Opinion

Destroying American Traditions and NFL Football: A Metaphor

The Super Bowl is over, and I should say I’m embarrassed that my Patriots keep returning to the big game and are so often winning the darn thing. I’d like to say that, but hell no! I remember all those years as a kid growing up in New England where going to the Super Bowl, never mind winning it, was a distant dream. Nah, maybe I should say I’m embarrassed; but I won’t. I’ll enjoy it as long as it lasts. Oh, right. The Red Sox just won, too, right? Okay, now I’m just being downright obnoxious—Celtics, Bruins, anyone?

Back on earth, something struck me while I was listening to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show a couple weeks before the Super Bowl. His topic was a similar one to what he’d discussed before, but this time something “clicked,” and I gained a useful political metaphor. He was talking about how progressives have been working tirelessly to eradicate American traditions. Then they offer to replace old traditions with anything from nothing to nonsense. As a retired cop, I’m obviously concerned with attacks on traditional law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

Rush was talking about the leftist onslaught against all facets of American traditions. These include cultural (war on cops), political (two-tiered justice), historical (tearing down statues), religious (war on Christmas), and even sports (NFL anthem/flag controversy). Rush was speaking specifically about the left ruining the great American (toxically masculine) tradition of NFL football.

Of course, the neo-leftists are destroying American traditions. I mean their most recent attack is the vilest yet. The American “tradition” of not murdering infants. And this threat to our traditions is not coming from fringe whackos outside government but from Democrat politicians, some in power, inside state and federal governments. Politicians such as former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and current presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris.

The issue of leftist-supported infanticide was illustrated perfectly by Rush. He pointed out that the environmental left supports laws that protect baby sea turtles before and after they hatch. But the left won’t protect a human baby, certainly before and now after birth. This is warped and depraved. So protective of baby sea turtles is government, Florida deploys “turtle wardens” to monitor beaches, ready to fine or imprison any resident whose outdoor lighting might cause a baby sea turtle to head away from the sea after hatching. Anyway, as usual, I digress.

I hadn’t given our American sports traditions a similar warranting of leftist animus as the other facets of societal traditions mentioned above. Sports traditions seemed a less serious and more separate issue. This may be true, but there is room for comparison. I thought more about that now infamous controversial call that occurred on Sunday, January 20, 2019, during the NFC Conference Championship game between the Rams and Saints.

It was a call that quite likely had the New Orleans Saints sitting at home while the Los Angeles Rams played in a little game on Sunday, February 3rd. We know how that turned out. I thought about how the controversy provides an apt metaphor for the left attacking America’s traditions, generally. In this case, equal justice and the rule of law.

Rush didn’t talk too much about that horrendous referee non-call, but his broaching the topic made me think about how that blown call relates to so many Democrats eluding justice. The legendary talk show host and long-time football aficionado talked about what’s happening, generally, in the NFL. Rules, including for catches, pass interference calls, and video review of plays and many other things are all changing the game and seem to be making the NFL less popular.

But, specifically, and even worse, Rush reexamined the “anthem/flag” kneeling controversy, which has negatively affected the NFL over the past couple years. There is no doubt this manner of protest and the fallout since has been a leftist challenge to this great American sports tradition.

This leftist-created and -supported “kneeling” controversy led to huge TV ratings and attendance declines for the league. Not because the fans are racist but because the fans don’t want politics in their sports. The protests threatened to either severely damage the game or even to destroy it if it had continued. Rush contends because President Trump stood up to the Anthem kneelers, his pushback was effective, and the damage has been mitigated. The rising ratings bear that out.

Still, the left continues trying to damage this immensely popular American sports tradition. Just as they try and try to damage America’s justice system by ignoring laws they don’t like by embracing social justice while eschewing equal justice and disrespecting the rule of law. It is on this premise the metaphor occurred to me.

