Aaron Rodgers Deserved His Moment With Karma In Green Bay

Simply put, if a person is a high-profile figure, they must not be rewarded with expressing anti-vaccination sentiments. Novak Djokovic was such an example. Aaron Rodgers is another example.

Insulting the intelligence of state residents, and undermining vaccination efforts within the demographics that look up to and follow Rogers hurt the efforts of the medical establishment to stem COVID. We are going into our third year of the pandemic and we needed to have all folks working for the needs of the larger community.

Rodgers refused.

Karma responded.

And so it goes.

Justice Rendered: Novak Djokovic Had His Balls Handed To Him

There is not so much elation at this desk in the very early hours of Sunday as I write, as there is deep gratitude that facts, science, and law prevailed.

I have been waiting over the past hours to discover the outcome of the judge’s ruling concerning Novak Djokovic’s last-ditch attempt to stay in Australia and play tennis.  I have not shied away from stating I wished for him to be kicked out of the nation for his lies and dismal behavior.

The wait is now over.

The brash and arrogant Djokovic failed in his final attempt to stay in the nation and play in the upcoming tournament.  His unvaccinated stance and lies about his travels have cost him dearly.

Sports personalities have many people looking up to them, and as such have a responsibility that comes with fame and fortunes.  The Australian decision was correct.  It was the second visa rejection based on the fact he could very well pose a risk to public health and order.

The icing on this story is this decision cannot be appealed.

I have made it clear with the most irksome Aaron Rodgers, and others who toss intelligence aside concerning COVID, that there must be a price to pay.  In the case of Djokovic, it was clear that allowing him to stay in Australia could encourage others to refuse vaccines or disregard pandemic restrictions.

Simply put, if a person is a high-profile figure, they must not be rewarded with expressing anti-vaccination sentiments.  Today the only proper outcome that could be rendered was handed down in Australia.

And so it goes.

Novac Djokovic Is International Disappointment

The news from Australia was very disappointing if you are someone who follows science, believes in medical professionals, and disdains arrogance.

Novac Djokovic had a legal victory after a judge in that country reinstated his visa. The thin line of legal justification was that the tennis professional had not been granted enough time to confer with his lawyer for the hearing. (Cue the barfing.)

The problem is that Djokovic is not serious about COVID, and feels comfortable flaunting the rules and common sense about vaccines. Too many people are letting him get away with his insulting our collective intelligence.

He had COVID and used that infection, and the antibodies it created to get a visa, even though he is not vaccinated. There is not enough medical evidence to support the theory that the antibodies provide the protection that the three-shot series does.

This is not the first time this rather disreputable person played fast and loose with the needs of the larger community during this pandemic. It was just months into this international crisis that Djokovic organized a tennis tournament in the Balkans, tossed aside mask-wearing and of course, he came down with the virus. As did others in that stunt.

The problem I have with Djokovic, other than his brashness is that he constantly refuses to adjust his life for the greater good. In December, he was found to have contracted the virus again but was out and about–up close to people, and shunning the wearing of a mask.

Before entering Australia he was not to have been jetting about the world. But, in fact, he had been to both Spain and Serbia. Meanwhile, the Aussies have been under strict mandates and take the pandemic most seriously, as they should.

I believe in a strong sense of justice, and if other legal matters result in his being allowed to remain in Australia then I hope his time in front of the cameras on the tennis court concludes with his not breaking the men’s singles title record. We should not desire to elevate stupidity.

I post about sports personalities and the way younger people look up to them. As such, it is important they set a standard of behavior we would want our youth to follow. When it comes to Djokovic, however, who has spurned wearing masks, being vaccinated, or refusing to be honest let us hope kids worldwide are playing a video game rather than following the news.

And so it goes.

Aaron Rodgers COVID-19 Editorial Cartoons

This week Wisconsin has had more than its fair share of the truly absurd.

Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID-19 and then the press reported the bombshell news that he refused to be vaccinated. In a radio interview, Rodgers stated that while not taking the scientific vaccines he does ingest a horse deworming agent. He also launched into the “woke mob” and said they were trying to “cancel” him. What galled this blogger the most was his attempt to use the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. to confirm why he should not be more conscientious towards the larger community when it comes to stopping the spread of the virus. My jaw surely dropped at my desk when that nugget came through my speakers.

Rodgers actually said the slain civil rights leader would have agreed that he had a “moral obligation to object to unjust rules and rules that make no sense.”

