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“Tired of All The Drama Surrounding the NFL’s National Anthem? Here’s How to Survive It”

 

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Are you sick of the drama? Me too.

Social media has literally changed everything in our country. It is the fuel of any online forest fire. With most people on facebook and some on twitter, issues get blown way out of proportion.  Where before we were somewhat open minded, tolerant and respectful, the world now laughs at us for being childish, close minded, ignorant, and drop outs for anger management. Some are so hyper sensitive, even the smallest things can set them off. Honey Boo Boo’s reality show looks like Masterpiece Theater compared to what is happening now in America.  The mantra in the U.S. today is, think as I do or you are an idiot. I thought people were supposed to get smarter with age?  Instead many are more aggressive and close minded as ever.  Are you sick of it?  Let’s look at how we can survive all of this Jr. High School drama.

How To Survive This Drama:

  1. Be Open Minded:

Good leadership is so rare in our country because most can’t do 4 things; listen, understand, be compassionate and compromise. If you can’t do these 4 things, you can never be a great leader.

In this situation I totally respect and understand both sides. I think both have good and bad points. If you listen and understand people’s feelings in a rational manner without acting like a hot head, you can get that both sides have valid thoughts and a compromise can be reached.  If we respected each other’s opinions, we could see both sides.

  1. Don’t talk about it or react online.

When people talk about it online, I just move on. Everyone says the same thing over and over and I’m pretty sick of it.   The media is loving this. They now show the national anthem as if it was a game itself. And oh the commentary.

I’m not a drama guy so I don’t get off on it. I’ll avoid it and watch the game. I don’t care what some jock, ex jock, celebrity or team owner has to say about the situation. I don’t know them and they are not my role models. I don’t look up to them for moral or spiritual leadership. And for all the love he is getting, I especially don’t look up to Jerry Jones. Just look on the internet to Jerry Jones history and partying ways. Character is what you do behind closed doors, NOT what you do when you know everyone is watching.

So many are nasty online and if you engage with them, you are just going to make yourself crazy.  On Facebook just keep scrolling.  Even if it’s a friend or even if you are asked what you think, just move on.  People no longer want to talk about things so they can get others viewpoints.  All they want to do is have people agree with them, or to attack those that don’t.

Texans Patriots Football

  1. Stop debating with those that are close minded:

Remember that a lot of adults today are close minded and it really comes out online. Two thirds of the country blindly back either the Republican or Democratic party like cult members, and the final third of the country is shaking their heads.  Social media has also made us all feel very self important; especially through our viewpoints. For many their biases and prejudices from their parents have really stuck to them.

I remember being 18 and my father trying to tell me how to vote in my first election.   I told him I’d listen to him but I’d vote how I felt I should. My dad liked that I stood up to him and thought for myself.  My parents told me to always do what is right even if the world is going the other way.  When you deal with facts and what is right or wrong, you realize you should not trust ANY politician or ANY political party. Just look at history.  In fact it sounds ignorant and naive to me to trust these people.

AVOID talking to biased people about this situation like the plague. NO GOOD can come from it. You cannot debate them or reason with them. They will not listen to you and they think if you don’t think like them then you are an idiot. I personally listen to everyone but I also realize talking to a rock is pointless.

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Jims Jamz:

First off I have several relatives and friends that have and are serving in the military. That’s from WWII, to Vietnam, to the Gulf War to the Iraq War.  They fought for the very rights and freedoms that we have today and I’m extremely proud of all of them.  As some of them say, one of those freedoms they fought for is the freedom to protest.  I would like the players to stand up but it’s not a big deal if they don’t.  I don’t look to them to set my moral standards.

Our country was founded on protest.  Many of the same people ripping on the players now are the same families that called people against the Iraq war Commies, un-America traitors, and many even thought they should be charged with treason. A total of 93% of Americans were for that war when the 7% were right.  History. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.

And as I watch the amazing Vietnam series by Ken Burns on PBS, I see the millions of people of all ages; including soldiers and ex soldiers; who protested a war that was motivated for all the wrong reasons.  The day after the Kent St. murders, millions of students across the country protested on the streets and highways of our country demanding justice in an unjust war.  Millions of mothers, fathers and ex military protested on Washington and other areas to bring our brave young men home.  They were so passionate and loud that President Nixon listened.  He had to.  If you haven’t watched it you should.  It has inspired me and brought a new respect for those of that time that fought, and for those that fought to bring them home.

cowboys anthem

The National Anthem issue hasn’t affected me in any way. If fans feel they need to burn their jerseys and not go to games or watch, then I respect that. If players and fans want to protest racism and other issues then I support that too.  THIS IS AMERICA!  When did we lose the right to do what we wanted?  When political parties infused into the older generations that they were perfect, that’s when.

