Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Love Those Rams!

by Pa Rock
Budding Sports Fanatic

Anyone who knows me is well aware that I am not much of a sports person.  I seldom watch or listen to a game, and I would rather serve time in a Mississippi jail than try to eat a meal in a sports bar.  But over the past few months I am developing quite an affinity for the St Louis Rams professional football team, to the point that I now consider myself to be one of their official fans.  True, the Rams have lost more games than they have won so far this season, but to my mind they are proving themselves to be champs in the truest sense of the word.

Their first bit of glory came earlier in the year when they did the unthinkable and drafted MU’s gay defensive end, Michael Sam.  Although Sam has since been released by the Rams, the act of drafting him flew in the face of some formidable economic  and social pressure.    It showed that the team had the cajones to do the right thing and not worry about the ragtag band of homophobes, racists, and other miscreants who would like to control team policy through their cacophony of belched threats.

Then another individual player took center stage and showed the world how to use money and fame for good.  Rams center Jason Brown stepped away from a multi-million dollar contract with the team (with $12.5 million still on the table) to start a farm with the objective of feeding the poor.  Brown’s “First Fruits Farm,” a thousand-acre project in North Carolina, donated 46,000 pound of sweet potatoes and 10,000 pounds of cucumbers to food pantries in the past year.    The 29-year-old Brown has been blessed with great wealth, and he is giving it to those in need.  If only America’s richest families would learn from his selfless example!

But the centerpiece of the Rams’ glory came this past Sunday at the St. Louis – Oakland game.  Five Rams players walked onto the field giving the “hand-up-don’t-shoot” salute that has been made famous in the Ferguson turmoil.  Some of the audience cheered, some didn’t.  Some of the nation cheered, some didn’t.    Regardless of how one felt about the act, the show of solidarity with the Ferguson demonstrators took a lot of courage.

One account I read compared the action by the five players at Sunday’s game with the “black power” salute that some Americans gave at the 1968 Summer Olympics.  That, too, was an unparalleled act of bravery by young people who stood to lose much by their actions.

Of those elements who were angered by the action of the five Rams players, most managed to use the code word “thugs” in their condemnation.  Jeff Roorda, the business manager for the St. Louis Police Officer’s Association and a Democratic member of the Missouri State Legislature, was especially vehement in his threats against the team:

“I know that there are those that will say that these players are simply exercising their First Amendment rights.  Well I’ve got news for people who think that way, cops have First Amendment rights too, and we plan to exercise ours.  I’d remind the NFL and their players that it is not the violent thugs burning down buildings that buy their advertiser’s products.  It’s the cops and the good people of St. Louis and other NFL towns that do.  Somebody needs to throw a flag on this play.  If it’s not the NFL  and the Rams, then it’ll be cops and their supporters.”

That Roorda is one angry posturing politician!

But my favorite protest of the protest came from a St. Louis area sports bar.   The Time Out Sports Bar and Grill put this up on their Facebook page:

”Due to the bone headed ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ act by the number of Rams players on the Sunday game, the Time out Bar and Grill will no longer support the St. Louis Rams, so we will no longer have Happy Hours for the Rams games, and all signs and pictures will be off the walls . . . We have to stand up to thugs who destroy our community and burn down local businesses, and boycott the other thugs / organizations who support them.”

Thugs, thugs, thugs!  You don’t have to be a foreign language expert to decode all of that racist crap!

(Did I mention that St. Louis beat Oakland 52-0 on Sunday – after the "hands-up-don't-shoot" salute?   Divine intervention, perhaps?)

Rams, stay great!  You guys rock!

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

Perhaps the days of a two party system should end. Roorda is clearly not cut from the same political cloth as Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal. Yet each claim to represent the Democratic Party. Where is their common ground?

The Republican Party is taking a hard veer to the right, leaving their moderate members behind. In the wake of Vietnam the Democratic Party took a similar route to the left. On a grand scale this opens the middle to the party not currently going crazy. Thus this is a good time to be a Democratic candidate. On a micro-scale politicians like Roorda forget two things. First it is time to remain in the center and not traipse after the radical Republicans. That is because the center is the place from which Americans want to be governed. The second forgotten item is closely related.

Roorda and his ilk have forgotten the 10th Commandment: “You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.” To which we may add "nor his opponent's crazed voters."