Uncomfortable History Month: Hammer Time

Day five, and what better topic is there than the Hammer himself. On this date in 1934, the greatest player to ever wear an Atlanta Braves uniform was born in Mobile, Alabama. Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron would leave Mobile and go on to become the homerun king of Major League Baseball.

I could go on all day about his career, but we all are pretty familiar with his stats. What makes his career even more impressive is when you realize that he accomplished all he did while under constant threat to both himself and his family. Just as revisionism portrays Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as someone who was supposedly beloved during his time on earth, Aaron wasn’t universally accepted and loved by America during his playing years.

I’ll give you just a few samples of the thousands upon thousands of hate letters he and the Braves organization received during his playing days.

Now, when you go back and watch footage of him playing, you don’t see a man with that kind of pressure on his back. I don’t pretend to think that I’d be able to do what he did under those circumstances. That’s what makes him such a great player. Swing by beautiful swing, he hammered away at the myth of white supremacy.

So, if you want to make some folks uncomfortable, remind them of what Hank Aaron endured from his fellow citizens. While he’s beloved by most of America today, that wasn’t always the case. Show them some of the hate mail he received. Better yet, share his own words about how he felt back then.

It really made me see for the first time a clear picture of what this country is about. My kids had to live like they were in prison because of kidnap threats, and I had to live like a pig in a slaughter camp. I had to duck. I had to go out the back door of the ball parks. I had to have a police escort with me all the time. I was getting threatening letters every single day. All of these things have put a bad taste in my mouth, and it won’t go away. They carved a piece of my heart away.

Happy Birthday Hank.

Facts from feelings

With all the things going on in America, with all the people who are in need of assistance, why is the president so deeply invested in the NFL protests?

I understand that some people feel that kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful.  I understand that some people feel that this is a slap in the face to the men and women who protect this country as well.

Let me let you in on a secret.  I’m one of those who work to protect this country, and I also protect the NFL player’s right to peacefully protest.  I’m not hurt or bothered by their actions.  I don’t intend on joining any boycott either because of their actions.

This all started over Colin Kaepernick’s protest last season.  He wanted to bring attention to police abuse, which I feel is something that needs to be addressed by everyone, feelings be damned.  He didn’t set out to dismiss the sacrifices of military personnel, and there are numerous vets and currently serving members of the military who support Kaep.

In my opinion, a good bit of the backlash is from the old hit dog effect.  Many people want to act like America is perfect, when we do have areas where would could improve to make our society better.  Many of us use our biases and stereotypes as crutches to walk through life instead of challenging ourselves to tackle things on without bias.

In the beginning, I was supportive of Kaep, and along the way he lost me to an extent.  I still support his right to protest, but I don’t agree with some of the things that he has NOT done while protesting.  That’s a different story for a different post.

Back to the tweets above.  For Trump, and anyone else who is offended, hurt, or otherwise triggered by the protests, I have a question to ask you.  Were you the same way when the flag was mistreated between 2008 and 2016?  Read the US Flag Code and you’ll understand what I’m saying.  Here’s a few examples:

4 US Code Chapter 1 Section 8(d):  The flag should never be used as wearing apparel, bedding, or drapery. It should never be festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds, but always allowed to fall free. Bunting of blue, white, and red, always arranged with the blue above, the white in the middle, and the red below, should be used for covering a speaker’s desk, draping the front of the platform, and for decoration in general.

4 US Code Chapter 1 Section 8(g):  The flag should never have placed upon it, nor on any part of it, nor attached to it any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture, or drawing of any nature.

4 US Code Chapter 1 Section 8(j):  No part of the flag should ever be used as a costume or athletic uniform. However, a flag patch may be affixed to the uniform of military personnel, firemen, policemen, and members of patriotic organizations. The flag represents a living country and is itself considered a living thing. Therefore, the lapel flag pin being a replica, should be worn on the left lapel near the heart.

Now, there’s disrespecting something which is a personal opinion, and there’s breaking the law.  There is no law for disrespect, so there is no legal recourse if someone feels disrespected.  It is a personal feeling, and what makes you feel that way may be totally fine with others around you.  We have to get away from our selfish outlook on life because we’re a nation of more than 330 million people.  We’re not always going to be happy about things, and we’re not going to always get our way.\

The president, of all people, should be the one setting a tone to bring people together, not a tone of inciting a riot.  When Obama offered his opinion on the Trayvon Martin shooting and the Skip Gates arrest, many on the right felt that he overstepped his job as president by getting into small, personal incidents.  Who could ever forget this diagnosis of Obama here:

So, if Obama was way out-of-bounds for the comments made then, what should be said about the current president calling a  football player a “son of a bitch”?

