Saturday, May 30, 2009

Questioning My Fanhood

There is something that you guys should know about me. First of all, I have ADD, and no it was not adult onset I have always have it. Thank God, I'm not ADHD. So the idea that I can follow or do anything for an extended period of time is amazing. Guitar, lasted two lessons so far. Spanish, lasted two months. Lost, I was lost after two years. I mean, right now I am writing this blog, Twittering, and checking my Facebook.

The one thing that I have always managed to maintain my love of football. It started watching my oldest cousin pound the pigskin against our local high school rivals. Then, I saw Joe Montana. I immediately became a San Francisco 49ers. Although I could not see every game, I could not wait until Sunday to watch Joe, John Taylor, Roger Craig, Jerry Rice, Tom Rathman, well you catch my drift. One of my favorite Super Bowl memory was Joe Montana and Jerry Rice dropping a double nickel on Elway and the Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV. I like most Niners fans had a healthy disdain for the Cowboys, Raiders, and later the Packers and the Broncos.

Now even though I was a 49ers fan, I had brief flirtations with other players. PLAYERS, not teams. Sure, I rooted for the Buffalo Bills in all four of their Super Bowls, but as Niners fan I could not root for any NFC team. As I was saying, flirtations with players on other teams. Rod Woodson, Cornelius Bennett, Deion Sanders, Junior Seau were a few, but there was only one player who caused me to question my fanhood-Derrick Thomas.

Now unlike Rod Woodson who was talented (but let's face it, if he were not cute, I would never have watched the Steelers), he could not tempt me to leave the Niners, but Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith did. I started cheating on my Niners with the Kansas City Chiefs. Keep in mind, in my hometown, we had a better chance of seeing the Chiefs than the Niners, and nothing was finer than Derrick Thomas breaking a quarterback in the morning. Then, I was devestated to learn that Joe Montana was being traded-until I learned it was to the Kansas City Chiefs. All of a sudden it went from my Niners to my Chiefs. I actually found myself rooting against the Niners when the played against my Chiefs. Marty, Joe, the formerly hated Marcus Allen, and Derrick Thomas, what was there not love. Then, they drafted Tony Gonzalez. I was addicted. Then, tragedy struck. Derrick Thomas passed away in 2000. For the first time in my life, I didn't want to watch football.

Then in 2004, I discovered NFL Network by accident on my satellite, and they were showing Chiefs game. I saw Tony Gonzalez leap into the air and score in the endzone, and once again, I was hooked-it was a full on addiction. I could not get enough and, thanks to the NFL Network and the internet, I didn't have to. Everything started out well, but quickly it began to fall apart, and now five years later, I am now questioning my Chiefs fanhood. First of all, I don't like Scott Pioli, nor Todd Haley. I don't know them personally, but they seem to be arrogant jerks. I could be wrong. They keep dropping players right and left; I don't recognize my team. They trade Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta. They haven't made up their mind about Brian Waters and Larry Johnson. Maybe they will, maybe they won't trade Glenn Dorsey. I can't wrap my mind around it. Meanwhile, the Chiefs have won six games in two seasons. That said, outside of Tony Gonzalez, no player for the Chiefs have done anything on the field worthy of admiration. I know most of the blame fell on Herm Edwards and Carl Peterson, but the players didn't do a heck of a lot on the field where it matters.

The 49ers are getting better, but they are in the same boat. Vernon Davis showed flashes, and Patrick Willis is awesome, but neither of them, have impressed me enough to bring me back into the fold. What is a girl to do? I still root for both teams; I still bleed red and gold (both shades), but I need to see something this season. I don't have the stamina to be like the Cubs fans. It has been a long time for both teams (Chiefs, longer of course). There, of course, is this other linebacker who reminds me a lot of the havoc that Derrick Thomas wrecked upon the AFC West. I already find myself watching him more than the Chiefs (mostly because I have Dish Network, and the Chiefs are rarely shown thanks to Lord Favre, Peyton, Eli, and the Saints. I watch a lot of the San Diego Chargers because of the nationals. Even so, I hope TG has a good season in Atlanta (not too good, we need a good draft pick next year considering the Chiefs have nothing this year to show for this trade. I swear, it was like trading a mint condition 1997 Rolls Royce, for what Ford might roll off the line next year.) But, I will not be rooting for the Falcons, just TG, while I hope my Chiefs and Niners get off the skids. I will keep questioning my fanhood, and find myself cheering for the Chiefs and the Niners, even if they go 3-13.

Go Chiefs!!!!!!!!!!! Go Niners!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Vick Vent

If I haven't said it before, I love football. Love it, Love it, LOOOVVE IT! But often, I am not a fan of, well, the fans of football. I am a Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers fan. Many people would say that I am not a "true fan." I play fantasy football and weekly root for Tony Gonzalez, Shawne Merriman, Peyton Manning, LT, basically you get my drift.

