A typical problem in Green Bay

The Green Bay Packers made big sports headlines this week when they fired long time head coach Mike McCarthy following an embarrassing home loss to the lowly Arizona Cardinals. The loss basically knocked the Packers out of playoff contention in what was supposed to be a very promising year. Many had the Packers going to the Super Bowl this year. At the center of this firing seems to be what role star quarterback Aaron Rodgers had in it. Reports are that McCarthy and Rodgers did not always see eye to eye on the play calling. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that their turbulent relationship was no doubt a huge factor in McCarthy’s firing. This big mess in Green Bay is very typical of what hurts many professional sports franchises in a couple of ways.

First of all, let this be clear, professional sports teams are run by their star players, not the coaches. A coach who cannot get along with his star player is doomed and will probably get fired. Add in a lot of losing and that process is expedited. Don’t let anyone fool you, Aaron Rodgers runs the Packers. In the off-season, the Packers thought so highly of Rodgers that he became the highest paid player in the NFL by signing a huge contract. With the exception of a few years, McCarthy’s tenure at Green Bay was a very successful one. I thought he was definitely an above average NFL coach. Funny how a guy with that kind of track record along with a Super Bowl title can all of sudden be thought of as a bad coach. McCarthy, as with many coaches, become the scapegoat when things do not go well as they are in Green Bay. You cannot fire the players or heaven forbid, the great Aaron Rodgers. The Packers organization will not even come close to finding a new head coach who is even close to being as good as McCarthy. Many pro sports franchises rush to fire a coach without giving good thought about a possible quality replacement.

Second of all, huge contracts are very toxic in pro sports especially the NFL. How are the Packers going to bring in good players to support Rodgers in the future? Their pockets are only so deep and I do not see where they will have the cash to bring in big time free agents. This happens so often in professional sports. A team views a player as someone who they cannot lose and will pay that player handsomely. The problem is that you have many other players to pay as well. This becomes even a bigger problem when the team is struggling and needs free agent help. The Packers are very much in this situation. Furthermore, why would you pay some 34-35 year old quarterback that kind of money? Rodgers might be past his prime and seems to be more injury prone than ever.

I know Packer fans are among the most diehard fans in the world, but I think they should be prepared for some lean times coming up in the next few years. Who knows, maybe this intern coach will save the season and a miracle will happen. The Packers are in a mess right now and unfortunately a good head coach became the scapegoat. Mike McCarthy was only a small fraction of the problems that organization is having now and they are experiencing what many franchises deal with, an aging star play who is tough to coach and salary issues.

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Political correctness invades Christmas music

A Ohio radio station this week decided to ban a very popular Christmas song called “Baby, it’s cold outside” because a few listeners were upset with some of the lyrics of the song. In their minds, the song promotes date rape and should not be ever played on the station. The station general manager seemed to agree after reviewing the lyrics and banned the song from playing. Chalk one up for the PC police! Never mind that this song once won an academy award and has been a very popular Christmas song for over 70 years. Nobody seemed to have an issue with the song’s lyrics for so many years until now. Isn’t that something? The #metoo movement is now really flexing its muscles and who knows where this will end. What other songs do they have an eye on?

I was rather curious about this sudden controversy so I decided to check out the song lyrics. It seemed to contain a typical conversation between a couple who faced the very common dilemma of wrapping up a date. The man in the song does not want his woman to leave and venture outside in the storm while the woman keeps repeating that she must go. It seems to be nothing more than a gentlemen feeling sad that his date will be leaving soon and he wants the evening to continue. Nowhere in the song does it contain any mention of him forcing himself on her. He even asked politely if he could come closer. About the only controversial thing in the song is when she asks him “What is in that drink?” That could actually mean a number of things. Implying that it promotes date rape is rushing to judgement. Maybe she is wondering if that drink contains her favorite beverage which might persuade her to stay a little longer.

