Do We Secretly Like Women Beaters?

The subject of women have recently been all the buzz in the sports world lately (and no, not exactly for athleticism….but by the way: Go Team USA)

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Women have been popping up all over ESPN because men have been popping them in the face!  And frankly, the overexposure has become a bit overwhelmingly nauseating.

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High-powered athletes are getting caught taking a few swings at the females.  So what else is new? The media has been covering domestic violence issues amongst athletes for as long as I can remember.  So what makes is worse now?

Well for one, social media.  No matter how much we can love social media for how it instantly connects us to the entire world, it would be naive to ignore the bad that comes with it. We want to know everything that is out there and we want to know it NOW!  We are all like children eating up any news that we find entertaining and dramatic, and notable athletes beating up women on camera is something we can’t get enough of.  The same goes for those who do the actual reporting of the news as well.

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Thanks to social media, we will always be in the”know” because we now can freely join in on the conversation without even being invited. #Rude

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Dare I say that our actions have led me to believe that we unconsciously reward these miscreants? Yes, I do.   Take for instance, De’andre Johnson, former quarterback of the Florida State Seminoles. Right after he clocked a female college student in the face at a bar and was promptly dismissed from the football team by Coach Jimbo, ABC’s Good Morning America Sports scooped him up for a sit down interview within 1 week of the released footage.  Forgive me if I’m wrong, but don’t sit down interviews require some sort of compensation? Compensation for Mr. Johnson, and granted, his Mother!

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Something isn’t right there….

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Same goes for Ranay Rice, Ray Rice’s personal punching bag for one fleeting moment in an Atlantic City hotel elevator.  That domestic dispute alone got more media coverage than the Super Bowl.  I’m sure Ranay Rice was compensated for her in-person interview(s) as well.  Believe me, there were multiple interviews.

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I know, I know, these in-person interviews aren’t all that bad.  For one, they shed light on an important issue that needs to be discussed and dissected in order to mitigate any similar future misfortunes. And two, it gives women who may have been victims of domestic abuse a voice, a once ignored voice that many can and need to relate to.

But do we really need to give all of these convicted male athletes another platform to plead their case? Do we need to hear more of their excuses for hitting a woman? Don’t get me wrong, female athletes can be guilty for the same actions.  Just look at Hope Solo parading around the Women’s World Cup like she is has never even touched a fly.  Homegirl has three domestic violence incidents under her belt, with her being the Fight Club culprit!  One of the very few situations where the double standard works to the advantage of women.  Sigh.

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I think we heard enough from males discussing the domestic mistakes they’ve made in the past.  Good for them….but do we really need to see it, hear it?  Can we, as viewers, even tell if these guys are telling the truth? By us merely watching their ESPN/Good Morning America TV spots on the domestic issues at hand inadvertently rewards these guys, listening to their forced apologies and considering absolution. We aren’t directly rewarding them for their actions but we are subconsciously thanking them for entertaining us, and of course, giving television channels their precious ratings.

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If compensation is actually accepted, then we clearly have our cultural priorities fucked up.  If we wanted to preserve any dignity that is left in these assailants’ souls, even their families, we as a society would let the armed forces deal with the legality of the situation (DUH!), but more importantly, we would merely walk away.  Why pay attention to someone who doesn’t deserve your attention, doesn’t deserve your beloved ESPN watching? The only reason we are paying attention to these stories is because violence is so engrained in our American culture. What can I say, America don’t take shit from no one.

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We need to make a conscious effort to stop rewarding these guys.  Paying more and more attention to these men is cowardice and shameful.  We are cowardice ourselves if we give these guys the time of day. Go watch something more positive and constructive, like Animaniacs.

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Let’s stop rewarding these guys by giving them the pleasure of sitting down and explaining themselves. Who cares? You hit a woman. You are scum.  Go away……

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OR Rhonda might call you out.

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NFL Bust a Nut

The NFL Football Draft is almost upon us and the prospective picks are definitely the “buzz.”  But can we really take these meat heads seriously?

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In fact, can we take any professional football analyst, NFL scouts or coaches seriously?  Can we trust their judgement when it comes to selecting players who they deem worthy enough to take them to the Super Bowl promise land? It’s important to remember that more than half of these analysts, scouts and coaches were former football meat heads themselves.

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I love College Football, but honestly come NFL Draft season, I can’t help but get a little discouraged. Not only do you feel for these players whose futures lie in the decrepit hands of 60-something men who are either geniuses or don’t know what the hell they are doing, but you also can’t help but get your hopes up.  “Future of the Franchise” they will say!

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If you are a football fan, you can easily count the number of NFL busts. Although the list may be plentiful, it is still soul crushing to recall the fact that these once great athletes are now either in jail, on weight watchers, making PURPLE DRANK, addicted to drugs, etc.  It is the type of sad feeling that makes you evaluate and reflect on your own life and the choices you make along the way.