To liken King’s fight for justice and civil rights from housing to voting with a mere mandate from the NFL regarding vaccines and mask-wearing underscores the lack of depth Rodgers has for history, his selfish nature, and lack of character.

Clearly, Rodgers and his PR team missed their much-needed meeting prior to the radio chat. One has to wonder what consultant will need to construct a way to clean up his image after that all-out fiasco. Maybe wrapping Christmas presents for an afternoon at the local Salvation Army. Plus a very generous personal check.

The Rodgers episode has opened conversations about the virus in a loud and determined way across the state, and nation. My husband, James, and I remarked that it has been almost two years since we were at a restaurant. We have not traveled other than short afternoon jaunts for apples or fall produce. We have not rented our second-floor Victorian ($2,000 a month) for two years due to concerns about the virus. We have cousins, a niece in Central Wisconsin, and friends who are nurses and fully understand they have been stressed and over-worked for at least 20 months. We have not undertaken larger projects, nor spent the money to help stir the economy, due to not wanting to interact with others who very well may have the same mindset as Rodgers.

So when the state gets verbally exercised over the Rodgers matter it is based on the fact, that with the vaccines we should have already won this battle. We have the means to do so. All that is lacking is the willpower to achieve the end result. So when the top story in the state is a guy who has a large platform from which to do good and chooses to do exactly the opposite….yes, folks are properly ticked off.

Here then is an offering of how newspaper editorial pages view the Rodgers affair. Please note that Phil Hands, the creative cartoonist at the Wisconsin State Journal and always a favorite here, makes the point with perfect clarity.

Aaron Rodgers Proves He Is No Elvis Presley, Vaccine Fear Is Not Sign Of Leadership

The news this week that Aaron Rodgers contracted COVID-19 has shined a light on someone that many considered to be a role model in this state. That image, however, took a mighty hit after it was revealed his unwillingness to be vaccinated, and his lack of candor and forthrightness while playing in the NFL. The cavalier attitude about the necessity of being vaccinated in a pandemic is shocking.

I firmly believe that if a person seeks to be elevated in the public eye through sports, entertainment, or some other noteworthy undertaking where the young people of the nation look up and offer admiration then they better walk straight and be worthy of the accolades.

We now know that Arron Rodgers did not speak honestly about being vaccinated. He promoted his alternate treatment other than the vaccine. He contended that allowed him to be “immunized”. That is patently absurd on the face of it. Homeopathic remedies are not an antidote to COVID. Shame on him for trying to use such a sham to cover his lack of responsibility to his team and the larger community in which he lives.

The Washington Post spared no words this morning in an article that leaves no doubt how the writer felt.

Lord knows Rodgers is inventive with the football, but of all the dodging, narcissistic, contrived moves. “Yeah, I’m immunized,” he said, so artificially, when asked in the preseason whether he was vaccinated. That was a lie by omission. And not just a single lie but a daily willful deception along with a weirdly callous charade. On multiple occasions he went into postgame news conferences — which tend to be closely packed, fetid affairs — unmasked. And there should be some queries about the steam and sauna and rehab rooms, too.

I would argue that since Rodgers was not vaccinated then the Packers, as an organization, have not been following the NFL sanctioned protocols. The New York Times made that most clear in their account with the Rodgers story.

For instance, unvaccinated players are required to undergo daily testing, wear masks inside the team’s headquarters, and travel separately from their vaccinated teammates. They are also prohibited from engaging in a host of activities, from gathering outside team headquarters in groups of more than three players to attending house parties or bars without wearing personal protective equipment. Those who violate the protocols are subject to fines.

On my personal Facebook page, there were 23 comments about Rogers and his lack of responsibility. Greg Milward wrote one of the most straightforward comments.

Why didn’t he just come out and say he hadn’t gotten the vaccine instead of saying he was “immunized” by some mystery voodoo treatment. Did he have covid in the off-season and felt he was “immunized”? Then why not say it. He’s embarrassed he wasn’t vaccinated but wanted to play cutesy by hiding behind words. Be a man, Aaron, and speak your truth—-tell us why you weren’t vaccinated. Unfortunately, I am sure we will see many more Packers test positive. AT least he didn’t ruin Jeopardy by becoming the permanent host.

