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Saturday, February 28, 2015

NBA = Never Buy Again - NBA Stars Resting on Fans $$$

A Writer Writes!

I was watching a Thursday night NBA game between Golden State and Cleveland on television as my distraction from the serious side of life.  Lebron James had scored some 40 plus points and sat on the bench looking tired.  A part of me wondered by the way he looked if he would be too worn out to play the same way against the Indiana Pacers the next night?  I thought that because my spouse and I had purchased tickets months ago at $167 a ticket to see Cleveland play the Pacers that next night. Kyrie Irving had already come up semi injured earlier with some type of shoulder injury.   But, my thought was surely Lebron can recover from a maximum effort night as it's only about an hour flight from Cleveland to Indiana and he could rest during the day.

Well once we arrived at the game, after spending fifteen minutes searching for parking, it was announced that Lebron would not be playing as it was a back-to-back game and he was at home "resting".  An updated story this morning was that Lebron's back was sore so the coach gave him the night off.  My immediate thought was this is the new policy for NBA teams and players.  Unlike the old school players in the 1960s and 1970s the current generation of players does not play every game because they don't have to.  Even though somehow traveling conditions for players, with chartered airline flights, is much better than in previous decades, somehow today's players cannot do what their predecessors did. That being simply allowing fans who paid good money to see you play, actually see you play.

I understand a player and a coach has a right to decide a player's body needs some rest.  But, give me the fan the ability to decide that if a star player does not have a league confirmed injury and will not play to rest their body, I should also have the ability to go to the ticket office and ask for a refund or a discounted ticket price.  My wife and I paid to see Lebron play along with his teammates.  He was not injured, he apparently did not have a family emergency.  He had a sore back and wasn't going to put his body through back to back games within a 24 hour time frame.  His decision, the team's decision.  That is fine.  My decision if I had been given the chance would have been to ask for a refund or a discounted ticket price.  I didn't get that opportunity.  Basically the NBA, and the owners of NBA teams are saying, we've got your money now, so just sit down and watch the game stupid.

Yes, the game was entertaining, but not worth $167 a ticket to see non Lebron caliber players.  My decision during the game was that it will be a long time before I purchase another NBA ticket.  For the price I paid for two NBA tickets my wife and I could see three Cincinnati Reds baseball games with good lower level seats.  In baseball the players push themselves to play because it is truly a team sport and each player knows they are needed.

For those of you who purchase tickets to NBA games, check the schedule of the team whom you will be playing against to see if the team played the night before.  If they did than it is likely the team will be resting star players.  Don't waste your money on purchasing tickets for those NBA games.  Take your family out to dinner and talk to each other.    Oh yeah, by the way Cleveland lost the game to the Pacers,  Lebron gave us a victory by deciding to rest.  Thanks Lebron.

A final thought. I wish I could have seen the old school players like Jerry West, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain play.  I'm sure they were tired and needed rest some games.  But they chose to play.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Former Mayor Giuliani Seeking Love

A writer writes!

Since most of the alleged "news" these days is mostly pure drama disguised as news, I tend to ignore most of the "news" on television and even in printed mediums.  So I wasn't too surprised to see a "news" blurb that former Mayor Giuliani stated that President Obama does not love America.  My initial reaction was maybe the Mayor is experiencing some medical issues that are making him make statements that are ridiculous and strange?  But, apparently the Mayor is sticking to his original statements.

My second thought was as a President who has been disrespected and verbally abused by many over the past 6 years, President Obama must love the principles of America to deal with the non sense he has encountered since he became President.  Now added on to the pile of nonsense (remember the Republican who yelled out "You Lie!" during one of President Obama's state of the union addresses) comes the comments of Giuliani.

I wonder how Giuliani would feel if people referred to him as the mayor who benefited from being in office when the 911 attacks occurred in New York City?  His popularity soared during those tragic times.  Maybe now the Mayor is seeking to regain the attention he once garnered years ago by making outrageous statements?

If you have a moment while watching the local or national "news" tonight, send Giuliani a few words of encouragement and love.  Tell him you're sorry he cannot respect a President who has helped this nation overcome the turmoil that existed in America from 2000-2008.  Encourage Giuliani to start a "We Love America" political party and run for President in the year 2016.  Then we can see Giuliani show that he loves all parts of America.   From the urban blighted areas in major cities, to the principles that allow immigrants to become citizens and pursue their love of America.

Well ex Mayor, if you had spoken up sooner we all could have sent you Valentine Day cards.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"Celebrities" Who Deserve Front Row Seats

A writer writes!

Last week I was watching portions of the National Basketball Association (NBA) All Star Game festivities.  The cameras would occasionally pan to people sitting in front row seats.  Since I no longer keep up on who today's human idols are, I could not name most of the people they were focusing on.  I'm sure those in the court side seats either paid big dollars for their seats or where given the seats by a player, or got the seats through connections.

Of course my mind started wandering off into the nether region and I started to wonder about what "celebrities" I wanted to see sitting in those front row seats.  Or who would I put in those front row seats (if I had the money to pay the exorbitant idol worship prices for the seats!)

