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Charleston, SC, United States
"Fear is a stranger to the ways of love. Identify with fear, and you will be a stranger to yourself." -ACIM

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Defense does not win championships

In sports, there is a common belief that defense wins championships. Shut down the opposing offense and you win games; win games and you win championships. Being the champion means that you're better than, the best, the champion and the best.

In life, defense is killing me. Killing me? Really? Yes. Defensiveness is killing the real me. Behind all the defense is the real me the me that desires connectivity and love. The me that I want to be. Above all else I want to see this me and I want to be this me.
Imagine a castle. Already the first image that probably popped into your mind you saw walls, towers, gates, maybe a mote. Maybe a mote with some kick ass gators in there. No? No gators? Anyway, you immediately pictured the defensive capabilities of the castle. Why? Because that's what you've learned that castles are. Places to hide and places to defend what's yours, what is most important to you. Castles hold the king, queen, some really hot princess, or maybe some treasure. You keep those in the castle because you want to protect them from attack from the outside world. Those damned Mongol hordes are out there and they want your shit!

However, our true selves are what we are hiding in the castles of our minds. We've been taught and we've learned really well that we have to protect ourselves from the outside world because if we let people in, they'll see who we really are. Think of all the ways that you've hidden yourself from not only others, but the lies you like to tell yourself.
For me, sometimes I like to use humor. Make jokes to cover up what I'm really feeling. I am funny, but sometimes that spills over and is used as a way to cover up real emotions or prevent me from having a real experience because I'm looking to make some kind of joke about it. Sometimes I'm cutting because as I've been taught in the past, the best defense is a good offense. Bring someone else down and then they aren't looking at your shortcomings right? Sometimes I like to be apathetic. 'Meh. I don't care. Who cares? It's not a big deal.' All of those and many many more tactics are used just as defense. They are my walls, towers, and gator filled motes. They are what 'defend' me from the outside world. They are what prevent me from realizing my true self.

"In my defenselessness my safety lies."
The world gives rise but to defensiveness. For threat brings anger, anger makes attack seem reasonable, honestly provoked, and righteous in the name of self-defense. Yet is defensiveness a double threat. For it attests to weakness, and sets up a system of defense that cannot work. Now are the weak still further undermined, for there is treachery without and still a greater treachery within. The mind is now confused, and knows not where to turn to find escape from its imaginings. -ACIM WB 153.

Consider any "fact" that you've known for your whole life. 1+1=2. The sky is blue. There are 24 hours in a day. The Braves are the greatest franchise in baseball history. Wait? What? Never mind. There are lessons that we've "learned" in our lives that are repeated over and over again and  become "fact." They become part of what we no longer consider to be changeable and they become part of our reality. These "facts" no longer are questionable. They just are. Well similar lessons are taught and learned about ourselves. 'Well that's just who I am. That's just how she is. Oh, you know Jim, he's...' whatever.

But what about when those "facts" are challenged? That is when our minds become confused. In the context of defensiveness, my mind becomes confused when its told that defense is no longer needed. Safety lies in the presence of love and those that are around me who would offer me nothing but that. What do you mean? Aren't all these people just trying to Trojan Horse me? I bet once they get in here they'll jump out and start attacking and plundering my castle. Well that's awfully depressing isn't it?

So when does relaxation and balance come when you're constantly defending? Where does safety come from? Safety comes from no defense at all. Safety comes from trust. Safety comes from vulnerability and openness. Safety comes from being who you really are and letting others experience that and your growth in that. Open the gates, let others help you build your castle not for defense but for a haven of growth and love. Let them see the shitty side streets and then help you clean them. Don't hide the ghetto of your mind but ask for help in the gentrification of your slummy mind. Dropping the defense and opening the gates not only allows you to let others in, it allows you to take a walk in the countryside and maybe visit other castles as well. Maybe learn of other places that have the same problems you do. Maybe just maybe you can then work together to grow and improve together.

