The decline of a once popular sport

Like many rabid sports fans in this country, I love to listen to either sports talk radio or watch some of the many sports shows on television. The more opinionated the hosts are, the better the show is. The other day, I came across this sports talk show on television hoping to hear some discussion about the current Major League Baseball playoffs. Not that I am a huge baseball fan, but the playoffs always capture my interest and attention. Sadly, I was very disappointed. The show began with a huge discussion about the problems of the much maligned Dallas Cowboys. Like who really gives a rats you know what! Then this show switched over to another interesting topic, the Los Angeles Lakers and some silly discussion about LeBron and something he was quoted as saying. My interest in the show quickly waned and eventually had enough and turned off the television. Is this what sports talk shows have become these days? I highly doubt they even mentioned or discussed the playoffs at all. Apparently talking about Dak Prescott for 2 hours is more important than discussing the baseball playoffs. That is the new normal now in sports. Remember when Major League Baseball used to rule the sports scene? I do. The World Series and the rush to reach the Series used to be a huge thing for all sports fans. Those days are long gone my friend. The decline for Major League Baseball is real with no end in sight. It is no longer the great American past time or number one professional sport. One might argue that it has slipped to number 3. The NFL and the NBA seem to have the grip on being the most popular sports leagues now in this country. I would not be surprised if Major League Soccer bumps baseball further down the list in a few years.

Why is this happening you might ask? There are many reasons that I see. The sport is simply a reflection of the changing culture of this country. We are a nation who now wants quick action for our entertainment. As a one time huge baseball fan, I can honestly say that at times, watching a major league baseball game is about as exciting as watching paint dry on a wall. It would be a far more exciting game if the ball was in play far more often, but in today’s game, that is slowly eroding. Strikeouts are up among the hitters and many games seem like nothing more than a 3-4 hour exciting of watching a pitcher and catcher tease some poor hitter into thinking he can actually make some good contact with the ball. In an actual game, how often do you see a really exciting play? Those factors are a huge reason why many people are slowly being turned off by the game. It is just not that entertaining  or worth sitting around for 3 hours.

The NBA has risen in the ranks for a very simple reason. They have very heavy star appeal and do a great job of marketing its players. People tune in to watch or attend games to watch superstar players. How many Major League Baseball players have the star appeal of a LeBron James or Steph Curry? I cannot name one. If MLB wants to expand its popularity, it really needs to market its players better. I see that as a huge issue with the league.

I read somewhere that little league participation has dropped considerably in the last 5 years. If that is true, the MLB is in serious trouble. Like I alluded to earlier, baseball or cool enough for today’s youth or even young millennials. Capturing the interests of those younger demographics will be crucial for the long-term success of this league. How will that be done is a serious challenge. How can the league make the game more action packed will be something that the executives of MLB will have to discuss.

If you are a diehard baseball fan like many still are, don’t despair. I don’t see the league folding anytime soon. But you really have to be concerned about the seemingly fading popularity and attention that the sport seems to be getting in recent years. If I had stock in MLB, I would sell it really soon. When major sports talks shows bypass your league on its openings, you know it is time to sound the alarm button. Major League Baseball has some serious interests issues that need to addressed and addressed quickly. The sport seems to be in a serious tailspin.

 

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Sorry but a little civility in politics is needed

A couple of news clips really caught my attention this week. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was on some news show and was asked about the current uncivil nature of politics in this country. Clinton explained to the interviewer that it is impossible to be civil when you have people trying to take away what you strongly believe in. Another clip involved former Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder brought up a quote from former first lady, Michelle Obama. She said ” If they (political opponents) go low, we go high”. Holder rephrased to quote to say “No, if they go low, we kick them!” So there you have it. That is all you need to know about the attitude of many politicians regarding staying somewhat civil in today’s political climate. Forget about winning over people by articulating your ideas better than your opponents by using facts and past history. No, that is simply not good enough. You need to harass them at every opportunity. Even former President Barack Obama encouraged his disciples to get into the faces of those who disagree with you.