What I find so amusing about this whole controversy is the lengths that people go to promote trouble these days. Do these same self-righteous people who call the radio station and complain about the lyrics of the song ever listen to today’s music? I wonder if they put as much time and energy at other times of the year in promoting their righteousness. Today’s music is filled with songs and lyrics that do not even compare in their degrading tone towards women. You could nitpick many seemingly innocent love songs and find many lyrics that would be offensive to some. News flash, songs about interactions between men and women are the base of what many love songs are about. In most cases these lyrics are not even close to being harmful towards women.

I think it is totally ridiculous for people to complain about the lyrics of this classic Christmas song and demand that it not be played anymore. I seem to be in the majority on this one. The #metoo movement has really stepped out of bounds on this one. There is nothing in this song that is even remotely harmful to women or the future of women. Here is a simple suggestion, if you do not  like the song, simply turn the dial on the radio. It is as simple as that! Do not ruin it for the rest of us who enjoy listening to great oldies Christmas music.

A bad idea for a Christmas gift

This is the time of year when many people spend countless sleepless nights thinking about what Christmas gifts to buy for people. It could be that you are a special aunt to some wonderful nieces and nephews and you greatly want them to have much happiness and joy when they open your gift. Or maybe you want to impress that guy who you have been dating for several months with a surprise gift. The problem lies in what to get them. Most people automatically think of clothes as a great gift. I personally think it is a very bad idea for many reasons.

I cannot tell you the number of times that I have received some bogus clothing gift for Christmas. I have often had to put on my best fake appreciation facial look when I opened a gift and saw that it was some ugly colored sweater or polo shirt. I would not get caught dead wearing this piece of crap! Another favorite or should I say least favorite of mine is getting underwear or socks as a gift. When I was a teenager, I would frequently get those tidy whitey Fruit of the Loom underwear as a Christmas gift! We all probably have many horror stories about receiving some horrible piece of clothing as a Christmas gift.

Another issue with buying clothes for someone is doing the guessing game with the size. Anyone who is buying for young children probably have that problem. Whenever I buy clothing, I make darn sure it fits me before I purchase the item. Just because you know your size doesn’t necessarily mean that it will fit well. How would someone know exactly how well that sweater will fit you without having you there to try it on?

I know that clothes are a very popular item to buy for people as a gift for Christmas. Maybe your nephew is a huge football fan and would love to get a Dallas Cowboys jersey as a gift. You know his size so everything should be okay. But if you are unsure and just guessing what that special person might like, it might be a better idea to skip the clothing option. A better option might be to give them a gift card. Instead of buying your husband some awful looking tie or dress shirt, give him a gift card so he can go shopping at his favorite men’s clothing store.

Most people are very picky about the clothing they wear and assuming their likes in clothing can be very risky. You can never go wrong by getting them a gift card as an alternative. Just maybe that look of appreciation on their faces will be real this time around.

RIP George H.W. Bush

It was a cold January night several years ago when yours truly felt a little uneasy about what was going in the Middle East. The United States was on the brink of war with Iraq that evening in 1991 and I joined many in feeling this great anxiety about what was going to happen. Would this erupt into a much bigger war and involve more countries? My feelings of anxiety were greatly diminished when I turned on the television and saw our president, George H.W. Bush address the American people. He had this demeanor about him that brimmed with confidence and gave me assurance that we had the right guy as commander-in-chief. He gained my utmost respect for his very efficient handling of a potentially toxic world crisis. Many others felt the same way as his approval rating skyrocketed. Unfortunately, that popularity was short lived as the economy began to tank and a young upstart politician named Bill Clinton stopped Bush from winning a second term in office.

After President Bush left office and as I grew older, I became even fonder of this man. He had a certain level of class to him that was unmatched by most political figures. President Bush left a note behind wishing incoming President Bill Clinton the best of luck and saying that he was rooting for him to succeed. How many losing presidential candidates could have done such a thing? He went beyond his own personal ambitions in wishing his opponent the best of luck. That right there speaks volumes of the type of character Bush had.

Not only was former President Bush a great public servant for his country, he also was a man who greatly loved his family and especially his wife. Barbara Bush and him defined what growing old as couple really meant. They seem to be inseparable and I know how hard it must have been on him to lose her a few years ago. I also know how proud he must have been when his son became President in 2000.  Younger Bush also was a very classy man much like his father.