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Hello, have you seen Moneyball…?!

What isn’t sad is predicting the next upcoming NFL busts.  Maybe because it has yet to happen or makes you feel like a Jedi Knight predicting the future, but the point is that these players’ reality has yet to set in and the potential for them to “bust” is up in the air.  Feelings of grief and sorrow may or may not occur.  So hey, don’t feel bad!

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So here are my top 5 predictions for this year’s potential NFL busts.  The players on this list aren’t necessarily newbies or rookies.  Some are players who have played professionally for a few years and are on the verge of “busting.” SO let the judging begin.

 

1. Jameis Winston

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Jameis Winston seems like an obvious choice for the top pick in the 2015 draft. He not only led Florida State to an undefeated season and a national championship, but he won the Heisman Trophy behind some incredibly efficient numbers.

However, this past 2014 season?  Not so much. With 21 touch downs and 17 interceptions this year despite an offense with a massive talent advantage, I highly doubt that he has the budding future of a franchise QB.

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His long list of off-field antics is just embarrassing.  His shameful behavior has caused many to doubt whether he is too much of a risk to consider a franchise quarterback.  You have to admit, any 20-year who has the college football world at his feet is going to have some indiscretions under his belt.  But steering clear of the “no duh” obvious, a professional man would exercise some civility.  Yea, good luck with that Crab Boy.

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2. Johnny Manziel

Oh Johnny.  Where to begin….?

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Short, Frail, Incompetent, Party Boy, Immature, Out of the Pocket Scrambler, Fugly…..these are just some of the words that accurately describe Johnny Football.  Although he was an exciting player to watch at Texas A&M, he has barely seen any noteworthy action in the Pros.

For starters, he didn’t make his first start until the season was all but lost.  When he did start, let’s just say that it didn’t go so well. In total he has only thrown 175 yards with ZERO touchdowns. Go Team Hoyer.

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All he has been actively demonstrating is his lack of respect.  Although he may not look the part, he is definitely a Gronkowski “Meat Head” wannabe, partying it up every chance he gets (My apologies for sullying the name of “Gronk,” the meat head actually has a Super Bowl Ring).  Manziel’s partying ways took him all the way to rehab prior to his upcoming 2nd NFL season, which could more or less be the stark realization that he may not be cut out for the NFL limelight.

Not exactly sure if one can surmise that he is not talented or dedicated enough for the game, but one thing is for certain, he is well on his way to becoming a bust.

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3. Mark Sanchez

OMG, does this guy suck.  I have to admit, I DO love saying that 🙂

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Although he has played a number of years in the NFL, Sanchez has yet to experience any well-deserved credit for his less than stellar athletic ability.  And who the hell would give it to him anyway?

In his four years as a starter for the Jets, he was historically bad at playing quarterback, a fact that didn’t stop the Jets from signing him to a multi-million-dollar extension. Also, lest we never forget: the butt fumble.  One of the most glorious moments in NFL history… well not if you are a Mark Sanchez fan.

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The “Sanchise” quarterback is now the backup in Philadelphia, Nick Foles #2, another Pac-12 quarterback who didn’t nearly experience similar success at Arizona University.  My the tables have turned for Dirty Sanchez.

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4. Colin Kaepernick

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This may be a long shot, but Kaepernick’s performance towards the end of the 2014 was anything but stellar. With the sudden departure of his winning head coach Jim Harbaugh, the expected trade of their powerhouse running back Frank Gore and locker room shenanigans erupting, Kaepernick’s fate seems a bit muddled.

Sure he runs like a gazelle and has made a Super Bowl appearance, but without strength in leadership as well as support from his fellow teammates, Kaepernick may surely lose it. He can be just as disposable as his former mentor, Alex Smith.

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However, I do have to acknowledge the fact that Kaepernick wasn’t necessarily a top pick coming out of Nevada.  Being drafted in the second round isn’t bad at all.  But when the label “NFL Bust” is flung around the locker room, it is assumed that the player in question was initially expected to perform at a high level before seeing any professional action.  I am not sure if high expectations surrounded Kaepernick during the draft, nevertheless, his performance this last season along with the ambiguous future of the 49ers may mark the beginning of the end.

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(Yea, you tell him Sherman)

 

5. Ray Rice vs. Adrian Peterson

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The issue among these two players isn’t based on their athletic ability.  It’s their off-field antics that may haunt them for the rest of their lives, so much so that they may not recover.