It is extremely unfortunate that politics have now become this. We are now seeing members of Congress and members of the White House staff being harassed in public places by very radical people. Just last month, a member of Team Trump was harassed in a restaurant over Trump’s policies on illegal immigration. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was told to leave a restaurant because she is committing the unforgivable sin of working for President Trump. A congressman was shot during a congressional softball practice by a deranged man who was a harsh opponent of his party. The list goes on and on and these events will probably become more and more common in the upcoming months especially if the Democrats do not get their much promised so-called “Blue Wave”. I am scared to death that these little acts will lead to something far greater, like assassination attempts. Something has to be done quickly before it is too late. It is rapidly getting out of control.

I know many people, especially many leftists, probably feel that these means of intimidation will result in more votes and greater power. If they feel that way, they are sadly mistaken. Harassing people in these examples is just pure and simply rude and classless. If you want your beloved people to win elections, articulate in great detail and truthfully why their policies will help the people in this country. Spend time campaigning in all areas of the country to get your message out. Explain why your policies are so much better than your opponents. The voters are willing to listen. It is as simple as that. Maybe these acts of rudeness and mob mentality are acts of desperation by angry people who have no decent or reasonable plans to fall back on.

As a voter, I am very turned off by bully politics. It has no place or time in this country. People should learn to respect the views and ideas of their opponents and give them an opportunity to express those views instead of shouting them down. Are there any members of the Democratic party who are willing to take a stance and condemn these sick acts? I would be very disgusted if some member of a party who I supported did some of these same things. Can we PLEASE have a little civility in politics? Is that too much to ask?

Accused men can be victims too

One of the things that really upsets me about this huge story with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court is the reaction on social media. It is automatically assumed by many that Kavanaugh did abuse Dr. Christine Ford. People argue that based on what Dr. Ford said during her testimony. She believed 100 percent that Kavanaugh was the one who abused her on that fateful night in the early 1980’s. So therefore he must be guilty. Let me ask those who feel that way, do you favor due process in these type of situations? Based on what I am hearing, many seem not too and that is very troubling. It seems these days that those accused of sexual misconduct are automatically assumed guilty until proven innocent and that is plain not right!

When I think of men who can be deeply hurt by these type of accusations, I often think of many young men in this country who attend college. Take for example some star athlete who just wants to hang out with some friends at a party and have a good time. There might be some people at the party who do not like this athlete. An incident takes place at the party where some female is raped or drugged. Those who dislike the athlete will find ways to link him to this crime and his life is ruined even though he is perfectly innocent. He might even get arrested and spend some time in jail. He gets kicked off the team, perhaps a team and a sport that means the world to him. Furthermore, he has that accusation hanging around his neck for the rest of his life. It is all but certain that he might have a difficult time finding a job after he graduates. All become someone has a grudge against this person.

Some women have a grudge against an ex-boyfriend who may have cheated on them. Who is to say that they can make up some story in an effort to get even? It could be a boss who someone does not like. They would do anything to bring that boss down even get him fired. Not only does that boss lose a very good job, his family life will equally suffer and he may end up getting a divorce. His life is ruined because of a huge lie in an effort to get revenge on someone.

I fully understand what people are saying about the accuser deserving their say about what happened. I strongly agree that any person who has been sexually abused must not feel extremely intimated to come up and tell their story. We can all agree on that. But lets agree on another thing. There are 2 SIDES TO THE STORY! This is a country of being innocent until being proven guilty, not the other way around. Sadly, this story with Judge Brett Kavanaugh seems to indicate that many have it backwards.

Kavanaugh or Ford, who do you believe?

Like many people in this country, I was deeply curious to watch the Seante Judicial hearings last Thursday involving Dr. Christine Baisley Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh. I was lucky enough to have a day off from work, a nice long weekend, so I decided to check out the hearing. My biggest curiosity was seeing who this accuser was and finally seeing her on television. Who was this mystery person? How would she hold up under the pressure of having millions of people watch her give her story and being grilled by a prosecutor? When she first appeared on television, she looked like some scared deer in headlights. I felt sorry for the poor woman. Then she began to speak with her very young sounding but pleasant voice and I began to form an even more favorable impression of her. She seemed to be a somewhat likeable person who at one time in her life was the victim of a very heinous act.

On the other hand, when Judge Kavanaugh appeared, he appeared very angry and willing to kick someone’s rear end. The tone of his voice was that of a man who was wronged and falsely accused. People are criticizing Judge Kavanaugh for looking too angry during the hearing but cannot blame him for his demeanor. Anyone who believes they are falsely accused of something should look that way.

The big question that many folks have been debating for days after the hearing is who are you to believe? Do you believe Dr. Ford’s story about what happened or do you believe Judge Kavanaugh’s denial? Suppose for a moment that you are sitting in a jury and you heard testimony from both of them. Who would you believe? Even before this testimony, I had my suspicions of these allegations against Judge Kavanaugh and my doubts have only increased.

There is no doubt that Dr. Ford did an extremely admirable job of having the courage to be stand up to that type of pressure and give her testimony. I give her huge props for doing so. However, her story was filled with several holes and inconsistencies. The most glaring in my mind was the meat and potatoes of what happened that night or day.  She spoke in great detail about what happened to her at that party and seems 100 percent that it was Judge Kavanaugh. I found it rather odd that she remembered that little detail so vividly, however, she cannot remember so many other details about what happened that day. Who did she get a ride home from and to the party? I also find it very glaring that she cannot remember the day that this event took place. A person suffering from such a traumatic event like this should at least remember the exact date that the event took place.

Probably the most troubling part of her story was the fact that no of her friends can back up the story. None of them can even say that Kavanaugh was at the party. It was just her story and her story alone. There is absolutely no corroborative evidence that can convict Kavanaugh of being there.

During Judge Kavanaugh’s testimony, he was very detailed about what he did during that summer when the allegations took place. None of these allegations seemed to stand up against his testimony. Equally important was his demanor and facial expressions. He looked like someone who was falsely accused of the worst crime in history. Several of the Democrats on the panel kept coming up with the same talking points about wanting a FBI probe into these allegations. There has already been several background checks into Kavanaugh already. Do these Senators expect anything different to result from another probe? I have a strong feeling that they will be severely disappointed when the next FBI investigation wraps up.

I had my doubts even before this hearing took place and my doubts have only been more confirmed. This is nothing more than a smear against a fine man who is extremely well qualified to sit on the Supreme Court.

 

Thou shalt not hit a quarterback

In an effort to make the National Football League a lot safer, officials are cracking down on violent hits by players such as leading with the helmet when making a tackle. I can certainly understand the logic behind these new stricter enforcement of the rules. Head injuries suffered by players can be very serious and concussions can carry lifetime problems for many players. Another rule that is drawing some rather heated criticism from fans and players alike is the new enforcement of rules designed to protect quarterbacks after they release the ball. After a quarterback releases the ball, he is not to be tackled or hit. Doing so will result in a personal foul penalty to the defensive player. Are these stricter enforcement of rules really going to help the game and make players safer? In many ways, I say no.

Imagine for second that you are a big bruising linebacker. Your main task is to play defense and prevent the other team from marching down the field. A large part of playing good defense on the football field is putting a lot of pressure on the quarterback. During a play in a crucial moment in the game, you see the quarterback in the pocket ready to launch the ball downfield. You run full force at the quarterback in an effort to intimidate him and possible sack him behind the line of scrimmage. Just seconds before you reach his area, he releases the ball and you run into him. It is a personal foul penalty on you and may end up costing your team the game. Forget about the fact that a 300 lb linemen running at full speed probably needs some time to slow down and might accidentally hit the quarterback. The only way you can prevent this from happening is to run at half speed towards the quarterback and hope he does not release the ball. Not exactly an effective way to play defense if you ask me!

There appears to be much confusion about these new rules in the early season. The Green Bay Packers paid an enormous price when Clay Matthews was whistled for roughing the passer late in last week’s game. It appeared that he made a perfectly clean play on the quarterback however the official saw it differently. I saw many players get penalized for other rules violations during preseason games. It is great that the league is very concerned about the safety of its players, but at the same time, aggressive and hard play is a huge part of the game. Where do you draw the line? I would not want to be an official in today’s NFL. I can just see some team losing a big game because some official made a questionable late hit call on a player. There are so many gray areas to be worked out.

As a fan of the game, I love to see good hard-hitting football. I just hope these new rules do not take the enjoyment of watching football. I have a fear that the NFL and quite frankly, football at every level will turn into flag football. The confusion over these new rules are not only frustrating to the players, but the fans as well. Can we still maintain good aggressive play while protecting the players? I would hope so!

Fake allegations against Kavanaugh?