What is funny is that many of the people that are burning jerseys, are white and I don’t think that is a coincidence.  If you never experienced racism and you live in a non sensitive society like we have today, you are not going to understand the issue or the feelings.  And some that are for the protesters have little to no knowledge of the sacrifice of the military and their families.  Remember those 4 points of leadership I had? If both sides would follow that, they both would understand each other.

I think the players are misunderstood as well. They don’t hate America; right or wrong, they think this is the loudest way of protesting the lack of justice and racism that they see in our country today.  I guarantee if dozens of rich white people were unjustly killed by cops in rich areas around the country, caucasians would be outraged and wonder what is going on!

If you are sick of the pettiness, anger and dramatics of this issue and you just want to watch football, then do it. Personally I don’t see any change coming from this, only more division. Change is only found with dialog and compromise; something most adults are no longer willing to do in America. Men’s ego, close mindedness and greed has screwed up so much in the world and the NFL is no exception.

Our love for Patriotism is strange.  While some scream USA and say respect the flag, almost half of people that can vote don’t.  Corporations take jobs away from Americans just so they could get slave labor wages overseas so more generations of trust fund babies can be taken care of.  On the other hand, many that are kneeling during the Anthem have never done much of anything in their lives in regards to fighting for people’s rights.  Many of them now talk like they are civil rights experts when in reality they have a lot to learn.

So in ending, in true GOOD American fashion, I say respect people’s view points and then YOU do what you think is right.  I for one will continue to worry about the X’s and O’s and still watch the NFL while respecting people’s rights to be angry at the players, and the players right to protest.  I’ll also greatly respect those things that our country holds dear, but THAT IS MY RIGHT.  If you do what you think is right without berating others that disagree, you will not only be a good American, but you will also be rid of the drama.

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“FROM KEN STABLER TO CHARLIE SUMNER; A YEAR OF LOSS FOR THE OAKLAND RAIDERS & REMEMBERING THEM DURING THE HOLIDAYS”

 

ken stabler gene upshaw
Gene Upshaw showing some love to Ken Stabler

Pastor: I promise James, in time the pain will lessen and it will get easier.

Me: With all due respect Pastor, that is crap. The pain never gets better. Time just makes it a little easier to deal with.

If you want to know how important history is, just look at the half time ceremony when the Packers put Brett Favre’s name in their ring of honor at Lambeau Field on Thanksgiving night. An 81 year old 5 time Champion Bart Starr worked hard for 3 months during extremely poor health just to make the trip to welcome Brett Favre on his special night. There wasn’t a dry eye in the stadium; including Brett Favre’s; when Bart Starr walked up and hugged him. The emotions linked generations of fans who stood up proudly as one.  Brett Favre said, “No offense to anyone, but I was so happy to see Bart Starr and in a way the night was also for him. I was more excited seeing him smiling and happy than what I was there for”.

The Christmas holidays are my favorite time of year. People are nicer and there is much more of a kind spirit of good will floating around. Unfortunately all of us have lost people that we love and it can also be a time of great internal pain and longing. I get that because our family has known a lot of tragedy. This year has been grinding and hard. It’s also been that way for the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have lost many that were linked to their greatness.

I could see it in his eyes. Upon the passing of the great Ken Stabler, George Atkinson seemed inconsolable.   “It seems that every month we lose someone close to the Raiders. There are fewer of us and it’s very difficult to hear of the passing of Kenny.”

My dad once said that getting older isn’t the hard part. He said the hard part is watching family members that were once strong and vital getting old and passing away. It’s also hard to see athletes who you grew up watching, doing the same.

I think one of the nicest things ever said to me was after I wrote an article for a paid Philadelphia Eagles site. I wrote about a couple of the Eagles who had passed. One Philly fan thanked me for the article and said, “You are the keeper of their memory. You made me remember how great of players these were and how they touched the community. I’ll now never forget them and I was touched like they were my own. Thank you.”

History is a huge deal in our family. It’s always been instilled in us by my parents and relatives, to keep people’s memories alive. We should never forget people and appreciate their talents and their input in people’s lives. Our society has become much more shallow than in the past, with us being obsessed with youthful looks, being cool and in, and keeping in the know with the latest. We forget so easily. The word great is handed out like Halloween candy and our memory is short.   For me, I will never be that way and for those that read me, they will always see a sense of appreciation of those from the past along with their families.

