Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Catch of the Year contest - Please vote!!!!

If you like my blog, even if you don't but you like really big fish, take a minute to go to the BoatUS Facebook page and vote for my hub's photo (as seen below, he's on the left in the purple Vikings shirt) - he caught an 8-foot sturgeon near Hells Canyon on the Snake River a couple of months ago. He submitted the photo and won the "Catch of the Month" contest, which then entered him into the "Catch of the Year" contest - which is voted on by YOU. Just like the page and like the photo and voila - he could win the fishing trip of a lifetime with Mark Zona (who is, in fishing circles a big f-ing deal. My husband would literally cry if he won). So please please please please please click on the link and vote for his photo!

Ryan Hartwig- White sturgeon
Great day with great friends on the snake river near Hells Canyon!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The hypocrisy that is the NFL's "Pinktober"

I’ve long had a major problem with the NFL’s observance of Breast Cancer Awareness in October and the main reason is that it’s the biggest load of hypocrisy that I’ve ever seen.

Pink, pink everywhere...
Courtesy Photo
The mockery of the “Pinktober” celebration by the NFL feels not only insincere but almost patronizing - let’s have our multimillionaire male athletes and our beautiful young cheerleaders wear cute hot pink things for the month of October because – yay! – we support women and breast cancer! Be so proud of us! Look how progressive we are! We are a male-dominated sport with a history of ignoring domestic violence but we know we have female fans so, sure, we support you! And, ignore the fact that we clearly don’t support women in other ways because for four games a year we wear pink!

I, for one, am not fooled, NFL.

We’re expected to applaud the NFL for wearing pink in October - the same NFL that routinely lets players who have histories of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse against women play a game in front of millions of fans and make millions of dollars while the women not only suffer in silence but are also shamed for what happened to them. Wow, how noble of you.

Now please don’t get this wrong – breast cancer is decidedly a big deal that affects more than 200,000 people and kills more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year. But here is the most disgusting part of the entire NFL “Pinktober” – HOW LITTLE MONEY GOES TO BREAST CANCER AWARENESS OR RESEARCH.

You see, these devious NFL executives and billionaire owners, they’ve figured out yet ANOTHER way to make more money – by letting us THINK we’re buying all of this pink paraphernalia to help an amazing cause, but in actuality, THEY ARE MAKING MONEY OFF OF IT. Oh yes, you read that right. According to Business insider, the NFL is keeping 90 percent of the profit from the sale of Breast Cancer Awareness gear – yes, 90%. It is enough to make my blood boil. (Note: the NFL did make sure to mention to the Business Insider that they donate $1 million per year to breast cancer awareness charities. I’d like to mention that the NFL’s revenue is nearly $10 billion a year.)

Every October – and October only – the NFL trots women out who have or have had breast cancer, gives them the support and encouragement they desperate deserve, but they do it in a way that’s always felt disingenuous. Case in point: current Steelers and former Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams’ mother, Sandra Hill, passed away after a long battle with breast cancer in 2014. For years, she was trotted out each October by the Panthers to be honored as a breast cancer survivor. However, when she passed away from the disease in 2014, not a single member of the organization came to her funeral. So, just to get it straight – the Panthers used Williams’ mom as face of team each October for Breast Cancer Awareness, then ignored her death to the disease they "support."

Today, it was reported that Williams asked the NFL if he could wear pink all season – instead of just October – to honor his mother and FOUR aunts who have all died from breast cancer. The NFL said no. If the NFL really cared about women and breast cancer, why not let Williams honor his mother and aunts? Now, I know there are uniform regulations, but I have a hard time believing anyone would have a problem with a mean wearing a little bit of pink all season to honor the five women in his life who have died of breast cancer. To me, it shows that the NFL is using October as a ploy to appease female fans, more than as a way to actually support breast cancer awareness. This is the problem I’ve always had with the show the NFL has made “Pinktober” into: the one time they’ve been asked to really show their support – by letting a man who lost four aunts and his mother to the deadly disease honor them by wearing pink all season, they showed they true colors – which are decidedly not pink – and said no. Not only that - but they make money off of the observance. 

