Another sports related controversy and both sides look petty and weak;

On Monday, President Trump released a statement rescinding the invitation the White House had extended to the NFL Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, noting that some of the players on the Eagles disagreed with Trump’s position that NFL players stand for the national anthem with their hands on their hearts to honor the men and women who have fought for America as well as honoring Americans in general. The statement said, “The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better.”

Born in Philly I have waited my whole life for an Eagles Super-bowl win, I got one this year, I can now die a happy man. But wait, no White House visit, this really blows.

I read the article a few times and I’m still not clear who nixed the visit. From what I gathered, the Eagles were still going to visit tomorrow but was not going to bring a full squad because some of the players 1) Do not like Trump, and 2) Do not like the new NFL rule, which Trump orchestrated all by himself, about the new kneeling rule. So apparently Trump being his petulant self revoked the visit for the entire team, deciding to celebrate with the fans instead.

Ever since Obama was The Man, I have had a few conversations with myself about what I would do if given the opportunity to visit the WH with my championship team. Even if I didn’t like the president, I would go. It is an honor to be invited and to not go because of ideological differences with the current occupier is disrespectful. I would respect those that felt differently but for me, you go. You go because you are representing your team and your home city and you go because sports has been and always will be the great unifier of the masses. Fans go to sporting events to be distracted from our politics and debates about race. We come together, all races, all walks of life, all religions, all income levels, the commonality of cheering for the same team unites us.

For those Eagles players that wanted to attend, what a disappointment, but who do you blame? This is another example of Trump being Trump so you just gotta role with it, but I think it stinks. If half the team wants to come, honor them with the same WH ceremony. It’s not all about the photo-op.

A few thoughts on the new rule; In trying to please everybody, they ended up pleasing nobody. They gave the teams the option of staying in the locker room. You don’t think this is going to look awkward and invoke just as much fan derision as the kneeling? And what about peer pressure. Some players who want to come out will probably be shamed into staying, for solidarity sake, is that fair? And some owners totally weenied out and declared publicly that they would pay the fines, so they are now co-conspirators and willing accessories.

The other thing that I found odd was the public statement Goddell made in implementing these new rules;

 We are dedicated to continuing our collaboration with players to advance the goals of justice and fairness in all corners of our society. 

How woke of them. So now they are not only in the football business but also in the SJW business. Are they now going to have a public position on income redistribution, taxes, or our national trade policy? Maybe a reparations policy where minorities get tickets half price or free beer, could this be the next phase of their want to advance the goals of fairness and justice?

Long has been outspoken about his contempt for President Trump. Before the 2018 Super Bowl, he announced that if the Eagles won, he would not visit the White House, snapping, “No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?” The year before, as a member of the New England Patriots, who won the Super Bowl in 2017, he refused to participate in the White House visit, saying, “My son grows up, and I believe the legacy of our president is going to be what it is, I don’t want him to say, ‘Hey dad, why’d you go [to the White House] when you knew the right thing was to not go?’

Sorry but that doesn’t work for me, “Gee, dad, didn’t you tell my that football is a team sport and that your own personal feelings are always subordinate to that of the team as a whole? So you disrespecting those in power because you don’t like them is something I should emulate? I will remember that when dealing with a teacher or a boss I don’t like.”

I can’t imagine  the Eagle fans attending the WH gathering tomorrow will be all that thrilled with no real Eagle players in attendance. Why must everything be an ideological battle? All participants in this sad affair deserve a time-out.

36 comments

  1. ‘Ideological differences’ Lol
    Enforced patriotism, awesome.
    He represents everyone though of course…..because employment.

  2. Is it true that not one of the players on the Super Bowl winning team took a knee all regular and post season? And that not one refused to go simply because Trump “insists” folks stand for the anthem? But they’re still anti-military?

  3. So apparently Trump being his petulant self revoked the visit for the entire team, deciding to celebrate with the fans instead.

    I don’t think he’s being petulant. The players are making a political statement by sitting out the White House visit just as they sat out the anthem. Trump is denying them the opportunity to score political points for what should be a non-political event.

    You know, like what the NFL indulged all through the last season and only recently applied a half-assed solution for. Like Lucasfilm, the NFL and many of its players just can’t themselves from alienating fans with their politics and like Lucasfilm, they’ll have to accept the financial consequences.

  4. I’m waiting for some team members’ son to say, “Gee dad, why can’t you guys just play the game?”

    I loved this comment so much, I tweeted it.

  5. The players are making a political statement by sitting out the White House visit just as they sat out the anthem.

    Some of the players are, we don’t know how many, I suspect a very small percentage. Championship teams being invited to the WH to celebrate their victory as become a tradition, muck like MOH winners. There were some hold out’s when Obama was president but he did not revoke the invitation for the whole team because some vocal players did not support him as president.

