Sacrifice

I am a bit of a sports fan -- well, more of a fan of particular sports teams. I've been a San Francisco Giants fan since my first attended game as a kid in 1971. Mays and McCovey, even Dietz and Fuentes and Speier were my heroes. I've also been a rabid Kansas City Chiefs fan since my forebears settled and thrived for years in Kansas.

Yeah, this does involve a bit of appreciation for what the particular sport itself is, but my impassioned fandom requires me to temper my attention. I work at least modestly successfully to maintain what I call a sports celibacy, just looking at nothing about it all. To be honest it is serving me pretty well right now.

The world of high-level professional sports has gotten extraordinarily ugly, however, and that makes it hard to keep some items out of the news stream for me to have to witness. Some of those items here in a minute, but I'm blogging now to introduce my latest home page piece over at my webzine, one on the real meaning of self-sacrifice and how Rome belches much through its authorized mouthpieces to mess up that idea at the price of one's eternal destiny.

One of the reasons sports is so compelling is because much of it is about working your ass off to give it up, give up the sweat, blood, and tears, even one's life for the cause, for the team, for the truth and glory of everything that is good. This is why there is indeed a distinct moral dynamic to sports. It is why us fans do care about the character and constitution of our team's players even as much as all they really ever do is whack a ball across the field in some manner.

And that life thing? I don't necessarily mean dying, though some have actually died particularly in more dangerous endeavors like auto racing. The life thing is elucidated a bit more at the webzine piece, there is indeed quite a lot to it. I touch on some there. 

Anyway, I was doing some channel surfing this afternoon as I do have a bit of down time between work assignments, and I came across the NFL Network's replay of a game from three years ago. Sure enough there it was, the Vikings and the, ahem, Redskins. As you may know they did away with the name Redskins because it just seemed too racist. But they'd been playing football with that name, with no disrespect whatsoever to Native American Indians at all, for years and years. And now with the most gruesome racialist identity politics ravaging our society now, we must bow to this new form of racism. Really, in a sense, what do they have against people with red skin? I thought we were beyond that?

I do understand why they say they got rid of the name, but because it is a symbol of the ugly leftist takeover of the social sentiments in this nation, I have come to disagree with the move. In fact they can't even get a new name, they're even ready to start a second full NFL season with the name Washington Football Team. Some of that I'm sure is because they fear selecting a name that someone, somewhere may take some offense to.

Yet there they were, right there on the television set, today. Still, all the way up to 2017 they were the Redskins. With that noble Native American Indian on the helmet, in honor of their place in our history. Now erased because there aren't enough people with enough cojones to push back against that crap. How ironic that they wail against what was done to the Native American Indian population in the past, but now they're erasing the historical vestiges of them today.

By the way, what about the Vikings? They were marauding bands of rapists and pillagers and murderers, in fact they attacked the British Isles all the time... and me? I'm part Scottish and English, what about my past grievances? Why isn't my ancestry getting its authorized victimhood coronation? The people of Norway owe me reparations, and while we're at it, get going changing the name of the Minnesota Vikings to Minnesota Football Team already.

What was just as awful was the little news update they had at the NFL Network commercial break. Some items about football, then an announcement that on this first day of "Pride Month," the NFL has a new logo. The standard herald now has all the diagonal stripes representing the LGBTQ+ factions. Because of that very vocal minority of leftist totalitarian sentiment rampaging through everything, almost every large business enterprise feels it must bow to its demands. It is so tolerant! It is so inclusive! It is so diversity elevating! It is also so violently destructive and viciously immoral, all of it institutionalized through once stalwart organizations like the NFL. It is pukifyingly shameful.

I was done having to endure that. ::Click:: All that crap in about five worthless minutes of television viewing time.

Then there is the biggest news and that has to do with Naomi Osaka, the fine tennis player from Japan who announced well before the French Open that she would not be talking with the press, simply because it was best for her mental health. I understand both sides. 

