Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

 
Monday, February 06, 2012

Halftime in America?

Clint Eastwood claims that his Super Bowl commercial was completely apolitical in intent, and that he believes politicians from both sides of the aisle would do well to embrace the spirit of the ad.

Okay.

Other folks claim that it might as well have been a campaign ad for Obama. The overall theme is that America is in half time. I'm sure it is a coincidence that Obama would like to believe his Presidency is only half over as well.

It's interesting that the commercial never mentions Chrysler, referring repeatedly instead to Detroit. I guess it's make an ad about "American Spirit" and the resurgence of the American Auto industry when your company is owned by an Italian car manufacturer.

Yep, Chrysler's majority owner is Fiat, the Italian car company. Funny, Clint must not have gotten the memo.

There's a lot of things he didn't talk about. Obviously, he's an actor, reading from a script, but at some point, ethics have to be considered.

Consider this rewrite:

It's halftime. The teams are in their locker rooms, discussing what they can do to win this game in the second half. One team has a big lead; the other is bogged down in a morass of poor defense and a lackluster offense. But rather than change their scheme in order to compete, they complain that it isn't fair that they should have to catch up to the other team. They should get a second chance, wipe the scoreboard clean, and start all over again. And some new rules as well. They need help in order to match the other team, which is playing harder and smarter.

It's the same way with America. We're at halftime, and we're trailing. People are out of work and they're hurting. And they're all wondering what somebody will do for them to bring them back. And they're all scared because this isn't a game. They need help to be able to match the others who worked, saved and invested.

The people in Detroit know a little something about this. They almost lost everything. But a government bailout gave them yet another chance at a level playing field by penalizing the car maker who succeeded; the government breathed new life and new money into those who failed. They changed the rules in the middle of the game to help the failed companies to survive.

And now it's time for them to do the same for us.

I've seen a lot of tough eras, a lot of downturns in my life, times when we didn't understand each other. Seems that we've lost our heart at times. The fog of division, discord, and blame made it hard to see the lies for what they were. Rather than deal with harsh truths, we sought refuge in fantasies of fairness, in equality of outcome rather than of opportunity.

But after those trials we all rallied around what was fair and ignored and denigrated any who refused to see our passionate commitment to our vision of fairness.

Because that's what we do. We find tough times and if we can't find one we will make one; a crisis brings change, and we can manage that change to the benefit of ourselves, regardless of the rule of law, justice, or the Constitution.

All that matters now is what's ahead. How do we come from behind? How can we take from others and give to ourselves? How do we marginalize success and how do we win? Detroit's showing us it can be done. With a willingness to do whatever it takes, regardless of the consequences, we can achieve victory. The race goes not to the strong, but to the favored; the rules change to help those who would otherwise fail.

Slowly, but surely, the ability to excel is marginalized, penalized, until it dies. This country can't be knocked out with one punch. It takes the accumulation of hundreds of jabs and body blows before greatness can be destroyed. We lose an election and get right back up again and file lawsuits, obstruct progress, occupy government buildings and do whatever it takes to impose our agenda. And when we do, the world's gonna hear the whine of our eco friendly electric engines.

Yeah; it's halftime America. And our second half is about to begin.


This message has been brought to you by http://www.shotsacrossthebow.com. The author will be buying Ford products only, and asks that Mr. Eastwood please not shoot him.

Posted by Rich
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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Hank Williams JR and Monday Night Football

I didn't know MNF was still on the air.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bruce Pearl Heads for the Showers

While I like Bruce Pearl, and think he was a great hire for UT, I think that they did the right thing by firing him. As much good as he has done here, as popular and energetic as he is, his personal conduct has done almost as much damage. The poor results this season are really irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. What matters is that Coach Pearl knowingly broke NCAA rules, then lied to cover it up, then lied again about coming clean about the whole thing. He showed not only bad judgment, but poor character as well.

Any man can make a mistake, and many of them will try to cover it up if possible. Unfortunately, Coach Pearl is not any man; he's the coach of a major sports team. He doesn't have the luxury of making mistakes like that.

Now, he will face the consequences of his actions. I'm sure the buyout he gets will be generous, and I'm equally certain he'll land another coaching job somewhere. He's too good of a coach not to.

It's too bad really. Coach Pearl could have taken the NCAA championship. Instead, he took us to an NCAA investigation and possible probation.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Superbowl Halftime Show

Now I understand why Bruce has been sticking to ballads lately.

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Superbowl!

I'm pulling for Kurt Warner and the Cards. Everybody seems to think the Steelers have already won the game, but the way the Cards lit up the scoreboard through the playoffs makes me think that Warner may have one more miracle left in them. The big question is the Arizona defense. Can they contain the Steelers?

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

What’s the Difference between Pro Boxing and Pro Football?

Football makes boxing look honest.

Flacco steps out of the back of the endzone in full view of the cameras, the defense, the offense, and a blind guy in the nosebleed section, but the ref saw nothing. The play clock expires a full second before Baltimore gets the play off, but there's no whistle. Rampant holding on offense goes uncalled but Kearse gets called for off sides.