None of this gets done if everyone is sitting in the own castles locked away in their own towers. Stuck in your own mind means you're only allowed to take your own council. And, where has that gotten us? Where has it gotten me? A year ago I was so shut down and defensive that I let a relationship grind down to an ugly halt. I got an opportunity because of that to work on it and drop some defense and grow. Proudly, I was able to accomplish a lot. However, this past week my defensiveness once again not only stepped out of the shadows, it jumped right out and said 'Hey hey here I am! Don't touch my soft shit cause fuck you! Guards! To the towers! Close the gates! Release the gators! Fuck you people!' Fortunately, I was in a room with people who don't tolerate that and were able to say, 'um, hey, what the hell man?' Fortunately, I'm at a place in my life where I'm able to sit down and forgive myself for that kind of mindset and let it go... again.

It is a journey. My defense is still here. But I'm now at a place where I can choose to put down the sword, back away from it and say, "This is not who I am."
I may have been taught defensive strategies. I may have convinced myself that I need defense. I may have learned that being vulnerable is a bad thing. I may have convinced myself that locking my true self away in the castle of my mind is how to stay safe. But now I'm at a place where I can say no to that. I can put down the sword and leave my gates open. Like any habit or addiction it will take practice, persistence, and patience. It will take forgiveness. It will take love. This is not who I am. It is not the real me. So why protect it?
My strength lies within in my true defenseless self. I can choose something different. I can share my castle. I can open my gates and I can live openly. I can chose to learn different lessons. I can choose that now...

No gators were harmed in the typing of this blog.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

If you love it let it go...

Well I've got one less hat in my closet this morning. For the first time in over 16 years I'll be without my favorite Braves hat. Bought that hat at the start of the 2000 season and wore it almost everyday over my last few years in college and then... it went with me everywhere; and I do mean everywhere. College road trips, Peace Corps services, European vacations, Russian "adventures" and the list goes on.

That hat was with me in some amazing wonderful times and it was with me during some really low times. I've woken up on floors wondering how I didn't lose the thing during the adventures the night before. It was with me when I met some really important people in my life, it was on my head when I left people in my life, it was knocked off my head in one or two confrontations in life, and it was put back on my head by some amazing friends in life. It was on my head when I built things, on my head when I tore things down...

Over the years it saw the sun, snow, rain, wind; it was even blown out of a convertible at one point and the driver forced to turn around for its recovery. It got a bath in more bodies of water than I can count and even took a shower with me one time on a dare. It had gone fishing, hunting, camping, skiing, flying, and driving. That hat has seem more life than most people ever will.

Since I got that hat the Atlanta Braves amassed a record of 1,408 wins and 1,182 losses. Not too bad. The hat went with me to see the retirement of Bobby Cox and Chipper Jones. It went with me to see so many gods of Summer hit a ton of balls over walls and so many amazing pitchers paint corners like masters. Hell it was even on my head when I hit home runs... in softball.

But, after all these adventures the old blue and white... yes that hat was originally blue; had to be laid to rest. The bill was about to fall off, it was a little stiff on top, and frankly, it had developed a bit of a smell after all these years. So, as this rebuilding Braves season begins, I decided it was time to rebuild my hat collection and let this old boy go. Only one fitting way, only one more element to complete its journey... fire.

Good bye my old friend. You were so so well loved.

Monday, March 28, 2016

What do YOU want?

Ever feel like sometimes your life comes down to a balance between what you want and what you can have? Meaning, do you ever feel like you don't have everything you want in life because, well... that's just impossible right? Pizza and dessert? What are crazy!? One or the other here fat boy.

What if it isn't like that though? What if you could have everything you wanted? Just poof and there you have it. Tricky thing is, you'd have to know what you want first. Some people say money, power, and fame! Wooo! Champagne bottles! But at the end of the day those empty bottles lead to empty lives. The fame and fortune aren't as fulfilling as they might appear to be on TV.

I think if we all truly had what we truly wanted, our lives would look very simple and somewhat "boring" to the mainstream of society. I think if we really boiled it down to brass tax (idioms come free of charge this week) we really only want Love. Now, we might get to that by needing forgiveness, understanding, empathy, intimacy, openness and honesty but all of those are paths to... Love.

