As we approach completion of the second decade in Millennium, we're figuring how to embrace the good, bad, and ugly surrounding globalization and pandemic addiction to social media. Millennials in Western Civilization have hi jacked technology and spreading blasphemic rhetoric with reckless abandon. Even worse, the X generation and Baby Boomers are climbing on board attempting to resurrect their own fountain of youth, and relevance.
No where is the latter so valid than in our Sports analyst world. Both amateur and professional critics are guilty of acquiring a two-minute memory. Reporting has moved in to an existential realm. Although it's never healthy to stay in the past, or worry about the future, we should at least learn and observe from past and present successes and failures.
The virtue of patience, has been moved on to the endangered values list.
The current story of 1st round 1st NFL pick of 2016 Jared Goff of the St. Louis Rams is one headline validating the coming extinction of patience. Goff has been designated 3rd string by head Coach Jeff Fisher, citing need for growth to succeed as a NFL quarterback. Not very long ago, Aaron Rodgers was 1st Round Pick for Green Bay in 2005. Rodgers sat watching Brett Favre for three years before starting. Andrew Luck was the 1st Round pick for Indianapolis Colts in 2012, and sat behind Peyton Manning. Calling Jared Goff a 'bust' because his head coach chooses to groom him and slowly bring up to speed is just ignorant. If you would like to know valid examples of what a 'bust' looks like? Look up the following 1st round quarterback picks: Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Johnny Manziel, Matt Leinart, Jake Locker, Vince Young, Rex Grossman, Byron Leftwich, Joey Harrington to name just a few drafted in last 15 years. Jared Goff comes out of the same fiery offense of the Cal Bears, where Aaron Rodgers played. Knowing the present and past success of Cal and Stanford products, I am sure Goff will be valid, once he receives the opportunity to run a NFL offense.
Another set of values out the window would be honesty and humility. Just hop over to a bevy of story lines coming out of NFL. The most prevalent headline, and hitting close to home, in the Bay Area, is owner Mark Davis relentless pursuit to relocate the Oakland Raiders. Oakland Raiders fans have to be absolute up in arms about recent development of Las Vegas rewarding a bid for NFL (at the Raiders' owner qualifying inquiry) to build a stadium financing a 750 million dollar project. We've heard for years back and forth conversation and debate of both the City of Oakland as well as the Oakland Raiders pointing blame and fingers at one another about lack of support, and funding to keep Raiders franchise in Oakland. By 2020, the City of Oakland lies at risk of being barren, losing all three professional franchises. The Golden State Warriors moving back to San Francisco in 2017; the Oakland Raiders may be leaving to live La Vida Loca in Las Vegas as soon as 2018 (if approved by NFL ownership); and the Athletics may finally win a heated dispute to relocate to the South Bay, San Jose. The Oakland Coliseum is a vintage historic landmark of what was once the norm, of a duel use stadium, housing baseball and football teams. Somewhere in between the lines of closed door City meetings, and NFL back room pow wows, Oakland has been left behind in purgatory. Unfortunately, the losers become the fans. What will happen to loyalty when once again, the team you proudly cheer, up roots, and moves far away?!
Last but not least, are diversity and benevolence. The meaning of Patriotism has officially been put on the water board. The question of patriot, blackness, and respect have been placed on the forefront of conversation weekly since San Francisco back up quarterback, Colin Kaepernick was noticed sitting during the National Anthem, in a preseason game. Before Colin had any opportunity to explain in actions, and positions, the social media sites lit him up! It was as if he received quite the virtual media lynching of his actions. I am guilty myself of rashly reacting without knowing any background of the situation. Many have questioned Kaepernicks' motive, reasoning, and method. We all had input. Majority of our input quite false, and juvenile. I have to give Kaepernick credit of starting a discussion and opening up debate on an issue that is controversial and no one wants to validate. We may not agree with his method of protesting racial injustice in the United States. I keep hearing that the term 'injustice' must be further defined. In every one of Kaepernick's press discussions, he's been quite clear in defining injustice. One example would be a black college student found guilty of stolen lap tops. He was sentenced to three years in jail, no option for parole, early release; then there's the Stanford white swimmer convicted of rape (found having sex with a passed out woman in public) sentenced to six months, and then released three months later for good behavior!!! That's an injustice example Mr. Kaepernick and many other black athletes are protesting.
That's just a dust bunny on the tip of examples around the country. Many are upset that he is disrespecting military, and military service. Many military members have come to the football players' defense, stating the whole reason we defend the flag, and the constitution of the United States, is the right for citizens to rise up ( or sit, take a knee) and protest when there are 'injustices' happening marring the whole reason of our land of supposed opportunity. I, myself may not agree with his method of protest, but I agree his right to protest, and hope to see action behind the words. I am aware there has been significant financial promises to programs combating and working to reverse and improve poverty and violence stricken communities; but there has to be action. Professional athletes are in high profile positions, and it's a great platform to impress and advocate change. I personally do not reflect it as a distraction, or 'not doing your job' reaction. If anything, it has improved, opening door to communication between players, as well as everyone surrounding professional sports.
The beauty of sports and competition is its a complex arena. It involves camaraderie, discipline, team work, and a choice to do the right thing. Create positive choices, and change any deviant culture. The game's always evolving. Its best to embrace change, and improve on imperfection.
If you haven't paid attention, please watch some clips: