They’re Only Human, After All

A meaningful article on what has become a silly game:

Referee stalemate another example of NFLs never-ending greed – NFL News | FOX Sports on MSN.

American Business Philosophy:

  • You have a highly competitive field where there is a lot of money involved.
  • You have only one real employer.
  • You choose the best of the best, and then you pay them well.

Until you get greedy. Then, you hate unions.

After all “Corporations are people, my friend.” But unions shouldn’t be allowed to be politically involved.

For most of those around me, I am the lone Seattle Seahawks fan they know. Thus, watching them play “America’s Team”–Dallas lost that moniker about three years ago–was a game of great interest to me.

I have about 100 things to say about last night’s NFL game, but Jason Whitlock seems to sum it up best. It comes down to human nature. Sure, the final play of week 3 resulted in a skewed result for a game. But Sunday showed how a head-to-head contact (resulting in a stretcher) could be ignored by replacement referees. That led to another dangerous play, a chop block. The kernel quote from Jason’s analysis is this:

It’s human nature. Given enough freedom, surrounded by enough corruption, we’ll all take a short cut.

Dead on. We can blame everything bad on someone else or some group to which we don’t belong. The Wall Street Meltdown. The 9 BILLION DOLLAR BABY called the NFL arguing over an extra few thousand for its small group of referees. Last year’s lockout of the players. The budget deficit. The debt.

I do it, too. You do it, too. Maybe the way you do your taxes. Buying the cheaper foreign product over the one made by your cousin across town. Then commiserating when she loses her job. Blaming foreigners. Or Obama. Or “Muslim Rage.” Or one of the Perrys. Or one of the Walkers. Or Mexicans (read: anybody who’s brown). Or gays. Anybody but yourself for taking the easy, irresponsible way when you had the chance.

Or this…a complete turnabout when the whole “union” thing moves from education to football.

No, I can speak from a political standpoint, a football standpoint, or an education standpoint. Given lax rules and human nature…people are going to cheat.

I should know. My personal Seahawks chant is “OUR COACH CHEATS!!!” He did it at USC. He taught his students well on that one. He’s doing it at Seattle. Regularly. And as you can see, he gets away with it. My PERFECT Super Bowl matchup is a cheating coach leading New England vs. Seattle: The Battle of the Cheaters Who Never Pay. The game doesn’t matter because in 3 years, they will have to vacate the championship. The Bud Light commercials all say, “Look mature! Start drinking Bud Light in high school!”

As Jim Rome always says, “If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying–and it’s only cheating if you get caught.” This quote even got directed at one university apparently cheating for Jesus.

In education, kids cheat on tests. Teachers cheat on tests. Districts skew numbers; so do states. My children study the least amount necessary to get the grade they want on a test. The “love of learning,” if it ever existed, has been smothered by testing requirements and political preening about “high standards,” “rigor,” and “college readiness.”

That’s why we need rules. That’s why we need UNIONS, including teachers unions. Otherwise, nobody has ANY power to keep the other side in check.

I agree with Governor Scott Walker’s flip-flop, of sorts. The “real” referees need to be back in the games starting Thursday. Otherwise, it becomes questionable if the best teams make the playoffs.

But it also becomes important that VOTERS hold their politicians–and their funding sources–accountable. It’s a Republic, not a team sport. Right now, we have no real way of tracking what Bob Perry in Houston is doing to my children’s schools. Over half of Texas public schools are failing, and much (if not most) of this failed approach to education was supported by millions and millions of dollars in campaigns that weren’t honest ones. Maybe Bob should have to explain himself, but–like certain NFL coaches–he doesn’t have to. This is America. Now, anyway.

We need rules. We need refs. We need unions. We will need them until the second coming.


About Paul T. Henley, Ph. D.
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