    Trump is denying them the opportunity to score political points for what should be a non-political event.

    Those players would not be attending, so now he ruins it for ALL the players. No, he was wrong in canceling the whole event, to me shows petulance and pettiness, and all for a photo op that Trump thinks would reflect poorly on him.

  6. Some of the players are, we don’t know how many, I suspect a very small percentage.

    And only some of the players kneeled during the last season, all of it with zero consequences from the NFL. This is another political stunt that neither the NFL or the team will address and instead indulge.

    Like it or not, Trump is fighting the overt politicization of absolutely everything that we discuss here so often. If you want it to stop, this is the way it’s going to happen.

  7. And only some of the players kneeled during the last season, all of it with zero consequences from the NFL.

    It was a fairly new phenomenon and the massive fan backlash caught them by surprise, hence the rules changes for this year.

    This is another political stunt that neither the NFL or the team will address and instead indulge.

    Are you talking about those not attending or Trump revoking the invite?

    Like it or not, Trump is fighting the overt politicization of absolutely everything that we discuss here so often.

    And I want him to continue this fight but he needs to pick his battles better. Folks like their traditions, standing for the National Anthem is one and inviting championship teams to the WH for a public celebration is another, Trump is upholding the first and shitting on the second.

  8. And I want him to continue this fight but he needs to pick his battles better.

    I can’t imagine a better battle to fight than one he knows he’ll win with maximum visibility. The end result of this is that the NFL is going to start pressuring players to stop engaging in these stunts to save itself. Which is exactly what Trump has wanted all along.

    Related: https://nypost.com/2018/05/31/espn-warns-outspoken-talent-in-wake-of-roseanne-controversy/

    The players have politicized this. Let them enjoy the blowback from fans.

  9. I can’t imagine a better battle to fight than one he knows he’ll win with maximum visibility.

    I guess it all comes down to your version of “winning”, and why you think everything has to be a battle.

    This “battle” was so unnecessary. If he cares about traditions he certainly did not show it here.

    Let them enjoy the blowback from fans

    So punish all the players for the conduct of a few? You apparently don’t mind him acting like a spoiled 5 year old, because “winning”, I think he can win and still act mature and adult while winning. This was a bone head move on his part and I’m still not convinced otherwise.

  10. I guess it all comes down to your version of “winning”, and why you think everything has to be a battle.

    Because it is. The players turned the NFL into a battleground by making political statements on the field. Every aspect of the culture is a battle right now. Every other post I’ve written lately is about this phenomenon.

    So punish all the players for the conduct of a few?

    Yes. They’re a team, aren’t they?

    The idea is that next year, maybe the winning team’s coach will say, “God damn it, all I have ever wanted to do in my life is win the Super Bowl and go to the White House. I know that this is true of your team mates too. For the fucking love of God, shut the fuck up, go to the fucking White House, smile for a fucking picture, and go bitch about it on Instagram later.”

    You apparently don’t mind him acting like a spoiled 5 year old, because “winning”, I think he can win and still act mature and adult while winning.

    Were the fans who boycotted this season and tanked the ratings so that the NFL changed the anthem rule being petulant? What about people who boycotted Solo? Is that “childish”?

    Trump is doing what he’s best at, from a messaging perspective. He has correctly gauged the mood of millions of Americans and is validaing their views.

    This was the perfect battleground.

  11. The players turned the NFL into a battleground by making political statements on the field.

    Some did, a small percentage, those kneelers do not speak for the whole team collectively.

    Every aspect of the culture is a battle right now.

    And I’m saying that sports should not be politicized, period.

    Yes. They’re a team, aren’t they?

    But those few players that are kneeling do not speak for the team and do not reflect the sentiments of all players, yet you are punishing all players, I can’t abide that.

    “God damn it, all I have ever wanted to do in my life is win the Super Bowl and go to the White House. I know that this is true of your team mates too. For the fucking love of God, shut the fuck up, go to the fucking White House, smile for a fucking picture, and go bitch about it on Instagram later.”

    Except that that is light years away from reality. I like the speech about unity, putting politics aside and representing the team as a whole in an accomplishment they all achieved as a team. All that stuff is good but the event is not compulsory, it’s nothing like the National Anthem so if players have ideological differences and don’t want to attend, those few that do have differences should not inhibit the rest of the team from following tradition and attending. Likewise the president should not get all butt hurt because some don’t like him and cancel the event for everyone.

    Were the fans who boycotted this season and tanked the ratings so that the NFL changed the anthem rule being petulant?

    Apples and oranges, nothing remotely similar, because if it was then the NFL could have cancelled all the remaining games for the conduct of the few fans that were insulted. Yes, rating dropped, but by 3/4? Half? And even many fans, like myself, who did not like the kneeling still watched. Yet by your yardstick, you punish all the fans for the conduct of few of the fans.