The most insulting part of it is that the officiating crew didn't even try to disguise their intent.

I think I'll give upon pro football and start watching pro wrestling instead. Their referees have more integrity.

Posted by Rich
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Saturday, January 03, 2009

A Sign of the End of Days

Vandy, Kentucky, and Ole Miss win their bowl games while Bama chokes on the Utes.

What is a Ute?

I'd love to make fun of Alabama, but as a Tennessee Vol fan, I don't have too much room to talk trash.

But I'll give it a shot.

My brother in law, an otherwise intelligent man and a decent human being, is an ardent supporter of the puce pachyderms. He was born and raised right here in East Tennessee so there's no excuse for that kind of orneriness, although it does come in handy, being married to my sister and all. And it could have been worse; he could have been a Gator fan; fortunately, my sister does maintain some sense of decency. My cousins are also big fans of the maroon mammoths but they can be excused because, being from Nashville, until recently they had no other credible choices.

But now, the long suffering Vandy faithful can stand tall and proud, and while calculating that a 7-6 season comes out to a 0.538461 (infinitely repeating) winning percentage, they can rejoice in a winning season, a winning bowl game, and a better record than Tennessee. Bama fans, on the other hand, have to deal with the undeniable fact that with 8 sacks of John Parker Wilson and a 1.1 yd rushing average, their offensive line looked a lot like one clad in Orange and White.

On the other hand, the Tide faithful can console themselves with the thought that they didn't lose as badly as Steve Spurrier did.

Meanwhile, back at USC (Eastern Outpost), a place formerly known as Neyland Stadium, Lane Kiffen continues to assemble a crack coaching team to bring the Vols back to national prominence and winning seasons, just like he did in Oakland.

Well, maybe not.

I'm not saying we're getting a lot of USC alums here in Tennessee or anything like that, but I did hear that Lindsay Buckingham is trying to work a tune for the Pride of the Southland marching band, but POSL just doesn't have the same ring to it.

But with the college football season winding down, and no really important games left to watch, we can start concentrating on the important things in life.

Like NASCAR.

Bristol, March 22, 2009 will be an historic occasion in the foothills of north east Tennessee. I will be the guest of honor, along with 150,000 of my closest friends, at the world's largest, longest, and certainly the loudest, bachelor party. Lissa is extremely comfortable with this bachelor party idea because the guy to girl ratio at a NASCAR race is somewhere in the neighborhood of 8000 to one. And if you factor in availability, i.e. not with someone who could kill me, that number climbs by at least an order of magnitude. So, by the numbers, in a crowd of 150,000 people, that works out to just under two girls that I might have a chance of hooking up with. Rounding up to two, because the alternative is a little gross, (What would 7/8ths of a girl look like?) and taking into account the laws of random distribution, my chances of physical contact with a real female over the course of my bachelor party is about the same as my chances for winning the lottery.

Twice.

So she is absolutely assured of my celibacy during this bachelor party extravaganza.

Now, I'm not sure how this post went from talking about Bama's bowl game to my celibacy, unless the common factor is impotent offenses, but I do believe it's time to put this post, and myself, to bed.

PS: Important Safety Tip: Posting with a 100 degree fever is not a good idea.

Posted by Rich
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Saturday, November 08, 2008

A Great Saturday for Football!

The English Mountain Football Conference held its Super Bowls today and I've been on the field and in the press box since 10AM covering six games. It was a blast! I really enjoyed watching kids play the game for the love of it, and listening to fans who cheer for their team instead of boo it.

By the way, how did the Vols do today?

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Best Response to an Obnoxious Parent I’ve Ever Heard

The game was over and our team had won and won big. In the midst of all the celebration I noticed the head coach engaged in an intense conversation with one of the parents on his team. I eased over in that direction since I needed to talk to the coach about an issue with the sound system. As I got closer, I heard the following conversation:

Obnoxious Parent: My son is the best receiver on your team. Why didn't you throw the ball to him more?

Head Coach: Let me ask you a question first. What defense was the other team lined up in>

OP: Excuse me?

HC: What defense were they lined up in? Were they in a cover one or cover two? Were they blitzing a linebacker or having one drop back into coverage? Was their line playing up tight and pressuring the run, or were they sitting back to cover the pass? Was the safety sliding over to help the corner or was he blitzing up the middle?

OP: I don't know much about defenses; I'm not sure what you're asking me...

HC: If you don't know about the defenses the other team was running, then how can you come up to me and tell me I should have thrown the ball more?

OP: Aaaahh ermmmmm My wife made me come over here!

Posted by Rich
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Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Post in Which I Say Something Good About Referees

Just kidding. I have very little good to say about referees, particularly TSSAA referees who work Saturday football games for money.

If you're a ref, and you work on Saturdays because you love the game, and you love watching the kids play, then the rest of this doesn't concern you.