I don’t know where Bush Sr. ranks up with other presidents. but I can honestly say that for pure class and love for this country, there was not anyone better, at least in my lifetime. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more politicians who showed that type of class in today’s political climate? President George H.W. Bush was a great American and he leaves behind a legacy that is filled with class and honor. The world needs more leaders like him.

An often overlooked thing to be thankful for

For so many people in this country, the Thanksgiving holiday this coming Thursday will be about gathering together as a family, indulging in some great food and perhaps start thinking about all those Black Friday sales. A number of people also like to gather around the table and discuss what they are most thankful for. You probably will get a variety of answers for what people are most thankful for; it could be family, friends, jobs, freedoms that we experience in this great country and so forth. How often does a perfectly healthy person come up that they are most grateful for their own good health? It is an often overlooked thing to be most thankful for and many people take their own good health for granted.

About a year ago, a good friend of mine was diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer. The doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of survival. Here was a man who was extremely healthy, was in great shape, did not smoke, was not overweight and only in his mid 40’s. All of sudden out of nowhere, he gets this shocking diagnosis that totally changes his life. In the ensuing months, I witnessed the harmful effects that this disease can have on a person. My friend lost nearly 50 pounds and looked like a shell of his former self. I saw him near the end of his 6 month treatment program and he looked very frail and weak. The good news is that he is gradually progressing for the better and getting much stronger. The cancer is in remission and he has resumed his active lifestyle.

Just watching him go through what he did had a tremendous impact on myself as well. Cancer does not discriminate against anyone. There is not a single person in the world that is immune from this horrible disease. It has devastated countless number of people as well as many families. You can be the healthiest person at any age and still get cancer. Anyone who has not had to endure this awful disease can be extremely thankful.

There are several other health issues that can strike just about anyone at anytime. Some people are just born with a certain medical condition that prevents them from enjoying life to the fullest like most people. How would you like to be one of those poor people?

We tend to worry and be very ungrateful for many things in our lives. If you have ever had to go through a disease like cancer, your perspective on life will totally change. Those things that you used to take for granted will never again be taken for granted. It is very unfortunate that people have to go through something as emotionally and physically difficult as fighting cancer to learn to appreciate how important good health really is. If you are very healthy this Thanksgiving, take a few seconds to thank the good Lord for giving you something that is so important for living a good life.

My 2018 Turkey of the Year Awards

It started nearly 10 years ago when a young blogger from the north central part of the United States decided to honor those high-profile people, who for the past 12 months, have made complete fools of themselves. Since that first ceremony, I have assembled a highly trained staff of people on my committee to help me in spotting worthy candidates for this honor. With the rise of social media, it is not hard to find particular candidates who are richly deserving of this award. My staff and I ran into a couple of major problems this year. A particular group of professionals dominated the nominations so a hard decision had to be made. How would we weed out those who really deserved the award? One of my staff members came up with a brilliant idea which I will explain later on in this post. It was also brought up that we should waive the rule that exempts either the President of the United States or the author of this blog from consideration for the prize. We decided that this rule will remain intact for at least another year. So without any further delays, let us get on with the ceremony and the crowning of this year’s big winner.

I would like to start by recognizing those individuals who were considered for the award, but could not quite rise to the top tier of candidates. Those people are Jeff Flake, Elizabeth Warren, Taylor Swift, Odell Beckham, Brenda Snipes, LeVeon Bell and making her yearly push once again, Hillary Clinton. Former presidential candidate Clinton was a finalist before some more deserving people knocked her out of the race.

Now, I would like to name this year’s finalists and give a quick reason why they are so deserving of the award.

1.  Michael Avenatti. You might remember this name from the Judge Kavanaugh hearings. He was an attorney representing a woman who was allegedly sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh. You could not get enough of Avenatti on television during those hearings and his constant grandstanding about how evil Kavanaugh was. Last week, Avenatti was arrested for, you guessed it, domestic assault. Now granted nothing is for certain that he did commit the acts, but don’t you see how ironic his case seems to be? And how his attacks against Kavanaugh have come right back in his face?

