The Ravens stats in this loss weren’t so bad if you converted them to metric…
I’ve never quite seen politics be so invasive in our everyday lives, and to see it finally hemorrhage into a “football” Sunday and essentially infiltrate America’s favorite escapist sport is just a shame. While my years don’t represent a robust breadth of experience to draw from, as any middling in-their-thirties Xennial would say, it’s easy to state that beyond the labor disputes and other benign conflicts that arise when large private businesses and governments interact (i.e. stadium issues), recently there have been only two resounding issues where national politics has bled into the world of sports and vica versa: Steroids and Concussions. Remember the good old days?
To be clear, this conversation actually started last season when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem starting in the 2016 preseason to advocate equality and to raise awareness of Police violence against the Black community. At the time, I voiced the same opinion I hold today: It was a flawed message, not that it wasn’t a good one, or one that I didn’t support, only that powerful and effective activism requires a knowledge of the issues, something that Kaepernick clearly didn’t have a grasp of, especially and specifically when he recited long-debunked right-wing talking points in terms of Hillary Clinton’s public record and relied on the lazy “they’re both the same” arguments. And while his “kneeling” protest was provocative and an overall positive (how can practicing your constitutional right to free speech ever be a negative?), my opinion and his actions probably matters less when you realize that this conversation started long, long ago, during one of the darkest poxes in the history of not just America, but the world: the enslavement of men by other men. And this conversation has never really reached a satisfactory conclusion. Hell, I would say this conversation has never really reached a satisfactory state of debate…
Top Plays in GIFs: Tony Romo calls out the blitz Andy Dalton doesn’t see coming right before it happens.
In retrospect, I don’t get all the goodwill for the Steelers not showing up for the National Anthem… the Bengals Offense hasn’t shown up for the first three games and they’re getting nothing but lambasted for it.
But because of the timing, remember, the country was watching an abhorrent amount of nationally-focused Police shootings against the Black community (which continues to this day, including the continued and dangerous erosion of civil rights and government ethics with the current Justice Department and the administration as a whole), the national emergence of the Black Lives Matter protest movement, all in the heated election cycle of 2016… (where Bernie Sander’s “race” solution as a debate answer was essentially “more jobs”… how populist of him!) Now, it’d be easy to rehash most of that (not just in small and jagged increments like I just did), and despite this site and myself dabbling in political theatre during this past offseason when it was topically relevant (there was nothing else to talk about during the dystopian wasteland of what is the NFL offseason besides the election until Game of Thrones started, when we could start discussing “Syrio is Alive!” and Cleganebowl conspiracies), so let me be clear: when there are games to be played, I respect what I referred to above: the escapism that football, and in terms of this site, fantasy football provides to our readers.
Top Plays in GIFs: Rasul Douglas picks off New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning in the red zone off a deep ball.
Have we arrived at Peak-Eli yet? I’ve learned not to watch such a spectacle with the naked eye.
And sure, we can all try to make fun of the situation, because if you’re not laughing, you certainly should be crying, so yes, you’ll find some of that in my content, past, present, and future… but beyond some light-hearted references and some of that sweet-sweet political innuendo, when serious issues need to be discussed, I’d just personally prefer to keep Razzball Football out of it during the season and let that discussion happen between communities more focused on those issues. It’s just not our purview. We’re sport nerds! (*Quickly grabs my Chargers pocket protector.) You need me to advocate a liberal agenda and rail against the current administration on Razzball as much as you need me to convince you to start Mike Glennon on your fantasy team. And let me tell you this: I would take current Rich Gannon over current Mike Glennon.
Top Plays in GIFs: Jacoby Brissett makes a spin move for the ages for his second touchdown run of the day.
“That Brissett fella… every time I hear his name, for some reason I get hungry.” -Andy Reid.
But like I said, I’ve never quite seen politics be so invasive in our everyday lives. And now, because of President Donald Trump’s temperament, his remarks (a hot take if there ever was one!) on NFL players kneeling this past Friday at an Alabama rally (in which case, these rallies are being used to raise campaign money to fund his personal legal defense against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia Investigation), well, that discussion Colin Kaepernick wanted us to have…? Donald Trump just put it front and center… 18-D Super Jenga Chess!
Top Plays in GIFs: Marcedes Lewis scores a 17-yard touchdown after a play-action fake by Blake Bortles.
I think I get why the Jaguars want to move to England…
And because he brought it front and center (maybe because he’s about to grab it?), basked with his usual overt racism and overwhelming lack of knowledge, everyone from all sides in America were all but forced to address it in some manner or form. Trust me, I’d like nothing more than to make d*ck jokes about your mom (who wouldn’t?), and I, myself spent way too much time this past weekend reading through idiotic think pieces and the hottest of hottest takes (but remember, we still have the hottest!), but you just can’t not comment on it. It’s omnipresent… just like your mom’s d*ck.
Top Plays in GIFs: Sterling Shepard goes untouched up the middle for a 77-yard touchdown.
The Sterling is my Shepherd. I shall not want. Amen.
While it’s easy to see where I stand on the issue, and it’s fairly easy to make the argument for what is a constitutionally protected right: free speech, it’s just as easy to be a contrarian (and admittedly, Republicans have always been so much better with spin than their Democratic counterparts)… there is literally nothing more American than it’s flag and National Anthem. Apple Pie, Baseball, and Pamela Anderson in the early 90’s come close, but the flag and National Anthem have always been the de facto vehicle to show off publicly that you, were in fact, a patriot. America, f*ck yeah! Did you take your hat off? Do you “woooooooo!” during the anthem’s crescendo? Do you know the words by heart? Do you pledge allegiance to the flag before brunch with a couple of cold Coors Light? (Just kidding, people who drink Coors Light don’t do brunches.) I get that people love the flag and our anthem. I love this country too (the greatest of all experiments in human-governance and freedom), so by some weird coincidence, I also love the flag and the anthem. But why is there a hard line of insistence that defending the symbol and anthem of our country doesn’t include defending the ideals of that country? Why is that such a hard sale to half the country? And why is it always tinged with racial undertones if you try?