Remember Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs? Here...
Back when most of us took Psychology 101 at one point in our lives we saw this table. Start at the bottom, work your way up and boom. If all your needs are met you're well on your way to being a healthy individual in mind, body, and spirit right? The only problem here is that we've learned that most of the things on this chart we can do without and still be quite healthy. In fact a few of them are impediments to that process. Take "achievement" for example. Trying to "achieve" something that falls into the "respect by others" realm of conscience could in fact be very dangerous. Because you skip the question of do you want to do this? Does respect = love? Take a look at any of those things listed above and ask does X = Love. 
Now I can ask you to skip the "physiological" section on the X = Love question (minus sex of course because if you feel no need to reproduce that moves up to "Love/Belonging" and even then it does not hold up to the "math"). But even the title of that whole section "Love/Belonging" is misleading. Friendships don't equal Love, neither do families or sexual intimacy. In fact all three of those can easily be toxic and harmful if not used as places to grow love. They can in fact keep us away from that which we want the most. 

Ever gone to a place with someone to order food and been influenced by their decision? Comes time to order and you've had your eye on that juicy burger but they order something like a salad and it makes you totally rethink your decision. Uh uh uh... club sandwich! Damn it! I didn't want that! But that's how most of us have chosen to live our lives. Other people say: Get a job, be in a family, have a family of your own, have lots of friends, buy a house, get the new i-phone, gain the respect of others, wear this, drive that, eat this way, talk this way, it's what you do. Well... what do you want to do? What do you want?

We all want Love. The love of God. Simple right? But what about all these lessons we're surrounded by day in and day out? Our jobs, our relationships, our own mental practices... what do we want from them? What do you want? is not an easy question to answer most of the time because a lot of the time we just don't know. We know what we're told we should want, we know what we don't want a lot of the time, but how many times can we truly say that we're clear on what it is that we do want? 

Take intimacy for example. (We'll start with a nice easy subject like that. Ha!) I recently had a conversation in which I discovered that I and the person I was talking to had completely different definitions of that word and perceived the act of giving and receiving intimacy completely differently. Does that mean that we will never have an intimate relationship? No. Does that mean that neither of us can ever truly fulfill our version of intimacy with one another? No. It does mean that we have an opportunity to share with one another and express what it is that we want within our relationship, if we want it to be intimate, and if we want it to be loving. This could come down to a chicken or the egg (idioms all day people) type situation. Does a loving relationship lead to an intimate one or does an intimate one lead to a loving one? Can you have one without the other? Does it matter which is first? Are they even different? I think all that matters is that both parties in a relationship say what they want! 

I want Love. I want to give love and think nothing of what if anything comes back to me. Remind yourself of that before you move on to 'what do I want in ____ scenario.' Work, family, relationships, whatever... keep the focus on 'how can I make this a more loving ____?' and you'll have what you want in the end... Love. Sounds easy enough right? It does get tricky to me though on the "form" of certain aspects of my life. What if I just don't know? What if I don't know if I want a relationship that includes cake on Fridays? (pick an arbitrary aspect to ask) Are you okay with never having children? Are you okay with not being the one who chooses your linens? But ask: how can you make cake or linens more loving? 

Until you're clear on what it is that you do want it's always okay to be patient, always okay to be open, always okay to be loving. Take time and figure out what YOU want. Because, at the end of the day you can only live your life for one person and that's you. I'm learning more and more that's it's okay to not know, it's okay to be patient, and if I'm doing things, saying things, and acting truly from a basis of love, then I have nothing to worry about. I'll figure out what I want and when I do I'll honor that. Until then... I can only look for the one thing that I do want... Love. 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Where Does Fear Come From?

Where does your fear come from? Why are you afraid? What's the motivation?

We all live with some level of fear. Whether you call it anxiety or stress or nervousness, it's all just fear. I read an article a few months ago that claimed that fear is a natural state for humans on some level because it's what kept us alive back in the cave man days. Back when everything had bigger teeth and bigger appetites than us, fear is what kept us aware and alive. Being afraid of bumps in the night kept us from being a midnight snack and allowed us to stay alive. However, now that we're the dominant species on this planet, there aren't too many situations that we find ourselves in where that level of fear is needed... but it's still there.

These days it seems that we've just found new things to project that fear towards. Maybe public speaking is your lion, maybe walking alone at night is your tiger, maybe heights is your bear... oh my! (too easy there). Seriously though, all of us are afraid of something and maybe we're just struggling to define what that something is.

