Notes for November: Aaron Rodgers, Mark Zuckerberg and worse

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Top photo of Aaron Rodgers by Claudia Gestro

It’s pretty clear Aaron Rodgers lied to the public about being vaccinated. It’s also clear he ignored league protocols for wearing a mask while at work and for violating protocols outside of work. It is also clear his coach, and probably teammates, are not being truthful when they cover for him. What is not clear is how the league office will react.

Most likely, the NFL will drag out its investigation into the off season so precious Aaron can win another ring. However, if you compare what he has done to recent NFL controversies, his penalty should fall somewhere in severity between what Tom Brady did with “deflategate” and what happened in New Orleans with “bountygate.”

Boy, was I wrong. I guess the NFL decided to get Rodgers’ investigation over ASAP. The meager fines handed out are a joke and tell me the league doesn’t want to be bothered with hunting down all the other violators of their protocols. A better punishment for Rodgers violating the mask policy would be to make him play the remainder of the season without a face mask. Afterall, if one mask policy is draconian, isn’t another?

Rodgers clearly thinks he is above others when it comes to decision making. He wants out of a contract he signed that pays him millions and believes he should not have to follow health guidelines during a pandemic. He also has no problem looking the public in the eye and lying or turning to social media to make his coaches and front office look like bad guys.

From now on, I have no interest in anything Rodgers has to say because when I hear or read his name, I think of the quote, “The problem with a liar is you never know when they are telling you the truth.”

I think I will consider medical advice from Rodgers about as much as the Packers coaches will consider game planning from Dr. Anthony Fauci. People should stick to what they know. As for Rodgers, well, I guess he has put his integrity in serious jeopardy.

Speaking of punishments for NFL players. What is a fair punishment for Henry Ruggs III, the now former Raider who killed a 23-year-old woman when he drunkenly slammed his corvette into the rear of her car at over 150 mph?  Whatever penalty he receives, there will no doubt be people who think it is not enough.

Ruggs can only be punished under the current law which includes a range of penalties. It will be up to the DA to successfully prosecute him for as many crimes as possible, a jury to find him guilty, and a judge who hands down the maximum penalty. Even then, it will not get back the life he took.

Mug shot photo of Henry Ruggs III courtesy of Clark County Detention Center

I think if I had a 22-year-old kid playing professional football in Las Vegas and earning millions of dollars, I’d advise him to live on 100 grand a year, not buy anything stupid like a fast car, and stay the hell away from bars. Better yet, I think I would advise him to hire a team of sitters to keep him on the straight and narrow and to drive him everywhere he goes.

When I taught high school, I used to remind students they were entering what I called their stupid years. If they could keep from ruining their lives between the ages of 15 and 25, odds were they would go on to enjoy a good life. However, their stupid, or impulsive actions could easily destroy their future in ways they never considered. Henry Ruggs III failed to get out of his own way and make it past his stupid years.

Congratulations to Mark Zuckerberg. After seven years on Facebook, I finally broke down and purchased a product advertised on my page. It is a book about Buddhist teachings called Perfectly Ordinary. Of course, I made Zuckerberg’s wealthy cohort a little richer since I purchased it from Amazon.

There is no getting rid of ads on Facebook. I have tried to block certain ads only for others to pop up in their place. Instead, I keep the ads that only offer mundane products like socks or offer a photo like a nice landscape that looks like the thousands of others people post. Mostly, I am just happy to have rid myself of all things Trump and the BS that goes with it.

It finally appears we have an infrastructure deal that will soon become law. While I am very happy about it, I can’t help but wonder where this nation would be if it had kept pace with our needs over the last 30 or so years. Maybe we might not have bare shelves and need jet skis to go Christmas shopping this year.

I keep thinking there may come a time when this country is not so easily led astray by selfish politicians. The right will tell us why we should not want an infrastructure deal because it will raise our taxes but forget to mention taxes when they tell us why we need to fund a bloated military so it can fight another pointless war.

We gripe about having to pay so much in taxes, but I have never met anyone who gripes nearly as much about who decides where our money goes. Letting elected leaders who are bought and owned by lobbyists decide where our tax money should be spent is not democracy. It’s stupidity. I have never heard a politician from either party tell us they think we should be allowed to submit a check list of where WE want our taxes to go because the crooks we elect know they would have their hands tied instead of their wallets stuffed.