Frankly, it's disgusting.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

If you cheered for Mayweather you need your head examined

For the “every man,” i.e. those of us who aren't boxing connoisseurs, the “Fight of the Century” turned out to be a bit more of a dud than anything approaching legendary. I personally was disappointed with the result – for the sole reason that I despise Floyd Mayweather.

Floyd Mayweather isn't a champ – he is a woman beater, plain and simple. He couldn't land a KO on Manny Pacquiao, but he has done it to more than a few women in his life. And on Saturday night he made $100 million. It’s enough to make me sick.

I find it shocking that anyone could possibly cheer for such a lowlife. How do you live with yourself cheering for a trained fighter who uses those fists to hit women? "Money" has been accused of seven separate assaults against five different women that lead to citation or arrest, as well as other accusations in which the police weren't called. This is a guy to cheer for? 

What Mayweather does in the ring is special – that’s irrefutable. But what he does out of the ring is equally reprehensible and as a society we shouldn't be able to separate the two so easily. Would you cheer for him when he’s punching a woman? I would hope not. So how can you cheer anything he does? Some people are able to separate the Mayweather in the ring from the Mayweather out of the ring. I’m not one of those people, and I don’t think anyone should be.

Floyd Mayweather is no role model – he is the anti-role model: Kids, this is who you DON’T want to be like. But on the flip side, he is the richest athlete in the world. So are we showing children – and adults alike – that your actions in the home don’t correlate to your prowess in a sports arena? Unfortunately, it is often the case. I had a sports journalism professor at Boston University, the great Jack Falla, who said a quote in class once that has stuck with me for more than 10 yeare: “If Jeffrey Dahmer ran a 4.4 40, we would have said he had an ‘eating disorder.’”  

While a ridiculous statement, it shines a light on a sad truth in our society: If someone is good at a sport, or a good actor or singer, we recuse them of responsibility when they act like monsters in their “regular life.” Look at Chris Brown, who is still a sought-after singer making hit records with some of the biggest names in "The Business." Every time I see or hear Chris Brown, I think of the bruised and battered face of Rihanna and immediately change the channel. Does his abusive background take away from his musical talent? No, but I won't be part of helping him grow his fortune.

With Mayweather’s win, many news outlets have written something along the lines of, “You don’t have to like him…” But why is that OK? Why is it OK to cheer for a man who beats women without thought or repercussions? Because he is a great boxer? That shouldn't be the case. They talk about his “troubled past.” What about his disturbing present? The public's indifference to Mayweather's serial domestic abuse is especially shocking in light of recent events involving football players, and how the public reacted to those. After video was release of Ray Rice punching his then-fiancĂ©e (now wife) in an elevator in Atlantic City, he was suspended by the NFL, dropped by the Baltimore Ravens and became a hated man in the eyes of the public.

Rice is a pariah, yet Mayweather is lauded by many. This guy you cheer for? Well in 2010, Mayweather attacked the mother of three of his four children, punching and kicking her in the head. His oldest son called the police and he did a plea deal to domestic assault and pleaded no contest to harassment charges, serving two months of a 90-day sentence. She filed a defamation lawsuit against him, saying he made up lies about her to save his own butt. He said the alleged abuse against her was a result of his having to "restrain her" because she was "on drugs." How nice of him to blame the victim. What a guy!

I think there are two types of Mayweather fans: those who don’t know his past (which means they have never read anything about him and there is little excuse for that) and those that do. Those who don’t are at best ill-read and at worst ignorant. But those who do? Well they are complete and utter dirt bags at best. Grantland writer Bryan Curtis was at the fight and reported a Mayweather fan shouting, “Give your best Ray Rice to ’em!” Yes, you read that correctly – knock out Pacquiao like Ray Rice knocked out his wife. Stay classy, dude. 

What is my point in all of this? Mayweather may be the greatest boxer of all time, but he is a despicable human being and if you cheered for him, you are either ignorant or a horrible person who supports a serial abuser.