It pretty much came down to this for my top 4:

1.  Whomever finds the cure for Cancer.  He/She/They should be given lifetime seats to any NBA game period.  Pre Season, Regular Season, All Star game, NBA Playoff games in any round.  Seats on the floor where ever they felt comfortable.  The Big "C" has been destroying people and families for years.  Those who find the final cure to safely destroying cancer can have anything they want in my book.

2.  Students Making Straight A's in School.  Education matters.  Studying to be the best does take effort to utilize and strengthen the gift that you have.  It doesn't matter if they are in Kindergarten, fifth grade, or going for their masters.  Those who sacrifice and devote immense time to improving their knowledge deserve a distraction for a couple of hours to let the brain cells regroup for the next mental battle.  We don't take enough time to celebrate the academic efforts of students.  Don't just fawn over people who play sports!  Slobber over the "brains" out there who have the talent to make the world better using their mind power.

3.  The Quiet Charity Donors.  People who quietly give to charities only because they want to and can.  They have earned front row seats.  They are filling a gap that governments are unable or unwilling to fully fund.  Whether it is donating money for food for the poor, or donating time to help someone improve themselves, these people are trying to make a positive difference.  Without their efforts, the level of pain would be much greater for those in need.

4.  Undercover Do Gooders.  The television show, Undercover Bosses is one of my favorites.  It shows owners of businesses actually taking an interest in the lives of their workers.  It features the owners giving to their employees to assist in making their employees lives better.  Whether it is to give them money for school, money for medical needs, promotions within the company, or vacations for their family, these Do Gooders take actions that reflect the better parts of humanity.  I would like to think there are more of these type people out there whose acts are not being televised who are taking positive actions to help their employees when they can.  Yes, it is more dramatic when the TV camera records those acts, but I'm sure it has to still be a life changing experience even if those acts of kindness are done away from the cameras.  Life is not all about being selfish and only caring for your self and your loved ones.

I am sure there are enough people in the above categories to fill the lower level seats at least at the NBA All Star game!  At each time out, celebrate what they've done with a brief video on the scoreboard.  What about it Commissioner Silver?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Tearing Down the Borders - Chapter 1

A writer writes!

Our world consists of various countries separated by distance, designated borders, language, religious beliefs and political affiliation.  Our postal mailing addresses highlight our viewpoint that we are separate and don't share anything in common with other countries.  It doesn't seem to matter that we share the planet Earth.  Have you ever seen someone write down their address ending with the country name then "Planet, Earth"?  No, we don't view ourselves as being related and part of one global community.  We've established our distinct borders and a community of being separate from each other.

Within each country are people following distinct native customs or customs imported from other countries.  The government of each country supports nationalistic pride in their individual country.  It's what we've all been taught.  Have pride in your country.  Sing the national anthem. Recite the pledge of allegiance.  Pay homage and respect to the nation's flag.  As Actor Lou Gossett says, he always thought he was saying "and to the republic for Richard Stands...." instead of the words "for which it stands.." when he was reciting the pledge of allegiance in school.  We're taught to be proud of our country.  It's like the politicians who end a speech by saying, "May God Bless the United States of America."  What does that mean, that God should not bless any other country?

From childhood we begin our journey to become proud nationalistic citizens.   Unfortunately that approach does not support our learning about the other inhabitants of our world.  The internet does allow us to reach beyond our artificial and political borders, but language barriers limit that interaction.  Traveling to other countries as "tourists" allows us some limited structured contact with people in other countries.  But taking photographs, taking tours and ordering meals at restaurants in another country only touches the surface of interacting with and learning about another culture.

So how do we tear down the barriers that limit our interaction with our fellow world inhabitants? First, we have to decide that we accept the differences among people within our own country. Racism is still an issue within the United States.  Ridding ourselves of racist thoughts and behaviors is the first step to tearing down the borders that exist between people.  That is a step that may be a difficult one for some to adopt. Some people still believe that the color of a person's skin requires that they be treated subservient to people of other skin colors.  If you have a problem with a person's skin color and people who have immigrated to your community or country, you will definitely have a problem in accepting people of other countries in the confines of their own land. If you are a racist you must make a conscious decision to leave that frame of thinking and behavior behind. Once you are over that hurdle, you have to decide that you want to learn about other people in the world. But, if you can't overcome your racism you have established a permanent border that you have chosen to maintain for your lifetime.

Chapter 1 involves learning to respect and accept the multicultural differences within your own country.  Within your own life you need to tear down your self generated walls,  Walls of racism, sexism, hatred, biases, ignorance, and phobias you have adopted in your journey through life.  Those walls were put up in the past and sustained and modified throughout the years.  Formal institutions have been created to ensure those walls of racism remain part of the culture of a country.  Those beliefs are passed on to children as being truth-isms that should never be forgotten.  It is up to each individual to pause and question the validity of these hateful "beliefs".  Peel away the dark wall paper posted by generations in the past.  Underneath are the plain walls that can further be taken down to open up our eyes to a new enlightened view of other people.

Call timeout during your day and reflect on what borders have you established that keep you from seeing others in this world as a family member of our world community.