The “deflategate” saga continues to stalk the NFL like a savage R____n. “Deflategate” appears to have beaten out “Ballghazi” and “airgate” for most common tag in the Google machine.
The always-colorful Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman ratcheted up the pre-Super Bowl trash talk when he accused NFL honcho Roger Goodell of a conflict of interest relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft that will prevent punishment of the Patriots for allegedly deflating game balls to the liking of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.
The always-serious Sports Illustrated followed up with a column by Doug Farrar, who opined, “The NFL can't shoot down criticisms like Sherman's in any credible sense, because the league and Goodell have earned their perceptions as out of touch at best and blatantly deceptive at worst.”
The always-trendy Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch made a stir by saying the only reason he attended Media Day was “so I won’t get fined.” Ironically, Lynch will probably get fined anyway for wearing a hat on TV with the Beast Mode logo. Double ironically, the hat was made by official NFL sponsor New Era, which ought to have a paid up lease on Lynch’s noggin…but the artist behind Beast Mode, rapper Juvenile, did not pay separately.
The always late to moral clarity NFL has approved donation of a Super Bowl ad spot worth $4.5 million to a powerful and chilling public service announcement about domestic violence featuring an actual 911 call and the tagline “When it’s hard to talk, it’s up to us to listen.”
The always-professional Rolling Stone ran an analysis on September 12, 2014, called “Which NFL Team Employs the Least Amount of Terrible People?” After a survey heavy on domestic violence incidents, the Stone nominated the San Diego Chargers, who at the time hadn’t been fined for misconduct in “almost a year.”
The always-analytical Spotrac gathered statistics on NFL misconduct fines for 2014. The Indianapolis Star reported the top 10:
1. Indianapolis Colts: $4.02 million
2. Arizona Cardinals: $3.05 million
3. Baltimore Ravens: $2.74 million
4. Miami Dolphins: $2.54 million
5. San Francisco 49ers: $2.52 million
6. Denver Broncos: $1.89 million
7. Philadelphia Eagles: $1.24 million
8. Washington R______s: $1.13 million
9. Kansas City Chiefs: $1.02 million
10. Cleveland Browns: $995,511
The always classy New York Post headlined a story about a New England Patriots locker room attendant disappearing from surveillance video to make a restroom visit with the footballs that later came up short of air, “Balls to the Stall.” The Post warned of “a tainted Supe” unless “the NFL finds its balls.”
In other press conference news, People reported that Johnny Depp was a no-show at a presser in Tokyo for his new movie, Mortdecai. Asked to account for his absence, Depp claimed to have been attacked by a chupacabra.
In other big business news, since the Mitt Romney campaign explained about “creative destruction,” we’re no longer shocked when a corporation or a venture capital outfit buys out a profitable business and shuts it down to re-deploy capital in a manner thought to be more profitable. That’s cold comfort to those who lose their jobs. The New York Times reported on one of these scenarios in a manner that reminded me the absent factory might also inconvenience consumers who are fond of the product.
ConAgra bought a little outfit in upstate New York called Red Wing and shut it down, costing Fredonia the 100 year old factory and over 400 jobs, but also causing the arch-conservative founder of National Review, William F. Buckley, to turn over in his grave. Buckley had, during his life, endorsed Red Wing so strongly and publicly that the factory had awarded him a lifetime supply. The Times lamented that the circumstances of the factory closing caused “the head-on collision of this ardent free marketeer’s two great loves: capitalism and peanut butter.”
Buckley was buried with a jar of Red Wing in his casket. As his son Christopher put it, “no pharaoh went off to the next world better equipped.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that SkyMall magazine has been chased into bankruptcy by legalization of electronic gadgets on airplanes. My cousin Ray Sixkiller was disconsolate. “Where else could I buy a cabinet that looks like King Tut’s sarcophagus for only $949? What will it cost me to replace my Solafeet Foot Tanner that I got for just $229.99? And I’m still saving for that Seabreacher boat. $85,000 doesn’t grow on trees in Oklahoma.” In response to my query, Ray explained that the Seabreacher looks like an orca and makes 55 mph on the water and 25 mph under the water.
