Today, in “stick to sports” sticking to sports

I’m sure I’ll get some grief for linking to this, but it’s a perfect story as to why I’m so cynical about the whole uproar over players taking knees during the playing of the national anthem.

In the years following 9/11, professional sports took a healing gesture and transformed it into a way to make money. In 2015, Republican Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake released the report “Tackling Paid Patriotism,” which criticized the deceptive, taxpayer-funded contracts between the Pentagon and virtually every pro sports league. In 2012, the New York Army National Guard paid the Buffalo Bills $250,000 to conduct on-field re-enlistment ceremonies. In 2014, the Georgia National Guard paid the Atlanta Falcons $114,000 to sing the national anthem. In 2015, the Air Force paid NASCAR $1.5 million in part for veterans to shake hands with racing legend Richard Petty. Your tax dollars. At work.

“Yeah I hate to say it, but I wasn’t completely surprised,” Astore says. “But I was disgusted by it. Patriotic displays, they mean a lot more to me when they’re spontaneous. But to learn that these had been paid for — that corporate teams, teams owned by billionaires, basically, were collecting money from the military. Paid for, obviously, by you and me, by the American taxpayer. Well, it was sad.”

American flags are the ultimate Good Housekeeping seal. And thanking veterans for their service disconnects the public from what has been nearly two decades of war. The ballpark ceremony obscures the realities of war and, by focusing on soldiers, inoculates the government from antiwar criticism.

I have no sympathy for the NFL’s current dilemma.  It’s a problem those greedheads happily brought on themselves because the money was good, and now that they’ve reaped the whirlwind, they’re frozen on how to escape.

At least nobody’s tried to bribe their way into making college football players appear on the field for the anthem.  Hopefully, that’s one “be more like the NFL” tack even the morons running college football are able to resist.

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45 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Political Wankery, The NFL Is Your Friend.

45 responses to “Today, in “stick to sports” sticking to sports

  1. HirsuteDawg

    Wear a flag pin on you lapel, put a serious look on you face and hand on heart, mouth part of the words to national anthem – covers a multitude of sins. God help America!

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  2. 92 grad

    Well stated IMHO. Like most federal government operations all one can do is shake your head.

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  3. TimberRidgeDawg

    Well, it’s disappointing to a least some degree that the military is paying for what the NFL should freely offer.

    Granted the military has a promotional and recruiting budget so buying air time and maybe doing things like flyovers should come out of that but paying a team to sing the anthem is distasteful on so many levels. Don’t do lip service to an anthem policy when when you’ve got your hand out taking cash for the right to perform it.

    BTW, it looks like Stingtalk has opened up the Black Gates to the masses again.

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    • I perused a few of the posts over on stingtalk since it is open. What a bunch of miserable people. Still looks to be a bunch of teenagers calling UGA and each other silly names. Nothing worth reading.

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  4. Cosmic Dawg

    I would extend this criticism to most / all of the government’s PR campaigns for various programs. I have a problem with them taxing me to pay for a campaign to sell me on how awesome they are.

    In other news, Aaron Murray and his girl almost ran into me and my family on their bikes in VA Highlands yesterday. They were super nice, all ‘scuse me! ‘scuse me! – I was like, was that…?

    My GT grad buddy who we were visiting said he met Murray at a neighborhood party recently and he was a super nice guy.

    #offseason

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  5. Greg

    “At least nobody’s tried to bribe their way into making college football players appear on the field for the anthem”

    Yet….but hopefully never. No “grief”, good find & comments.

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  6. I like Sanford pre-game just as it is. Redcoats play the fight songs at the beginning and set the mood with the Alma Mater. Then 92,000 stand and sing the National Anthem as one. The team comes out to Krypton and all is right in the world.

    My problem with the protest was when some players kneeled during the anthem and stood for God Save the Queen in London. Marshawn Lynch did the same in Mexico City if I remember correctly.