    He has correctly gauged the mood of millions of Americans and is validaing their views.

    Yeah, I just don’t see it. His position or advantage in this battle would not have been weakened one bit by being above the fray and welcoming of those majority of Eagle Players that wanted the visit. He single handedly got the rule changes the fans wanted thus showing once again that he is the champion of the people. If winning is what it’s all about, he won this battle, but it wasn’t enough. He planned a party then burned down the house because a small percentage of invitees did not want to come.

  12. In that chess board game called “winning” what benefit is there in alienating a portion of your base? Yes, I know your position is that as long as the battle is won the collateral damage is irrelevant. But I always thought that in politics you play the long game. How many thousands of Eagle fans are now pissed off at Trump for pulling this stunt? Die hard sports fans never forget, will it ultimately cost him votes down the road? I don’t know but just remember this, he can’t win if he is not in the game and he needs votes to stay in power. No, I don’t think this one thing alone will defeat him in 2020 but pissing off your supporters for no reason is just dumb. There was no legitimate reason to cancel the event.

  13. After writing this post and many of the comments this morning I have come to learn about some facts that alter the basic theme of my post.

    Apparently, after accepting the invitation to attend the event Eagle management gave all the players the option of either doing community service or attending the event as a team. Most chose not to attend. Once the embarrassingly low headcount was revealed Eagle management wanted to reschedule but they picked a week that Trump would be doing his NoKo summit. No other dates worked so instead of welcoming a handful of players Trump cancelled the whole thing.

    So at this point this kerfuffle turns out to be a nothing burger. Eagle management is more to blame than Trump so I guess we can go back to beating that “everything must be viewed through the prism of race” horse to death.

  14. Some did, a small percentage, those kneelers do not speak for the whole team collectively.

    Yes, they do. They speak for the team and the NFL, who all indulge this behavior.

    ABC “punished” the cast and crew of Roseanne for her tweet. Why should I view this any differently?

    And I’m saying that sports should not be politicized, period.

    I don’t think sports, Star Wars, comic books, or any of it should be politicized. And yet here we are. The president is responding to the times. Trump is making the politicization of sports toxic and the blame is being pinned on those who do it and enable it.

    I guarantee you that next year there will be enormous pressure on players from both their teammates and fans to avoid this sort of behavior at all costs. They’ve been put on notice that using these occasions to grandstand isn’t going to fly.

    Anyone can feel free to come back a year from now and tell me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think any player will boycott the White House ceremony in 2019.

    His position or advantage in this battle would not have been weakened one bit by being above the fray and welcoming of those majority of Eagle Players that wanted the visit.

    I think it would have. Why should he give any ground now that he’s already won on the anthem issue?

    In that chess board game called “winning” what benefit is there in alienating a portion of your base?

    He’s in no danger of alienating his base. His core supporters are good with it and don’t like seeing him disrespected. As I said, if (big if) any players do this next year, the blame will be 100% on them and their teams for enabling it when they knew this would happen. During the season this year, the players will almost certainly pull some more stunts like this and prove that they, not Trump are the ones who are politicizing the game.

    There was no downside to Trump doing this and it would have harmed his position to have a picture taken with maybe half a dozen players.

    If you want the politization of sports to end, then I see no other way but to make the teams and leagues that indulge in it radioactive.

  15. I love the NBA players’ griping. They have to stand for the National Anthem and I hope it drives them crazy.

  16. GOATCA (Greatest Of All Time Choke Artist)

    I don’t know about that. He’s taken his current team of misfits to the Finals. Also the GSW are an unprecedentedly good team. Can you think of any team that MJ had to face that came remotely close to the Warriors? He’s also averaging 34.6 pts, 9 A, and 9.2 RB per game over the playoffs. Hardly the numbers of a choker.

    You want chokers, take a look at the Raptors.

  17. In response to Lebron being a choker;
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XWgRpfkxhY

    I don’t think the Raptors choked, I put it on the coach. They are a young team who was left on their own because the coach had no idea how to defend Lebron.

    The Bay Area newspapers are already talking sweep, I think they are nuts.

  18. Can you think of any team that MJ had to face that came remotely close to the Warriors?

    Let’s look at it like this for Team stats in the regular season:

    97 Bulls Current Cavs
    47% Field Goal Percentage 47% FG%
    37% Three Point Percentage 37% 3P%
    49% Two Point Percentage 54% 2P%
    74% Free Throw Percentage 79% FT%
    103 Points Per Game 110PPG

    So the teams as a whole have similar stats.

