February 2010

By Wink

Tiger apologized recently. It was broadcast live on TV. This was a really big story.

Whole televised sports hours were dedicated to discussing all aspects of this.

Countless hours of radio programming, even on non-sports stations, have parsed his words and vocal intonations. Newspapers and magazines are swimming in articles about this.

Was he sincere?

Maybe you know this already, but it seems he cheated on his wife.

Granted, my opinion of him, overall, has changed. I now see him as an athlete who cheats on his wife. Not the most exclusive club.

I presume many of his original sponsors liked his story, his too-good-to-be-true persona. A handsome super-perfectionist golfer, a mixed-raced kid who obviously loved his mother and retired-military father.

When the news of his infidelity broke, sponsors fled from him like rats from a sinking ship. That doesn’t break my heart. He is already more wealthy than about half the nations on the planet.

I suspect though, that some sponsors, cash strapped due to the recent recession, just used his foibles as an excuse to bail on some multi-million dollar payouts.

Did you watch his televised apology? I didn’t, because I don’t care. I follow golf and I still don’t care.

But the media cared. Much, much, much of the coverage and commentary seems to revolve around the following concept:

Too little, too late.

As if Tiger owes the media pundits an apology.

Nope.

Tiger is a guy, not a god. He clearly owes his wife an apology. It is up to her as to whether to accept or not.

He probably owes his sponsors something of an apology. They normally don’t want to shower money on someone who exhibits embarrassing behavior.

Who does Tiger NOT owe an apology to?

  • To sportscasters. To columnists for newspapers and magazines.
  • To pompous political pundits. (Alliteration!)
  • Not even to other golfers in the PGA. Amazingly, some of them are shooting off their mouths about how this is damaging the pro tour. (Shut up, all of you. Your paychecks are all WAY BIGGER because of Tiger. Now would be the best possible time to show a little gratitude.)

And finally, Tiger does NOT owe an apology to you, the average fan. If you are fool enough to hold up an athlete, any athlete, as a role model, then you are an idiot.

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By Wink

We had a flat tire the other day. Noticed it outside, at work.

Since we are deep in snow (for what seems like three straight months now), I just went to the store and purchased a product that is supposed to fix a flat. I won’t mention the name of the product, but just know it is an aerosol that is supposed to fix a flat.

I followed the directions, and sprayed pretty much the entire contents of the can into the tire. The directions say you should then drive two to four miles so the goop covers the entire inside of the tire.

No problem. The tire store was more than four miles away anyway.

The guy at the tire store said he would fix it free since we purchased the tire there. I was delighted! I was less than excited when he said ….

“…unless you used that spray that is intended to fix a flat. That substance never stops eating at the inside of the tire.”

“If you did that we will have to replace the tire.”

So instead of just plugging a hole (albeit a cool one caused by a decent sized bolt), I had to pay large sums of money to buy a pair of new tires. (You can’t just buy ONE tire.)

I guess the moral of the story is this: If you use the spray stuff designed to fix a flat, be prepared to pay way more than you anticipated.

If you intend to keep your tire, never use the aerosol product that implies it will fix a flat, fix a flat, fix a flat.

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By Wink

Are you a guy? Did you have a brother? Was he older or younger?

I am a guy, with an older brother.

I don’t know what it is like to have a younger brother because I WAS the younger brother. I am sure I was pretty annoying…. hanging around, saying stupid things, bugging his friends.

He is about five years older than me. That doesn’t matter much now, but when he turned eight, I was still three. When he was 11, I was six. You get the picture.

He could have been really obnoxious and abusive, like many older brothers are, but he was never that way.

Maybe he appreciated me because his two older siblings were girls. He never really had a ‘guy’ to play with until I came around.

I imagine at times he thought of me as a toy, or sort of a smart puppy dog. I always just wanted to be where he was, and do whatever he was doing.

He had to teach me that our toy cars were meant to be smashed together. We would get down on our knees, about ten feet apart, and drive (fling) the cars at each other as hard as possible. Toy cars were WAY cooler back then, made of metal, about the size of a small cat, and weighing 2-3 pounds, so smashing them together actually involved physical risk to the smashers…

He taught me how to wait til the very last instant before tossing a firecracker. This is a lesson I have NOT passed on to my kids.

Even as a kid he knew how to fish, hunt and work on cars.

I attribute his mechanical abilities to his intense desire to take things apart long before he had any sense of how to put them back together. Dismantling things is a skill that will drive parents crazy, but he couldn’t stop himself.