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    • Yes, the fact the DoD spent that money advertising with the NFL pi$$e$ me off.

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    • ChiliDawg

      They weren’t protesting police brutality in London, so why would they kneel during God Save the Queen? Last I checked, British police don’t have the institutional problem with racism and killing people that our police do.

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      • In the case of the game in question, the Saints did it the right way. They kneeled as a team before the anthem was played and then stood during the anthem.

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/abcnews.go.com/amp/US/nfl-players-kneel-anthem-london-game/story%3fid=50209433

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        • ChiliDawg

          I honestly don’t care if anyone stands, kneels or does the hokey pokey during the national anthem. The idea that one has to stand at attention for a compulsory display of nationalism is antithetical to the very idea of America. So are notions that a minority protest should conform to the majority’s ideas of what acceptable “ways to do it” are.

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          • ChiliDawg

            For the record – if it were up to me I’d get rid of the national anthem in all sporting events and most if not all public events in general.

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          • It’s not compulsory – as defined “as required by law or rule” (Source: New Oxford English Dictionary). If you decide to use your right to free speech by doing the hokey pokey during the playing of the national anthem, no law says you can’t. A law enforcement officer can’t come over, put you in cuffs, and take you to jail.

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  7. DawgPhan

    All while operating a tax exempt league in tax payer funded stadiums.

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  8. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    It’s epidemic in today’s world (and maybe always has been) – not unlike the driver with the fish symbol on the car that cuts you off in traffic or realtors that puts out hundreds of mini flags with their cards attached. We just like to talk the talk. Not that many are seen walking the walk, but that is what impresses me.

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  9. HiAltDawg

    I believe UGA does a pretty good job highlighting UGA Veterans during the game in Nov (and UGA Veteran Services are much better than when I matriculated through). I know Gurley II is beloved by Veterans for the cool sideline picture with the Marine in the wheelchair.

    Other than the tax funded money aspect (a very fair criticism) this guy is just dropping an opinion piece. He doesn’t like, in his opinion the B2 flyover at the Rose Bowl; other people (including the taxpayers that pay the military’s way) liked it. He’s not the magic arbitrator of whether or not there’s flyovers at games, or parachuting in the ball or whatever. Most of those things are folded into normal operations and it’s not a big deal cost-wise.

    I know a lot of veterans feel uncomfortable being asked to stand for recognition at events but so many people in our country truly appreciate the military. It seems like going to a game and the Flag and National Anthem is a way they feel they’re saying thank you. Do we see value in that?(I’m not sure). Sadly, if we waved a magic wand and every penny spent on the militarization of sports went away our taxes ain’t going to decrease (It’s still wrong, though).

    p.s. I seem to remember a Little League World Series team from Warner Robbins awhile back–did the Army brainwash the little dude that smacked three homers? I bet he’d look good in Red & Black!

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    • ChiliDawg

      If people really gave a shit about the military they’d stop voting for politicians who send them to wars they never come home from. There are young men serving NOW in Afghanistan who are following their fathers footsteps. That’s not hyperbole, that’s fact – we’re seeing more and more “son treads in his dad steps in Afghanistan” fluff pieces that unsurprisingly miss the tragedy in that.

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      • Got Cowdog

        Your first sentence was dead on.

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      • ugafidelis

        The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

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      • ugafidelis

        Have you ever read “The Savage Wars of Peace” by Max Boot? If not, I’d suggest you do. The U.S. has basically been in a constant state of war since its inception. Practically the whole world has too, but the book focuses on us.

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  10. Thanks for another whiplash Senator. I’ve had soany in the past 2 weeks. Need to go to my chiropractor.

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  11. jhorne2000

    I don’t see the connection.

    If you own a business you should be able to charge for services AND get your employees to follow your rules while they are on your clock.

    How does the NFL doing one of those reduce your ability to sympathize with them for being unable to do the other ?

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    • If you have to ask a question like that, I doubt there is any explanation that is going to suit you.

