House Of Pies that day were gay couples and folks of all types. There were all sorts of people in, I’d wager, all sorts of personal situations.

All good relationships between people have value.

All people have value.

Whatever Thanksgiving brings your way, make the best of it. Life is not like what is shown on TV commercials and TV shows. Life is what it is. You have great value.

Have a very good Thanksgiving.

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Why Does New Orleans Saints Mascot Sir Saint Have To Be White?—They Should Have A Black One As Well

(12/16/09–Greetings Saintsreport.com readers. You sure do seem defensive over this matter. Maybe it is the long shameful—and still unaddressed—history of race relations in New Orleans and Louisiana that makes you so defensive. I wonder how many of you folks ever have written with such passion in favor of racial and economic justice as you write on behalf of a football mascot? Here is the current day New Orleans you folks commenting below are defending.)

Above is the strange New Orleans Saints mascot Sir Saint.

Why does he have to be white?

In 2008, 65% of NFL players were black.

29% of players were white in 2008.

Plenty of folks in New Orleans and Louisiana are black.

When this mascot was designed, a decision had to be made if he would be black or white.

Why white instead of black?

With almost two-thirds of NFL players black, maybe he should have been black.

Maybe the Saints could have two mascots.

They could have a white one and a black one who go around the field as loyal teammates.

According to the book How Barack Obama Won by Chuck Todd and Sheldon Gawiser, 84% of white voters in Louisiana voted for John McCain in 2008 while 94% of blacks voted for Barack Obama.

That is quite a racial disparity.

Here is a history of post-Civil War Reconstruction in Louisiana.

It is an ugly and brutal story that led to the terrible Jim Crow-era in Louisiana.

You can say that Sir Saint is just a silly football mascot and who cares what he looks like?

Yet in a place with as nasty a racial history as Louisiana and New Orleans, the decision as to what color the football mascot should be implies something. Especially when the mascot does not look like the majority of players on the field.

(Not that the deformed Sir Saint looks like most white players either.)

The Saints should get themselves an odd-looking black mascot as well and the black and white mascots could play catch on the sidelines and team-up to tackle rival mascots. This would show people that black and white folks can get along—-Even in Louisiana.

What would be best would be if the black mascot and the white mascot could get married in a halftime ceremony. Such a ceremony would help the players get in touch with their true feelings with all that physical male-bonding going on in football.

The gay marriage though might have to wait until I own the Saints.

December 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

The Only Good Thing About Football Is That Taxpayer Subsidized Cincinnati Bengals Never Stop Losing

The only good thing about the awful violent sport of football is that the Cincinnati Bengals always find a way to lose.

Yesterday the Bengals blew a game at home in the final minutes. It looks like yet another season of losing is ahead.

The Bengals, my former hometown team, lose year after year despite the massive public subsidy for a staduim they recived from taxpayers after they blackmailed the people of Hamilton County, Ohio with threats to leave Cincinnati.     

( Above—Two taxpayer funded stadiums that I voted against. The one closer to the bottom of the picture is where the Cincinnati Bengals play. The other is where the Cincinnati Reds play.)

The Cincinnati NAACP has it right that the people were scammed in the stadium deal. 

You’d think that with all the free money, that the Bengals could win much more often than they do.

Click here to see how much losing the Bengals have done. Beginning with the 1991 season, the Bengals have had just one winning season.

September 14, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 6 Comments

Despite Massive Public Subsidy For Stadium, Cincinnati Bengals Are Terrible Year After Year

Despite a massive public subsidy from the taxpayers of Hamilton County, Ohio to build a stadium, the Cincinnati Bengals football team have posted 0 wins and 4 defeats so far in the 2008 NFL season. This is a terrible record.

Not only are the Bengals terrible in 2008, the Bengals have had only one winning season in the past 17 years. 

The Bengals are possibly the worst team in all of professional sports. They may also be worse than any college, amateur or pee wee team.

This is the ninth season the Bengals have played in Paul Brown Stadium. This stadium has been paid for with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. In these nine seasons, the Bengals have had one winning year. What a lousy team. They’ve let down the public in so many ways. With a free stadium, can’t they put a winning team on the field?

When Paul Brown Stadium was funded, at knifepoint as the Bengals threatened to move to another city, a lot of fuss was made about how the new stadium would economically benefit Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Has any public official who supported the deal ever checked back to see if the deal has really paid off for the people of Cincinnati and Hamilton County?

The Cincinnati Bengals stink year after year. They stink even after they are given the advantage of millions of dollars of free public money. 

Above is Paul Brown Stadium along the riverfront in Downtown Cincinnati. Each time I drive past that stadium, as I do in my trips home to Cincinnati, I think of what a failure of imagination and hope for the future it is for a community to spend millions on a football stadium, and not on the needs of average people.   

I think about how the Bengals bullied the public into approving the stadium deal.

And I think about how the Bengals stink year after year after year.

September 30, 2008 Posted by | Cincinnati | , , , , , , | 2 Comments