Be forewarned, this edition of Heroes is different. It begins with a couple odd ball political stories, after which I’ve tucked my NFL draft notes into a block quoted sandwich; for those readers who consider sports to be a deep fried nada tostada. Although you non-sports fans might wanna check out the YouTube spill I included. It’s good stuff.
Alas, no happy ending this week, because sometimes that’s just how it goes.
Cell block the vote!: Bernie Sanders set off a shit storm the other night when he said that all prisoners should have the right to vote. Even terrible people, like murderers, rapists and yes . . the Boston Marathon Bomber. And I cringed when I read this, because Dzhokhar Tsarnaev killed three people and injured two hundred and sixty four others. And then he shot and killed an MIT police officer and stole his gun.
And making certain that no dubious idea goes unpublished, his Democratic counterpart Alexandra Ocasio Cortez doubled down by supporting the idea of allowing prisoners the right to vote.
And I have to think, maybe they didn’t get the memo that 2020 is a fairly important election. For their still fractured party, sure. But even more important than that, for the entire country. And call me silly, but this idea of theirs ain’t gonna play well in most of the other forty eight not named Vermont or Maine.
We are getting closer and closer to an eight year Trump run, because to paraphrase an old baseball adage. You can’t win an election in the early going, but you can lose one.
Stay in school, kids: Lara Trump studied at NC State, after which she attended the French Culinary Institute. But maybe she should’ve stayed in school and yanno . . enrolled in a couple history classes. Because Lara had some things to say about Germany’s dark past. But no . . not that dark past.
According to Lara, the downfall of Germany came when they admitted more than a million Middle Eastern refugees into the country in 2015. The comment provided no context as to why these people were migrating to Europe; which had to do with conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Immigration isn’t a one size fits all policy. Lots of shit happens in between the influx and the debate. Using Merkel’s decision as Trump’s template is a false equivalent. Lara also didn’t mention the right wing nationalism that has sprouted up since the refugee crisis in 2015; and that’s a pretty big miss considering Germany’s dark past. Yes . . that dark past.
Saving Easter: Martha Isbell was on her way to Mass on Sunday when her car tire popped. It isn’t known whether Isbell owns a AAA card and it doesn’t much matter, because a former student of hers spotted her pulling off the road and pulled over to assist.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard may not have been Isbell’s prize pupil in her biology class, but he held a special place in her heart just the same. The self professed class clown was all business on Sunday morning; fixing her tire and saving Isbell’s father- who is battling stage four cancer- the trip out to assist his daughter. And she made it to Easter Mass on time.
So I guess the question is, can you give out an A plus retroactively?
The NFL Draft is the biggest, richest, funkiest job fair in the world. And the best part of it all? Everybody is an ‘expert’ . . in guess work.
The Arizona Cardinals ain’t ever won a Super Bowl, and they keep showing us why. They made history (the wrong kind) by taking a quarterback in the first round for the second year in a row. Maybe this works, but even if it does, they’re still no closer to winning a Super Bowl. As far as the league’s biggest punchline goes, the Cleveland Browns are off the clock.
The Baltimore Ravens win the weekend: Well, where it matters most. See, they invited 13 year old Mo Gaba to announce their fourth round choice. Gaba, who has been blind since he was nine months old, will read the pick in braille. Last month, it was learned that his cancer has returned for the fourth time. Lord knows he’s already faced one too many hard roads, so bravo to the Ravens for giving him the red carpet treatment.
I am in deep love with the Miami Dolphins pick of Christian Wilkins. The dude brings everything my team needs- big talent, big attitude and he can break out the James Brown and do THIS! I think they got this one right.
Hey . . remember how I walked back my Jon Gruden smack talk a few weeks ago? Well, I was right the first time. Gruden is more overrated than Trump’s hands.
The Pittsburgh Steelers did good. How do I know? Because unlike the Cardinals and Jon Gruden, they’re a perennial contender in large part because of the work they do this time of year.
The New York Giants ain’t gonna win another Super Bowl for a long, long . . long time. Book it.
I rarely get too serious with my heroes edition, but I couldn’t ignore the execution of John William King on Wednesday evening in Huntsfield, Texas. King- an avowed white supremacist- was one of three white men convicted in the torture and death of James Byrd in 1998. The Jasper, Texas murder made national headlines for its shocking brutality. Byrd, a black man, was offered a ride home by the men who then proceeded to beat him before chaining him to the back of a pickup truck. Byrd was dragged for miles while still alive before being decapitated.
Lawrence Russell Brewer was executed in 2011 and Shawn Allen Berry is not up for parole until 2038.
King never once expressed remorse for the horrendous crime, instead taking great pride in what he referred to as “making history”. He also tried to incite a race war while in prison. And so when he was injected with a lethal dose of pentobarbital at 6:56 p.m. on Wednesday evening and succumbed to the injection twelve minutes later, the world lost an evil person. And hell gained one.
James Byrd Jr. would have turned seventy years old next week. In the nearly twenty one years that have passed since his murder, the matter of race and race relations has grown increasingly more complicated. Jasper, Texas remains a town very much divided. You need look no further than Byrd’s final resting place, which was fitted with iron bars after having been desecrated.
So when Presidential candidates start railing on about how felons deserve the vote and a President advances policies threatening to those who don’t ‘look’ like us . . I can’t help thinking about what a disservice it all is to James Byrd Jr.
The man can’t even rest in peace. Because racism doesn’t take a day off. It just keeps punching the clock and showing up for work. Any let up, and we lose another day to its insidious creep. It’s a constant reminder that sometimes, you don’t get the feel good story to wrap things up.
Sometimes the happy ending is impossible to come by.