Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The post game now comes with Miranda rights

Obviously I am fired up. This is the first and what I assume will be my only entry in regards to this particular subject; sports. To get it started, I will say being an athlete always has its perks. I never played quarterback or starting forward for any school or outside organization, but I did run track and cross country and I was on the swim team. During those times I had hit a few snags where I should have gotten in trouble or maybe even graded a bit more harshly. But those times were during track season and I was shown a little leniency.

I was no All-star but I was fairly decent in some areas and had a good attitude on the team. Being a part of a winning team and playing a role in the victory is something a lot of people rally behind because the bigger the crowd, the bigger the hero, the bigger the rewards. It is essentially a great business model for rewarding the best employees. My concern is that athletes are now being rewarded with compensation that is beyond monetary value and just the old fashioned hookers and blow; they are given the ability to not follow the law. This may come as a shocker to you but apparently this has been going on for awhile. (Taste the sarcasm)
On March 14th Donte Stallworth killed a 59-year-old man who was coming home from his third shift job. He didn’t shoot him or viciously beat him over an argument on how terrible the Cleveland Browns season went last year. Donte was drunk and smashed into Mario Reys with his Bently, killing him. He will serve a 30 day jail sentence and pay the grieving family a cash settlement. I imagine it will be somewhere in the millions, but when you make five million a year, who’s counting.

What irks me is that one, a thirty day sentence is bullshit for snuffing somebody out, two, it’s another example of the wealthy being untouchable within or justice system, like I have always said, poor people go to jail, rich people go to rehab. I guess what I am getting to is that we need to stop treating athletes like superheroes. Don’t get me wrong. Peyton Manning is a hero. His works with charities and hospitals and he deserves a holiday for being a great role model and a fantastic quarterback. But he is an exception to the role.

Leonard Little of the Rams killed a woman in 1998 during a drunk driving accident and he had an 8-game suspension, I mean what the hell not only was this less then a slap on the wrist, but he played for the Rams… and they are terrible anyway.

I could spend my entire evening typing up professional athletes and there rap sheets but my computer only holds about sixteen gigs and I don’t want to waste it. I know there are a lot of press releases out there with athletes commenting that they do not want to be idolized and worshiped. They plead that they are just regular people with a job to do and their not role models. I give them props for stepping up and admitting that they are just a regular guy with a good jump shot. Let’s face facts. More kids want to be Michael Jordan then Michael Bennet (Senator of Colorado). Personally I wanted to grow up and be Spider-Man.

This is not really a current trend. Ty Cobb beat a man with a telephone unit and in his day and was a wife beater. Back then that was an eight dollar fine. As fans and citizens we have let this get out of control. Really at the point of the O.J. trial we set the standard on how far one can go if they’re famous. We all know he did it, he wrote a book describing how he “would have done it” if it was him. The guy had the guts to write a book describing him killing his ex and her friend after he got off the hook.

We really need to start treating these guys like regular people. I’ll understand if Kobe gets a better table then me in a restaurant, but if he rapes someone I’m friends with, he needs to go to jail. Judges and juries need to stop letting these guys off with fines and house arrest, they are no better then the rest of us, some of them do not even have a high school education but get to drive Ferraris. I think putting them in jail for raping and murder is not too much to ask for. It’s sad when the better action for a sports team is at a nightclub brawl then what they are actually doing in the area. Go Pacers…

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

If your not going to root for the team, get the hell out of the stadium.

The past couple of days have made it another rough news week. General Motors finally declared bankruptcy after rumors circulated for months, three people were found dead in an apartment here in Indianapolis, and the “war” is still going strong in the Middle East. If it was not for the comedic stylings of Conan O’Brien I don’t think I would even turn on my local channels.

The catch twenty-two of it is that if these stories were not depressing and tragic it would not constitute as news. You can’t sell a newspaper with a headline that reads All is Well. It is necessary to keep people informed of everything going on in our nation and our cities and towns, otherwise that would be promoting ignorance and I wouldn’t know what neighborhoods to not walk through after seven in the evening. The major downside is that these stories influence a negative perception of our communities and our country.

There are two things I learned while bartending in college; how to cut a pineapple and never talk about religion or politics with people you want to remain on good terms with. I think I can honestly say I am a very open minded person, if someone has an opinion I don’t see eye to eye on I don’t feel a need to explain why they are wrong and why my beliefs are so much better. That is one of the benefits to being an American that you can believe and preach anything you want (within reason) without fear of prosecution from the government. The only time I falter on this is when I hear people bad mouthing the United States of America.

Beginning at the age of five we all memorized the Pledge of Allegiance, possibly one of the most important things you will ever learn in your life. In reading this I hope you can recite it to yourself, if not please look it up. From that point on in our lives we have sworn an oath to our country that we will honor and respect it. On a day to day basis I consider the state of the union and contemplate on what I think should be done. Badmouthing our country is not one of those strategies.

I’m sure someone is thinking how I do not see the irony that the first amendment gives us the right to say whatever we want and it is in our bill of rights to slander America if we so choose but seriously that is probably not what colonist had in mind. I am sure they also didn’t plan on the right to bare arms to be interpreted for all of Compton to be packing heat as well, but that is just how it is.

