On a Tragic Bengal

Cincinnati Bengals Chris Henry’s death was tragic. There is no doubt that he had issues, but he was sincerely trying to improve. At certainly was not at the pinnacle of human behavior, he vastly improved from where he was.

After he broke his wrist in the Baltimore game, I immediately wondered what would happen to him. After all, football gave him two things that he needed and used: structure (through the disciplines of being on an NFL team) and support (through the other players who sincerely watched and helped him). To me, the fact that the accident happened in Charlotte speaks volumes about my thoughts.

The reaction by two individuals and one general group caught my attention. The group were the many who were very against him in the past suddenly did an about face. You know the type, so elaboration is not necessary.

Many often criticize team owner Mike Brown for the franchise’s low achievement. I have often said that two of his biggest faults and two of his strengths are qualities that most people want in others: loyalty and opportunity – the latter being giving another chance to someone because he saw the positive that could come out. Regarding this accident, I am sure Mr. Brown hurts.

It was also interesting to watch Chad Ochocinco. For all his self-center antics, there is no question in my mind that Chad felt a deep loss. The game in San Diego is the first one I can remember when Chad did not bring attention to himself. The guy who would rather pay a fine for doing something goofy after scoring instead of donating to a charity, stayed focus on the team and his fallen teammate. Maybe it took Chris Henry to show give Chad some perspective on life.

On Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 40

On the Loud Mouths
The other day while at my car dealer, Glenn Beck was on the customer lounge’s tube. I watched a little bit and wondered – Why does anyone watch this buffoon? Even worse, what companies are paying advertising time and what is their target audience?

Here are a few reasons why Kathleen Parker and David Brooks are two of my favorite columnists: They are intelligent, they make sense, and both the left and the right don’t like them. Here’s a recent Parker column about the way the White House is handling the loud mouths.

On What Politicians Do
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) is the representative from an adjacent district to me. Being in the Cincinnati metro area, Mr. Boehner is a frequent news item. I’ve made my share of criticisms of him, and this Cincinnati Enquirer article confirms my thoughts – John Boehner’s main priority is his party – not his country or his constituents.

It’s sad to say, but he aims his time and effort to his party, his political action group, and his special interests. Even worse, his chief lieutenant (Eric Cantor, R-VA) is following Boehner’s lead and Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) and her #2 (Steny Hoyer, D-MD) are do the same thing. Here’s the evidence.

On an OchoCinco Deed
I may be a Bengal fan, but I’m not a fan of Chad OchoCinco. On the other hand, I commend the way he stepped up and got the job done to achieve a sellout – thus last week’s game was shown on local television. With his help, 1200 tickets were given away. Good job Chad.

On Church and State
The wall between church and state has been getting weaker the past 20 years or so. Plus, the case on the Supreme Court docket may continue the trend. Nonetheless, here’s an interesting dialogue between a Republican and a Democrat in the biweekly column: “Common Ground” in USA Today.

On the BCS
Upper division college football is the only sport without a legit national champion. I’m not a fan of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), so the creations by the Global Sports Fraternity team is priceless. I posted their episode of a BCS meeting earlier this week (click here) before the second episode (shown below). Again – priceless!

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 36

On Smile – You’re on Candid Cantor
So House Minority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) says Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is “in another world.” Although I somewhat agree, let me explain more to Mr. Cantor. Yes, the left wing’s heads are in the clouds, but that is only the response to the right wing’s cranial insertion through the opening where the sun doesn’t shine – thus I’m thankful that moderates see situations for what they are while seeking grounded solutions. Our problem is that we have so little representation in Washington.

On Tough Numbers
If 250,000 new jobs were created each month, it would take 70 months to recreate the jobs lost in this recession. Ouch!

On Double Speak
Granted – double speak is the language of politicians. How about Senator Grassley (R-IA) calling for both meaningful health care solutions and contributions to defeat health care proposals? Senator, just continue keeping your head in your reading material during committee hearings – and stay relaxed – I don’t vote in Iowa.

On Health Care Reform
First of all, the GOP doesn’t want different health care reform – they don’t want it at all. So I wonder, if a plan passing, will GOP candidates campaign to repeal it?

As I said even before the debate stated, lobbyists will determine health care legislation. Let’s see … 6 lobbyists per legislator and expenditures around $400 billion. Enough said. For those wanting more, here’s a source tracking dollars on every member of Congress.

I added the Brookings Institute to the Resources links in the sidebar. Here’s a direct link to their information about the health care debate.

Not long ago I suggested an honest and truthful approach to the health care debate. In a recent column Leonard Pitts also likes the idea.

On White House Czars
Legislation is being drafted for regulating appointments by the White House that bypass Congressional approval. I for one would support this legislation but here’s my problem. Since actions by a Democratic president initiated the Republican reaction, what if a Republican president did the same thing – would the party lines switch places? You betcha!

On College Football Rankings
As I examine national polls and opinion rankings, it is obvious that the number of returning lettermen, expectations, and speculations are more important than games played. So why play the games? Oh … I forgot … the revenue.

On Ochocinco
Chad wanted to do the Lambeau Leap but didn’t want to disrespect Packer fans. Sorry Chad – By getting your wish you not only disrespected Packer fans, you disrespected the traditions of the game and the game for your own self-interest.  … and I’m a Bengal fan. I’m against anything you do to bring attention to yourself. Work hard, catch the ball, help the team, shut up, and no gestures on the field of any kind that draw attention to yourself.

On Handbell Music
Since I can’t find a video of this song, here’s a fast handbell piece our choir will be doing in several weeks. Actually with a title as Fanfare and Exultation, some may find it fitting for football, but marching handbells just doesn’t seem to fit – but I know a retired band director who misses marching band.

On an Entertaining Video
I know this is an old video and one that has been used as a hoax (for those thinking it was real), but I enjoy this musical animation.