by John Walters

“I long to hold you tight/So I can feel you/Sweet lady of the night/I shall reveal you”… Happy 70th to Van the Man!

Starting Five

This adorable photo was chosen with the express purpose of not offending anyone about to read the words below

1. How Can You Not SeeWhat Curt Schilling Meant?

When ESPN suspended baseball analyst/former World Series MVP/former Sports Illustrated co-Sportsman of the Year/three-time World Series champion Curt Schilling last week, they sent out a statement that read, “Curt’s tweet was completely unacceptable, and in no way represents our company’s perspective.”

But why? WHY was Curt’s tweet unacceptable, Norby?

Before we tackle that, a few things worth mentioning: 1) I don’t know if the “maths” included in Curt’s tweet were accurate or not. Let’s assume for the moment they were. I’m quite certain the numbers are not what upset Bristol. 2) It never, never, never ever helps to post a photo of Hitler in support of your argument. Ever. 3) When you have Sarah Palin come out in your defense, there’s a segment of the population that is immediately going to even further dismiss the point you were trying to make.

I’ll confess: In the moment, I too lambasted Schilling. I’m not particularly a fan. But then I decided to explore the logic behind his tweet. The thing, I believe, that everyone (including Norby) finds so offensive is the idea that he was comparing Adolf Hitler and the Nazis to Muslims.

Except…he wasn’t.

Schilling was comparing the Nazi Party to ISIS, and he was comparing Germany, a nation that itself represents and exports mostly beneficial things (BMWs, giant pretzels and, of course, Diane Kruger), to Muslims.

Kruger: Ja!

I hate to tell the haters, but this analogy is accurate. Eerily so. Germany in the 1920s was a depressed state trying to recover from a debilitating war in the aftermath of which the Allied nations held it fully accountable. That, plus war reparations, made its populace resentful (and also unemployed and very hungry).

The Middle East countries in which ISIS operates most effectively are Syria and Iraq. Again, countries depressed by recent wars with a citizenry operating with a low self-esteem as to its place in the geopolitical lunch room.

How could these innocent boys cause such a, um, furor?

The Nazis started out small — the Hitler Jugen, or Hitler Youth, numbered less than 500 lads its first year — but it gained a deserved reputation for being violent and implacable, and it valued loyalty above all other traits. Sounds a little bit like a caliphate we’ve been reading about.

Hitler first heard about the Nazi Party, then joined it, then used his ridiculously persuasive and charismatic rhetorical talents to bring the party under his thumb to advance his goals, which were to create a master, or Aryan, race. Hitler had a goal of excising all people who did not fit this mold from the planet, and he used his SS squads to carry out this plan via mass executions involving gas chambers, ovens, hangings and shootings.

Nazi death squads….

Hitler came to represent Germany because by the time Germany realized the extent of his madness, it was too late to stop him. He had violence and the youth of the country on his side, and he was operating through intimidation.

All ISIS lacks is a charismatic figurehead. But it’s operating from Hitler’s playbook. It is actively recruiting disaffected young people; it brooks no compromise in terms of what its goals are and it accepts no one who does not fully buy into ITS definition of Islam; it uses intimidating and barbaric violence to subdue anyone who would dare threaten its rise: beheading people, throwing homosexuals, while bound, off rooftops, and even cutting off the feet and/or hands of recruits who have dared attempt to escape.

…and ISIS death squads. You’re right, Norby. No resemblance at all.

It’s a different part of the world and its victims are, unlike the Jews, not well-represented by having relatives in the United States, but ISIS really is very much like the Nazi Party.

The essence of ESPN’s misunderstanding, and that of others, is to infer from what Schilling said that the religion of Islam is evil or bent on the destruction of good people by its inherent nature. That would be like saying that Germany is a nation that by its very nature is bent on war with its neighbors. But, of course, he was not saying that at all.

What he was saying is that an extremely radical and violent group, operating within the environs of a larger entity and purporting to speak for that larger entity, may just, if left unchecked. take over the will of that entity. In fact, if Schilling had compared ISIS to a malignant tumor that is on the verge of metastasizing, he would have been no less accurate and probably would not have been suspended.

But here’s the real danger of what transpired last week: fear and panic overtook intelligence. No, Schilling’s 1st Amendment rights were not trampled: no one put him in jail for what he said. But, it’s a very dangerous thing when people have no interest in exploring the verity of your message but are rather only concerned about how what you said makes them feel.

You blew it, Norby. Again.

2. Pajama Party

“Leaving on a jet plane/Don’t know when they’ll be back again…” (the NLCS?)