I am dealing with allergies for the first time in a quarter of a century. In the 90’s, I went through immunotherapy and have not had to deal with allergies since. Now I am and I don’t like it. Maybe I can try some ivermectin since it works so well to prevent Covid. Then again, maybe it is time to get retested and go through shot therapy again.

I saw my first Christmas commercial before Halloween this year which tells me it must be time for stores to start displaying their Easter displays. Why is it we can’t enjoy a holiday without being bombarded with another one that is months away? Is there any bipartisan support in congress to fix this?

I just tried listening to Deep Purple’s cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well.”Let’s just say some music should never be made public and this is one example. The original version is, in my opinion, a perfect song. It’s also only half a song because it is actually “Oh Well pt. 1” and is followed by the second part at the beginning of side two of Then Play On. If you have never listened to the second part, do yourself a favor. It is a beautiful instrumental piece that when played back-to-back with part one displays the full talent of Peter Green.

What is the point of a tell all book when all you have to say is something an actor may have done to your sister decades ago when both parties are long dead? Are there any fans of Kirk Douglas still alive who care what Lana Wood accuses him of doing to her sister Natalie? Maybe one of the nice things about social media is that fewer such books will be written. It seems like younger people tell too much. We give celebrities way too much of our time and money for what most contribute to the world.

Recently, I have tried watching a couple of TV dramas from Australia only to give up because I could not understand a word being said. I thought the British were hard to understand, but the Aussies are worse. Do any other nations speak English as well as we do here in America? Correction, as well as anyone north of the old Mason-Dixon line.

I always find it strange when a TV show is hailed as depicting life in the south as incredibly accurate only to not find anyone in the cast speaking with a southern accent. It makes me think everything in the show is one big lie. Could you imagine The Godfather without accents? Deliverance? Smokey and the Bandit?

Suddenly, Scottie Pippen seems to have found his voice and begun to speak out against his former teammate Michael Jordan as well as his coach, Phil Jackson. There is a reason why Scottie feels more comfortable doing this now rather than when he was playing on the great Chicago Bulls teams of the 90’s. Jordan is not around him on a daily basis to put Scottie in his place. If Pippen had been this outspoken as a player, he probably would have been traded and might not have had the career he had.

The career of 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo
is far from over (Claudia Gestro)

Midway through the NFL season and I hate admitting this, but the most disappointing team based on expectations this year are the San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Kyle Shanahan may be an offensive genius, but as the brains behind the entire 49er operation, he has proven unable to build a solid team in all areas of the game. All the talk about them finding their quarterback of the future has been replaced by their lack of talent in the trenches, guys who can cover opponents’ receivers, and the depth necessary to withstand injuries to key players.

They have a lot of work this off season, few draft picks to improve the team, and a growing list of injured players who can yield them draft picks. One player I would consider trading this off season, besides Jimmy Garoppolo, is tight end George Kittle. When healthy, he can change a game, but unfortunately, he is like Gronk and gets injured too much. He might be worth a third-round pick in a trade.
*Editor’s note: Reporter Claudia Gestro asked Rams head coach Sean McVay how well Jimmy Garoppolo played Monday Night. Click here for his response.

The Los Angeles Dodgers would be wise to part ways with Clayton Kershaw and focus on signing Max Scherzer. Since money is no object for the Dodgers front office, they should be able to make Scherzer the best offer. However, as much as Kershaw is loved in Los Angeles, he physically cannot be counted on as a quality starter. Maybe he and management might both consider a new role as a reliever. It did wonders for Dennis Eckersley and John Smoltz.

Willian Shatner is 90 years old. We all know this because of his recent flight in space. Why then is he playing a 72-year-old in a bad film, Senior Moments? The only thing close to 72 years old on Shatner is his hair piece. Mark my words, if I look like Shatner in another nine years, I won’t have 30-year-old women clamoring all over me like he does in the film. Come to think of it, I’ve never had 30-year-old women clamor over me.

The United States Men’s National Soccer Team has underperformed in recent years. However, that all seems to be changing with a younger team filled with players who hold their own in overseas leagues. Their recent 2-0 victory over archrival Mexico was their third straight over them and they seem well situated to qualify for the next World Cup. It is fair to say the progress of men’s soccer in this nation has not come close to that of the women. Hopefully, this bunch of young players will make a lasting mark on the international level, and I may live long enough to see a USMNT with a World Cup.