Coaches: With word of both Pat Summitt and Buddy Ryan passing away, I am struck by their very different styles of coaching. Buddy was what you call a players coach. He was far better as a defensive coordinator than as a head coach and knew how to rally his players around him, often resulting in a divide between him and his head coach, Mike Ditka. He could be a pain in the ass to management while inspiring loyalty among his players because he let them be who they wanted so long as they came to play.
Summitt was often known for her stare and being a hard ass. Her practices were legendary for what she put her players through. She employed male college students who could play hoops to practice and toughen up her girls all with the intent to get the most out of every player.
Pat Summitt won more games than any coach in basketball and still posted a 100 percent graduation rate, something her male counterparts could never come close to. And through all of this, she managed to win eight national titles, coach a gold medal winning team, and was beloved by her players who not only respected her as a coach, but loved her as a person.
I think I would have loved to play for Pat Summitt and dreaded playing for Buddy Ryan.
Abortion: It’s time to put this argument to bed once and for all. As a nation, politically, we have far more important issues than trying to overturn Roe v. Wade. How anyone can claim they are a compassionate person by wanting to outlaw abortions by making it next to impossible for women to have access to clinics that perform them is beyond me. While I get the religious component of the right to life movement, we need to remember, we are a nation that separates church and state so we need to only look at this from a political stand point. Based on that alone, a conservative Supreme Court has once again sided on the rights of women and not the Bible. Can we move on to more important matters?
Flip-Flop: Looking at Donald Trump, one would never see an acrobat and yet he is becoming quite the flip-flopper. Now that he has changed his stance on banning all Muslims from entering our country, who really believes he will build a wall along our border with Mexico? What we are seeing is what many of us pointed out months ago, winning the nomination of your political party only ensures you at best 30 percent of the total popular vote.
Without a message that crosses over party lines, anyone who leans far left or far right is destined to be crushed in a general election. It also means any party that nominates a candidate who knows how to lick their finger and test which way the political winds are blowing, something the Clintons have always done well, is bound to stand a much better shot at winning the White House.
Hillary’s Numbers: Still, Trump has a shot at winning in the fall. Why? Despite a horrific last two weeks, Trump is only trailing by an average of seven points in the national polls and is much closer in the major swing states like Ohio and Florida. This shows just how troubled voters are with Hillary. If this were 2008, Obama would be up 12 to 15 points. If this were the 90’s, Bill Clinton would be laughing his way to the White House. However, in 2016, Hillary seems to show a knack for failing to close the deal when all is in her favor. She could be just one bad news story away from falling behind.
What’s Worse Than Brexit?: Well, if you are England, it is getting beat by Iceland in the European Championships of soccer. How bad was their 2-1 defeat? Many are calling this the greatest sports upset since Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson or Team USA beat the Soviets in Hockey in 1980. It’s like watching a high school baseball team beat the World Series champions. Brits have plenty to drown their sorrows in this week.
More Than One Truth: All we have learned and ever will learn about the two Benghazi reports, one released by Democrats and one by Republicans, is there will always be more than one truth to what happened. Republicans will use their report to remind voters why they should never vote for Hillary Clinton while Democrats will use theirs to show why Hillary is the victim of a smear campaign.
What do I think? It is pretty despicable that neither party is the least bit concerned about what really went on or the fact the families of four Americans were destroyed by the events that played out. The truth should not be designed to be used as a political rallying point, but rather to bring justice and closure to the victims families.
The Mistake Will Be Back: While Cleveland is basking in winning a championship for the first time since air conditioning, I think in another month they will revert back to being known as the Mistake By The Lake. There is bound to be massive unrest at the Republican Convention and the GOP will realize in November what a mistake it was to support Trump on their ticket.
Thank You NFL: Once both parties hold their conventions, we can begin to be distracted by the coming NFL season. We can get riled up over more important matters like Deflategate, concussions, failed urine tests, and upset losses. By the time November rolls around, Americans will care more about their favorite teams than who becomes our next president, which is why this is such a great nation. It really does not matter who is in the White House so long as we have our sports, beer, and fantasy leagues.
A future without television? It’s here. Reports show 75 percent of Baby Boomers rely on TV for their news and entertainment while only 50 percent of Generation X and 25 percent of Millenials do the same. As a Baby Boomer, I am becoming less and less connected to my television, but it has nothing to do with my tech savvy skills. No, it is just the opposite. It took me a mere two weeks to realize I did not push the on button to my receiver for my Time Warner box.
Now that I have found it, I have no clue as to how the remote functions since I was used to a different one for many years. As a result, I am finding it less frustrating to not watch TV than it is entertaining to watch it. I just hope I can learn how to push that emergency button around my neck when I fall and can’t get up.
Top photo by Tim Forkes
Jim is a life long resident of California and retired school teacher with 30 years in public education. Jim earned his BA in History from CSU Chico in 1981 and his MA in Education from Azusa Pacific University in 1994. He is also the author of Teaching The Teacher: Lessons Learned From Teaching. Jim considers himself an equal opportunity pain in the ass to any political party, group, or individual who looks to profit off of hypocrisy. When he is not pointing out the conflicting words and actions of our leaders, the NFL commissioner, or humans in general, he can be found riding his bike for hours on end while pondering his next article. Jim recently moved to Camarillo, CA after being convinced to join the witness protection program.