For sports fans only

For as long as I’ve had a deep interest in sports beginning in 2005, I’ve been of the opinion that people who don’t watch or follow sports should remain out of the majority of discussions in that area. For instance, after news came out of Joe Paterno’s failure to act at Penn State, people were calling for the school to be stripped of a significant number of wins. That eventually happened, though once everything quieted down, it was reversed. Why? Because the huge number of non-sports fans demanded it. They applied pressure and got a result that made them feel good, but which held zero consideration for all the players, coaches, and staff that had nothing to do with the incident. Non-sports fans wanted to punish an entire school and every individual associated with a huge sports program because of the acts of a few. That was utter horseshit. Plenty of non-sports fans may think that sports are ‘just a game’, but that’s pure ignorance; just because something isn’t important to your life doesn’t mean it therefore isn’t important at all. Fortunately, those who are actually involved in college football saw fit to correct the mistake.16508166_626391204214106_2020830949610527241_n

All that brings me to this recent garbage meme I’ve been seeing about Tom Brady.  On the right side of this post, it includes a quote from media day prior to the Super Bowl. He was asked a couple of questions about Trump and he dodged them. After a third question, he said that he wasn’t going to talk about politics. Somehow this has become an instance of white privilege rather than an example of avoiding irrelevant questions.

There are multiple failings surrounding this meme, but I’ll start off by pointing out the one that’s unique to the ignorant non-sports fan. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots are known throughout the league for avoiding distractions as best as they can. This comes from the top of the staff in Belichick. He sets the tone year-in-year-out by giving gruff press conferences where he dismisses shitty, irrelevant questions. We saw it this year when Jimmy Garoppolo did well after his first game and reporters attempted to manufacture a quarterback controversy. After making it clear that Brady was their guy come game 5, Belichick was still asked if Garoppolo would be considered for that start. Belichick simply grumbled “Jesus Christ” and moved on to the next question.

For people who have any idea of what they’re talking about, it’s pretty obvious that Brady’s comment isn’t an example of whatever political or social narrative someone is looking to push. It’s an example of ‘the Patriots way’ (a phrase I’m positive non-sports fans aren’t even remotely familiar with). This is one factor in why this organization has been so successful over the years. Focusing on football creates team cohesion that matters.

Another failing of this embarrassing meme is that it assumes Tom Brady is somehow required to talk about politics. He isn’t. If you tried to force your colleagues into talking politics or religion or sports or whatever topic you cared about despite them telling you they weren’t interested, you’d be hearing from HR pretty soon. You might even get fired. And if you complained that Bob in the next cubicle was a big jerk for not talking immigration with you, you’d get lambasted. Bob deserves to have his wishes to keep his views to himself respected. Why we think non-political celebrities don’t deserve the same respect is beyond me.

And, finally, if Tom Brady focusing on the Super Bowl (that jerk!) wasn’t enough, and if Tom Brady making sure he doesn’t distract the team (what an asshole, amirite?) wasn’t enough, then the fact that he has already made his views clear should be enough. He has said that he has a friendship with Trump that goes back a decade and a half, long before Trump had even significantly waded into politics. He has also pointed out that knowing someone doesn’t mean you agree or disagree with everything they say or do.

So, no, this isn’t an example of white privilege. You don’t know what you’re talking about if you think that; you’re intentionally ignoring context. This is an example of a non-politician staking out a non-political position in an effort to deflect irrelevant and, frankly, inappropriate questions.

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Stop it, Texas

From having a creationist-dentist on the Board of Education to churning out the likes of Dubya* (a prime example of why abortion should be legal) to being an all-around bag of assholes, Texas has a lot against it. State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) is just another mook on the merry-go-round.

A Texas legislator is waging a war of biblical proportions against the science and education communities in the Lone Star State as he fights for a bill that would allow a private school that teaches creationism to grant a Master of Science degree in the subject.

State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) proposed House Bill 2800 when he learned that The Institute for Creation Research (ICR), a private institution that specializes in the education and research of biblical creationism, was not able to receive a certificate of authority from Texas’ Higher Education Coordinating Board to grant Master of Science degrees.

Berman’s bill would allow private, non-profit educational institutions to be exempt from the board’s authority.

That’s exactly what creationists need to do. It’s sad, really. In order to grant their pretend-science degrees, they need to be exempt from any standards or realities. It’s the entire basis of the creationist life.

“I don’t believe I came from a salamander that crawled out of a swamp millions of years ago,” Berman told FOXNews.com. “I do believe in creationism. I do believe there are gaps in evolution.

Good, Leo. I don’t believe I came from a salamander either. But the reason – and it’s a real kicker – I don’t believe that is because I’m not fucking stupid.

“But when you ask someone who believes in evolution, if you ask one of the elitists who believes in evolution about the gaps, they’ll tell you that the debate is over, that there is no debate, evolution is the thing, it’s the only way to go.”

Still with this “elitist” stuff? It seems like that’s just code for “people who aren’t as dumb as Sarah Palin”. But ya know, maybe those silly conservatives are on to something. Who wants “elitists” around anyway? They make us feel inferior and force us to appreciate that there are people better at things and more knowledgable than we are. I say do away with all the elitists. The NBA? Get rid of Paul Pierce. The NHL? Get rid of Zdeno Chara. The NFL? Screw Tom Brady. The MLB doesn’t need David Ortiz. Do away with them all.** And in the colleges and universities? Same policy. I want my education to be as good as an over-40 league game of softball played on a rocky, unpainted field that has a ratty glove standing in for third base.

The ICR issued a statement affirming that it is a legitimate educational institute that employs credentialed Ph.D. scientists from around the country. It insisted that the “THECB [Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board] has acted discriminatorily against the ICR’s application both in process and in the substance of fact,” and it said “THECB allowed influence of evolution-biased lobbying efforts to influence process and outcome.”

Good. I like my education biased toward reality.

Berman sees the board’s decision to deny ICR certification as a double standard.

“If a school’s teaching all evolution, would that be a balanced education?” he asked. “So it’s the same thing on both ends of the stick.”

This presumes that teaching creationism qualifies as education. If it does, teaching Alice in Wonderland as fact qualifies as well.

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*Yes, he was born in Connecticut.
**Yes, I have a Boston sports bias.