June 22, 2017

Football Season Begins with a Wrong Way Omen

Wrongway Parker runs the wrong way after recovering a fumble

There was an omen last Thursday night. Maybe a warning to put on your helmet. Some bad stuff is about to happen. The political strategists want everyone to ignore the wars. Romney never mentioned Afghanistan and Obama doesn’t want anyone to notice the flames, either. A writer at the Atlantic has taken notice of the situation in Afghanistan and urges the Obama administration to save the best and the brightest in Afghanistan from the coming slaughter. The millions who do not qualify as members of the professional class are apparently regarded as expendable.

Last Thursday night, as Clint Eastwood was using the empty chair as a prop at the Republican Convention, Kent State linebacker Andre Parker recovered a fumble and ran more than fifty yards the wrong way. Infamous wrong way runs in football also occurred in 1929 and 1964, at the beginning of the Great Depression and Vietnam War.

I’m getting the feeling that Wrongway Parker’s 56 yard run toward his own team’s end zone is an omen that something historically similar is going to happen in the coming months.

The Atlantic writer is Steve Clemons, Washington at large editor for the Atlantic and senior fellow at a centrist D.C. think tank, which means he expresses the prevailing view of the political class. I didn’t watch the Republican Convention and probably won’t watch the Democratic Convention. Blame the lack of interest on the banality of crowd sourcing. Or group think as it used to be called in the era of typewriters and wars that were fought in waves of men, none of whom were authentic enough to qualify for the checkmark of authority from Twitter or a real name as opposed to an incomprehensible number from Google.

Keith Crain, CEO of Crain Communications, is a member of Michigan’s Journalism Hall of Fame and probably the most astute observer of the automotive industry. He warned that General Motors, contrary to the political marketing labeled as journalism these days, is actually in worse shape now than before the bailout. The government appointed executives don’t have the operational experience and have cost the company billions in Europe as a consequence. UAW members who won’t be in North Carolina for the convention also worry that GM is going again into bankruptcy.

As Wrongway Parker was putting his new nickname in the history books, the Pentagon bailed out of a significant military exercise with Israel. A war on the oilfields of the Middle East with the nation 16 trillion in debt and unemployment over 8% would be one for the history books, in the same category as the Great Depression and Vietnam.

Well,that’s the good news. The bad news is that Lincoln is starring in a movie this fall and not in the political arena.

Until Wrongway Parker picked up the fumble and ran the wrong way, I had Eddie Coyle on the brain. I couldn’t get Eddie Coyle out of my head. When I read something about Putin, I thought Eddie Coyle. Syria- Eddie Coyle. China- Eddie Coyle. The greatest crime novel of all time, Friends of Eddie Coyle, is also a primer on foreign affairs. The isms have been replaced by criminal gangs. I was contemplating the phrase foreign dignitary and thought it somewhat like porn star. If everyone in your line of work is referred to as a dignitary or star, you might consider a new line of work that doesn’t require a lot of shots with long needles and office furniture built to withstand bomb blasts. Then Parker ran across the television screen with his teammates chasing him out of bounds before he could spike the ball in their end zone.

A former player for Kent State was on the sidelines in Dallas on Saturday night, coaching his Alabama team to an easy season opening win over Michigan. Nick Saban played for Kent State in the early 70s. Saban was at Kent State when the Ohio National Guard shootings happened in1970. When Saban coached at Michigan State, one of his favorite words was knucklehead. So much so that you would have thought Eddie Coyle was playing linebacker.

A knucklehead in Detroit made Joe Biden’s Secret Service team look foolish when he stole one of their vans. The incident reminded me of a national law enforcement convention a few years ago in Detroit when some Texans with badges asked for directions to their hotel in metro Detroit. A courteous local in the tradition of a Eddie Coyle offered to help and led the sheriffs into a field where he got out with a gun and robbed them.

I suppose that’s why the Atlantic doesn’t have a lot of sympathy for saving any knuckleheads in Afghanistan.

I think we’d be lost without knuckleheads and football. We’d be at the mercy of foreign dignitaries when the bad stuff is about to happen.

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