Conduct Unbecoming

I was actually planning a different blog today but I think instead I will discuss football.  More specifically NFL football.  I love to watch football – and I’m a huge Colts fan (yes even after the past 2 weeks of disaster – I mean c’mon guys even the Pacers won in LA!).  But I’m growing tired of the headlines that some players are making.  Not the ones like …. well sadly I skimmed the Sports headlines and couldn’t find one that wasn’t negative.  OK so I guess I’ll make up an example.  A headline of “Drew Brees serves Thanksgiving dinner to the homeless” or “Michael Vick spends the day volunteering at an animal shelter.”  Yeah I know the last one is pretty far-fetched but I like to write fiction.

Mostly these days the headlines the NFL players are making involve “arrested for drunk driving” and “beating up several patrons in a bar.”  Then there was this Sunday’s football-turned-hockey game between the Titans and the Texans.  An all out bench clearing brawl.  Now I have to say it does seem that Titans player Cortland Finnigan instigated the fight by running his mouth and grabbing Andre Johnson’s face mask and as the old saying goes “you mess with the bull you get the horns.”  (admittedly that is a tacky quote given the Texans longhorn mascot but I couldn’t help myself).  But seriously the wrestling/punching fest on the field was too much.  Here’s the part that really irritates me – both players although ejected from the game will probably continue to play.  At most they may get a 1 game suspension and a fine.

So why does that irritate me?  Lets change the headline from “Two NFL players get into fight on the field” to “Two firefighters get into a fight at fire” or “Two teachers get into a fight at school.”  There wouldn’t be any speculation about “if” they would be suspended it would be “when” will they be suspended and “if” they will be fired.  And if either of them were charged with battery they would likely never sit in a fire truck or classroom again.  There is this idea the NFL needs to grasp called “conduct unbecoming.”

For example as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher my certification will be immediately revoked for habitual or excessive use of drugs,  any type of drug conviction, conviction of DWI, conviction of a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude.  I hold this certification basically so I can tell people over the telephone how to perform CPR, what to do if someone is choking and how to apply pressure to wounds until paramedics arrive.  So I’m guessing that getting into a fight could possibly cost me this certification meaning that I would also lose my job.

I will give some credit to Andre Johnson for not making any excuses on the matter.  He said he was wrong and he was sorry and he let the emotion of the moment get to him and that he felt bad because if he is suspended it will hurt his teammates.  Those are some of the best things I’ve heard an NFL player say in a long time.  The head coach of the Texans Gary Kubiak however was not quite as smart as his player after saying  “Gosh & Golly I hope they don’t suspend him” and then awarding Johnson the game ball.  Every employer has that one person that never knows when to shut their mouth and is a constant source of aggravation – and from the sounds of several other players, former coaches and commentators the NFL’s person is Cortland Finnigan – but that doesn’t mean you can slug the guy or reward the guy who slugs him.  Who wouldn’t want to smack the “problem child” of their office from time to time?  Trust me if you try it I guarantee that you won’t get the game ball from your boss.

Where do I apply to work for the NFL?  More specifically the Houston Texans?

The NFL might fine these players, maybe suspend them a game – but the NFL is also capitalizing on the fight.  It’s being replayed over and over and if you go to NFL.com the suggested items in the NFL shop are Texans stuff and Titans stuff.  I’d like to know what the NFL thinks might be “conduct unbecoming” of a football player – so far I’m pretty sure as long as you don’t (directly) kill anyone you will play another day.  I mean we hold standards of conduct for others that kids look up to like firefighters, police officers, teachers and soldiers why shouldn’t that include our kids favorite sports players too?

Also, if I’ve misspelled anything or used incorrect grammar in this blog I’d like to blame God.  After all Bills receiver Steve Johnson decided to tweet a rant to God after dropping the game winning pass.  And technically he doesn’t blame God, he just questions how a man of his insurmountable faith gets “done like that” by the Big Man.  I suppose if you say your prayers daily God does owe you the ability to make an easy catch if you’re a football player.  Apparently someone on the Steelers prayed harder.  Does God Twitter?

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Let It Be

When I was growing up I spent a lot of time trying to decide what I wanted to “be” when I finally did “grow up.”  At age 5 I wanted to be one of Charlies Angels or an Olympic ice skater/gymnast (Romanian gymnast to be more specific).  In elementary school I wanted to be a veterinarian and own my own horse ranch.  In 6th grade I took a summer school class about computers (think Commodore 64 and BASIC) and my mom told me if I was interested in computers that would be a really great career by the time I graduated and went to college.  HA! what did she know?  In middle school my mom convinced me to write to IU and ask what requirements would be necessary to become a physical therapist because I showed interest in medical stuff but did not desire to spend 8 years in college to become a doctor.  That brings us to high school where I became interested in journalism.

My plans my junior and senior year involved going to college and study telecommunications (why limit myself to just paper journalism).  At one time I think I actually thought about working my way to White House Correspondent.  I was even on the Indiana High School Journalism board.  Those plans became somewhat derailed at Summer Journalism Camp.  My first day there I spent exactly 2 hours getting my assignments for the week.  They were (to the girl I used to be) completely overwhelming to the point I made myself sick and my mom had to come pick me up from camp.  There were lists of deadlines and we only had 1 hour to write here and 2 hours there – and we were supposed to walk around campus and interview people we saw and ask them why they were there.  I actually threw up – luckily not while in the “welcoming breakfast” but shortly after being dismissed in the lobby bathroom.

I guess in a way my experience at Summer Journalism Camp was a good thing because I realized I didn’t have what it takes to be a journalist.  That is a cut throat business – ask anyone who’s in it.  And I’m not a cut throat kind of gal.  Unfortunately all my high school planning was now derailed – also quite  a problem for the girl I used to be and I started drifting.  Where I ended my drifting was Emergency Services.  It sounds quite exciting doesn’t it?  And it has been quite a ride for the last 17 years.  But it’s not where I intended to be.  And I don’t think where I had planned to be would have worked out very well for me.  So why is it we are always asking kids “what do you want to do when you grow up?”  I think instead we need to start asking our kids “what do you like to do?”

I am in a job that is totally opposite from what I love.  I love fiction.  My job is about a real as life can get.  In my job there aren’t quite as many happy endings as there are in movies and novels.  But see when I was planning my whirlwind career that ended in the White House Press Corps – I never really asked myself what do I love to do.  I love to write but not get the hottest scoop.  I love to take pictures.  I love animals.  I love baking.  I love reading.  All these things could have transformed into multiple career choices had I taken the time to figure out what was important to me and not what I wanted to “be.”

I’m still not what I want to “be” when I grow up.  But maybe someday soon I will.