Both were caught in the act of beating one of their family members publicly, who were then dually reprimanded by the NFL, forcing them to leave the game in the 2014 season.  Although Rice’s actions erupted a mass attack on the NFL and their domestic abuse policy, Peterson’s “debatable” actions also ignited an open commentary on corporal punishment.  It was so serious that the NFL had to give up a precious Super Bowl commercial slot addressing domestic violence, losing millions and millions of dollars, money which could have been allocated towards something that benefits everyone, like beer.

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Public perception has the keen ability (and perhaps burden) to either positively or negatively effect an individuals’ appearance and character.  Despite evidence to the contrary, that perception can be everything, especially in this digital age where information is at everyone’s fingertips in an instant.

This wouldn’t be your feel good come back story of the season folks. Rice and Peterson did some not so nice things and people will not let them easily forget, score a few touchdowns and collect their checks. Public opinion may never let these athletes recover.

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Despite the setback, I am certain that both Rice and Peterson will return to the NFL. Whether they return triumphantly is highly questionable.

 

Do Women and Sports Mix?

We would like to think women and sports go together like peanut butter and jelly 😛 Might be a bit more complicated than that. It’s like what Smither’s said to Mr. Burns,”Women and Seamen don’t mix.” Ha, maybe not really.

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Women and sports have a very interesting and at times depressing relationship. With all of the controversy surrounding Ray Rice’s less than harsh punishment for hitting his wife versus the San Antonio Spurs hiring the first woman assistant coach, it’s unavoidable to question the “real” place women have in sports. There are several different sports that have a separate women’s leagues: WNBA, Softball, Soccer, Golf, Hockey.  And who can forget, lingerie football.  Kidding, kidding.

Of course the manliness sport has to have women play in their underwear……

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These women leagues have yet to experience the success of the men’s leagues, and sadly, probably never will.  Why?  For one, they are not commercially viable in part because people may think watching women play sports is not be as exciting as the big boys and flat-out just don’t care.  If people cared, they would be lucrative markets and be broadcasted nationally.  The popularity of the National Soccer League lasted about as long as David Beckham’s screen time in Bend It Like Beckham, Softball ceases to exist in the Olympics, the WNBA is going to have to hitch hike overseas, The National Hockey League ended 7 years ago and Golf…..well, let’s be honest, who the hell watches golf?

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Despite these women leagues, women athletes do in fact dominate other sports. Unfortunately, those other sports suffer the stigma of being labeled very feminine and dainty, displaying a downright sexist outlook on these women athletes. I’m looking at you Gymnastics, Figure Skating, Synchronized Swimming and Ballet.  YES, ballet.  Ballet is badass.  Haven’t you seen Center Stage? Seriously, can you don’t see those ballet dance moves done by the frail and feeble.

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In typical sexist fashion, these ‘feminine’ sports are slapped with heavy makeup, tight bright spandex, blinding sequins and at times, just awful…awful music. Despite the feminine presentation, these women are badass athletes who work hard to jump 10 ft in the air, land that triple toe lutz, tread water for hours on end while starving themselves.  That sheer dedication and their athletic prowess is immensely admirable and shouldn’t be dumbed down by being too “gay” or “soft.”  Because they are far from it.

The only sport that I can think of where women experience the same level of popularity and success as men is Tennis.  Tennis has become one of the most popular international sports, boasting around 1 billion fans around Europe, the Americas and Asia. Yes the uniforms are a bit ridiculous but the athletic intensity remains the same.  Serena Williams’ athletic power alone probably scares the hell out of men in Compton.

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It’s sad to say, but the reality is that women and sports DO mix but make some sort of odd concoction that doesn’t tend to sit well with the general male public. Then again, you have the women who have left their permanent mark on the sport they played, coached, commentated or just even loved.

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Danica Patrick

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The Williams sisters

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The interesting takeaway from this diverse list of women in sports is that they all are influential, business savvy, and intelligent individuals, yet not all are athletes.  Can we say the same about men?

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Patt Summit is known as one of the greatest coaches of all time.  Danica Patrick defeated all the conservative odds and became the first popular woman race car driver to compete with the boys on the NASCAR track.  Jeannie Buss pretty much single handily runs the Los Angeles Lakers (one of the biggest brands in pro sports) with no thanks to her co-owner brother.  The Williams sisters have permanently made themselves tennis royalty.  Linda Cohn has been a witty sportscaster for over 20 years.

Men do run the sport, but it’s the women who make it interesting. A bold statement that may be.  Bold enough to piss off the boys 🙂

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In an ideal world, women would receive the same respect as men in every facet of life.  But they don’t.  And the sports world is no different, maybe even worse.  Women and sports do mix but takes a bit more effort on the women’s side to make it functional.  Hats off to the women who have and still are succeeding in sports, leaving their mark on a male dominated world.

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BTW: Screw Roger Goodell for slapping Ray Rice on the hands and Stephen A. Smith for saying “She had it coming.” Watch out boys, you may have it coming….

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