Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tim Tebow and the Children of Darkness; The NFL


Yesterday it was announced that Tim Tebow was cut by the NY Jets.  I normally don't talk about sports in my blog because it is, after all, a political blog, however, I make an exception for celebrated figures if I think there is something "like" politics going on.   In other words something confounding and frustrating that makes no sense except as it might be of assistance or in accordance with the opinions and mind-set of the "powers that be".  In this case, the NFL.

(I am going to preface my ramblings below with an admission, right off the top.  I am a big fan of Tim Tebow.  First of all, I'm a Florida Gator (UF Alumni, Class of '87, thank you very much), my father was a Gator,  my late uncle was President of the student body back in the 40's, my brother is a Gator,  I have a nephew who graduated from UF in '11, and I have 2 nieces graduating from there on the same day, this coming Saturday May 5  !   So.... me and most of my family are "uber" Gators.  Consequently, as anyone who knows the Gators would realize, Tim Tebow is our patron saint.  We ADORE HIM !! - there, I think I've confessed enough?).

Anyway, all of my "Gator Uberness" aside, I have to complain mightily about the way Tim has been treated., and I have my own theory about why he has been treated this way.   In a nutshell, he's just too damn nice for the NFL.  It all started when John Elway from the Denver Broncos started having to interact with some of Tim's "projects" on the sideline.  I remember watching as Tim introduced one of the sick kids that were on the sideline to meet him and get his autograph, etc...   (This was when Tim was new and hadn't been proven bad enough to dump "yet".)  The look on Elway's face revealed his discomfort.  Wow, it was like there was a fire!   John Elway wants to talk to hot cheerleaders and men with a lot of money or talent, not some "sad sack" kid on the sideline with an overly-nice quarterback whom he inherited with the much chagrin.  Tim Tebow was not John Elway's choice and that was abundantly clear from the beginning.  Then, you  have the infamous "Tebowing", which also created  unwanted attention for John and the higher ups in the NFL.  You don't dare bring religion into the ever-pagan world of professional football or any other form of entertainment.  "That's for church,  folks!" (although if it's just for the church then why did Christ usually preach in the streets not the Temple..?  But, that's another blog)   How embarrassing !  Talk of God !?   I sincerely think Tim would have had a better chance if he had gotten a prostitute pregnant, or come out as having a problem with "substance abuse".  John Elway COULD NOT WAIT to get rid of Tim Tebow.  It was agony for him when Tim actually got the Broncos to the playoffs.  Now what do you do?  Well, you pay $130 million dollars to get broken down Peyton Manning as your "dream quarterback", thus giving you the perfect excuse to dump Tebow.  Now, you have this "once in a lifetime" opportunity that you just can't pass up (pun intended).   Whew, that was close,  huh John?  He said in farewell to Tim, that he would "love to be his father in law".  I would have told him "gee thanks, but if she has the face of a horse like you, no thanks".  Tim was very gracious, of course slathering praise on Peyton Manning (who, by the way never beat the Gators when he was at Tennessee... HA, HA, HA) and thanking John Elway for the "opportunity".   Well, the Denver Broncos got their dream quarterback, but "I'll be damned" they didn't win their first playoff game this past year like the previous year when,  um, Tim Tebow DID win their first playoff game. HA, HA, HA, again.  

Tebow then proceeded to New York and the Jets., and if anyone can explain to me what happened there I'm "all ears" because I have no idea what they were doing.

I have to be honest, I didn't pay too much attention to the whole thing because I knew the NFL was not going to have any of Tim Tebow.  His religious ways make them very nervous, and no matter where he landed I didn't see it working.  What a weird world we live in.  The guy wins the Heisman Trophy, almost twice, wins 2 national championships for UF, but suddenly his mechanics can't cut it in the vaunted NFL.  What a load of crap.  They didn't want it to work because he doesn't fit the mold they have in mind.  You can't have embarrassing handicapped children, and sick kids wandering around the sidelines of professional football games making all those important people feel uncomfortable !  "Get it away", they must have all been thinking.  "Get it away from me"., all this embarrassing kneeling and talk of helping the poor.  "Get it away, get Tim away... far away from us".  And, so finally they succeeded.

