A tear rolled down the 80-year-old cheek of Susannah Johnstone as she pulled her shawl tighter and shivered. A squad of armed Redcoats marched past her drafty (and very cold) Boston home. How she’d dearly love a cup of that magnificent Ceylon tea. But she was a PATRIOT and no English tea would pass her lips.
Patrick O’Hare stared at the blank screen of his Panasonic 56-inch OLED TV. Forlorn. Jittery. A tear glistened as he wondered how his precious Patriots were doing. He wrenched his mind away and gathered up his tattered Patriot jerseys and headed down to Finnegan’s for the burning. He was a Southie through and through, and no millionaire NFL player or billionaire NFL owner was going to disrespect the USA.
Seems like a fast, no? Fasts, however, are supposed to be good for you, to focus you on the essence of things, spiritual truths uncluttered by the detritus of life.
For example, giving up March Madness for Lent (the couple months before Easter) is a penitential act that certainly removes a major distraction; giving up the NFL for Lent is decidedly not penitential.
Boycotts are the evil cousins of fasts. The goal of a boycott is to harm another in the hopes that the ensuing pain will bring him around. Something like an imposed Day of Atonement on the other guy.
Burning an NFL jersey hardly harms the NFL, especially if you have paid for it and it is all soft and snuggly from repeated washings. It may, however, be good for you if your spouse has been after you to toss it.
When it comes to watching the NFL, I have a nifty idea. How about gathering a huge group of buddies around a single TV? If I’m correct, it’ll look to the ratings service like a single TV being watched by Patrick only, instead of 100 TVs watched by 100 guys. You can still drink beers and gnaw buffalo wings, and scream at the guys who take a knee.
The Patriot owners will yell, “Ratings are down 50% in South Boston, the advertisers are killing us.” Meanwhile you watched the game and still inflicted pain.
I’m not a big NFL fan, so I must admit the whole brouhaha hasn’t gotten much more than an eye roll. The lawyer in me wonders how everyone involved could have gotten themselves into such a predicament. No good way out for anyone.
One thing, though, has infuriated me. Playing an NFL game in London. Taking a knee in London. Then standing for God Save the Queen.
I love England and am descended from English people. But let’s face it, Merrie Olde England is not exactly free from social stain. Just ask any Indian or Pakistani who was around in the 1940s. Or read up on the magic of Ireland under British rule. I even got to marry a nice Irish gal from Savannah because her folks decided to trade the bliss of British Ireland for 1850s Georgia summer fun digging rice dikes in Savannah.
London. That reminds me. In 2003 the biggest female country band was in town. Two days before the Invasion of Iraq they denounced the President and the impending war.
Perhaps brave, perhaps foolish. But it certainly cost them and didn’t accomplish anything much. So, my advice to the NFL owners: Remember the Dixie Chicks.
Back to the Boycott Boys. Somewhere life could get difficult if you throw too wide a net. No more movies. No music (other than country). No Netflix. It could get dreary.
A lawyer friend recently posted on Facebook “Today, I start the boycott of NFL league-wide partners (advertisers): I will start with: Hyundai, Visa, Nike, Anheuser-Busch, Pepsico, Microsoft, Geico , Ford and McDonald’s.”
Alrighty, then. I can’t boycott Microsoft. I’m a lawyer. My law practice runs on Windows 8, and depends on Word to generate legal documents. I use PowerPoint for presentations.
I also need to use the Visa for travel. My Nike’s are comfy for walking. So, no.
I can do without fast food and, sugary soda. I’m happy with my auto insurer. I don’t drink beer (much).
I figure it’ll all blow over. Just like the heartbroken SoCal moving companies that thought they’d do a banner 2017 moving all those stars to Canada. Never happened, dagnabit.
Some of them I wouldn’t miss. You hear me, Miley? Cher?
Originally appeared in the Asheboro Courier-Tribune, October 6, 2017