After Jake Arrieta no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, manager Joe Maddon had them all don pajamas for the flight home to Chicago. This alone may earn Maddon Manager of the Year votes.

The Dodgers have now been no-hit twice in the past 10 days. As someone (or many) tweeted, This is what a $300,000,000 payroll buys these days. L.A. becomes the first team to be no-twice in the same month as the 1971 Cincinnati Reds –who would go on to win a pair of World Series in the next half-decade — and the first to be no-hit in that short a span of time since 1923.

Then again, there was a play in the third inning that was ruled an error (against Starlin Castro) that may just as easily have been ruled a hit. Even Arrieta thought the hard one-hopper hit by Kike Hernandez, misplayed by Castro, was a hit. You decide.

Still, Arrieta,  was masterful, with 12 Ks, including striking out the side in the 9th. He finishes August with a 6-0 record and a 0.43 ERA, which is positively Dodger-ace like.

3. Where’s Corey?

Robinson’s studliness belied by his omission from a publicity still promoting ND’s wideouts

Take a look at this photo and ask yourself what, or who, is missing? That’s Notre Dame wideouts Torii Hunter, Jr., Will Fuller, Amir Carlisle and Chris Brown. Fuller, No. 7, had 15 touchdowns last season. The other three combined to score five TDs, or the exact same number that junior wide out Corey Robinson had all by himself.

O captains, my captains….

And, if that last touchdown in Tallahassee would have counted, you’d have to give Robinson six. So where is he? Why did Notre Dame exclude him from the picture? Is it a by-product of the Four Horsemen strategy, in which you can never have more than four players in a publicity still? If so, how do you explain the shot above?

I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation. We’ll wait to hear from the ND sports info dept.

4. VMAs

Apparently, Justin Bieber cried and Kanye West filibustered. I’m so old. I just don’t care.

5. Daily Kerfuffle: Rovell vs. El Flaco (a.k.a. Bomani Jones)

Darren Rovell chided anyone who would assume that racism is even the least bit involved as to why Maria Sharapova, who yesterday withdrew from the U.S. Open with an acute case of Serena-itis, earns more in endorsements than the world’s greatest female tennis player of perhaps all time.

And then Bomani Jones took him to he is wont to do.

This is not the first Rovell vs. Bomani battle, but I do believe it’s the first since Rovell re-joined ESPN.

Music 101

Mr. Brightside

The summer and fall of 2004 provided a slew of great rock band pop hits: “Float On,” “Take Me Out” and this one by The Killers, in which lead singer Brandon Flowers suspects his gal is cheating on him with Julia Roberts’ brother. Of course.

The tune topped out at No. 10 on the Billboard chart. It’s also the first song that this Las Vegas-based band ever wrote. And still the best.

Remote Patrol

FOX Sports 1 College Football Preview Show

FS 1 9 p.m.

UCLA true freshman quarterback Josh RosenRosen, who has been named starter. His pregame meal consists of a Bloody Mary, a steak sandwich and…a steak sandwich.

To get you in the mood. Host Rob Stone with Joel Klatt, Matt Leinart, Dave Wannstedt and Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce Feldman!

5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Agree with you about Schilling’s tweet but I still don’t understand why he (a member of the media) tweeted it in the 1st place. Was he responding to someone else (tweet, interview or article)? Did he not realize it would draw an immediate reaction? Actually, his tweet, the social media’s unending hysterical “policing” & ESPN’s scared-kneejerk response has me pondering if media members actually have free speech in this country. Dumb question – of course they don’t, not if they want to continue having a job in the media.

    Also, I have to admit that while I originally agreed with his point, when I read of Palin’s screeching admonishment of ESPN, I almost changed my mind. Hmmmm, would you say that having Palin rush to one’s defense was akin to having it revealed (after 1945) that Hitler had been a fan of one’s art? Of course not, you’re a member of the media. I’m not. 😉

    I don’t think it’s racism exactly that keeps Serena from raking in all the endorsement money she deserves – it’s because the PTB (especially corporate marketing) don’t think she’s “attractive” enough. Look at that mediocre tennis player Anna Kournikova (I’m sure YOU did your share of looking back in the day) years ago – NEVER won a tournament & made FAR more money than any other female pro player for more than a decade. It was nauseating. And then there’s Martina – best female athlete (of ANY sport) from late 70s thru 80s & she got almost no endorsement money. And this was long before she came out. Not deemed “attractive” enough. Today in America, we have the best female snowboarder of all time in Kelly Clark & I almost NEVER see a commercial with her. She’s white. And let’s look at the last summer Olympics – two female American swimmers who won the same # of medals : one was heavily promoted & covered by NBC & other media & the other may as well stayed in England for all the media exposure she received in this country. Sure, Missy Franklin has an infectious personality, she’s a human Snuggle Bear, but Allison Schmitt is extremely funny & was/is a training partner of Michael Phelps. The difference? Missy is beautiful & very photogenic & Allison not quite as much. Both white though. It’s SEXISM far more than racism that’s keeping Serena from the millions on Madison Avenue.

