Friday, January 23, 2015

Deflategate Gets Worse 

Deflategate got worse for the Patriots and the NFL yesterday. 

In the morning, Coach Bill Belichick gave a press conference in which he was very credible.  But in the afternoon, QB Tom Brady’s presser did not go so well.  His assertion that he, a veteran NFL quarterback, did not notice the footballs were deflated particularly strained credulity.  I was watching NFL Live on ESPN, and former NFL QB Mark Brunell got a bit choked up afterwards and said he just did not believe Brady.  The rest of the panel, as well as others at ESPN, were almost as brutal.  And Troy Aikman afterwards opined on a Dallas radio station the following: "It's obvious that Tom Brady had something to do with this." 


Now, in case any readers are - God forbid – not American football fans, know that deflated footballs that only one team are using are a big advantage.  The quarterback can grip the football better.  Receivers can catch the ball easier.  Ball carriers can hold on to the ball and avoid fumbles better.

And, lo and behold, the Patriots record of not fumbling at home is off the charts and hard to explain.  The 2014 Patriots are only the third team in 25 years to have never lost a fumble at home.  Read Warren Sharp’s close to damning statistical analysis for yourself, but the Patriots’ astounding fumble stats beg the question whether they were using deflated footballs at home all season and even before.

Yes, the legitimacy of the entire Patriots season is now under question.

Wednesday, I said that if the Patriots win the Super Bowl accompanied by perceived help from the refs, it would be a disaster for the NFL.  I now have to amend that.  If the Patriots win this Super Bowl at all, it will be at least perceived as tainted by millions, more so than any Super Bowl ever (Yes, even more so than the 2006 disgrace.), and therefore a disaster for the NFL.

The NFL is in a bad situation.  And I suspect nothing short of suspending Tom Brady from the Super Bowl will suffice to get them out of it.

That and rooting really hard for the Seahawks.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Episcopal Church Cheerleads Lawless Tyranny … Of Course 

Modern Mainline Protestant denominations have a history of aligning with tyranny, particularly that of a totalitarian bent.  See German Protestants under Hitler and the World Council of Churches and National Council of Churches during the time of Communist hegemony.

The Episcopal Church continues that tradition by supporting Obama’s dictatorial nullification of immigration law.

Yes, predictable, but I thought you should know.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Thanks to the Patriots, the NFL is in a Dangerous Position UPDATED 

After the infamous SuperBowl XL in 2006 in which the refs, particularly one from Pittsburgh, helped the Steelers steal another Super Bowl, I was one year away from swearing off the NFL.  I decided that if there was another Super Bowl presented to the Steelers on a silver platter by the league in the near future, I would stop watching the NFL.

And that was something coming from this lifelong NFL fan.  Heck, I remember my Dallas mom being unhappy about the Ice Bowl.  I’ve had NFL Sunday Ticket for years.  But my attitude has long been that if I liked rigged sport, I would watch pro wrestling . . . and I don’t.

The reason I bring up this dark memory is I suspect millions of NFL fans are now at the same spot I was back in 2006.  2006 was the NFL’s fault – a ref from Pittsburgh for that Super Bowl?  Really?  But this time it is the Patriots’ fault for deflating footballs.  The NFL has good reason to be upset, and they are.

One source described the league as "disappointed ... angry ... distraught," after spending considerable time on the findings earlier Tuesday.

I expect they will crack down hard on the Patriots.  But more than footballs are in danger.  The NFL itself is.

For now if the NFL is to avoid lasting damage and massive fan defections, there is one thing that must not happen.  If the Patriots win the Super Bowl accompanied with a widespread perception that the refs helped them so to do, that would tip this Patriots scandal over into an NFL disaster.  I would not swear off the NFL, but I bet millions would at least become much less enthusiastic about the NFL should that happen.

And the refereeing would not have to be as outrageous as that in 2006.  There is already widespread hatred of the Patriots.  There is the earned perception that they cheat already with a current episode of such in the news.  A Patriots win in the Super Bowl would not be good for the NFL.  If there is the perception that the NFL helped it out with questionable calls, it could be disastrous, destroying already damaged NFL credibility and alienating fans.

No I am not a Patriots-hater.  But it is hard to miss that Patriots hate is that strong out there – and that the NFL has already had a bad season with scandals, bad calls (especially the Dez Bryant catch reversal), and more.  More than footballs are in danger of being deflated by the Patriots.  Fan loyalty is as well.

All the more reason to root for the Seahawks as I will.