Think about all the things you're afraid of... rejection, abandonment, not being loved or valued, not being taken seriously, being alone, or how about the big one... death. We're all afraid of death. We all have a belief that we will die and that we can "lose" all of this that we've surrounded ourselves with. But where do these fears come from? And, why? Why? Why? This is a question that I've been struggling with for some time now. Why am I afraid?

I've come to learn that we are all afraid of punishment from God for all the "bad things" that we've done and all of our fears are just manifestations of that one fear. Especially death. Death (health issues, cancer, strokes, heat disease; all of them) is the one thing that our ego has convinced us has to happen. We have to die! That's it; turn off the music, shut off the lights, time to end it. You only have the few years here on Earth and then it's all over. Ashes to ashes, get your ass in the ground.

All of those fears that we carry around with us are just little fears of death. Some of us will cling so hard to life out of nothing more than fear of the "unknown" of death. It's only the belief that life continues on after physical "life" that can eliminate those fears. Only the belief in a strength of God eliminates those fears. We try to convince ourselves that our strength will save us and we insulate ourselves and hide from God in order to try and hide from those fears.

"There is nothing to fear. The presence of fear is a sure sign that you are trusting in your own strength. The awareness that there is nothing to fear shows that somewhere in your mind, though not necessarily in a place you recognize as yet, you have remembered God and let His strength take the place of your weakness. The instant you are willing to do this there is indeed nothing to fear." -ACIM WB 48.

Remembering God. Ah! That is what I've been reaching for lately dear reader. Remember that God is with me and that there is nothing to fear. Trust. Just getting back to trust and knowing that there is nothing to fear. Even if the Bengal Tiger comes through my apartment door and stalks me down and rips my limbs from my body; I have nothing to fear. I will continue on. Then, where will my fears go? They will go with everything else, my books, my computer, my couch, all will be left behind as I return to God. Death can not be feared for it is not an ending. All of those little things that we make so big in our lives can not be feared because they are not who we really are. We are love and we are here to learn just that.

Go today and know that you are loved. Go today and remember that there is nothing to fear because you are not alone. God is with you.

(Not just for Douche-bags anymore)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Judgement is not for you...

Do you ever see someone and immediately "not like" that person for whatever reason? Maybe you don't like people with visible tattoos, people who wear a lot of camouflage, homeless people, hipsters, obese people, or people pushing a stroller with three kids in there. What causes you to "not like" this person? Judgement. You're judging them.

From what I've learned what we judge other people for is what we really fear that we have the ability to become or what we fool ourselves into thinking we're not; what we fight with ourselves to not be. What this is is just a separation that we've created between ourselves and this person that we judge when in fact these people are just mirrors of ourselves.

"As you see him you will see yourself. As you treat him you will treat yourself. As you think of him you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will find yourself or lose yourself." -ACIM T-8.III.4:2-5

You will find yourself or lose yourself. You will either find that you are truly connected and there is really no difference between you or you will lose your mind by convincing yourself that you are different. We all have to get to a point where we see no difference, where we judge to separation because we no longer see a separation between us. We all have to ask the question, "Would I condemn myself for doing this?" -WB124.

Are we not all in a position to grow into God's love no matter where we are? I believe that no matter where we are that there is where we begin our journey back to God. And, none of us have the extensive knowledge of the universe to be able to say where another person is on their journey. All of us are here learning our lessons, starting from different places, learning at different paces, some of us learn certain lessons easier than others, but we're all learning our lessons. If I see a racist and judge him for his hate, then that reminds me that I have my own anger to forgive and learn from. I don't have the ability to judge him for his anger because I don't know his lessons. If I do judge him, then it shows me what I fear in myself. I fear becoming a racist full of hate because somewhere I harbor that belief about myself. That's what "condemn myself for doing this" means.

We all share the same emotions and the same fears about the darker parts of ourselves and the higher parts of ourselves as well. It's what we choose to see in others and in ourselves that will manifest in our lives.

Think back to when you were a kid and you're parents taught you what was wrong or right in the world. The boy in school who got bad grades, acted out, and had head lice was not to be imitated but judged as "bad", dirty, and, a failure. You were supposed to sit quietly, do your work, and clean behind your ears everyday. Why? because that's what "good boys" do and they grow up to be good people; right? Early on we were taught the difference between what makes "good" people and "bad" people. Winners vs. Losers. Rich vs. Poor. Right vs. Wrong. And some of us were taught to judge and separate from those "bad" people and look on them as "lesser" than ourselves.
That thought system was wrong. We were taught the wrong things. How can we know this? Because they taught separation and they did not bring us connection to others, to God, and to ourselves. They did not make us happy, they made us judgmental, and they allowed us to feel guilty over that judgmental mindset.

