• 72°

Comments on This and That

Two successful football figures who seem “unperturbable” are TV sports analyst Tony Dungy and Kansas State University Coach Bill Snyder. At ages 61 and 77, respectively, they remain vibrant, respected and poised. (Someone said when common sense, values and fairness were handed out, these two men may have gone through the line twice.)

No argument here. They are great by any measure. At K-State–where Snyder has been head coach twice– games are played in “Bill Snyder Family Stadium.” (You can be sure he had a hand in the decision to add “family” to the name.)

Dungy, former pro player and longtime National Football League coach, is spokesman for a program to help fathers. It’s called All Pro Dads’ Day.

   In short, in the essence of the old E. F. Hutton commercial, “when Dungy and Snyder talk, we listen.” If we fail to do so, we probably should join Little Jack Horner in the corner, without a Christmas pie.

I thought of these men the other day upon hearing about Carolina Panthers’ star quarterback threatening to speak to the commissioner about game officials’ failure to protect quarterbacks. “I don’t even feel safe anymore,” Cam Newton said.

Without regard for whether he is right or wrong, upon learning of his frustration, I wondered: What would Snyder or Dungy do?

   I haven’t heard whether Snyder has made a comment; he likely hasn’t. Dungy, as expected, offered measured comments that soothed most fans.

He figures the issue is valid, but thinks the matter should be addressed in a different manner. He suggested it be taken up the ladder, including opinions not only of players, but also of coaches, general managers, game officials and team owners.

On the face of it, Cam has taken sides with a growing number of folks who want substantial changes RIGHT NOW. His proposal to go directly to the top won’t be well received in Commissioner Roger Goodell’s office. Cam can expect a fine for airing his grievances, but he won’t need to get a bank loan to pay it.

Game officials are caught in the pinch of an impatient world, where cameras and other types of surveillance reveal much, both on the field of the play as well as the world at large.

Refs, like our men and women in blue, deserve to be “cut some slack.” Slack is something none of us cuts often enough.

In a culture which is so maddeningly off-kilter, caldrons of vitriol will continue to boil over.

I’m reminded of an old story of a football coach’s verbal objection to an official’s call.

“That decision stinks,” he roared.

The official, easily hearing the comment, increased the penalty from 15 to 30 yards.

“How does it smell from here?” he asked.

   Big in “real world” news are volleys of WikiLeaks emails spewed toward us, regularly if not daily.

Some say we may all drown in the sea of emails; others think the leaked emails are akin to airline seat cushions to which we may cling.

One sure thing is that mothers whose last name happens to be “Leaks” have another first name possibility to consider. Reckon some of ‘em will be christened “Wiki?”

Finally, this appeal we’ve heard for generations–“Vote as you please, but please vote.” Perhaps we should suggest an addendum: But just ONE time.

I’m amazed that some voters casting early ballots were upset by election officials forbidding their “selfie” photographs.

Threats abound.

And here’s an old one; consider the source. My Uncle Mort, 104-year-old down in the thicket is confounded both by issues concerning oil wells and the election.

“At one place, they’re considering a referendum about drilling rigs in town, and at another, they’re up in the air about ‘rigged’ voting.” He predicts there may be referenda–one for rig voting, and another for vote rigging.

Let us pray for common sense, patience and the common good.

 

   Dr. Don Newbury is a speaker in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Inquiries/comments to: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Phone: 817-447-3872. Web site: www.speakerdoc.com.