An interesting debate is engulfing the NFL upon revelations that New Orleans Saints' players received thousands of dollars in bonuses for "inflicting injuries" on opponents "that would result in them being removed from the game."
I'm a long-standing critic of the "nanny-state sissies running football" and attempts to have the game "neutered by administrators who have lost the love of sport and succumbed to the gradual enervation of joyless regulation." On the other hand:
Unsportsmanlike conduct was an honorable penalty. Intentionally attempting to unnecessarily harm another player is contrary to the standards of gamesmanship. Spearing, late-hits and the like should be punished, as they demean the game and cross the line of decency.
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams' pay-for-pain policy pretty clearly crosses the line. Sportsmen drive their opponents into defeat - they don't assault them with financially-motivated malice. Football's a hard game - and those who don't play by the rules need to be treated with hard knocks. Williams and the like deserve what's coming to them.
NY Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin exhibits American virtues, not Chinese ones. One could conclude this from simple observation as well from this book on Chinese (PRC) professional baseketball. "Why are there no Jeremy Lins [point guards] coming out of China?" The answer lies in politics--the sports of a free society and those of a totalitarian one.
Speaking of Lincoln, note this 1860 cartoon of the presidential candidates, featuring baseball metaphors. Lincoln installed a baseball diamond on the White House grounds, as Diana Schaub relates in her classic essay on the All-American sport.
The #1 ranked U.S. women's soccer team just beat #3 Brazil by one point in an overtime penalty kick shootout. The U.S. team, playing 55 minutes with a woman down, scored a literal last minute goal to tie up the game at 2-2 (following two goals by Brazil's forward, five-time FIFA world player of the year, Marta), sending the match into overtime. Described as gritty and winning over the German crowd, the women's team now moves into the semi-finals, scheduled for Wednesday against France. Japan and Sweden will also compete in a semifinal match on Wednesday.
I didn't even know there was a women's U.S. soccer team, let alone that we were ranked #1 and one game away from the FIFA World Cup. Strange what happens when you are surrounded by Europeans.
"Whereas, NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Dirk Nowitzki chose to re-sign with the Dallas Mavericks in the summer of 2010, forgoing free agency and keeping his talents in Dallas, thus remaining loyal to the team, city and fans for whom he played his entire career"
The White House Super Bowl Sunday tail-gate party includes bratwurst, kielbasa, cheeseburgers, deep-dish pizza and Buffalo wings with sides of German potato salad, twice-baked potatoes and assorted chips and dips. Yuengling Lager and Light, as well as Hinterland Pale Ale and Amber Ale, are on tap to wash it all down.
This is especially commendable on the part of President Obama, who (like many men across the nation) is surely going to take one for the team when his wife, the First Lunch-Lady, tallies up all the calories consumed on game day.
So, here's to Obama being one of the guys!
It's only fitting to note with somber lamentation that the black and gold finally failed to surge ahead as the underdog champion to win the game in the end. Sometimes good does not immediately overcome evil....
There's always next year.
There was Frederick Douglass. Drawing on his significant book, Peter Myers succinctly describes Douglass's greatness here, on the Heritage Foundation's website. Douglass's evolution from a despiser of the Constitution to a defender of it, even without an anti-slavery amendment, poses a model for Americans today who seek a return to the Constitution. Douglass is required reading for the Tea Party.
Also before King was Jackie Robinson, the Dodger star who integrated the All-American game. Like sprinter Jesse Owens in the "Hitler Olympics," he showed excellence in his talent and in that way made the case for equality. In their own way they made, like King, natural law arguments for equality.
UPDATE: The Sage of Mt. Airy reflects on his own white, Southern tergiversations regarding the appropriateness of the King Holiday. Unlike Douglass, King apparently declined in his esteem for the document.