I have to say that if you are a very good high-level professional athlete who gets paid a gazillion dollars for your televised performances, really, face it, part of your obligation is to show up. In some profound sense the fans are paying for it, you've got to be there to talk because fans do want to hear from you, even if it is "What about that shot?" "What about that play?" "Why didn't that happen?" "What were you thinking about when ___?"

That's just part of the entertainment. For cryin' out loud you're whacking a ball up and down the court. That's it. It isn't much more than that. Be blessed you're not answering questions about being fired upon and seriously wounded in a war zone.

On the other hand, there's the Marshawn Lynch factor. Really, Marshawn Lynch, the bruising fullback who played mostly for the Seattle Seahawks who during a required press appearance before a Super Bowl a number of years ago answered every question with, "I'm just here so I won't get fined." Nearly 30 questions, each receiving the same exact answer.

"I'm just here so I won't get fined."

Awesome. It really was, the best interview I've ever seen.

Wait a minute. Didn't I just say the fans deserve to get to know the people they idolize just a little better?

No, I didn't say that at all. And that is exactly the issue.

The idolizing.

And this is why I tend to side with Naomi on this one. When you think about it, what business do we have to know anything about Naomi other than what she does on the court? Can we enjoy her play and trust she's a decent human being? If she weren't, then she'd be in prison. Otherwise, back the eff off. Leave her be. The press can be made up of the worst bastards anyway. They are abusive with their own leftist tinged ways they address athletes, in some measurable ways goading them into affirming these insane racialist and sodomist positions. "Tell us from the heart how great it is to be playing a sport during this wonderfully fabulous 'Pride Month' celebrating such marvelous sexual freedom!" 

It is easy to see why Osaka would want to be a million miles away from them.

After me and my buddies went to a Giants game back in 1989, we zipped over to a TGIFriday's for something to eat, and the place was practically empty -- it was something like 4:30 in the afternoon. What was weird was seated about four empty tables away were four players from the Giants team itself. Know what we did? Nothing. We didn't go harass them for autographs, we didn't go say, "Hey dudes we like you guys a lot, okay!" We barely looked over at them because they have their own lives, and probably get far too many idolizers bothering them as it is.

Wow, how little do people respect themselves and their own lives and their own livelihoods that their well-being must be shaped by anything a physically gifted athlete does, or worse, anything representing the dazzling simulacrum fabricated by fawning media. 

In fact I should add that there was a story about Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes going to a pizza restaurant with his girlfriend, and this restaurant was pretty full. Now you have to know Mahomes is a godsend for the Chiefs -- he is not just arguably but categorically the best quarterback in the entire NFL. There is not a true Chiefs fan who does not believe in the depths of their souls that Patrick Mahomes is one of the greatest funnest bestest things ever. Thing is...

No one bothered him. No one went to his table, no asked him for an autograph, everyone in the place left him in peace to enjoy his own life. The reason it was a story was that afterwards Mahomes bought everyone's pizza, and told everyone as he left he did so because they all left him alone. How great is that.

Only thing is, why do we all even know about this story? Why should we even be privy to this whole thing that happened? Why does the press have to pry into so many people's lives and make their business everyone else's business, especially people like Naomi Osaka?

I'd once heard a remark about those television shows where people's titillating peccadilloes and boorish behavior is given the brightest spotlight, you know, Jerry Springer, Ricki Lake, Maury Povich -- I don't even know if these shows are on any more, I'm sure some like them are. Point is, I'd heard a wise person refer to them as emotional rape. What an accurate assessment, it really is.

So yeah, leave Naomi Osaka alone. Let her play well, let her do what she likes to do and does so well and is willing to share with us, without the emotional raping that we all think she must endure. In some ways I'd love it if she had a little more of Marshawn Lynch in her, and she did show up at those inane press briefings and responded to the most stupid questions with, "Thanks for sharing, next," and do so as often as she must.

Assertiveness is a beautiful thing.

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The image of Willie Mays is from a search result related to Bleacher Sports Music & Framing, thank you. The image of Naomi Osaka is from the Wall Street Journal, thank you.

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