And the Band Played On

Today is Monday.  That means yesterday was Sunday.  That means across most of America people watched football.  Regardless of which players did or didn’t play for whatever thing they did, and regardless of what companies did or didn’t advertise regardless of what players did play even though others didn’t for whatever they did, and regardless if outraged interviewees on television did or didn’t rage on about what should have happened to the players who did and didn’t play, across most of America people watched football.

Here’s something interesting about the days that led up to yesterday.  Whenever a player was questioned about what he or someone else did, the answer would have gotten anyone else fined, fired, jailed, or all the above.  Whether regarding domestic violence, child abuse, assault, driving under the influence, or possession of an illegal substance, the player almost always admitted guilt to the allegation but then went an extra step and said “but it’s not” whatever.  “Yes, I beat my wife but it’s not abuse.”  We’re sorry; did somebody change the English language?  Are the meanings of words different this month than last?  Doesn’t “yes” still mean “yes, I did it” and doesn’t “no” not mean “except in my case”?

We think those players really believe what they are saying.  They really don’t believe knocking a woman unconscious is assault.  They really don’t believe beating a small child is abuse.  It comes from the violence of the sport they play.  And the “players’ little helpers” that they take.  When the job is one of inflicting pain and incapacitating the competition it’s difficult to separate reality from reality.  And just in case that player can’t incapacitate the competition based on a somewhat normal body build, there are steroids to help. Of course they are illegal substances except for the professionals who take them.  After all, they are professionals used to declaring, and being believed when declaring, “Yes, except.”  And it gives them ‘roid rage as the standard excuse for all bad things that are done off the field.  It’s all very convenient.

Yet it’s all still very illegal.  Today, somewhere in America, a couple will have an argument.  They will say things they shouldn’t.  She will turn her back on him.  He will reach out and take her arm to try to encourage her to stay and talk it out.  She will call the police because he “laid hands on her” and he will spend the night in jail.  A far cry from punching her senseless but he doesn’t have the advantage of having thousands of fans cheering on violent behavior from him, perhaps even including his victim.  So violent or not, he gets an all expense stay at the Abusers Astoria while the football player gets people draping signs over the stadium fences declaring their undying devotion to the sot.

Fair?  Of course not.  Expected?  Well, yesterday was Sunday.

Now that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you.



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