Just when you thought the Brett Kavanaugh nomination for the Supreme Court could not get any crazier, it has. A California processor named Christine Ford has come forward with allegations of sexual assault by Kavanaugh. According to Ford, Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party nearly 36 years ago. How this will affect the nomination process going forward is any ones guess but isn’t odd that someone would come out of the woods some 36 years later to come up with these allegations? I guess when you look at the whole situation over this nomination process, it should not surprise anyone. This game has been played before in 1991 when another nominee, Clarence Thomas had allegations brought against him as well. Thomas like Kavanaugh was a conservative nominee which in this day and age is grounds for attacks for fear mongering leftists who are petrified over having some conservative on the court.

I have a deep doubt in my mind that Ford is anywhere close to telling the truth. Her fuzzy answers and lack of detail over what happened in that incident only deepens my suspicion that this is just some political game in an effort to derail the opponent of someone who you do not agree with on ideology. It has been revealed that Ford is a strong Trump hating leftist who obviously cannot be too pleased that a conservative nominated by President Trump might have a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court. It is a huge nightmare for any radical leftist to have a conservative on the court. I can see why she would do anything in her power to derail this nomination and become a champion for the leftists in this country. Furthermore, an event like what Ford claims happen to her should be very fresh in her mind. For her to say that she cannot recall all the details of this incident seems to be a little fishy to me. How can she be totally certain that it was even Kavanaugh in the first place? Was she drinking or taking drugs before this so-called event took place? Why did she not tell any authorities about what happened?

Brett Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified nominees that this court has ever seen. He is well-respected by many on both sides of the aisle and would be a great justice on the Supreme Court. Just because you are thought of as a conservative does not mean you will rule based on your political viewpoints. Kavanaugh has demonstrated that in the past. His statement about the justices are there to follow and interpret the law and Constitution, not make laws, shows what kind of fair and balanced judge he can be. Furthermore, if he really was some sort of sexual predator like some claim he is, wouldn’t we see more stories and claims by other women? Instead I see a number of women supporting and backing this fine man.

I guess you could say that I am part of the majority of people who do not believe the allegations against Kavanaugh. This is just another political game played by the left to smear the credibility and honor of a fine qualified potential justice. I am looking forward to seeing the testimony of this woman, Christine Ford. Perhaps I am totally wrong and the allegations are very valid and should be investigated. But the timing of Ford’s allegations seem to be rather odd to me. In my opinion, this is just another effort to make President Trump look bad. And like many other efforts, this one will probably fail as well.

The wild and crazy Kavanaugh hearings

You would think that a highly qualified candidate for the Supreme Court would have no problem getting confirmed. Brett Kavanaugh is one of the most qualified potential justices that has ever been nominated and his appointment as one of the justices should be a slam dunk. But in the very divisive world that we live in these days, his nomination hearings this week has been hardly anything but smooth. Kavanaugh is believed to have conservative views on many of the important issues that this country is facing and that apparently is not sitting too well with many of the radical left-wing Senate Democrats. They are desperately trying to block his nomination at all costs even have protesters disrupt the hearings. The hearings this week have turned in some sort of political circus and I hope voters will remember these obstructionist Democrats this November when the mid-terms take place.

One of the biggest fears from those critics of Kavanaugh is that he is to help overturn Roe vs Wade. Several lies have come out against Kavanaugh alarming women that if this guy gets confirmed, your rights with regards to your body will be taken away. There is absolutely no evidence to indicate that Kavanaugh would even consider overturning this piece of legislation. Why is there so much hysteria over basically an unproven belief? Others worry that he will basically turn this nation’s set of laws in a bunch of conservative only laws. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While Senate Democrats continue to try and dig up more mud on this guy, they might want to remember what Kavanaugh said about the role of a justice on the Supreme Court. He stated very clearly that a justice has the role of following the Constitution and has a duty of FOLLOWING THE LAW, NOT MAKING THE LAW. That answer alone should score major brownie points with anyone who has concerns with Kavanaugh.

Maybe the Senate Democrats should put aside their own little political biases and consider how qualified this man really is. Unfortunately this hearing is nothing more than a political circus and yet another attempt to discredit the presidency of Donald Trump since Trump was the one who nominated Kavanaugh. In the end, Trump will get yet another win under his belt with the confirmation of Kavanaugh and the Democrat obstructionists will lose again.