For the rest of you, the ones who are out there for the money, or because you can't quite hack the high school game anymore, I'd just as soon you sit at home on the couch and watch the big game on TV than come out to our field and ruin our games.

We had a referee tonight who made it clear from the moment he stepped on our field that he didn't want to be there, and he wanted to make sure he got out of there as quickly as possible. He ran the clock when it should have been stopped, waved off penalties to keep the clock from stopping, and in general called a very loose game. He harassed the clock keeper and the announcer (me) to move the games along faster, even reducing the time between games, which made it hard for the teams to get on and off the field and get warmed up before the game.

What makes it worse is that out of all the people working to make these games happen, the only ones getting paid are the refs. Everyone else is donating their time, money, sweat, and blood so the kids can have a team. Yet the only people making a dime from all of this work are also the ones who resent being there.

So don't be there. Stay home. Be comfortable. If you need the extra money that badly go out and get a job. But don't mess with a bunch of kids who just want to spend a Saturday evening playing football. They deserve better.

Yeah, I know. I've said this before, but I'll keep saying it as long as I keep running into these pathetic little men who need to boss around little kids to feel like they are somebody.

Posted by Rich
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Monday, August 04, 2008

Lighting the Torch

In a few days, the Olympic Torch will be lit once again, this time in China. I try to watch every opening ceremonies simply because for the vast majority of the competitors, it is their only night of glory. Most will be going home without a medal, but on the night the Olympics open, they are all champions.

Looking back, three lightings stand out in my mind.

Third is the Winter Games in Torino. It was simply a stunning visual spectacle, worthy of the games.

Torino 2006

Second was the Barcelona Summer Games of 1992. Rather than the traditional parade of athletes, the folks of Barcelona decided to celebrate athletic excellence by demonstrating it. Everyone on the entire planet held their breath as that arrow arced through the sky, and when the cauldron exploded into flame, it was as if we had all made that shot. Glorious!

Barcelona1992

The Atlanta games came next, and I didn't think they could do anything to top Barcelona.

I was wrong.

They took the standard tradition of honoring past Olympic athletes and raised the bar by giving the torch to Mohammed Ali. Ali never embodied the meaning of the Olymp[ics more than when he took that torch. The wind was against him, blowing the flame away from the wick and up his arm. His body was failing him, Parkinson's robbing him of his trademark wit and flair. But his will never faltered, never failed. He endured the pain of the flames; he withstood the ravages of his body. He held the torch in place until at last the job was done and the cauldron was lit.

That endurance, that tenacity, that sheer will to overcome all obstacles no matter what, that's what the Olympics are all about.

Atlanta 1996

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Chris Lofton:  My Hero

No excuses.

No whining.

He just continued to do the best he could, playing as hard as he could.

How many of us could live up to that kind of example?

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, February 24, 2008

So, Why Does Fulmer Make More Money than Bruce Pearl?

Pearl leads his Vols to a #1 ranking in the upcoming AP poll.
Fulmer leads the nation as well, but only in number of players he's had arrested.

I guess that's why he gets paid so much. He needs the money to bail his team out of jail.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Daytona 500!

NASCAR is back, and Tony Stewart is still a jerk.

Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch gave Tony Stewart a lesson in teamwork as they powered their Dodges past the 20 car for the lead and the win at Daytona. Jeff Burton had the lead on the restart, followed by Kyle Busch in the 18 and his teammate Tony Stewart in the 20. Kyle Busch had the dominant car of the race and was in perfect position to take the lead and win the race for Gibbs racing.

That is, the perfect position if his teammate were anybody other than Tony Stewart.

"Smoke" decided that instead of pushing his teammate to the front and then battling for the win, he'd be better off jumping the restart, taking the highline and going for the win himself. His move forced his teammate down the track and beneath the yellow line, where passing is against the rules. Busch was forced to back off and give back any positions he picked up in order to avoid a penalty.

Meanwhile, 4th place car Ryan Newman made a break for the front, aided by his teammate Kyle Busch, who stayed on his teammate's bumper and pushed him right past Tony Stewart, who was unable to block the two Dodges and his teammate at the same time.

You couldn't pay me enough money to be Tony Stewart's teammate.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Horrible Choking Sound you hear is Courtesy of the Indianapolis Dolts

Alternate post title: Are the Colts the Atlanta Braves of the NFL?

How many people would have thought that the only Manning still alive in the playoffs would be playing for the Giants?

Here's the thing. Manning is one of the greatest drop back passers in the history of the NFL, without question. Make him scramble, however, and he drops from phenomenal to merely excellent. At that point, the rest of the team must step up and play like champions, and usually, they fail to do so. Until the Colts realize that there has to be 11 players on offense playing their hearts out every down, Indianapolis will maintain their rep for choking on the big game. They'll continue to win 12 or13 games in the regular season, and underperform in the post season.

I'm not even going to talk about the Colt's defense. If they aren't going to play, then why should I talk about them?

My dream now is for the Patriots and Packers to meet in the Superbowl, where Brett Favre will retire after winning his second Superbowl ring.

Posted by Rich
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