Time is up for allowing a certain segment to own and direct the conversation.  No matter how loud or whiney things get, ALL sides need to be heard and given equal opportunity to express themselves.  Let’s remove emotions and feelings from the conversation and deal with the facts at hand.  Imagine Obama calling one of the Duke lacrosse players a “son of a bitch” live on national TV.  Do we honestly think that he would have been cheered?

I used to think we were better than this, but I guess all good things come to an end.  We are no longer in Kansas, Toto.  Regardless of whether we like Trump or not, we cannot allow the standards of behavior for the office of the president to be lowered.  If he’s not capable of maintain the high standards, then he needs to leave the office to allow someone with standards to fulfill the duties of the office as they should be carried out.


Congrats to the Alabama Crimson Tide football team for winning the CFP Championship last night.  A tip of the hat to Coach Swinney and the Clemson Tigers for a great game as well.  For all the lackluster bowl games that college football fans were subjected to, the bowl season ended on a high note.

As a big college football fan, I watched most of the games as it seems like my schedule gave me off days at the right moments to allow it.  Other than the Oregon/TCU game, last night’s game was the best out of all the bowl games.

While everyone starts to recruit for next year, we’ll begin the “Process” of reloading.


RIP Dusty Rhodes

From Yahoo News:

The WWE announced on Thursday afternoon that professional wrestling legend Virgil Runnels, a.k.a. Dusty Rhodes, died earlier in the day. He was 69.

Rhodes is a WWE Hall of Famer and a three-time NWA Champion. Always one of the most distinctive and fascinating wrestlers, the man nicknamed The American Dream never failed to entertain and/or enrage every time he stepped into the ring. His career began in the 1970s and continued into the 90s.

Working at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport does have its benefits.  One that I like is that I’ve had the opportunity to meet many professional wrestlers, both old and new school.  One of the most humble and down to earth wrestlers that I ever crossed paths with is Mr. Runnels.

As great of a career and as big a superstar he is/was, he was one of the coolest people to talk with.  I got to meet him when he was traveling to get inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2007.  We talked about his career and such as I was pretty awestruck just to be in his company.  He told a few stories about things as well.

At no time did he give off an “I’m better than you” or “You’re beneath me” type vibe that you hear being attributed to famous people.  As a fact, most of the old school wrestlers are all pretty mellow.  I guess it’s because of the nature of the business and how they all had to bust their asses to get to the top.

He’ll be missed here on Earth, and he will join the Pantheon of great wrestlers in the beyond.  Godspeed Dusty Rhodes, and my condolences and prayers are extended to your family.  Thanks for taking the time to make a fan’s day just by engaging in idle chit-chat.

Press conference of the year

h/t to Mashable for the photo!!

Somehow, I missed the press conference of the year.

Was it Obama talking immigration?  No.  Boehner on Israel?  Not even close.

The press conference of the year was all about balls.  Big, brown balls that are being squeezed, rubbed, and played with in all other kinds of manners by grown men.

‘I don’t want anyone touching my balls after that. I don’t want anyone rubbing them, you know, putting any air in them, taking any air out. To me, those balls are perfect and that’s what I expect when I show up on the field.’–Tom Brady as reported by Daily Mail

I don’t want to stand between any man and his perfect balls.  If he doesn’t want anyone touching his balls after he’s got them just the way he likes them, you can’t get mad at him for being overly protective of his balls.  And, according to Brady, everyone has their own preferences.

‘Everybody has a preference. Some guys like them round. Some guys like them thin. Some guys like them tacky. Some guys like them brand new. Some guys like old balls,’ he explained.

Mashable posted a list of his 8 greatest quotes on balls, and the teenager in me couldn’t get through half the list without bowling over in laughter.  I would love to meet him now just so I can ask him if he has ever heard of the term “double entendre.”  For example, it’s hard to top the quote they rank as number one…  “They also know how I like the balls and I tell them how great they are.”  Priceless!!!

Thanks for the laugh Tom.  I don’t think people will ever look at you playing with your balls in the same light anymore.

One for the road…