Posted in commentary, latest posts, Sports

Of Mice and (Rich) Men, A Sports Story

Rich men play games like spiders while their prey, including ordinary folk, spin endlessly in a web, caught up in the gossamer fabrics of an ecosystem that demands its attention and participation. 

This is nowhere more evident than in the game of football where the game played out on the field goes hand and bushel with the games played everywhere else. The games benefit the rich men the most and their money buys and sells the commodities contained within.

Information and access is exchanged and bought then sold like crank to an addicted audience.  We are incapable of quitting. It is dosed like medication via a network of drug dispensers whose job is to feed the audience in a manner designed to enable and continue their addiction.

I suspect it has always been so with knowledge and information.

Real American Football kicks off this weekend as college football returns. Spencer Hall of SB Nation wrote a beautiful college football preview where he talked about The Mesh offense, how much he loved it and the beautiful efficiency it brought to the game. A well designed and executed offense is an exquisite pleasure to behold. It is the glitz that makes the game turn, and as such is very popular, and lucrative, when it fulfills these requirements.

Yet to make the game work, the foundation one might say, is that the offense be met with resistance and that it be glorious as well. The game would not be fun if there was simply only offense. The defense is as necessary to the game’s survival as the trajectory of a touchdown throw. Neither survive without the other.

Like all social constructs, the game depends on a set of rules, both written and unwritten. These rules boil down to nothing more than aesthetics. They range from uniform requirements, goal post placement, and ball inflation to the ever so popular drug and personal conduct policies. It is the latter that garners the most attention, particularly when major aspects of the game and its rules align, such as in #Deflategate.

Continue reading “Of Mice and (Rich) Men, A Sports Story”

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Posted in commentary, latest posts, Sports

Don’t Bring Me Down Podcast Wrap Up

Back Talk returned with a final look at the 2017 NFL Draft in Philly with special guest David Malandra who also  provided a great look at all things Philly. We also took a look at the Tom Brady concussion story with some thoughts for Rich Eisen and the culture of football. Finally, because we believe in bringing you the stories you want and love we discussed bad sex and how women might just have it easier than men because we have electricity and batteries.

You can listen to today’s podcast here, or if you prefer via ITunes here and you can now find us on podbean as well.

Posted in commentary, latest posts, Sports

March of the Resistance Podcast Wrap Up

Special Snowflake Sharona is back with another episode of Back Talk with an update on #TheResistance. Then, in our second segment, Sonja Greenfield of NFL Female and XN Sports joined us to discuss the Detroit Lions and General Manager Bob Quinn, whose remarks on Joe Mixon created quite the stir this past week.

First, we gave you an update on that whole Russia thing. We’ve been beating the drum for a while and what happened in our 2016 Presidential Election is the burning issue right now. That Russian interfere in our election occurred with the assistance of highly placed men in the Trump campaign no longer seems in doubt. How far does it extend and does it include women? That remains to be seen.

In our second segment, Sonja Greenfield joined us with an update on the Detroit Lions, statements by GM Bob Quinn and their needs in the upcoming draft. If you missed it, Quinn met with reporters last week prior to the 2017 NFL combine, and when asked about Joe Mixon, he said he was still on their draft board and he was disappointed Mixon was excluded from the combine because of the new NFL domestic violence policy.

As  you may know, Mixon, who played running back for the Oklahoma Sooners, was excluded from the combine after video was released of an incident where he punched a young woman also attending Oklahoma. The blow caused her to strike a table, knocking her out and fracturing her cheekbone and jaw.

The NFL hasn’t always been consistent in its handling of domestic violence and it’s fair to question what it hopes to accomplish with this policy. It is likewise fair to question how Quinn could be even remotely informed on this issue and speak so callously toward domestic violence victims with his indifference to it all. Truly, it speaks to the indifference that both league and teams exhibit that Quinn has neither apologized nor addressed the situation.

The NFL’s new combine policy is vague, having been released through a memo to media but never publicized. I took a look at the policy for Inside the Pylon, and compared his situation to others who were invited. It appears the video was the tipping point for the league though it never specifically said so. More clarification from the NFL on its intended goal would clarify matters for everyone, including teams and domestic violence advocates.

Finally, it’s fair to ponder exactly what the Lions, and Quinn, wish to know. Truthfully, they probably do not care. They want to be able to tell their fans they did their due diligence just like Seattle did with Frank Clark. If they draft him, they will trot out people who will vouch for Mixon so that appearances will be kept.

They will tout the suspension which kept him out of school for a year, and that he learned from his mistake. They will likely say it was a one time deal, but it was not since Mixon had another alternation just last year for which he was suspended one game.

It will cause a stir for a bit but that will die down and fans will buy his merchandise and forget it ever happened, if they ever even cared at all. Such is our attitude toward the violence women experience every single day.