The Raiders have lost some key people from their past this year. Let us remember them.

art powellOakland Raider great WR Art Powell

Art Powell:

Wide Receiver Art Powell was one of the first and great stars of the AFL.   He was big and fast and was known for some amazing catches. He was a 4 time AFL all star and was voted onto the all time AFL team. He amazingly had 81 touchdown passes during a time when defensive backs could do whatever they wanted to WR.

People forget that it was his character that shined the most. Powell, along with teammates Bo Roberson, Clem Daniels and Fred Williamson, refused to play in an exhibition game against his old team the New York Jets because of segregated seating in Mobile Alabama’s Ladd Stadium.

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Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis and Executive Assistant Al LoCasale

Al LoCasale:

“I first started working for the Raiders in 1985. I complained about a bad call in the press box and one of the NFL officials heard me. He angrily went up to Al LoCasale to complain about me. Mr. LoCasale got angry and ripped the stadium credentials from his shirt. It was then that I knew I was a Raider and what loyalty meant. He backed me just because I was a Raider.”

Former Raider Executive Amy Trask.

He was called a pitbull, a hitman, a thug, and many other things that I can’t write. For 3 decades Al LoCasale was the Executive Assistant and loyal heavy for Mr. Al Davis.   If Mr. Davis felt someone wronged the Raiders, LoCasale was the one you had to answer to. He was gruff and had a Napoleonic mentality about him. He demanded respect, loyalty and excellence.   He loved the Raiders and Al Davis.   He was the main figure that helped NFL films capture the Raiders great moments and he insisted on as many Raider players being mentioned as possible. He respected everyone; from the star players to the practice players.   You can’t say Oakland Raiders without saying Al LoCaSale.

dick romanski raider equipment manager
Oakland Raider equipment manager Dick Romanski

Dick Romanski, Equipment Manager:

The Raiders have only had 2 equipment managers in their history.   Dick Romanski and his son Bob.

Dick was an army buddy of Al Davis and a good athlete. He actually coached on Davis military teams. He had been with the Raiders for over 50 years until his son took over. There are stories that Dick was the one that came up with the shield logo of the Raiders.

Dick also was important because he was the one that introduced stickum to the Raiders. He said he got the idea from hitters in major league baseball.

Beloved by players and executives alike, even after retiring he would show up to help on Raider home games. One of the staples of the Raiders lore.

 

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Oakland Raiders Defensive Coordinator Charlie Sumner having a fun moment with Ken Stabler

Charlie Sumner:

“Charlie took me out of the game and I was pissed. I came off the field screaming at him. He put in backup Jack Squirek and told him to “not drop” the pass. I was out of my mind. Then I saw Squirek intercept Joe Theisman’s pass and score. I picked Charlie up and was going crazy. I had immense joy and almost killed him in the process. What a great coach.”

Raiders MLB Matt Millen

Some Raider players thanked him at their Hall of Fame speeches. Charlie Sumner was the greatest defensive coach in the history of the Oakland Raiders and it’s not close. He was the defensive coordinator for 2 Super Bowl wins. He was also a coach that helped create the famous Steel Curtain in Pittsburgh and he was the one that created the great defenses of the Patriots in the mid to late 70’s that almost lead them to a Super Bowl. The Raider offenses got all the credit but if you look at the Super Bowl wins, it was the defenses that dominated.

https://jimjax4.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/the-passing-of-an-oakland-raiders-legend-defensive-icon-charlie-sumner-dies-tom-flores-comments/

 

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Oakland Raider great Fullback Marv Hubbard

Marv Hubbard:

“Some players like to be physical but no one was as tough as Marv.   I’ve never seen a player that would go out of their way to hit people. He also demanded to play special teams because he liked the collisions.”

John Madden

Take it to the cupboard Hubbard was one of the catch phrases of the 1970’s for the Oakland Raiders. In both end zones posters with that saying was the norm. He was all pro 3 times and helped lead the Raiders to 4 consecutive Western Division Championships. He ranks 4th all time in yards per carry as a fullback (4.8 yards) and is 13th overall in NFL history.

Hubbard was a fan favorite and lived in Northern California. He got into music and released 2 albums. He was a scratch golfer and was an entrepreneur and CEO of his own company and he was often seen around town driving his beloved muscle cars which he would restore. Like most Raiders, he lived life to the fullest.

Ken Stabler:

The death of Ken Stabler sent a shockwave around the country and to be honest the world. I remember writing about Ken’s passing and the article was read by people in over 26 countries. I received many messages from people who said they don’t really like the Raiders but that they loved Ken Stabler. I’ve written a lot about Ken and you can check it out here along with Ken’s family website where you can donate to his XOXO Foundation.

http://kenstabler.com/

https://jimjax4.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/the-passing-of-legendary-raider-ken-stabler-shocks-a-nation/#comments

How to Deal With Loss:

First off there is no formula. The key is to talk to people you respect and love and let the pain out.   Cry, scream or get mad. Pain like that is like poison and if you don’t get rid of it, it can eat you alive.