Did I say ‘dismantling things?’ He also taught me the quickest way to dismantle things ….. blow them up. This is why God created the Fourth of July. (We both still have all our fingers, but his have more burn-marks than mine.)

We had bunk beds, and slept in the basement.

Yep, he would prank me now and then (and I will never forget the old ‘smelly pillow’ trick), but I never feared him. I knew he would never hurt me and, more than once, he stood up to neighborhood bullies in my defense.

Rubber-band fights. Paper airplanes. Knee football (which we poetically called ‘crawl football’). He taught me all of this useful stuff, and more.

He had (has) mechanical ability that has always eluded me. I imagine he wonders how I can be so mechanically inept.

Because we are guys, our standard form of communication is the insult. You guys out there who have brothers know exactly what I am talking about….

“When are you going to get rid of that piece of s*** car?”

“I presume you got THAT haircut for free.”

I could never say any nice stuff to his face. Still can’t. It was damned difficult even to write this, but I decided I was not going to wait until his funeral to say all these things.

By the way, he is NOT dying. He is WAAAAAYYYYY too obnoxious to die young.

I am forever indebted to him but, as a guy, I am not allowed to say it.

I suppose he doesn’t think about it much. Maybe he never thought about it but, to me, he was an amazing force.

Some kids grow up in fear. Sometimes there is fear of the unknown, but too often it is fear of the known. Abusive parents, abusive siblings.

I lucked out.

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As you probably know by now, Tim Tebow has an ad in The Big Game this weekend. He with his mother are discussing the choice that she made not to have an abortion. For some reason this ad is considered controversial. By who, I don’t know.

Often times when a superstar, whether it is an athlete, actor or musical act takes a political or moral stance, people tell them to just go back to what they are famous for, and leave the politics for the politicians.

I don’t have a problem with a person expressing his/her views even on such a large stage.

Next, I am glad Mrs. Tebow chose not to have an abortion. It is her right to make that decision, not the governments.

It is wrong for the government to be making the decision in either direction.

Please note: Planned Parenthood also supports Mrs. Tebow’s decision.

Enjoy the game.

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By Wink

Formerly fierce Conrad Dobler has paid a terrible price for choosing the NFL as a career. No longer a physical specimen (in the positive sense), today he is 90% disabled, having suffered through numerous operations to repair his battered body. He has had too many surgeries to count, but let us just begin by noting his nine knee surgeries.

His medical issues have no end, and he is still in need of further surgeries. Along with countless other disabled NFL veterans, he has been unable to gain disability assistance from the NFL.

The NFL fights tooth and nail to avoid making disability payments to any retired player.

According to recent comments by Dobler, there are some 9000 living retired NFL players, and 125 have qualified for NFL disability payments. One-hundred and twenty five.

Dobler sarcastically concludes that the NFL must be the ‘safest industry’ anywhere in the world.

I will tell you what the NFL really is, it is a collection of the most heartless bastards anywhere.

Does the NFL have financial problems?

At the Super Bowl this year Queen Latifah will sing ‘God Bless America’ and Carrie Underwood will sing the national anthem. The Who will perform at half, a spot in recent years filled by no-names like Paul McCartney and the Rolling Stones.

Did they all perform just for free tickets to the game? I guess there must be a little money involved. How can the NFL afford that?

It is the richest sports league on the planet, with multi-billion dollar TV contracts and creative ‘rights fees’ that require season ticket holders to pay an additional charge, not for tickets, but for the right to buy tickets. So, you pay the fee, and THEN you pay the cost of the tickets. (My understanding is that this creative ploy was invented by the Dallas Cowboys many years ago.)

Think the players are ‘overpaid fat boys?’ You can ignore all of those salaries they trump up.

Sometimes you hear a player signed a five year contract for $10 million or some such. Most players never collect those amounts. While salaries for baseball and NBA players are mostly guaranteed, NFL paychecks end when you are cut from the team.

You can get cut for underperforming, and you can get cut for being injured.

Being cut for being injured will NOT qualify you for disability thru the NFL. Almost nothing will qualify you for disability with the NFL.

C’mon NFL, start sharing the wealth with those who made you all rich. The players. But especially with the players who have been physically disabled by the brutally crushing nature of your sport.

Conrad Dobler is 90% disabled and you argue it has ‘nothing to do with football’? Your high-powered lawyers make that same argument against every disabled player. Pathetic.

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