Everyone who cares, and likely many who don’t, now know about the horrible referee non-call of an obvious pass interference (and likely personal foul) committed by Rams’ cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman against the Saints’ receiver Tommylee Lewis.

The play: Lewis was attempting to catch a pass thrown by Saints’ quarterback Drew Breese. The ball was in the air about four feet away from Lewis when Robey-Coleman, who was not looking back to make a play on the ball, plowed into Lewis, with helmet-to-helmet contact. This gave Lewis no chance to catch the ball as it flew past him, and he crashed to the ground, in one of the most obvious pass interference fouls anyone, commentators, ex-NFL players, and fans alike had ever seen—the referee not call.

So, instead of first and goal from near the Rams’ five-yard-line, the Saints wound up kicking a field goal, which allowed the Rams to mount a comeback, tie the game, and then eventually win with a field goal in overtime. Fortunately, the Pats stood in the way of L.A. being additionally rewarded for that blown call with a Super Bowl victory. (Sorry, folks. I can’t help myself. The Boston-L.A. rivalry is long and…I’ll let you fill in the blank.)

Now, how does this tie into the discussion about the left attacking American traditions? Well, there is an uncanny similarity between this football non-call and an infamous political non-call that comes to mind.

Cornerback Robey-Coleman committed a blatant foul for all the world to see. He interfered with that Saints receiver, and he suffered no penalty. Similarly, Secretary Hillary Clinton committed a blatant law violation, and all the world knows about it. She interfered with a Congressional investigation by deleting 30,000 emails and then physically and digitally destroyed several communication devices. Like Robey-Coleman, everyone knows she did it. And like the NFL referees, the American justice system blew the call.

There is also much evidence of many other law and policy violations Hillary Clinton may have committed, where, as in the football game, the refs (DOJ/FBI) watched it happen, but no one threw a “flag.” As with Robey-Coleman and the Rams, Hillary Clinton and the Dems just got away with it, and life goes on. Like Robey-Coleman, Clinton may have lost her “Super Bowl” too. But, while it makes a good metaphor, the degree of seriousness of Clinton’s apparent misdeeds far exceed a rules violation in a football game.

Still, to continue the metaphor, there’s a good argument Robey-Coleman’s helmet-to-helmet hit may have also been a personal foul. This means the refs may have let him get away with multiple violations.

Well, multiple violations doesn’t come close to describing Secretary Clinton’s history of accumulated alleged law and policy violations. For the sake of extending this metaphor, let’s only add Clinton’s Benghazi debacle as the worst of so many other alleged violations. Only, in Robey-Coleman’s case, the Rams went to the Super Bowl and the Saints went home. In Clinton’s case, four brave Americans died waiting for her help, and they did not go home.

Incidentally, metaphor aside, there is one big difference between the two. After the NFC game, Robey-Coleman admitted he’d hit Lewis too early, and said he was waiting for a ref to throw a flag. That was refreshing to hear because admitting wrongdoing is something we will never, ever, ever see a Clinton do.

Secretary Clinton is a perfect example of the left working to eradicate American traditions. And while she may not be destroying the tradition of NFL football—then again, she may be. Who knows what she’s up to now? One thing we do know is she epitomizes America’s current drift toward a multi-tiered (social) justice system. One thing is for certain, she continues to damage the crucial democratic tradition of equal justice and the rule of law.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Steve Pomper

Steve Pomper is an OpsLens contributor, a retired Seattle police officer, and the author of four non-fiction books, including De-Policing America: A Street Cop’s View of the Anti-Police State. You can read a review of this new book in Front Page Magazine and listen to an interview with Steve on the Joe Pags Show. Steve was a field-training officer, on the East Precinct Community Police Team, and served his entire career on the streets. He has a BA in English Language and Literature. He enjoys spending time with his kids and grand-kids. He loves to ride his Harley, hike, and cycle with his wife, Jody, a retired firefighter. You can find out more about Steve and send him comments and questions at www.stevepomper.com.

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