Unfortunately, for women, it’s never just a one time thing that goes away after all the bruises fade.

You can listen to today’s podcast here.

Posted in commentary, latest posts, Sports

Hey Bob Quinn Sorry My Pain Inconveniences You

Hi Bob Quinn, I’m Sharona and I want to tell you a love story. You may not care and judging from your latest comments about Joe Mixon you probably don’t care. I’m still going to tell it to you because our stories are important and maybe it might help you understand why your comments were bush league and why I wanted to throat punch you.

This letter is also for the NFL which professes to care about violence against women yet won’t come right out and tell it’s 32 member teams that maybe drafting a known domestic abuser is something we frown upon and perhaps you should not value money over morals. Or maybe not it’s hard to tell if the NFL really does care about these matters.

I wish you didn’t have to care about violence against women but only because I wish it were not still a thing. Yet, as we know just from the NFL combine alone, it’s still a thing. Per NCADV, one of three women will experience violence at the hands of an intimate partner. The latest estimate indicates roughly 45% of NFL fans are women (they are also people too but I digress.) As they say, numbers don’t lie.

You might ask what that has to do with my love story? I was 30 years old the first time I took a fist to the face from a man I loved and who professed to love me. You might ask what I did to deserve such treatment which is fair because society always asks women what they did to deserve the abuse that gets handed down to them every single day.

I committed the high crime (and misdemeanor?) of wanting to move on with my life after leaving this relationship. I accepted a date from a fella who seemed nice. We were at a restaurant eating dinner before going on to do something else. Perhaps a movie I no longer remember. I would ask him but he vanished faster than you can say Speedy Gonzalez after what happened next.

The man I had been dating showed up. There was a scene. It was not the first. It would not be the last. There were tears and I was asked to abandon this date and leave with him. I refused and the next thing I know a fist hits me on my left cheekbone and I am literally seeing stars.

The blow fractured my cheekbone though I didn’t know it at the time. I only knew a pain far deeper than the physical reality of the moment. I knew a pain you can only know when someone you loved and trusted commits an unspeakable act of violence toward you.

They say pain goes away and bruises do fade yet some damage is permanent. The damage done to your soul is hard to heal but sometimes the physical pain has a way of sticking around too.

A few years later, I am a new associate working for a law firm in downtown Nashville. I have my head down grinding hard because that’s what you do when you are a new attorney. Also, because I was trying to hide from people who might ask why the left side of my face is all swollen and grotesque. Yet, you can’t hide forever.

I had been called upon by a partner a few weeks earlier to make a court appearance for him. Makeup can’t hide everything not even residual damage from a blow that happened two years earlier. I wore my glasses and arranged my hair as best I could to hide the swelling. I hope I was successful. At least no one said anything. What should have been a big moment was lost in dealing with it all.

To this day it still happens. The left side of my face will just randomly swell, and while cold compresses help only time makes it go away. I don’t know why it does this. Oh, I consulted a doctor when it started happening. He was a very good doctor but he had no solutions. Also, I will never forget the look on his face when I told him what was happening and why. It was that look you get that says so much.

Why didn’t you leave? Why did this happen? Why didn’t you just placate him? What did you do to deserve this? Why are you telling me this?

I’m telling you because it’s important. I’m telling you because it still happens. I’m telling you because you value Joe Mixon’s ability to carry a football down a field of grass over the damage he did to a young woman. I’m telling you because women matter too and I’m tired of men like you acting like we don’t.

Pain doesn’t always heal. Chicks don’t always dig scars (not when they are our own) and you know what? Faux glory doesn’t really last forever.

Posted in commentary, latest posts

Seat at the Table Podcast Wrap Up

Special Snowflake Sharona took on the issue of why having a seat at the table matters and why hate speech isn’t and shouldn’t be protected, endorsed or sheltered. We live in the gotta hear both sides generation where memes entirely separate from reality inform policies at high levels in the White House.

I tweeted the above before news of the cancellation of a certain book by Simon & Schuster over pedophilia comments from one of its writers. Well now we know I was only half true. It seems conservatives are perfectly fine with hate speech, antisemitism, prejudice and misogyny but draw the line at child molestation. The notion that speech with these messages deserve a seat at the table is illustrative of what values certain companies and brands carry.

In our second segment we discussed the “Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis” documentary concerning the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. Are we ever going to come together as people and as humans? The things that bond and divide us are more important to me than ever before, and hopefully today’s podcast did justice to discussing these questions.

When something indescribably and horrifically bad happens to you, and you survive it, it changes you. It becomes important to you that your message about those things is done the right way. Which is why I had such a profound reaction to the documentary. Empathy and understanding is crucial to helping address and answer them.

You can listen to today’s podcast here.