By Steven Keys

In wake of the Las Vegas massacre last Sunday, NFL athletes have an opportunity to ditch the arrogance, find light in the darkness, take hold of truth and stand together for hope.

Football happenings might seem rather trivial to anyone not a gambler or working in the myriad of League-related enterprises, on the field of play and off.

On the other hand, as a national unifier, sporting events can be quite valuable in the healing process (See; President Kennedy’s murder (11.22.63) and Cmsr. Pete Rozelle’s decision to play the games post consult with WH-PS Salinger). Almost any activity that brings people together to think, talk and listen to eachother, can be a therapy. “It’s a good thing.”

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The shocking massacre where over 50 people were murdered and hundreds more were wounded by a deranged hotel high-rise gunman Stephen Paddock will likely have NFL knee-protesters conjuring up some sort of gesture of sympathy that they hope lends credence to their self-serving symbolic piggy-back upon the national anthem‘s moment of reflection.

To the speculation on what drove the crazed killer to such an awful act, it’s appropriate to toggle the gun-control topic as it relates to the caliber of weaponry used in the mass killing. Even the NRA agrees on that point (bump-stock ban).

.........grieving.Sarajevo.1992.LionsCemeteryFuneral.MikhailEvstafiev.115kPaddock’s rapid fire capability increased the carnage greatly. In comparison, the Texas Tower shooter on Austin campus, Charles Whitman, killed fifteen people and injured over thirty on August 1, 1966 in using bolt-action rifle. But it’s fair to say that a person of normal mental state could have an armory at their disposal and not seek to harm anyone, while one possessed of hateful thoughts could have no weapons readily available yet find enough to wreck havoc.

How can a freedom loving people correct or combat an oppressive, corporately captured government that is unresponsive to a clearly-stated will of the people without armaments? It’s a different world from 1776 but the principle of preparedness still applies, one incorporated in the 2nd Amendment with its affordance of the personal right to bear arms, a right recognized over time by those who emerse themselves in discerning the true and full meaning of America’s ruling document, the Constitution.

Then there’s Paddock’s mental state.

Investigation of his medical records, medicine cabinets and autopsy will give a clearer picture of whether the mass murderer had pathological and / or a pharmacologically-aided mental malady. His behavior seems to fit a recent pattern seen in shooters where medications were present and strongly suspected of playing a major part in their change from manageable psychosis to rampaging killers.

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Acts of heroism can occur during and immediately after tragedies and Las Vegas had its share of brave Samaritans. They speak to humanity‘s better side in caring, courage and give hope while also stand in stark contrast to other not-so-heroic acts in troubled states.

I’m referring to NFL player and protester, Michael Bennett.

........Bennett.8.7.14.wc.J.Beall.774kThe Seahawks defender was at a Las Vegas gambling hall during the Mayweaher-McGregor fight August 26th and took to skedaddle during reports of gun-fire. Caught on camera running through the facility, he certainly drew the attention of responding police. They detained Bennett briefly to question, then he was released. In viewing the videos made public last week, I’d not say the police were friendly, though, checking his handcuffs for comfort was sporting. But they appeared and sounded reasonable in the force applied, far different from the “excessive” or brutal tags the Seattle celebrity affixes in his claims.

That MB took flight when reported shots rang out is something for he, his conscience and lawyer to ponder. But that he diverted attention away from his embarrassing behavior by what appears either a mistaken or known false claims of racial profiling (detained at gunpoint “for doing nothing more than being a black man”)* and mistreatment by the Vegas Metro, at a time when honest racial dialogue is needed, and then boot-strapped his rickety claims onto Mr. Pig-Socks protest show, THAT is disturbing indeed.

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........Smith.Kate.5.1.34.RadioMirror.wc.1002kIt is the anthem’s period for reflection that has always been a sanctuary from our present personal troubles and team differences, a respite from bickering and bad-mouth to focus on the good in our lives, communities and planet. No nation’s flag is unstained with misdeeds but such reality need not prevent honest, brave agents-for-change from pursuing more sincere avenues for dialogue.

But that all changed long before the Kaepernick knee-jerks started to make conformity a bad word. After 9-11 attacks, right-wingers used Francis Scott Key’s unifier as a means to push THEIR own selfish agenda by adding religion to the mix in form of God Bless America (Berlin), still forced upon fans by many sport team owners, a fandom who, in majority, would probably just assume leave religion at home.

Will sport prove a tonic this Sunday for survivors of the hellish attack, their friends and families, the empathetic fans and NFL players who take to field for Week 5 competitions? It’s a choice they all have.

Think on this little bit of philosophy, NFL protesters: Sometimes it is of necessity but other times conformity is just “pure (cowardice).”

......cherries.ripe.Chirak.wc.605k.6.24.7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cherry Picks Week 5

Buffalo @ Cincy: 10.8 CBS 1:00: Tigers
Panthers @ Detroit: Fox 1:00: Lions
Chargers @ NYG: CBS 1:00 GTW: Giants
Cardinals @ Philadelphia: Fox 1:00: Eagles
Jacksonville @ Steelers: CBS 1:00: Jaguars
Baltimore @ Raiders: CBS 4:05: Ravens
Seattle @ Rams: CBS 4:05: Seahawks
Packers @ Cowboys: Fox 4:25: GreenBay
Chiefs @ Houston: NBC 8:30: KansasCity
Vikes @ Bears: 10.9 Disney 8:30: Vikings

Record: 8 – 9

.....Marshall.Topps.70Steven Keys
NFL HunchLine
Posted: 10.6.17 @ 5:28p EST; Copyright © 2017
Photo credit: Grieving, Mom&daughter, wc.cca, EdiIsrael, 3.9.01, qassam-rocket-attack-in-Sderot-by-Palestinian-militants-Gaza; Grieving, Sarajevo, 1992, wc.cca, Lions-Cemetary-Funeral, MikhailEvstafiev; Michael-Bennet, wc, J.Beall, 8.7.14; Kate-Smith, wc, Radio-Mirror, 5.1.34; ripe-cherries, wc, Chirak, 6.24.7; Jim-Marshall, TCG, 1970
References (*): Si.com / “Police Release Videos” / 9.29 / Rapaport

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