The Monday Morning Memo.

September 25, 2017 | Posted in General

I am only posting this in an attempt to interject some sense into this senseless anthem debate. I don’t have any expectations that it will make a difference but at least my brain bucket is clear before I attempt to put my mind on other things.

First, I have raised the flag in the morning and lowered it at sunset on color guard detail beginning in USCG boot camp back in 1980 and the following four years until 1984. I have been on funeral detail numerous times and folded the red, white and blue after draping it on a coffin of a veteran. I have been part of a 21 gun salute and stood in silence as that flag was handed to families who had to say farewell.

I have nothing…and I mean nothing but respect for Old Glory and all who have served and those who have given their last full measure.

Gotta call it the way I see it, always have…always will.

1) There is no rule in the NFL that players have to stand. None- its just another fake BS posting that is making the rounds. Stop posting it, drop it in the recycle bin and roll into some fact checking before posting a totally useless bit of non-information. I read all 120 pages of the 2017 NFL Rules- there is no ” specific rule pertaining to the national anthem is found on pages A62-63 of the league rulebook.”
2) Prior to 2010 NFL teams almost never stood during the national anthem. Once however the NFL figured out they could make some coin off of “Paid Patriotism ” as NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed the practice began in 2009, adding, ‘As you know, the NFL has a long tradition of patriotism. Players are encouraged but not required to stand for the anthem.’ Add in the fact that the NFL received millions of taxpayer dollars from the Department of Defense and the National Guard for patriotic displays, all those fly overs and veterans are paid for. The players were moved to the field during the national anthem because it was seen as a marketing strategy to make the athletes look more patriotic. The United States Department of Defense paid the National Football League $5.4 million between 2011 and 2014, and the National Guard [paid] $6.7 million between 2013 and 2015 to stage on-field patriotic ceremonies as part of military recruitment budget-line items. The money was given to the teams in return for honoring soldiers and their families on the Jumbotron before games and at halftime, as well as box tickets for soldiers and their family and friends.
“Those of us go to sporting events and see them honoring the heroes. You get a good feeling in your heart,” said U.S. Senator Jeff Flake. “Then to find out they’re doing it because they’re compensated for it, it leaves you underwhelmed. It seems a little unseemly.”
No shit.
Roger Goodell announced in May 2016 that they would refund $723,724 to taxpayers which they said “may have been mistakenly applied to appreciation activities rather than recruitment efforts” during the years in question.
3) As a veteran I am always moved by the national anthem, often to tears. But I don’t stand when I am at home in front of the television and considering how involved football has become over the years, am I less patriotic as I sit drinking a beer while I watch 80,000 people standing at attention and I’m not? I can yell and curse at the game just like I was in the stands, so then should I get my ass up during the anthem or does sitting on the Lazy Boy give me an exemption? Do we remove our hats and caps at a bar when the anthem is played on 48 television sets and remain silent or sing along?
Do all the “Fantasy Football Owners” stand in their fantasy skyboxes in their fantasy land at attention and play the national anthem before their fantasy football teams do battle?
4) Imagine being as worked up, incensed and outraged at the high incidence of CTE in pro football as we are about who is or isn’t standing during the anthem, that has had some of our disposable heroes committing suicide because years of bone jarring concussions that knocked their gray matter loose and had them become even more of a beast off the field than on? Add Aaron Hernandez to the post-mortem list of players who’s behavior led them to the dark side of life, while entertaining us on Sundays. Where is the cry for truth to the NFL as they decide to “vigorously deny the lawsuit” on behalf his daughter for $20 million dollars. A recent study of 113 former NFL players brains revealed 112 of them had behavior altering CTE.
$20 million? That’s about 10 Super Bowl ads worth of revenue.
5) You think we are divided now? Then you aren’t watching The Vietnam War by Ken Burns on PBS. A few pro athletes are taking a knee and it becomes an all out assault on who is or isn’t patriotic. But there are no body bags being filled on foreign soil and splayed out on the evening news, the cities are not burning as they did in protest in ’68 and twenty-nine Ohio State National Guardsmen didn’t fire approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students that were protesting the war and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis as they did in 1970 on our own soil. So in summation…NFL players are not required to be part of the national anthem by league rules. The NFL took in millions of taxpayer dollars to create “Salute to Service” that is on display at NFL games and the players were encouraged to participate as a way of enhancing the marketing tool and finally…
6) Tug of war only works if both sides keep pullingand that red flag in the middle is where the truth is found. If you are of the opinion that a pro athlete is an asshat for not standing-great. If you think an athlete is a hero for standing-great. Then please consider the facts not just the fiction.
#truthmatters or at least it should.
Be well.

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