Revelation Revolution

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Michael Sam’s openness about his sexual orientation puts him on the brink of being the first professional football player to be openly gay. He becomes a pioneer of sorts, similar to that of Jackie Robinson, the first openly black man to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era.

While Sam may one day become lauded for his bravery as a homosexual trailblazer, it worries me that football for me may never be the same. When I see Sam at the bottom of a pileup, the only thing I will see is a cup of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt. I will forever be haunted by the whispers of “taste the rainbow” every time he comes in contact with Seattle running back and Skittles spokesperson, Marshawn Lynch.

But aside from the psychological stalemate that I may experience, I can’t help it but to think about the potential evolution of the game as more players become open about their homosexuality.

I’m not sure that there is a more heterosexually compromising position than that of the center to quarterback exchange. The two-man luge in slow motion, some of the maneuvers in wrestling, even the story in Blades of Glory pale in comparison to the picture of one man standing behind a bent over man while wearing skin-tight leotard capris.

It is a position that Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke attempted at the VMAs. It is the scene that Freddie Mercury and the Village People dream of reenacting. But as disturbing as these images are, or would be, it happens in every football game, usually about 115 times.

Does the increasing popularity of homosexuality mean that the offensive formations are going to evolve more rapidly to accommodate potentially gay centers or quarterbacks? Will we see a league in which offenses perform exclusively out of the shotgun formation? It would seem that it would have to, especially after the unveiling of the Jonathan Martin abuse in recent weeks. Teams will do everything possible to create an atmosphere conducive to making all team members comfortable.

It seems that the strides that teams will make to comply with the Jonathan Martin rule would also necessitate locker room arrangement modifications. The purpose of separate men’s and women’s bathrooms is to provide one with privacy from those who are attracted to the respective plumbing. I’m willing to bet that no straight man will feel comfortable whipping out his wiener at the urinal next to Michael Sam, which completely nullifies the entire purpose having the bathroom in a separate room.

Or what about the play by play commentary? Will they have to change the way they say things and the terms that are used? When Al Michaels says that the quarterback is under center, it now leaves a lot more to the imagination.

It would be a lot more beneficial to the NFL, the teams, and the fans if sexual orientation weren’t even addressed. Teams excluding the New York Jets hate distractions. The NFL hates negative repercussions resonating from controversial topics. The fans want to see Michael Sam hit other players, not hit on other players. The fans want to see him put a a good lick on the running back on the football field, not wonder if he’s doing the same in the locker room. They want to see him blow up a play, not a player.

I just hope that football’s evolution doesn’t become motivated by political correctness. I want to enjoy the game for its chess game strategies, not its sideshow tabloid material.

However, since he will inevitably join a team at some point whether through the draft or free agency, he does have the potential to do something fairly monumental in the eyes of many people. I’m sure they are hoping he doesn’t blow it…or are they?

Aiken’s Aching for More Heartache

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With his announcement for candidacy for congress, Clay Aiken now joins a long list of celebrity political hopefuls. The difference for him is the location. California is a hotspot for celebrity politicians since the political scene there is mostly entertainment and non-sensical drama already.

However, Clay Aiken is hoping to make his political debut in North Carolina, a place that isn’t saturated with celebrities and drama. Very few celebrities have been able to make it big there. Lula Belle Wiseman is the biggest name to enter politics there. Heath Shuler was a congressman there too, but a brief career as a backup quarterback hardly qualifies someone as a celebrity.

North Carolina doesn’t exactly have a rich history of being kind to celebrity political hopefuls. Even Richard Petty, the most revered individual in NASCAR was unable celebrate a victory lap in his attempt at politics.

However, North Carolina’s unfriendly political environment for celebrities is hardly the largest hurdle that Aiken faces as he pursues this endeavor. Aiken has a long history of coming in second place. American Idol and Celebrity Apprentice are a couple of them that come to mind, so if history repeats itself for Aiken, he’s fighting a losing battle.

North Carolina’s 2nd district has a strong history of conservative values. The incumbent congresswoman is a republican. Mitt Romney dominated the district in the presidential election by nearly a 2-1 ratio.