    97 Jazz Current Warriors
    50% FG% 50% FG%
    37% 3P% 39% 3P%
    52% 2P% 56% 2P%
    77% FT% 81% FT%
    103 PPG 113 PPG

    Seems pretty even to me for the entire team, with an edge to the Warriors with a similar edge to the Cavs. Granted, it would be more enlightening, but I’m not about to try to find the stats that would be Bulls/Cavs minus their respective leaders.

    But regardless, the GOAT(CA) is on the verge of being swept.

    All stats taken from http://www.basketball-reference.com

  19. Hmm, I overestimated the disparity. Although the Jazz PPG went down to 96.1 for the playoffs. I still think that losing to a line up led by Curry, Durant (2 HOF’ers) and Thompson and Green, while carrying a bunch of nobodies shouldn’t be considered choking.

    On the bright side, Ovechkin is now a Stanley Cup winner!

  20. Ovechkin is now a Stanley Cup winner!

    Well deserved. The DC area had a championship drought rivaling Philly.

    Part of me would like to see Lebron win tomorrow night just for the fans, probably his last as a Cav but logically I realize that is crazy, stomp on them now and take the championship.

  21. losing to a line up led by Curry, Durant (2 HOF’ers)

    As opposed to Stockton/Malone? Also two hall of famers who would have had at least two rings if they hadn’t run into the real GOAT.

  22. As opposed to Stockton/Malone? Also two hall of famers

    Fair enough. Maybe I’m taking this from the wrong angle. Here is the Bulls starting lineup.

    MJ (HOF)
    Scottie Pippen (HOF)
    Denis Rodman (HOF)
    Ron Harper
    Luc Longley

    Notables Bench
    Steve Kerr (who surprisingly averaged less than 1 3P a game!)
    Tony Kukoc

    Cavaliers starting lineup

    LeBron
    JR Smith (a tool)
    Kevin Love (maybe a borderline HOF candidate?)
    George Hill
    Kyle Korver
    Tristan Thompson
    Green, Hood, and Calderon have also started games.

    Not exactly a scary lineup. I still contend that it takes a great player to carry that lineup all the way to the Finals.

  23. Not exactly a scary lineup. I still contend that it takes a great player to carry that lineup all the way to the Finals.

    Think of the greats. MJ, Kareem, Bird, Johnson, Dr. J, etc. Nobody ever says, “Oh, he was the GOAT, except his team sucked.” Lebron is no doubt an incredible talent, and will go down as one of the greats.

    I don’t debate that MJ had a fantastic team. And I give much of the credit for that team to their coach. But when the chips were down, he carried the win (except when he dished the 3 to Steve Kerr, the bastard). He didn’t let his team be an excuse. I would dare say he elevated his team, which is one of the reasons he is the GOAT.

  24. Man, LeBron sucks! 🙂

    Congrats Warriors! Now comes the withdrawal… Hurry up World Cup!

  25. As happy as I am about this championship ( a sub par regular season, a shitload of injuries and a surging Rockets team made the finals for me worrisome) but I feel saddened that The King was treated this way in his own house. It just re enforces in my mind how great he is, to put this mediocre team on his back and take them to the finals, I salute him.

    If it wasn’t for Dramond’s big mouth, getting thrown out of game 5 two years ago when the Dubs had all the momentum, this would have been 4 in a row.

    Durant got MVP, again.

    Yeah, looking forward to World Cup. That and Wimbledon to tide me over until the NFL starts.

  26. Your entire season is on the line, you’re the GOAT to some, you’re carrying your team on your shoulders, and you’re down at the end of the third. So what do you do? You sit for the beginning of the fourth. Yeah…not GOAT.

  27. So what do you do? You sit for the beginning of the fourth.

    If I was the coach I would have done the exact same thing. Since Lebron is essentially the coach anyway, he has the best gauge for when he needs a breather. Now factor in the fact that he played the last 3 games with a broken hand.

    Discussions like this about who is the GOAT is fun, but what makes this one a bit moot is that Lebron is not done, MJ is. Let’s have this discussion in 5 years, deal?

    If we look at just rings, MJ has 6, Lebron has 3. But every single one of those MJ championships, Scottie was with him. Pippen is a HOFer. The best player Lebron had as teamate was Kevin Love, you think Kevin is even half as good as Pippen?

    I was looking at career stat sheets for both players;

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jamesle01.html

    https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/j/jordami01.html

    It is remarkable how similar their careers have paralleled each other. Minutes per game, points per game, very similar. Lebron has more assists, better 3 point percentage, both have played 15 seasons. Every championship team MJ played on was far better than the Cavs this year minus Lebron;

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/06/08/sports/basketball/lebron-nba-finals.html

    Now the Lebron sweepstakes starts, where will he end up? I hope he stays with the Cavs and they get a few more players (like Pippen) to help him out.

  28. The real GOAT doesn’t need to defend himself, or worse have his fans defending him with excuses.

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