"If the outcome of [your curriculum] has made you unhappy, and if you want a different one, a change in the curriculum is obviously necessary." -T-8.I.5:2
That's it. If you want a different view of these people and your world, then you need to change your mind. You need to change your thought processes and you need to change your whole curriculum. We all have to work to change how we project our entire world and forgive our separation from those in it. We have to be able to see them as we see ourselves, forgive ourselves so that we don't have to judge them, and then continue to practice not judging them for those fears that we have yet to conquer in ourselves.

Stop. Ask for help. Remember your connection to God and those around you.

This past week I tried really really hard to keep this in mind. Walking through life and constantly reminding myself that I don't know what any situation is going to bring me and I have no ability to judge it because of that "situational ignorance" was a very enlightening practice.
Have you ever told yourself, 'oh this is going to suck'? How did you know? What if that situation brought you an important lesson? What if instead you said, 'Help me to see this differently' or 'I don't know what anything, including this means.'? Well then you'd be able to stop and be able to just allow a situation to unfold rather than judging it and blocking what is intended to come your way. Not judging allows you to get out of your own way. It allows you to connect rather than separate. It allows you to learn rather than projecting what you "know."

Try it today. Try it this week. Tell yourself that you don't know. Tell yourself that you have no idea what anything means and that you have no way of judging it. Just let it 'play out' so to speak. Seek out those that you have judged and find what it is about those people that you see in yourself. The addict? What are you addicted to? The lazy guy? What to you do to overcompensate for that in your life because of what you fear in yourself?
Ask questions and then don't answer them. Let them be answered for you. Observe but do not judge. You'll find that there are lessons everywhere out there for you and that all of us are learning the same ones, we're all on the same path, we're all connected and there is no real separation between us.

Our judgment separates us. Our ego loves to judge. Our ego separates us and is the voice that tells us that "we know" what others are really like and how they're different and less than us. Listen to a different voice. Change your curriculum. Stop judging and start listening, looking, and get comfortable with connecting to the love that is all around us waiting for our acceptance.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Choices at the Crossroads

Every now and then we all feel as if we're standing in the middle of our road in life and facing a decision on which way to go. We've all been there. Standing at a crossroads in life and completely confused on which way to go. Choices need to be made and for a lot of us this is where fear comes into our lives and starts to upset us. But that's not always the case.

Sometimes when these choices present themselves we stop, sit down, and just relax. Sometimes, for the logically inclined among you, this is where you start your mental pros and cons list. For the emotionally inclined, you start to try and get a sense of what 'feels' right to you. For the undeveloped or untrained minds among us, this is where panic and fear comes in and you start to worry seeing only the unknown down each path. However, none of us can "know" what lies ahead. So each of us in our own way needs to find a way to stop, listen, and relax.

So how do you make the choice? How do you decide which path is right for you? How do you know which way to go? The short and simple answer is, you don't. And here in lies the beauty of the choice. You can't fast forward you life ten days, ten weeks, ten years and see how this choice plays out for you. You only have this moment; this Holy Instant in which you can stop, listen and... allow the choice to be made for you.

I've made 'bad' choices in life. I've found myself in dark places where my life seemed to be full of pain, fear, and regrets. In those times I questioned so many things: How did I get here? Why did I choose to take this path? Why in the hell can I not find peace? Why am I "trapped" in this dark place? When will this ever end? But if we all think back to those times in our lives we'll see that in the end there was an end to the pain and fears that dominated our mental processes. Maybe you're in one of those states, down one of those paths right now... so, how do you get out? How do you make another choice? The answer sometimes is more simple than you can imagine: You stop, ask for help, and allow a different choice to be made for you. You create another crossroads in your life and then allow yourself to take that path back to peace. The path back to God. You allow rather than choosing.

