Posted in Causes, Holidays, Politics, Rants

Yes, I am Against a 9/11 Holiday

Because of my affiliation with Project 2,996—an effort to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks—I have been contacted by several people who assume I would be in favor of creating a national holiday to remember the victims or 9/11. And most are rather surprised when I express my opposition to the idea.

Now, normally, I’m a to-each-their-own kind of guy, but in this case, and because of my public stance in the matter of the 9/11 victims, I thought I should at least state my reasons.

I’ll start by saying I love the sentiment behind the idea of making 9/11 a national holiday. I appreciate the thoughts of anyone who cares enough about remembering nearly 3,000 of our own civilians to campaign for a special day to remember them, but I have several objections to making 9/11 a national holiday.

But the only objection that really matters to me, is that I don’t think I can stomach the free market turning 9/11 into another reason for a car sale, or a furniture clearance event. And that’s what it it will become. Memorial Day is supposed to be a day to remember those who have given their lives in the military service of this country. But over the years it has become a day to celebrate the beginning of summer…a day for the mall to hold a slew of sales, and the opening day for half of the pools in America. But who really takes more than a moment to remember our military heroes?

If 9/11 becomes a holiday if will just become the day that businesses will end their week long Labor Day Sales Events, and I can’t think to a worse way to remember 2,996 unwitting heroes.

Posted in Rants, Society, Sports

Some Free Advice to a Future Sports Hero

So you’re good enough to play sports…maybe professionally…maybe in college, but you think you can be more. And you’re looking at the current landscape of professional sports and you’re sick of all the steroid talk. You’ve worked hard all your life and it gets under your skin that a number of very high profile cheaters are changing the landscape for everyone.

Here’s a little PR plan that I’m giving away for free. Follow it and you’ll become the hero of the working man (and woman…this is man in the mankind sense), the family man, and amateur coaches everywhere.

Dale C. Roe’s Certified Sports Hero Program

  1. Be clean. No recreational drugs, no steroids. Let me repeat, no steroids. If you can’t do this one, just skip the whole thing.
  2. Go find a testing lab and work out some sort of program with them—a program of scheduled and random tests that will allow them to certify that you are steroid free.
  3. Call a press conference. Stand up on a podium, with doctors from the testing lab, your parents and kids, your coach, the owner of your team, and anyone else you can think of who should be in on this kind of thing, and announce to the press and to the world that you have taken it upon yourself to prove you are clean and that you play fair. And that you will continue to have that lab certify you, both on- and off-season.
  4. Let the testing lab answer the technical questions. Heck, offer the reporters a tour of the operation.
  5. Now, here’s the critical part. At some point the reporters will look at you and ask “Why?” Your answer is critical, and you must believe this deep in your heart:

    Because when I was a kid, and I got a solid hit and ran the bases pretending I’d just won the World Series I had fireworks in my head and stars in my eyes. Never once did that dream include needles and pills, and shady doctors.

    Because my dad told me that hard work pays off, and that if you work hard enough you will get your reward.

    Because my coach taught me batting practice and fielding drills, not how to hide needle marks and ruin my body to beat guys who worked harder than me.

    Because I’m tired of press conferences where cheaters insist they just made a mistake.

    Because I don’t want a kid to put down his baseball bat, because he thinks he’ll have to do drugs to make it big. And even more, I don’t want that kid to think he has to pick up the needle to keep playing.

    Because I want all the kids to know that you don’t need the needles to make it to the top.

    Because I want parents to have someone to point to, and say to their kids ‘he didn’t cheat’. And because someday when my kids ask me if I ever cheated, I want to be able to look them in the eye when I say “No”.

  6. Now challenge your teammates to do the same.

I guarantee you’ll have at least one new fan for life.

Who’s with me?

Posted in Rants, Sports

Really? A Parade?

Today the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania threw a parade for the Pittsburgh Steelers who, this past Sunday, won the Super Bowl.

Why?

I’ve never understood the logic behind throwing a parade for teams that win a championship—or for that matter, any athlete who wins any athletic competition.

I get that it’s an accomplishment. I get that it’s difficult. I get that it can be a wonderful distraction for the thousands, even millions, of fans who toil though the difficulties of everyday life.

But, a parade? Really?

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I tend to think that parades in honor of people should be reserved for particularly noteworthy accomplishments. Firemen, police and military are probably the only professions where I would think a parade is warranted for people who are simply doing their job.

Can we please get over the notion that athletes are heroes? I recognize that there are life lessons to be learned from the hard work that it takes to become a top-caliber athlete. But I’d much rather throw a parade for the kid who grew up in a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood who paid his own way through college, or the twelve-year old who kept his head enough to call 911 when his parent had a heart attack.

I don’t even have a problem with the team deciding to throw a big tail-gate party at their own stadium to celebrate a championship.

But the last thing these egotists need is the city to shut down and bow at their feet.