I can’t imagine an openly gay candidate doing well in a district with such a rich history of conservatism, especially its more recent history.

Also, the backlash that the National Security Agency has received from conservative circles has been astounding. As far as we know, the NSA has collected the phone numbers of the people everyone has been in contact with. Clay Aiken would certainly like the NSA to do more, which the people of north Carolina’s 2nd district would not be fond of.

In his one hit song, Aiken sang: “I wish I could be a fly on your wall, Are you really alone…If I was invisible, Then I could just watch you in your room…”

If the lyrics of Clay Aiken’s one hit song, “Invisible”, is any indication of the direction he would like the NSA to go, then I doubt the people of North Carolina’s 2nd district even allows him to become runner-up of his own party.

In short, the political hurdles he faces in his attempt at a public office will ultimately prove to be too much for Clay Aiken. He may find it easier to pursue heterosexuality than to win North Carolina’s 2nd.

Negative Nicknames

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The Washington Redskins mascot has been scrutinized for years, but it seems that the Redskins controversy has risen to a whole new level lately ever since Bob Costas verbalized his views on national television.  

I can understand the viewpoint of those in favor of a name change.  It could be insensitive to some.  It could even be offensive.  But what I don’t understand is why the Redskins seem to be the only team in the crosshairs of the public’s eye.  Most of the mascots in the National Football League could be deemed as offensive, if not now, certainly in the future. 

Here’s a list:

New York Jets:  September 11, 2001 will always be a day that weighs heavy on the minds of Americans.  However, the country will always be reminded of the projectiles used to carry out so much devastation due to a mascot that is certain to bring nightmares to those directly affected by the tragedy.  Ironically, this event took place in the very city that the Jets represent.

New York Giants:  Mayor Bloomberg should find this one offensive.  He is outspoken about his goal to curb obesity, but fails to recognize that the Giants nickname could be offensive to the morbidly obese.

Green Bay Packers:  how has the LGBT community not attacked this one yet?  While “Packers” is derived from a completely different source, meat packing and fudge packing has a completely different connotation nowadays.

Kansas City Chiefs:  the mascot may not be offensive, but isn’t the color scheme for the team a representation of what the Oneida tribe finds offensive with the Redskin mascot?

Arizona Cardinals:  with all the corruption within the Catholic Church, especially amongst its leaders with the way young boys are treated, I am really surprised that victims of child molestation haven’t looked to the Arizona Cardinals as an opportunity for making a quick and easy dollar.

Carolina Panthers:  the fact that the Panther on the side of the helmet is black speaks volumes.  The Black Panthers were an extremely racially charged group.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  the NFL is going to extreme measures to clean up criminal activity off the field by those who represent the NFL community.  Having a mascot that represents criminal behavior seems quite counterintuitive.  

Oakland Raiders: see above.  Except, in this case, the mascot gives the city an accurate depiction.

San Diego Chargers:  how are the Christians not offended by this one?  John the Baptist’s head was carried on a charger.  Therefore, a charger could be a representation of Christian persecution.

New England Patriots:  the Patriot Act has really been a sore spot in conservative circles.  Since the revelation from Eric Snowden about the NSA, the conservatives have felt betrayed by their former president,  George W.  The Patriot Act sure seems like a bad idea now, at least poorly thought out.

Buffalo Bills:  Buffalo Bill Cody got his nickname from a buffalo killing contest with William Comstock.  The winner would be able to claim the “Buffalo Bill” nickname.  Cody killed 68 buffalo to Comstock’s 48.  How has PETA and anyone else concerned about the buffalo population not offended by this mindless and unnecessary slaughter of buffalo?

Baltimore Ravens:  the Ravens mascot is named from a poem written by Edgar Allen Poe.  Any association with Poe should be deemed offensive.

Dallas Cowboys:  who killed the Redskins?

My point is that no matter the team nickname or mascot, people can find something offensive about it, if not now, soon.  If this wacky society continues to fail to look past petty differences, or develop thick skins, the only real solution would be to get rid of mascots and nicknames altogether and refer to the teams simply by the city.  

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