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August 20, 2005
Bambi Stokes-Hymington's NFL PreviewBy Bambi Stokes-Hymington
Well, when I agreed to do a column here I was worried about the kinds of personal attacks I would get by way of thanks. I thought by avoiding politics and the war I would avoid such response, so I chose to confine myself to a column about football. I shouldn't let it surprise me that no sooner had I made my first contribution then I immediately became victim of a right-wing smear campaign aimed at me personally instead of what I was saying. All over the internet now they are scrambling faster than Fran Tarkington behind the Bill's crumbling offensive line. Everyone's talking about "Bambi said this" and "Bambi said that". Well, "offensive line" is a good word for it, because none of it is true.
Let's clear this up first. Here's my actual quote from my last column.
I don't like football, it's excessively violent, discriminates against women and abuses minorites and insults ethnic groups like the Redskins.Notice that in spite of what many "spinmeisters" are claiming, I did not say I didn't support the football players. My problem is with the NFL. This is immediately obvious to anyone who isn't a binary thinker. (See this outrage, for example.)
The reality is that many NFL players are from the many American ghettos, the shame of our nation. The NFL offers one of the very few escapes from that environment. These young people have been "recruited", often by recruiters coming on to their high school campuses seeking players who are willing to perform for the wealthy Americans who refuse to send their own sons and daughters off to compete for our amusement on Sunday afternoons but who gamble their tax savings on the outcome of the games.
If you want a perfect example of what I mean, look no further than our own King George. He owns a pro sports team himself, and although he was all in favor of winning at all costs he never actually suited up his daughters in little pink jock straps and batting helmets and trotted them out onto the field.
So, how about instead of spending money for big league sports we start taxing the wealthiest of Americans and do something about the poverty in this country? Oh no, can't do that! We have to subsidize stadiums so a certain somebody's gambling cronies can make money on the games.
Anyhoo, let's make this clear: I support the players, not the game.
Next: I was accused by several commenters of putting up the scores of last week's games and calling them this week's games. This is a bold faced lie, put out by people who want to avoid losing money on my predictions. Who might those people be? Hmmmmm... somebody's gambling cronies, perhaps?
Finally, let me make this clear: I will not stop. I will continue to write about football, and only football. I will not let this forum become political. And I will not let any right-wingnuts attack me personally without responding.
I will exercise my freedom of speech.
Update: A minor correction is in order. I double checked and the games I predicted were actually already played. But if you look carefully you'll notice that 1) I was exactly right about the scores and 2) many of the games were played on Sunday, making them "this weeks" games. That's one of the problems with the NFL. With Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Saturday games played in all kinds of different time zones they intentionally make it difficult to determine what "this week's" games are. Further, if you think this weekend's games will be any different than last weekends, you are sadly mistaken. This is a dose of reality that I know will be hard to swallow, but there you go.
I'll update later with the scores for games I haven't predicted yet.
Update 2: okay, here goes. First, my predictions for the games I haven't predicted yet.
Tennessee 24, Atlanta 21
These games were already played, so after I made these predictions I checked and I was exactly right. This brings my record for the season so far to 24-0. Now before one of you bean counters starts wise-cracking about how there's only been 22 games played so far, let me assure you that I predicted that Hall of Fame Game twice, so I'm counting that as two.
Cleveland at Detroit: There are lots of Muslims in Detroit. To show my support I say Cleveland loses. Detroit, 27-4, Inshallah.
Green Bay at Buffalo: Too cold. Neither of these towns is very diverse. But Buffalo looses. Green Bay, 6-4
Jacksonville at Tampa Bay: Both these teams are from Florida, so I suppose this is the Florida Superbowl. The original score will be Tampa Bay 14-13, but a recount will reveal that Jacksonville won 15-14. This will be appealed, but Katherine Harris will declare the game final before the courts can act. We all lose.
Miami at Pittsburgh: I'm torn on this one. Miami is the most diverse town in America, but Pittsburgh is a big Union City. I support both. No one wins! Tie 21-all.
Carolina at N.Y. Giants: This is a no-brainer. Carolina loses. Giants, 47-1.
Chicago at Indianapolis: Chicago is much larger, more metropolitan, and capitol of a Blue State. Colts lose, 25-6.
Oakland at Houston: I want Houston to lose big. Raiders over the Oilers, 23-13. (No wins for Oilers!)
Philadelphia at Baltimore: Tough call. These teams are both powerhouses, and don't oppress their players the way many others do. I'm going to support Philly, because they feature Terrel Owens, a man who isn't afraid to speak truth to power. But I don't want Baltimore to lose, they've already lost so much. Eagles, 23-22. (And also, they are named after a Rock Band, while Baltimore's team is named after a bird. This stuff matters.)
Arizona at Kansas City: Ho hum. The only good thing about Arizona is John McCain, and Kansas City abuses Native Americans with their arrowhead symbol. So they lose. Arizona, 4-3.
San Francisco at Denver: Some people say advantage Denver because they are high. I say San Fran is unbeatable this year. As a tribute to one of my favorite cities I say SF, 40-9.
St. Louis at San Diego: I'm tired. Bolts lose. Rams 7-0.
Dallas at Seattle: As much as I support Seattle over the National Capital of red state America, I'm afraid the fix will be in for this game. No way the government will let the "Cowboys" lose. Plus, the Seahawks are owned by Microsoft, and their on-line playbook was hacked into by hackers. Dallas, 112-17.
And please note: Before I'm attacked again, I don't want any of these teams to lose.
Posted by Bambi Stokes-Hymington / August 20, 2005 1:50 PM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
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