In other tech news, the drone war chickens appeared about to roost at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when a drone crashed just outside the White House at three in the morning. Barack and Michelle Obama were on a state visit, but the First Daughters and their grandmother were home. The drone contained no explosives or biological weapons. This time. The perp turned out to be a government employee who called the Secret Service and confessed he had been “droning while intoxicated,” a description normally reserved for C-SPAN broadcasts of Congress.
Danish journalist Emma Holten had a terrible experience with one of those nude photo hacks, and she responded in a manner that’s gone viral. The Guardian ran with the story and linked Holten’s video in its on line edition. NSFW
I’m not sure I agree with her response but I certainly agree with her analysis and I long ago quit judging victimized people as if they were the problem.
Seth Davidowitz opined in The New York Times that people lie about sex. According to the General Social Survey, men over 18 claim to average doing the deed 63 times a year, using a condom 23 percent of the time. Women claim 55 times a year using a condom 16 percent of the time. So men claim to use 1.6 billion condoms a year but women claim only 1.1 billion. Fewer than 600 million condoms per year are sold.
Former Fox News personality and current presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee remarked in a radio interview that it’s “trashy” for women to swear in the workplace, a statement he attempted to walk back in specific application to his female colleagues at Fox. Mika Brzezinski allowed that if it’s not the Fox ladies, it must be her, because she resembles that remark. New York commented that Mr. Huckabee “will get a debilitating case of the vapors if he ever sees Sarah Silverman do stand-up.” NSFW
Joke explained courtesy of wiseGEEK: “The stereotypical Victorian image of a woman swooning against a couch is a classic depiction of a woman who has been overcome by the vapors. Currently, this is not a recognized medical diagnosis.”
According to a Houston Chronicle report, a woman who reached age 40 without finding true love in spite of an excellent education and a globetrotting job did not succumb to the vapors. Instead, Yasmin Eleby married herself in an elaborate ceremony featuring ten bridesmaids and solemnized by her minister sister. The Eleby honeymoon itinerary is “Cambodia, Laos, and a jazz festival in Dubai.”
Another 21st century woman visiting the Victorian Era, Michelle Obama caused a Twitterstorm in Saudi Arabia because she failed to wear a head covering. In the desert, 2,500 tweets is a storm. Some U.S. media hammered her as well, but CNN reported that she followed a trail blazed by another FLOTUS, Laura Bush, and two secretaries of state, Condoleeza Rice and Hillary Clinton. Cousin Ray was LOL. “The Saudis will get used to it before Fox News does!”
The Pentagon objected to remarks from Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones to Al Arabiya that 6,000 ISIS fighters have been killed by U.S. air strikes. Foreign Policy’s Kate Brannen reported that objection was “not necessarily because it was wrong, but because the military wants to avoid anything reminiscent of the famously inflated ‘body counts’ used during Vietnam.” She referred to the point when some wags added up all the body counts and arrived at a figure exceeding the number of Viet Cong that existed in the first place.
Speaking of government credibility, write this on your calendar as the day I said something positive about Oklahoma state government. Attorney General Scott Pruitt told the U.S. Supreme Court it should stay further executions in Oklahoma until the SCOTUS rules on the constitutionality of the new execution drug cocktail under the 8th Amendment, which bans “cruel and unusual punishment.” Last April, Oklahoma’s use of convicted murderer Clyde Lockett as a human science experiment went horribly wrong and Lockett suffered for 43 minutes before the execution was called off—but he died anyway. The drugs that caused trouble in Oklahoma got similar results in Arizona and Ohio.
Cousin Ray agreed the stay was a good thing, but wondered why the Oklahoma courts couldn’t stay their own orders? I’m not informed, but it might have something to do with Oklahoma Gov. “Bloody” Mary Fallin ignoring the Oklahoma courts the last time they tried to stay an execution.