So this week, while watching the weekly Favre watch updates on my favorite shows (NFL Total Access, Sportscenter, the usual), they managed to momentarily stop fawning over Favre to follow, I mean, literally follow, another "superstar" Michael Vick. From the Levenworth to Hampton, VA, they had the over 1100 miles covered. I would not have been surprised if they had surveillance at the local gas stations. "The dirty bird just left the Circle K; I repeat, The dirty bird just left the Circle K." Well, I guess "superstar" is the wrong word considering the man has not stepped foot on a playing field in two years. Now, he's out of jail and waiting to find out his NFL fate. Personally, I never really liked Michael Vick. Whether it was the "water bottle" incident at the airport or flipping the bird to the fans who paid money to boo him, I just never really took to the guy. Besides, I hadn't really cared about the Falcons since Deion left town. (SIDEBAR: I will be watching the Falcons this year thanks to Mr. Tony Gonzalez.)

Anyway, I digress. Back to Vick, as I was saying, I never really liked the guy. Then, there was the dog fighting business, and I really, REALLY did not like the guy. I thought he got exactly what he deserved. To find out the manner in which he was killing and fighting dogs was a disgusting and despicable act. That said, when did this country start equating the life of a dog with that of a human being? I guess I have never understood the whole "my dog is a part of the family bit." Maybe it was because all of my puppies and kittens met tragic deaths. (I lived in the country. Country road, kitties, cars, you get the idea). Maybe it was the adult onset allergies that bring about hives and sneezes. I don't really know. I just don't get it.

I saw a rescue video on MSNBC a few weeks ago. A yacht was sinking, and the rescuer was trying to save this woman's life. Keep in mind the everyone involved was at risk. He reaches for the woman, and she hands him-her dog. Her dog. Yeah, dude was surprised, too. He had to inform her that they take the humans first, and if able the animals. Really, lady?!?

Last Christmas, several of my students collected donations of toys, candy, school supplies, and toiletries for underpriviledged children, you know, children that have no clothes, shoes, home, food. We wrapped indivual boxes for the children and raised the money to mail the packages overseas. The local newspaper thought it would be a good idea to write a story about what these students were doing. I thought how cool that these high schoolers were taking time to give back to others who were less fortunate than themselves. I thought others would feel the same. Wrong!! You should have read some of the Negative Comments. That's right, negative comments, because we could have spent that money here at the Humane Society. I did not stutter. The HUMANE SOCIETY deserved the money more according to several of the comments. Really!?! My students were bashed because we did not donate to the Humane society. Ponder that for a moment.

Back to Vick, as I said, I don't like Vick, but the guy has been punished. Let it go. Let it go. There are people who have murdered people that have served less time. I watched a documentary just last week where a woman served 57 days for murdering her boyfriend. Leonard Little recieved 90 days for killing a woman while he was driving drunk (Little was caught a few years later for DUI again; I guess that 90 days taught him., and Donte Stallworth may get off or a reduced charge in his DUI "accident." By the way, Donte's defense-it was the victim's fault for jaywalking. Both of them are still allowed to play; I don't have time to list all of the others who have committed other acts against their wives, children, and fans. Where are your picket signs? Why weren't the people protesting the Cleveland Browns practices? Why aren't people threatening to boycott the Browns games for reasons other than the fact that they stink and give their players staph infections?

Is a human life not worth more?

I personally don't believe he should play this year. Not for the reasons you may think. Vick has managed to throw away a life that many of us would love to have and would do anything to protect, probably because he wanted to keep his street cred. He lost two years of his life in prison. One of his children is 19 months old, does this child even know him? He went from $130 million dollar contract and all kinds of Nike spokesman dollars to a $10.00 an hour construction job. He should try to get his life together and reflect upon those guys he called friends (who, by the way, spent much less time in jail than he did) rather than thinking about football. After that, if a team wants him, give the dude a uniform. After all, it's not the National Choir Boy League; it's the National Football league. It's a game that celebrates violence (which is why I watch it rather than tennis). You can't tell me that it would not be punishment for an NFL "star" to ride the pine hoping to get into game.

Last time I checked, this is America, and everyone deserves a second chance. Hopefully, Vick can get his life straight. Learn from your mistakes, and avoid Pookie and Jo-Jo, those losers are trying to pull you down, too. Remember, if you lie down with dogs, you get fleas. Bad analogy, my bad. I apologize. And for everyone else, save this stuff for murderers and child molesters, the real scum of the earth. I believe that a society is measured on how it treats its animals, and I am thoroughly disgusted by people who treat animals cruelly. I just have a difficult time equating an animal with a human life. If you think he should be banned, be prepared to ban the ones who have broken all laws, beaten a child or wife, or killed a person. Those are more egregious if you ask me. That's my dish.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who is the real bad guy?

When I was in 9th grade, I fell in love with AFC football. I had been a San Francisco 49ers fan since birth, but in my hometown, the football that I saw the most was the AFC. The Houston Oilers, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Buffalo Bills were all the teams I enjoyed watching. I became a KC became my AFC team, but when it came to post season, I would follow the Buffalo Bills.