The holidays can be really hard so keep busy. Kid’s and young people always help when they are around due to their great personalities and wonder around the holidays. Remember that there will be times that the pain will come over you in waves and you just need to let yourself get rid of it. If you are a person of faith, rely on it often.   Personally, without my faith I would have not come through things very well.

The most important thing is to remember that the people that are gone would be heartbroken to see you in pain. This poem is a great one to remember that:

“Remember me with smiles and laughter because that’s how I will remember you. If you can only remember me with tears and sorrow, then don’t remember me at all.”

May all of the friends and families of these great people; as well as the fans of the Raiders; find a healing peace and joy this Christmas season.   I pray that they will never be lost in history and that their memories will be passed on to the children of NFL and Raider fans everywhere. And as long as I have breath, I will never let people forget them either.

“Raider Fans Are Unique; Outrage Over ESPN Sport Reporter Britt McHenry & a 2nd Incident Emerges; and My Own Run In With a Yahoo Reporter”

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“Raider Fans Are Unique; Outrage Over ESPN Sport Reporter Britt McHenry and a 2nd Incident Emerges; and My Own Run In With a Yahoo Reporter”

Raider fans are always there for each other.

From fundraisers, to support with tragedy, to straight up money. Over the years I’ve seen Raider fans do some amazing things for each other.  It’s just a special thing to be a member of the Oakland Raider family; some people will never understand it.  You may have a team but we have a family.

I remember speaking at a conference back east. I was invited to a fancy buffet and after dinner drink party that night with mostly people from the east coast including many from New York, especially Manhattan.

I’ve dealt with a lot of people from Manhattan and they can be rough.  (In fact this isnt a knock on New Yorkers; this could be anywhere in the U.S. really). I blocked a few on Facebook because they were embarrassingly arrogant and self absorbed.  You are seeing more and more people these days with this, “I’m better than everybody else complex”.  Paris Hilton would be proud.

Anyway, one of the doctors and his young female friends were talking about how amazing it was to be a New York Giants fan and how sophisticated the fans were. They asked me who I followed and I said I was a Raiders fan.   Many laughed and said, “don’t you feel uncomfortable rooting for a team that is so ghetto?”. I asked them what they meant and they said it seemed like most Raider fans were middle to lower class, vulgar and they belonged more in a burger joint than in a nice restaurant.

A lack of confidence has never been a weakness of mine so I laughed and said, “First of all I like a burger sometimes; especially with bacon; and second of all what’s wrong with good hard working people who love their families?”

I was kind of taken aback to be real. Many bragged about how rich they were and one even bragged about the Mercedes he just bought. I said that it was a pretty nice car and another young woman quipped, I have one too. I said, “you have one too?”. She laughed and said, “doesn’t everyone?”.

It made me realize that there really is a class warfare going on in our society. It also reminded me why I’ve always enjoyed the diversity in the Oakland Raiders fan base. No fan base has as many different people than the Oakland Raiders.  It doesn’t matter what color you are, or how much money you have, because we all are on the same team. You may think that’s the norm but it’s not.

I remember also at the convention that one of the nurses that bragged about her Mercedes wanted to get together after the last night of the convention. I told her that I didn’t think it was a good idea for a sophisticated Giants fan from Manhattan to be seen with a ghetto low life Raider fan. She laughed. I didn’t.

I’ve been to many games in many cities and its shocking. In some stadiums you can count the minorities in the stands with two hands.  Many stadiums cater to the rich and they’ve priced out middle class fans and especially poorer ones.

On Monday night I remember being at a store at 11:30 pm. I was exhausted from work and was going in to get some snacks and I saw a woman broken down in an old truck. She had two Raider stickers in the back of her cab.  I could see people avoiding her so they wouldn’t have to help her. No one parked near her. She was near tears and was with a kid. I walked up to her and asked what was the problem and she said her battery was dead. I have a starter in my car (an amazing purchase that everyone should have) and I said I’d start the car. In a few seconds we started her car. When she offered me some money I refused and I smiled and winked and said Raider fans need to stick together.  She just started laughing and said Go Raiders!

As a Raider fan I was taught to respect everyone. Doesn’t matter who they are, what color they are or how much money they have. That’s why yesterdays narcissistic rant by ESPN reporter Britt McHenry berating a tow truck employee was so vile. Funny thing is this wasn’t her first rant and she’s still in her 20’s.  More later.