Deflategate is getting worse.  Now there are reports the Ravens believe the Patriots used underinflated balls against them.  Remember that playoff game was not a blow out; the Ravens were up 14, twice.

And how many other times have the Patriots literally taken the air out of the ball?

Again, I am no Patriots hater . . . but I may be becoming one.  More importantly, the NFL must take strong steps to defend both the reality and the perception of “the integrity of the game.” 

So do not be surprised if they crack down on the Patriots, hard.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

State of the Union Fun 

I have mixed feelings about watching the State of the Union tonight.  I’ve often skipped it under Clinton and Obama because I sometimes do not respond well when lied to.

On the other hand, particularly outrageous lying can be so absurd, it can be fun.  So for that reason, I will probably watch tonight.  But I will watch accompanied by lots of good fisking and perhaps booze as well. 

Hey, do you expect me to get through an Obama SOTU alone?

I have not decided on the booze.  (And, no, I will not engage in drinking games.  I wish to survive this evening.)  But I have decided on at least three modes of fisking.  One is twitter, of course, where I will join in.  Another is Ace of Spaces (with the usual naughty language warning) where they will surely have a SOTU thread with lots of uproarious comments from morons, including me.

A lesser known place is the Midwest Conservative Journal with both live-blogging and comments.  There will be fewer there, but it will be a more erudite group for the most part.

I have decided against live-blogging here at my blog, but you may find me at the above.

If I come up with another good online spot, I will let you know.  Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.  Hey, we have to get through this evening somehow.

The Ace of Spades Thread for Obama's "Trolling of the Nation" is up, again with a language warning.

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Pope Francis? “Rabbits?” Really? 

First, to be fair to Pope Francis, I agree with the tenor of his comments on having children.  There are times when having more and more children is irresponsible, such as when taking care of one’s current kids is already problematic.  And I like rabbits myself.  In fact, I recently bought a dwarf rabbit as a pet for a neighbor and have fallen in love with the darn adorable thing myself.

But his referring to breeding like “rabbits” is offensive and too easily taken as a cut on large families.  My best friends have seven boys.  They are all like family to me, and they are a wonderful family with more brain power than many universities.  They and families like them deserve more courtesy than that from Pope Francis.

I think the Pope meant well.  But I agree with Father Z (in an earlier context) that it is time for someone to quietly suggest to the Holy Father that he dial back the off-the-cuff comments.


Friday, January 16, 2015

Pope Francis Attacks Free Speech and Conservative RC Bloggers Are… Silent? 

After Pope Francis’ comments which attacked free speech, practically blaming free speech for the Paris Islamonazi terrorist attacks, I thought any minute now the conservative popish bloggers will be chiming in with their usual excuses for Francis – he was misunderstood; taken out of context; misinterpreted due to language issues, etc.

Well, what I have found instead is . . . silence.  Now surely some conservative Roman Catholic somewhere has opined on the Pope’s comments, but I have searched the usual places, repeatedly, and not found anything.  The usual conservative apologists for Francis are very quiet on this matter.  (And I invite readers to post conservative Catholic blog posts on the topic in the comments.  Like I said, surely they are out there . . . somewhere.)

Now I do not want to call out any bloggers by name or presume motives.  After all, Francis has time and again put conservative Catholic bloggers in awkward positions due to his comments, and they have my sympathy.

But the silence is deafening.  Perhaps this time, Francis has gone beyond what even the most loyal conservative Catholics can defend.  If so, their response should not be silence.  Just the opposite.

For even popes need to held accountable.  And, to be frank, most of the conservative Catholic blogdom seems to be dropping the ball in so doing.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015

BREAKING: Duke Reverses Muslim Call to Prayer Decision 

I do not yet know what prompted this other than a big stink.  Perhaps a major donor or two read them the riot act? Perhaps administration feared divisive tumult or worse on campus?

But whatever the cause Duke has reversed its decision to allow the amplified Muslim call to prayer from its Chapel bell tower.

Duke University has reversed itself, and announced Thursday afternoon it will not allow a Muslim call to prayer Friday from its iconic cathedral. [IT’S NOT A CATHEDRAL! – ed.]

The decision had met with widespread controversy.

“Duke remains committed to fostering an inclusive, tolerant and welcoming campus for all of its students,” said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations. “However, it was clear that what was conceived as an effort to unify was not having the intended effect.”

I imagine it wasn’t.

By the way, yours truly made the Charlotte Observer article at the link.  Can you find me?

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