Tag Archives: football

The R-Word

team-0Quite some time ago a woman I’d met read me the riot act over my use of the “R” word. When talking about taboo words, one immediately hits the problem of whether to mention the forbidden word, and if so how and how often? A serious discussion can acknowledge the discomfort people have using a term, but usually must refer to it clearly at least once.

In this case the word was “retarded.” My use was descriptive, not pejorative, so I’m not entirely certain I was out-of-bounds. It seems like one of those fuzzy boundary zones where being respectful and polite gives way to being needlessly constrained by the overly sensitive.

But today I have a different ‘R’ word in mind.

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No Connection?

Messing gunExhibit A: Raymell Mourice “Ray” Rice. NFL running back for the Baltimore Ravens since 2008. He was a 2012 Super Bowl Champion and has a number of other accolades: three-times to the NFL Pro Bowl all-star game, AFC Champion and the NFL Play of the Year award in 2012. He’s also the 200-pound pro football player who delivered a knockout punch to his fiancée, Janay Palmer, while they were riding in an elevator in Atlantic City this past February.

Exhibit B: Two new TV shows, Legends (TNT) and The Mysteries of Laura (NBC). There are many other examples I could pick, but these stuck out, perhaps because I’ve always liked Ali Larter and Debra Messing, who star in them. The problem I have is the way in which both shows sexualized their female stars.

Casual violence against women. Women as eye-candy sex objects. No connection?

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Digital & Analog Sports

Yin and Yang 2 (by MAMJODH on Flickr)I’ve written several times about the many places we see the idea of a Yin and Yang duality played out in the real world. Even the application of the Yin and Yang concept has a Yin (of true opposites) and a Yang (of thing and not-thing). For example, the opposite of light is not-light, but the opposite of positive is negative.

One of the true opposites is the idea of analog versus digital or, more generally, of continuous versus uneven. Recently I was thinking about the differences between various sports, and I realized there’s a connection to the “smooth or bumpy” distinction I wrote about a while back. Looked at in terms of play, some sports are essentially continuous while others are not.

It turns out that some sports are “analog” while others are “digital.”

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Seahawks in Seattle

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Best start of a football game ever!

Those who know me know I became a hard-core baseball fan four years ago  this June. Those who’ve known me a long time found that mildly surprising; for most of my life I had little or no interest in sports of any kind. But as I’ve explained before, baseball got under my skin at a time when I deeply needed something totally new in my life. And in getting to know it, I came to really love it.

The year or so prior, I’d gotten a bit into football. To some extent that was echos from the marriage; both my ex- and step-son were into football. Of course, like any kid who grew up here, I played sandlot football and baseball. Both sports were familiar, but I was never really a fan until my “baseball awakening” in 2010.

But while football didn’t “take” with me, I often do watch the Super Bowl.

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