  2. Two more things. 1st, pretty much every single day, I understand less & less about today’s society, at least the American version. Schilling was not just criticized by folks inside/outside his workplace, he was SUSPENDED from his work for a non-work opinion. And the “kerfuffle” surrounding the incident was close to becoming, er, a “kerflooey” of Mt Denali proportions. (Disclosure – I thought that ‘hill’ was renamed years ago!) Meanwhile, another ESPN employee, on TV far more than Schilling ,was FILMED at a his former sport’s yearly indoctrination hooha for new employees to “GET A FALL GUY” if they get into legal trouble. He, a ‘HALL OF FAME” former player, was there to impart, um, “wisdom” – what to look out for & how to handle it. Hey kids, listen to me – ‘I’M in the HALL OF FAME, do what I tell ya & you may get there too!’. The NFL NOW says they told this “wisdom imparter” that he was out of line. Not out of line ENOUGH apparently to keep from posting this ‘educational talk’ to their own website for the past year though. It only came to the attention of the masses (& supposedly to the rest of the pathetic NFL-covering media) when an ex-player mentioned it in an interview. It then, as the kids say, “blew up” but only became a story for about a nanosecond. The HOF/ESPN talking head addressed his comments as a “mistake” both to the “juries” of social media & TV audience – which lasted all about 60 seconds. Was this man suspended? Heck no. Not only was he there on his regular TV gig, he filled in as the co-host of ESPN’s main morning show yesterday & was there again today as a guest. Stating that Pete Rose shouldn’t be hanging around the baseball HOF singing autographs because it was ‘wrong’. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! We have VIDEO EVIDENCE OF THIS MORON telling young men to lie & defraud the legal system (& their employers) & he has the AUDACITY to TELL ANYONE less than a week later that WRITING HIS SIGNATURE (or anything else for that matter) is WRONG? Am I the only person screaming at the TV over this? I’ve not studied in depth the fall of the Roman Empire but I bet this is in there…

    Also, how does that Kentucky county clerk KEEP HER JOB when she refuses to actually do it? If SHE had compared gays wishing to get married to, oh, let’s say Nazis, would SHE have been at least suspended? Can someone explain to me why this woman has not been fired? The times, they are a-changing, but into WHAT? Crazyland?

    2nd thing – about the sexism vs racism debate. I give you exhibit #5 – Lolo Jones. Back in 2008, she was a gold medal contender in the Olympic 100 hurdles. Not the only contender, even of her own country, but a definite contender. Was she considered a “sure thing”? Absolutely not. The amount of media coverage (hype) surrounding her was insane & INANE. Both before & during the Games. By not just NBC but almost every media outlet (newspapers, websites) covering those games. At least until after she famously went splat a few hurdles from the finish line. During the next 4 years, Jones incurred several injuries & it was almost a miracle she qualified for the 2012 Olympics. The media hype had lessened considerably but even though the reality was that it was a long shot for Jones to even make the Final, NBC still mostly just talked about her. That a fellow American had actually won the gold in Beijing & was the best chance for a medal in London barely made the coverage (she got the Silver, go Dawn!). Both Lolo & Dawn are black. Only one was/is deemed “extremely attractive” & gets the media coverage & most of the endorsements. And it ain’t the multi-medalist. I rest my case. And my fingers.

  3. You probably already knew this, but that Ky County clerk has been married FOUR TIMES. She says “To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God’s definition of marriage with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience”. Did YOU know God’s “definition” of marriage included “if you don’t get it right the 1st time, TRY, TRY, TRY AGAIN?

    A Federal judge just said she & her staff have to come to court. I’m thinking fines &/or jail time. Our national legal system cannot allow anyone to disobey a federal law because of personal beliefs. If the southern states were not allowed to do so back in 1860 or in the 1960s (integration) then an individual surely can’t today. What the hell have this woman’s (free) rightist lawyers been telling her? If she goes to jail, they need to be in there with her, for malfeasance.

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