It’s not been a good year for the NFL in the PR sense. The league has taking heavy criticism after two players were accused of domestic violence and now the Patriots are accused of using deflated balls against the Indianapolis Colts. With the amount of coverage it has gotten, you would think there someone had died. Meanwhile, people seem more outraged over the Patriots' balls then they were when Ray Rice decked his girl friend in an elevator and knocked her out. Probably because it’s easier to care about an issue as silly as a football where as domestic violence is just a little bit uncomfortable for everyone.
Crimes against humidity
When commenting on the issue of the deflated balls, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady pointed to the absurdity of the situation saying “this isn’t ISIS, no one is dying.” Mr. Brady is correct but it also points to the baseness of society and the media. People care more about footballs than they do about potential terrorist threats from the Islamic State. Brady’s balls literally overshadowed President Obama’s State of the Union address where he asked Congress to approve using force against ISIS. Congressional approval of the use of force can lead to war but people care more about footballs than bombs, I guess.
Can we stop using the suffix -Gate for every scandal?
At the same time, you got to admit the puns surrounding the deflated balls in the so-called “deflategate” are endless and they don’t get old.. at least not yet anyway. Maybe Americans just needed this distraction from everything else in the world that is beyond their control.
An IS-IS situation
Now back to Obama’s State of the Union address. The president on the one hand bragged about bringing the troops home from Afghanistan and on the other hand talked about using force against ISIS. Is there a possibility that if we didn’t draw back troops from Iraq and Afghanistan that ISIS may not have gained so much power? Is it possible that the troop drawback was a bad idea? We all wanted our troops to be home, but we also don’t want them to have sacrificed so much in vain.
I can't drive 95
Locally, State Senator Lou Raptakis proposed a bill that would make highway protests a felony offense but the ACLU and the Homeless Advocacy Project are giving push back. They say that there are already laws in place and this punishment could be unnecessarily harsh. Well, so far, luckily, no one has been hurt during one of these protests but if someone does get hurt it will be interesting to see how lawmakers every where view the issue of highway protests.
Chairman of the bored
The Rhode Island GOP will soon pick a new chairman with current chairman Mark Smiley planning not to run again , leaving an open seat. The thing is it’s a seat that no one wants -- and why would they?
Why would anyone want to head the party that is known to constantly attack each other and the chairman? It looks like the party has been irreparably divided after the Allan Fung and Ken Block primary with a lot of Block supporters resigning from their town committees. At this point, it looks like Fung supporter Brandon Bell, an attorney from Cumberland, will be taking the helm of the party. But then again it is the RIGOP and they love drama so other may step up in the coming weeks.
Lets just hope they count the ballots right this time to avoid the debacle following the last election where there was an error counting the ballots.
Elorza fighting unemployment -- one job at a time!
Lastly, Jorge Elorza has added a new position in Providence: the Innovation Director. Great. What does that person do? I guess it is true, politicians DO create jobs. Let’s hope that this innovative idea proves to be good for the city and not just another patronage job.
That’s all for now… I’ll catch you next week.. I hope you all have a “ball” this weekend.