Tim Tebow didn't make it in the NFL because he acts like a Christian SHOULD act, rather than the way most Christians DO act.  I have no doubt that a lot of those dealing with him-  the NFL overlords-  also go to church every two months or so, and they take communion and confess their sins to God,  "may Jesus save them from themselves, and their sin".  But they don't live it. They mouth it.  It's perfunctory.  Tim Tebow is the real deal;  modest, hard working, generous, faithful, decent, kind, passionate.... a winner, always in my mind.  He is the Christian that Jesus was instructing us to be and that's what got him in trouble.  Sincerity,   genuine decency, hope for the hopeless, light for the luckless- do not mix with the NFL.    

In my humble opinion.

Monday, April 15, 2013

US Must End War with Itself

Below, published as "My Word" column in April 8 Op-Ed page in the Orlando Sentinel.  

Recently there was an article here in the Orlando Sentinel titled "GOP study:  Party alienates".    I am an "ex-Republican" since 2004, so I was interested in what was upsetting the "GOP" these days and I admit I read the article with gusto.   It mentioned all the usual labels they struggle with; Homophobes, Anti-Immigrant, Anti-science, "party of the rich".  For me, the problem with the Republicans is that they are.... a party.    There's nothing they could do to bring me back because I think the act of governing is almost NEVER "black and white", but to them and their Democratic adversaries EVERYTHING is "black and white".   Both parties alienate!   It is not to their advantage to solve any problems, only to bring them up as the fault of the other party.  These parties are not leading Americans after they are elected they are leading Democrats and Republicans.  We are all victims of a government that is very much at war with itself.   What we need are men and women who can lead us on a path forward to prosperity through effective government that discusses ideas without immediately categorizing possible solutions as "right" or "left" but rather as "effective" or "ineffective". 
There is an initiative going on in our state right now.  It’s called the "The Top Two Open Primary Initiative”.  It aims to enact elections in which all registered voters may participate regardless of political party affiliation. Only the Top Two winners by majority vote would advance to the General Election.    As an Independent, choosing between the two candidates that have already been pre-chosen by the parties robs me of my constitutional right to fair representation.   In recent years these candidates have become more and more extreme to the right and left wings of each party, making the selection ever more odious for moderates.    The "Top Two Open Primary Initiative" addresses these issues.   Ultimately, all candidates would be more tuned into offering realistic solutions to the general population.  This should yield a more “action oriented” and a “results driven” government as compared to the never-ending “dog fight” we’ve all become so accustomed to.      
 We all want the same things; a clean environment, a prosperous economy,   effective schools, a healthy population, peace.  Does anyone realistically think that the major political parties with their child-like tantrums, partisan bickering, lobbyist buddies will ever deliver these things?   The only solution is to end this stranglehold the parties have on power in our country today.     

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gun Control; Caught in the Middle

The Innocents 

There is a lot of debate lately about what kind of gun control there should be.  Mostly  this has erupted because of the horrific murders at Sandy Hook Elementary, in Newtown, CT.   Murdered six year olds.   As an independent I must first express my disgust at the usual political nonsense that each party puts us through as they posture themselves "against" each other rather than "for" a solution.   Second, I am  disgusted that the NRA has so much power that any talk of common sense adjustments to gun law is eradicated by them and their lap dogs that inhabit Congress.  Third, the right to bear arms was not intended to enable all Americans to be capable of warding off an invading army.  It's meant for hunting, and for self defense.   The idea that we should all be capable of mowing down a line of rebel marines approaching our home with the intent of turning each of us into socialists is ludicrous.  This lack of common sense is what we get when our government is being led by politicians who are all for sale to the highest bidder;  the lame-brained opinions of the political extremes.

To those who buy the arguments of the National Rifle Association.  Those that oppose moving forward and establishing common-sense solutions to "out of control" gun violence simply because they're so worried at the very hint, at a scintilla of control over their ability to buy whatever gun and ammunition accessory they desire,  do so at the detriment of more murdered innocents- be they 6 year olds or 60 year olds.   They are an embarrassment to our nation as the world looks and and wonders what has become of America where even murdered 6 year olds cannot motivate its leadership to action.  Shame on them and their narrow simple minds.

In My Humble Opinion.