Like in most situations morale in the United States falls into the grass is always greener category. If you start talking healthcare people talk about how Universal Healthcare exist everywhere but here, and how great Canada is. Kids in high school bitch about the drinking age and complain they don’t live in Germany so they can drink beer when they are fourteen. Once you get all the “green” advocates going they will tell you America has ruined the environment with pollution and landfills; if you go to other countries you can see how well they have preserved their forests and streams, it’s not all cement and buildings like in the states. Got it, it’s not perfect over here, but it beats the shit out of Somalia.

There are a million little things to nit pick at in the daily life of an American, but they range from things to the cable being out and the price of gas going up to three or four dollars and how expensive that makes it to fill up the SUV. I have never complained that I am hungry because I have not eaten for three days. Things are not perfect in the U.S. and they never will be. No country is perfect, you can take a vacation and everyone will tell you how much they love living in Berlin or New Zealand, from the cobblestone streets to the gorgeous beaches these places lack the one thing we have here and that is the American spirit. In no other country do people have the ambition and perseverance as we do in America. Is our country actually in that bad of shape; for Christ sakes, slavery use to be legal here? Slaves, I mean really; people use to OWN people, I’d say things are getting progressively better from that point.

I think we need to take a long hard look in the mirror and realize how lucky we are to be American citizens. We are in a rut right now, and to keep bitching about it is not going to drag us out of it. During World War II people were donating their pots and pans to help the troops produce metal for bullet casings and other needs. The soldiers here are told the war they are fighting is all “blood for oil” and murder. These are American soldiers risking their lives for your freedom, show some damn respect. This country needs to come together and pull ourselves up to be the superpower of yesteryear. I’m not saying that to complain is unpatriotic, there is a lot of problems that need sorted out in our country. I guess I just wanted to point out that we live in a society that what you put in is what you get back and we need to remember that if we are all working towards a goal to benefit our future things are going to turn out a whole lot better then just sitting on the sidelines talking about what someone else did to screw things up. In the words of Trey Parker; America, fuck yeah.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Here and Now

So today marks my one year mark on living in Indianapolis. Sadly instead of getting a group of my friends together to celebrate my success with champagne, I left work at eight thirty, bought some groceries, and talked to my parents about cosigning a loan to purchase a home because I do not have the funds to do so. Party time! If I knew where I would be when I was eighteen I would have kicked my future self in the ass.

My story is fairly common among people in my age bracket. I am twenty five and not to long ago graduated from college. I make decent money, but definitely not the amount I thought I would be making. I have a job that is agreeable with me, but not the one I have a passion for. Currently I am living check to check with some extra spending money but nothing really attributed to my savings. Perhaps I should have been a rapper. It seems like a lot of people my age are in this situation and are surprised by it. I think we were all under the same idea that if you work hard and go to college they immediately give you a high paying job and a great home and credit lines you will never worry about paying off because your to busy stockpiling cash away into your 401K.

Legitimately all that is a pipe dream. I’m not upset that I don’t have all the luxuries I dreamed I would after dedicating a lot of time and effort into studying and homework assignments. What bugs me as that no one really warns you on the struggling times you have immediately following college, perhaps why that’s why I have so many friends in graduate school. It could be things didn’t used to be this way. I remember a lot of the older guys in my fraternity immediately getting fairly good paying jobs before the diploma was in their hand. All of them had jobs lined up and had a five year plan. Now a lot of us are scrambling to find internships after we have already completed school just for more experience to give us a leg up on the competition.

I think our generation has taken a lot for granted though, like in many instances we expected a lot to be handed to us. If things get tough, ask mom and dad, if that didn’t work; charge it. I don’t speak specifically to my group of friends, for the most part they all came from families that taught us the value of a dollar and be prepared to work hard in your life and you can live well. It is unfortunate how many people just want the world handed to them. It is too often I hear adults my age demanding the good job with benefits because they received an eighty six percent on a test in biology class. I figure my life has really just begun, this is the time where my character will be developed by my will to persevere, and it is what separates me from old kids to a young adult. Sadly I was not aware I would have to sell hemorrhoid treatment over the phone to get to that point.

All and all life after graduation isn’t all that it is cracked up to be, but I don’t know if I would want it any other way. Everyone dreams of getting the big boy job with vacation time and dental included. To be fair, if you walk right into that job without the struggling process you don’t know how lucky you are. I am proud to say for a year I have busted my ass off in getting by and trying to become a better person. I took a job that honestly forced me to have a great sense of humor about myself or I would have hit depression. My three year relationship with my girlfriend ended and I have been living in my friends’ spare bedroom for three months while I paid the lease on my old apartment my ex still lived in. Most people would chalk this up to a pretty lousy year. But that is what Living the Dream is all about; getting there. The tough times you got through make the best stories. A lot of people tell me it’s hard out there to find a good job due to our sagging economy and to just be happy I’m working. I’m not going to have an excuse when I’m thirty because I don’t have the career I wanted. I’m going to tell the story how I never gave up. I’m going to tell a story how I made the best of life and got the job that was right for me. Followed by how I worked in a hemorrhoid clinic for three months…