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      • jhorne2000

        Probably not , but that doesn’t make the question unfair.

        I suppose I could go along with “no sympathy” because they’ve mishandled the protest , or because they’re billionaires and I’m not , or just ‘cause, dammit.

        It’s hard for me to blame somebody for making a sale of a legal product.

        These protests are a joke anyway. They’re not protesting war , taxes , or abortion — They’re protesting against injustice – who is the other side of that fight ? Nobody! Why do they feel the need to offend a substantial part of the audience to protest injustice ? How about stand for the anthem , and after the game start a foundation and raise awareness in such a way that will influence people to do something about it ? All their little protests have done is create something unnecessary to argue about.

        I’m sorry, Senator , I know your post isn’t about the merits of the protest.

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        • I understand where you’re coming from, even if I don’t agree with all of it.

          The point is that the NFL, out of sheer greed, handed these players a platform of expression that otherwise wouldn’t exist. That’s why I have no sympathy for the owners.

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        • ChiliDawg

          These protests are a joke anyway. They’re not protesting war , taxes , or abortion — They’re protesting against injustice – who is the other side of that fight ? Nobody! Why do they feel the need to offend a substantial part of the audience to protest injustice ?

          Your comment shows exactly why they should continue to protest in ways that offend you. You simply aren’t getting it. By choice, I suspect.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Jared S.

    This.

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  13. W Cobb Dawg

    If the players protested in some other way, shape or form, I’m sure the same folks bitching about it now would be bitching then.

    The nfl screwed up when they didn’t support the players. They should’ve simply said something like ‘the players have a legitimate point and society should be working to address this problem.’ Instead the owners backed down to a grandstanding politician – who has a questionable agenda.

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  14. 1smartdude

    What I hate is people who love their right to speak their minds, not having enough respect for those who lay their lives on the line to give them that right. It’s a simple matter of respect. I’m not inclined to argue over it, but you’re a dumb ass if you can’t find a better platform to express your discontent. That’s probably true for many of those who take that route.

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    • jtp03

      Then you must really really hate the hundreds of people at every game who are peeing and crapping and squirting mayo on their value size fartwich.

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    • ChiliDawg

      Patriotism is a virtue of the vicious – Oscar Wilde

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      • HiAltDawg

        and

        People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf – George Orwell

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  15. Bob

    As someone who retired after 30 and served in two combat zones, I have some fairly strong opinions about the anthem. I am pretty easy going and open on most things, but this less so.

    I was extremely upset when we discovered that these homecoming scenes across the NFL and other sports were being paid for by DOD. Actually not so much that they were being paid for, but more to the point that they were apparently from the heart of the teams and we discovered that was hardly the case. That was disgusting on all part.

    But otherwise I don’t care about them spending the money. We have a volunteer force. I spent 2 years in northern Virginia as an Army Recruiting Company Commander and my Soldiers worked their butts off trying to convince youngsters that the service provided many opportunities and yes, challenges. Those guys had to fight one bureaucrat after another, just getting access to schools. We don’t have a draft. That decision was way above my pay grade. To provide the necessary numbers to our Armed Forces, they must advertise and spend money doing it.

    I agree with those that complimented the way UGA handles legitimate support for our Vets without going overboard. As for the NFL, would rather watch paint dry.

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    • junkyardawg41

      Having also spent time in the recruiting world, I understand your viewpoint. The article seemed to really paint the National Guard as the driving force vice the DoD enterprise. I can’t recall ever seeing Title 10 dollars being used for this purpose (active and reserve) — though it is entirely possible. However, it would seem to me since National Guard gets dual funding that it would make sense that the funds are coming from the state versus the federal level. It doesn’t make it right but it would explain the fact that the advertising dollars are staying “in house” i.e. political payback more so than anything else.

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  16. Muh flag.

    People are upset at the businesses that take the loot, but the outrage should be with the government propagandists. Strike the root.

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