The simple answer probably is: Education, or the lack thereof.
#Takeaknee Hot Take Break! With More, But Shorter Hot Takes!
- Can we fast forward to Thanksgiving? I’m hungry.
- What exactly would the life-expectancy be for a country with an economy based largely if not entirely on the exchange of terrible light beer?
- Do the Giants actually have running backs on their roster? Or do they have a different definition of a running back? Like when my car ran out of gas, I ended up “running back” home?
- I don’t want to live in a world where Josh McCown is a reasonable option.
- Jay cutler is reliably unreliable.
- Blake Bortles and Jared Goff’s teams combined for 85 points this week. Just saying.
- Actually, I’m not sure I can handle this much Jacksonville competence.
- Does Hue Jackson get fired if he loses all 16 games by a field goal?
- Was signing Terrell Pryor and getting me to draft him on my fantasy team all an elaborate con by Dan Snyder? I mean, they apparently have no plays that involve throwing to him…. I feel like I should’ve had Pryor knowledge of that.
- Do you think Trump will insist on playing in the President’s Cup, because it’s golf and his title?
We’re jumping topics here in a non-tangential fashion, but education probably is the silver bullet, the master key, the [insert mediocre attempt at a metaphor here] to the problems we face as a nation and the world as a whole. It is the paramount issue of the time, linking almost every single issue into one. And there’s an established past precedent of how historically susceptible Americans, not other nations mind you, but how the United States has especially shown a great affection for getting duped. Salem Witch Trials anyone? I mean, we’re even debating what history actually is. And it’s hard to pin down the solution here, but I can tell you that it doesn’t even matter, we’ve already gone “all-in” with the problem. Could the issue be that self-identified Republican voters now believe higher education is bad for America? Or maybe it’s the continued federal funding cuts to the public education system, with more to come. Or maybe it’s the Conservative creation of “school choice”, essentially funneling tax dollars to schools with less-oversight and a for-profit agenda, schools that will have the opportunity to discriminate with zero repercussions? Heck, even Fox News and it’s goal of becoming the best news outlet for the ill-informed has played a major part… I’d love to blame Donald Trump for the dumbing down of America (actually, for a lot of things), but he’s a symptom. We the people are the disease.
Top Plays in GIFs: Kendall Fuller picks off Derek Carr’s pass intended for Seth Roberts.
We’re sure David Carr wasn’t starting for Oakland, right?
Well, not necessarily “we the people”. More like a majority of Republican voters. After all, this voting block consistently believes fake news, thinks they’re more persecuted than Muslims, and quite frankly are the biggest snowflakes themselves. (Who else would feel so threatened at peaceful kneeling?) Gaslighting-Obstruction-Projection are the three foundations of the modern day Republican party. If you didn’t know, just watch CNN prime time before you have to soak your ears and eyes in acid. So I guess it makes sense that we now find ourselves where we are… those who would peacefully protest are “sons of b*tches” and violent Neo-Nazi filth with tiki torches and anti-semitic chants?… Well, “some are just good guys“. Call me crazy, but when was waving a Confederate flag showing respect for the American flag? (Lest we forget that the Confederate flag represents two things: slavery, and losing a war.) So even in the matters of education, I’m not delusional enough to think that this issue can be solved overnight. We have states like Kansas, which was created to be the Conservative Utopia, fail miserably in spectacular fashion, and yet there are still Republican’s running the state. Are we so entrenched in our views and beliefs that even just basic fact-checking, basic critical thinking, or just the basic idea of: don’t reward a sh*tty job are failed exercises?
THE Top Play in Week 3: Odell Beckham hauls in a one-handed grab for a touchdown.
Odell Beckham Jr. can only complete circus catches it appears.
Yes, yes we are.
And unfortunately Sunday’s exercise in free speech is merely another event for Americans to divide ourselves over. And while there’s plenty of anger, hate, frustration… basically every emotion possible on both sides (we all do that part great!), one resounding theme that I believe we’re missing is the fact that if we simply understood what America stands for, what the flag and anthem truly means, we’d all agree that the expression of free speech is a celebration of the best of what is the United States. Not the worst. And it’s sad that only half the country knows and understands this. Rather, it’s sad that the other half of the country doesn’t want to understand this, instead aligning themselves with some of the most dangerous enemies of democracy; Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Kid Rock, etc., so no, I don’t think this issue will be resolved overnight. I’m beginning to think that it’ll never be resolved. So what do we do? How do we enact change? We drag America into the future, kicking and screaming. Progress is slow. Incremental to a fault. Pragmatism is in a death spiral, and we can only move forward if the people who are activated and informed take us there. Everyone, even those who don’t want to.
And this past Sunday is an important piece of that puzzle. None of us really know what the puzzle actually is or what it will be, but for all the amazingly mediocre metaphors to use, I’d hope when the puzzle is finished, it’ll be a country that not only believes in itself, but also knows itself.
Regardless, look on the bright side: We saw Donald Trump able to align the NFL owners, the Player’s Association, the players, AND Roger Goodell on a single issue for the first time EVER… say what you want about his Presidency, but he has certainly played his part in making the NFL great again…
My views are just that, my own, and do not represent Razzball as a whole. Feel free to comment below or if it’s really hateful, to send it to [email protected]!