"In this insanely complicated world, Heaven appears to take the form of choice, rather than merely being what it is. Of all the choices you have tried to make this is the simplest, most definitive and prototype of all the rest, the one which settles all decisions. If you could decide the rest, this one remains unsolved. But when you solve this one, the others are resolved with it, for all decisions but conceal this one by taking different forms. Here is the final and the only choice in which is truth accepted or denied." -ACIM W-138

Thinking back to the 'bad' choices and 'bad' times in our lives... did they last forever? Is eternity riddled with pain, fear, and upset? No. At worst, we learned lessons about ourselves in those times. We grew as individuals and as brothers. We found parts of ourselves that may have upset us, may have delighted us, may have taught us more about who we really are. If you're like me, you may have found a choice that led you inward and back to your natural, peaceful state that is centered in forgiveness, love, and in an acceptance of what is offered to you from your Creator. 
(Wow, I understand that may sound really lofty there, and I'm not claiming Buddha status here... I'm still a work in progress but that is where this path is headed: Love and Acceptance of Truth.)

I've recently (once again) been reminded of one of my major obstacles to allowing these choices to be made. Patience. I have in the past been one to rush towards decisions believing that those who think fast, talk fast, and act fast are to be revered for their ability to make good decisions in such a quick manner without worry or fear. What I've learned is that, for the majority, that is not true. Those quick actions only mask the fear that is behind them. Any "failure" in those actions can then be just as quickly blamed on outside forces working against you rather than examined and accepted as personal and ego based. But what about doing things differently? How does that work? Maybe instead of acting, we can try listening, being patient, and then allowing those choices to be made for us.

But... but... but... then how am I to be in control of my own life? Where is the personal choice? What good is it to sit around and wait on things in my present condition and not 'pull myself up by my bootstraps' and get on with life? Stop. Ask for help. Listen. Accept the answer. 
When you've "been in control" and made your own ego based decisions is when you started down the paths that led to your upsets. (you. me. anybody.) So maybe when you find yourself at a crossroads you try something different. Maybe this time you just stop, sit down in the middle of the road, and just wait patiently. What's the rush? 

Like I said, I've found myself at crossroads before and thought that two separate paths leading to two separate lives awaited me. But when I stopped and just allowed choices to be made is when a third path opened up and I was ushered onto it. Patience is required here. Acceptance is required here. 

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." -Psalm 27:14

Oh man, I think I took on Emerson in a previous post and now I'm going to take on the Bible here. (Get a load of this guy!) We're not waiting on the Lord! He is already here! It is God that is waiting on us. While we dream of choices and paths in life and goals and achievements and upsets and fear and pain; God waits on us. If we forgive ourselves, let go, and allow, then we will feel the presence of God and see that our choices are already made for us. We only need do... nothing. 

Now dear reader, I understand that this post may be a bit all over the place at times. However, the message or point of is all is just this: The crossroads isn't real. There is but one choice and one path and that is the one back to our Creator. For me patience on this path is key. I need only see that there is no need to rush to certain "choices" because all I really need to do is take a seat in the middle of my road and instead of walking down it, allow the path to move underneath me. I will, you will, we all will one day stop our ego based mindsets and allow the choice to be made for us. So, stop. Have a seat today and relax.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Breaking up is not that hard to do...

It's not you... it's me. Really this time. Well, let's be honest... some of it is you.

At this time of year most people are really excited for the Super Bowl. America's biggest spectacle in sports where we all stand at attention, declare our undivided loyalty to the United States of America in flag waving, saluting, standing, singing unison before watching millionaires play a game that kids play for free.

Are you sensing a bit of saltiness from me today dear reader? Well the NFL has brought that out and now I'm walking away from it.  I've already quit my fantasy football league and I think I may have watched about one half of football in the playoffs. I may or may not watch the Super Bowl this coming Sunday depending on whether I have paint drying or not that night that needs my attention.

Seriously though, I used to love me some pro football. I still really enjoy college football but the NFL has just gotten tired for me. I don't like a lot of the players anymore and the ones I do like only get mentioned once a year when they give out the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.