McHenry is the classic new hire you see at ESPN. She’s a very pretty and educated person, who loves the sound of her own voice and loves getting any and all attention she can get, especially from men.   The classic eye candy that ESPN has gone to. At Fox news I think being blond and pretty is in the job description so they are following suit.  Obviously I’m sure she’s had a lot of breaks and a lot of people helping her along the way.

I remember a local reporter being hired by ESPN. She said instead of being trained on how to do a broadcast or interview, she spent the first two weeks of her employment……GETTING A MAKEOVER!   They dyed her hair blonder and gave her highlights. They told her how to dress and how they were going to do her makeup and she looked different. Much more sexier than she was used to, but it was the NEW ESPN that has shown up in the past 5 years.   Look at all the anchors. Some even wear dresses that you see in clubs.

McHenry I’m sure is used to doing whatever she wants in life. She’s obviously very pretty and these days men practically are holding themselves when they see a pretty girl. Watching men stare down women and lose their minds over a pretty face makes me embarrassed to be a man sometimes.  Women begging for attention and men giving it.  A study last year even showed women who are very pretty or big chested, get better paying jobs.  It’s amazing.  Stay classy.

She is like a lot of tv personalities in that they do google and twitter searches on themselves so they can read what people say about them. Well she read a blog with a young female lawyer who was trying to stick up for women, saying that women should be hired for their talents on television and not their looks. For some reason, the clueless McHenry attacked the woman.   She said she was a model, got a masters in 3 years and was pretty much all that. She again, began to berate the woman saying she was pretty much a jealous low life and that perfect women like Britt did exist.

http://incidentaljustice.blogspot.com/2015/03/i-was-attacked-by-espn-reporter-for.html

Britt McHenry is a part of a big problem at ESPN, sports, and our country. People thinking they are just better than others.   When you think you are better, you lose all compassion for that person.  Britt McHenry was not losing it; she just was showing who she really was. It looked like she left her car there overnight after a date or whatever; and they towed the car.  To bully and cut down another human being acting like you are so much better than she is was atrocious. The second you think you are better than someone, you lose all respect and empathy for them.  Other female reporters are coming out saying McHenry loves to play the,”I’m on ESPN and I’m more important than you are” card an awful lot.

Bill Simmons, the famous reporter stated that the NFL brass and commissioner Roger Goodell lied about the Ray Rice situation. He was right; they did lie. They changed their story 3 times and if it wasn’t for TMZ sports, nothing would have ever happened.

The NFL didn’t like that. A call was made to ESPN and Simmons was suspended for 3 weeks; FOR TELLING THE TRUTH. Britt McHenry was suspended for a week for berating another human being like she was a desperate housewives reality show participant, and the tow company attendant was one of her servants.

ESPN has greatly changed like much of our society unfortunately. The shallowness and pettiness of people is beyond measure.   You see people losing their lives over petty arguments due to adults who can’t control their temper. You see the nastiness online with many vile comments when someone is suicidal and the bullying is still a huge problem online and every where else.

Athletes get passes and excuses from fans for terrible crimes against women because they can play a sport; and celebrities can pretty much do what they want knowing that the courts and society will support them because they are good looking and famous.   It’s sheer madness.

McHenry is a narcissistic bully. She’s gotten by in life due to a pretty face and a killer smile which in today’s society will get you far; very far. That or sex tapes. Ask Kim Kardashian.

I had my run in with a very pretty Yahoo tv sports personality last year. I forget her name but she does the Yahoo fantasy sports.   Sometimes she dresses like she’s going to a club, and once on air I saw her twirling her hair……TWIRLING HER HAIR!

She did a story on a poor young Russian athlete who broke her back and was paralyzed.   The girls friends and family were heartbroken.  During the report for some reason she kept giggling. On twitter people ripped on her and couldn’t believe it. I tweeted her and told her that she just needed to be more professional when telling a sad story; television journalism 101 really. She wrote me back that she was a beautiful person inside and out and that people loved her. She shouldn’t have done that because the twitterverse steam rolled her.

To her credit she apologized for her actions after dozens of people blasted her. She said she realized it was unprofessional and that she needed to think about the stories she was doing and not just read them.   I appreciated her apology but wow; it took people on twitter to teach her that?

Britt McHenry is not going to change. That is who she is. But in my world neither will I. I will continue to respect everyone. One of my famous sayings that I use in speaking is “treat the janitors as good as the CEO’s”. If that is what being a ghetto Raider fan is, then I’m proud to be a part of the hood.