2. Mark Davis. It seems every year, some professional sports team owner is up for this award and this year is no exception. Davis is the owner of the Oakland Raiders. Why is he being considered for this award? Do you remember this summer when he heavily courted Jon Gruden for the Raiders coaching position?Davis was so in love with Gruden that he gave him a whopping 10 year contract. That is very unheard of to give an NFL coach a 10 year deal and quite frankly, it is very foolish to do so. Gruden was a great television analyst and probably selling himself as being a great coach. This might go done as one of the worst contracts ever given.

3. Jim Acosta. Another brilliant CNN reporter who defines the word grandstanding. Acosta might want to remember that at those White House press briefings, there are several other reporters who are entitled to ask the President questions. He seems to feel that he is the only one in the room with the President and his actions last week were completely rude.

4. Don Lemon. “White Christian guys pose a bigger threat to the security of this country than any other terrorist organization” Don Lemon of CNN. Need I say more? Another beauty who works at the low rated new organization.

5. Mark Zuckerberg. The founder of Facebook really got into some hot water this year over the security breaches of Facebook. Millions of people had their personal date compromised and do you really think Zuckerberg really gave a crap about that? Furthermore, he and his Facebook cronies decided to censor certain political viewpoints while allowing other viewpoints. What ever happened to free speech?

Now on to the finalists. In the runner-up position comes a man who used to be known as America’s Dad. He was loved by many and could have been an awesome role model to so many. Now he is facing jail time for sexual assault and rape charges. That man in known other than Bill Cosby.

Determining a winner for this year was very difficult because a host of people could have won it. It could have been one of the many reporters at CNN. Or perhaps the New York Times or Washington Post. I could even be your local newspaper. There are a growing number of journalists out there who are driven by a particular political agenda to write a news story instead of being balanced and presenting both sides.  They do it in very subtle ways starting with the headlines. A little old lady on my staff came up with a very good idea on how to handle this predicament of pinpointing a particular journalist. We normally do not like to give out this award to thousands of people, but this year is an exception. The winner of My 2018 Turkey of Year is none other than the thousands of fake news journalists in this country. Our trucks will be busy handing out many turkey legs in the next week. Congratulations to all of those journalists!

 

 

A special type of Veteran

In case you are living under some rock, today is Veteran’s Day when we honor the many men and women who are currently serving or have served in our military. I personally know a few veterans who gave up several years of their lives to serve and protect this country. I hold these people in extremely high regard for their personal sacrifices. Many of those veterans serve, come back home and resume their lives in a perfectly normal fashion. They are able to go back to their jobs and resume their lifestyles much like they did before. However, numerous veterans are not so lucky. They are part of thousands of men and women who are part of the Wounded Warrior program. While serving this great country, they have had their lives completely changed and life will never be the same for these brave people. Many have lost limbs, some will never be able to walk again. But if you ask them if it was worth it, they would strongly say that it was.

I recently saw a story on television about a soldier who served over in Iraq. On day, his convoy was hit by an IED. He lost both legs. The soldier was probably in his early 20’s. Imagine losing both legs at that age and the thought of being disabled for the rest of your life? I doubt many people could handle the emotional trauma of going through an event like that. You would think that this young man would want to just go back home, feel sorry for himself and just live out the rest of his life. No that was not the case. He said that after he got out of the hospital, he wanted to go back and help out his fellow soldiers in any way possible. How remarkable is that?! This is not just some isolated story. Many of our wounded veterans are among the toughest people we have living in this country. They are a huge inspiration to so many of us.

The next time you are having a bad day and feeling sorry for yourself, think about these people who come back from service missing a limb or maybe it could be that they are suffering from serious post traumatic syndrome as a result of combat duty. They may not have paid the ultimate sacrifice for this country, but being crippled for life for the task of protecting our freedoms ranks right up there for bravery. These men and women are our real heroes and deserve our fullest support and thoughts, not only on Veteran’s Day, but every day of the year.