Soaps operas... not just for women anymore!
NFL news these days is all about what guy got arrested or accused of what crime and which coach is about to be fired for whatever reason. Honestly, following the NFL now is like watching a soap opera of overpaid young men being scrutinized for every move they make. And, if one of them does do something really bad, well he gets a fine or a few games on the bench and then, if he's a good player, he's right back out there on national television. These guys get away with shit that would have most of us fired for even thinking about.
Then there's the "pop-culture-ness" that has made it's way into the sport. Hey follow this guy on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat... see him read the morning paper, walk his dog, ride in his million dollar car, eat a sandwich, breathe in or out... Did you see who he's dating now? What club he went to in Miami? Who cares? Oh and don't forget to tune in Thursday for 3 full days pregame talk about a 3 hour game! If there isn't any real news, we'll just talk about what they wore to and from the game or who is trash talking who this week and saying a bunch of crap that doesn't matter.

Wait, this could cause brain damage?
Now, the issue of concussions has come up a lot these days too. I don't care about that. The NFL is risk v. reward. These guys can not claim they don't know that head injuries may result from the types of collisions that occur on every play in the NFL. You're paid to take that kind of risk. Burn your candle brightly young man and then walk away. Please, I don't like to hear from guys in their 30s and 40s saying "I didn't know this could happen." Um, yes you did. I don't like television companies pandering to those that are concerned about it by saying things like, 'The NFL should really look at changing the rules and protecting these players.' Yeah, if I wanted to see two-hand touch, I'd watch soccer. I want to see tackle football. Also, you (the TV network) make money from this. You have no interest in seeing your profits go down, so stop telling me you want to see the game changed.

Does this seem to be taking a long time?
Those of you that know me know that Baseball is my favorite sport. But, but, but, baseball is long and boring! Not so fast! The average MLB game is 2 hours 57 minutes and 33 seconds. The average NFL game in 2015? 3 hours 9 minutes and 26 seconds. And, between stoppage, huddles, replays, and timeouts, you get about 11 minutes of real game action football during that time. I can no longer laugh at those who watch golf on TV. The NFL takes about as long and has about as much action in it. So on Sunday, by all means, find a couch, turn on the football and grab a nap. Zzz...

Are we Nazi Germany?
Ok... don't freak out on me just yet. However, at just about every NFL game and certainly at every big game or playoff game, there is a HUGE ceremony before kick off for all of us to 'honor America and...' do a number of activities to show how loyal we are. I remember one Monday night game in December that I had on while eating dinner that I literally stopped and had to question where the fuck I was. There was a huge flag stretched from sideline to sideline; endzone to endzone and each branch of the military was shown and represented while the whole stadium not only sang the National Anthem, but God Bless America as well! We need two fucking songs now!? There were fireworks, salutes, more flags, birds... all kinds of shit for 15 minutes of American masturbatory excellence.

Don't question this!!! Why would you be against eagles flying overhead and fireworks and singing and flags!? Seriously, try going up to a group of ten people on the street and ask them if they see the comparisons between us now and the Nazis... Bet most of them will think you're crazy. What? No! Blind patriotism? No, we're just here for the entertainment. (Pay no attention the man behind the curtain).

As we look into the crowd we see that the Boys and Girls Club of America has come out to enjoy the game today. Good for those youngsters!

I just may have better things to do...
What? Me? On a Sunday in the Fall? Why of course I'm watching football! Well not anymore.
For those of you that may say, 'Well if you don't like it then just quit watching it,' I say to you: You're right, I'm done with watching the NFL. I just don't enjoy the NFL as a whole and all the water cooler talk about the players and games that I just don't care about anymore. I started to notice this year that for at least a few of my co-workers and I that the NFL was about 2/3 of what we talked about... and that includes work talk!!! Screw that! I'm done talking about people and teams that I don't care about anymore. I can't even fake interest in it. Meh! Just not my thing.

Never again?
No. I'm not saying: NFL bad, Me no watch ever! I may find myself with a free Sunday afternoon, night, Monday night, Thursday night... its on all the freakin' time that I may want some mindless distraction to be provided by the NFL. But I'm done following it and looking for it and listening to all the talk about it. If I feel like it I'll send some positive thoughts towards the Atlanta Falcons (God knows they'll probably need it) but I'm not going to consider myself a "fan" of the team anymore.

That's it, I'm done. Rant, drop the keyboard, and walk away!

Tune in later in the week when I promise to get my act together and get a real blog posted for you dear reader. Until then...