I loved Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Cornelius Bennett, Darryl Talley, Andre Reed, and of course, the great Bruce Smith. I loved to see these guys pound the line, and I was as devastated as any Bills fan when these guys were on the sidelines looking dejected after each of the four Super Bowl losses.

I was equally devasted this morning when I logged on the the net to see that Bruce Smith, the leader of that defence and NFL Hall of Famer, arrested for drunk driving. This was not his first, not his second, but his third DUI arrest. I was stunned. Although no convictions, three DUI arrests. He's not the first look at this list: Vincent Jackson, Joba Chamberlain, Charles Barkley, Carmelo Anthony, Lawyer Milloy, Zach Randolf, Donte Stallworth, Jerremy Stevens, Jim Leyritz, Tony LaRussa, Koren Robinson, Chris Henry, Warren Moon, Brian Bosworth, Deltha O'Neal, Javon Kerse, Cedric Benson, Ken Stabler, Biren Ealy, Kolomona Kapanui, Leon Hall, Dominic Rhodes, Jared Allen, etc. All of these arrests have happened within the past 3 years. All they had to do was call a cab, hire a limo, or give the keys to a sober friend! Many of these guys go around in posses, tell Jo-Jo he can't drink because he's driving tonight.

Apparently, because it is legal to purchase alcohol in the U.S. if you are over 21, this is not a big deal to the media. It should be. Two of these men are looking at serious jail time for killing people, Donte Stallworth and Jim Leyritz, and Leonard Little was convicted in 1998 for killing a woman.

Last week, I listened to literally hours of pundits berating Manny Ramirez for his hcg prescription, Roger Clemens for his "alleged" steriod use, and before that, Alex Rodriguez, before him, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Raphael Palmiero, etc. HOURS. Hour after hour of coverage about Manny and Alex. Minutes of coverage about Donte Stallworth. Why? Is drunk driving not a "sexy" enough story? Is it played out? Obviously not.

I am not slapping Manny on the wrist; he deserves whatever happens to him. I have no sympathy as far as that is concerned. However, why are these "cheaters" worse than the men I've listed? Did Manny and the other break the law? Yes, if they took steroids, they did break the law. Should they be punished? Yes, if it can be proven that they broke the law, then they should be punished. But, why are these men pariahs, and the others are not.

Both are crimes. Yet, the media will analyze every angle of the Manny Ramirez story, but there was hardly any information on Donte Stallworth's "accidentally" killing Mario Reyes with his Bentley. The largest story involving athletes and drunk driving was the tragic death of Nick Adenhart and two of his friends last month. The man driving the van that killed Adenhart was drunk (that driver was a multiple DUI offender). It, too, quickly faded to the back page once there was more A-Rod and Manny fodder.

I have to roll my eyes every time I hear these self-righteous media types talk about how steroids influences the kids, how the kids are going to follow, how these role models are ruining kids...I have been an educator for a little over ten years. I have only heard rumors (no proof) about steriods among teenagers around. I have heard of several incidents of suicides related to steroid use over a period of years. In a 2006 poll, only 2.7% of the 12th grades polled had used or experimented with steroids. 31.5% of teenagers had experimented with alcohol. Alcohol abuse, however, is more prevalent among teenagers. Take the state of Texas for example. This year, Texas was considering ending steroid testing because only 11 out of 29,000 students in two years tested positive. Eleven out of 29,000. By comparison in 2007 alone, Texas had 1,292 alcohol related fatalities, 202 were teenagers.

Alcohol is the leading cause of death among teenagers. I have not seen the media pundits wringing their hands about that. I have not heard them demand apologies from these men. I have not seen this prevent some of these players from going into the Hall of Fame. Why? Because it did not happen on the fields or courts? So let me get this straight. Manny, Roger, and Barry are worse than these guys who not only put themselves in danger, but they put us all in danger. Thankfully, most of these guys were picked up before they killed someone. The only thing Manny and Alex hurt was themselves and statistics. I don't think any fans have died because of padded statistics.

I myself have lost a student to drunk driving. There is nothing more sobering than watching those young children stare at a pall drape coffin of a beautiful young person gone because someone did not take the keys from a drunk friend. Did it prevent the drinking? For a few days, maybe.

I have never been a drinker. I won't be a hypocrite and say I never have had one. I have, but I can say that I have never in my life been drunk. Yes, my friends made fun of me for it. I have even had students make fun of me for it. But, they were never a seven year old girl who had to spend time at a double desk with an empty seat because a drunk driver killed her friend. I have.

In my opinion, all of these guys are bad guys. But, I feel the DUI guys will always be worse than the roiders. I have always been a designated driver, and I always will.

OMG, I have a Blog

Diana Dishes is the name of my new blog. Why? I like alliteration. Diana is the Roman goddess of wisdom. Dishes, well, I am a southern girl. Now, don't get me wrong, I do not believe I am wise (I'm mostly smart aleck). But, I do have a few things to say.

So, what is my blog about? Everything!!! News, Sports, Entertainment, Literature, and Weather (ok, not the weather). But, mostly I like to talk about Sports.