My bottom line is that Aaron Rogers is an absolute embarrassment in leadership to our state and the youth who admire him. With his actions, he needs to ask what message does he send with his refusal to get the vaccine? What message does he send to the medical professionals in the state who have been maxed out with stress and duties due to chuckleheads who refuse the vaccine?

I have written about how role models could be very useful in promoting taking the COVID vaccine. I posted on CP how in 1956 Elvis was termed an influencer for his efforts with getting a nation vaccinated against polio. He stepped up, took the vaccine and the photo was still being used by the Wall Street Journal earlier this year as a way to demonstrate how our country could act again.

I placed that photo at the top of the post showing Elvis doing his part for the nation and wonder why Rogers could not see the role he, too, could have played to allow for some to be more reassured about the COVID vaccine.

One thing is most clear.

Aaron Rogers is no Elvis Presley.

And so it goes.

Denny Hamlin Cursed, With ‘F’ Word, On NBC Sports Sunday

The use, and misuse, of our public airwaves is a many decades interest of mine. Simply put I believe in standards of good taste. Such a bottom line is not political or old-fashioned. It is not about censorship. It is simply about a firm belief in what should be regarded as an accepted way of behaving in polite society.

I seek that in my everyday conversations and absolutely expect it when listening to programming from our public airwaves. I suspect many others desire the same thing.

Until today I was not even aware there was a Denny Hamlin who races cars for a profession. I wish I could forget him, and what he said on national television. Other than his cursing he does seem utterly forgettable.

With the DVR set to record local news Sunday evening on NBC, and with the sports program running long, meant I heard Hamlin using his fourth-grade mouth to answer questions from a sports reporter. There was apparently some dust-up with another driver that prevented Hamlin from bringing his adult side to the interview.

So Hamlin first called another competitor a “hack” and from there cursed twice with the final verbal assault being the ‘F’ word. With pure red-neck eliding, though I am certain Hamlin is not aware of the term, he even left the ‘g’ off so as to better connect with his base of fans.

Hamlin cursing on national television was a pathetic moment. If one cannot converse in appropriate ways with an interviewer perhaps getting a tutor in language skills would be a place for him to focus this week. Between his giving the finger to another driver, and then his lack of a broader vocabulary so as to express himself, it is clear Hamlin’s lack of driving skills is not all that limits his upward reach.

And so it goes.

Brett Favre Still Owes $828,000, What Story Might Victor Hugo Write?

The story of Victor Hugo is well known.

In the 1840s the writer was walking about when he noticed that a thin man was being taken away by police for stealing a loaf of bread. Hugo will turn that man, who had ragged clothes and human misery all over him into a most memorable book, Les Miserables.

I thought of Hugo and that event when reading the latest on former football player Brett Favre who now has 30 days to return $828,000 he received from welfare funds that should have gone to needy families. The Mississippi State Auditor Shad White is not mincing words anymore over this matter.

Favre is a Mississippi native and surely knows that portions of his state are economically troubled, with poverty and lower education scores making for difficult living standards. So when it was made public that he had received $1.1 million in funds from two non-profits, and was only obligated to make speaking engagements for receiving the money something should have registered as being less than legitimate.

The former NFL player never attended or spoke for Families First For Mississippi, one of the non-profits involved in the alleged scheme. The founder of the non-profit, however, has been indicted on state and federal charges for the largest embezzlement scheme in that state’s history.

The ongoing saga is not new, but the ante has been increased with White now saying the recipients of the misspent funds, including Favre and Favre Enterprises, must repay the money within 30 days or face a civil lawsuit.

The wording of that letter did not mince words. Even a bounced around the football field type of player could not miss the import of the letter.

The letter Favre received from White said the “illegal expenditures and unlawful dispositions were made when you knew or had reason to know through the exercise of reasonable diligence that the expenditures were illegal and/or the dispositions were unlawful.”

Here is my bottom line.

I do not often write about sports on this blog. When I do, it is never about a team winning or a player that is doing better than the oddsmakers thought possible. I see sports merely as a larger social issue.

As such then, this tawdry behavior from Favre is posted about as we simply can not accept this type of behavior from someone who is termed ‘a hero’ by too many impressionable young boys.  It has long been a sore point of mine when national role models succumb to the dark side after having been presented to the public as images our nation’s kids should emulate.  In reality, there are limited national figures in our country who have the qualities and characteristics that most parents would want their children to look up to, or model their lives after.

And that is sad.

The poor man who just wanted bread for his family can be understood. The rich man who took money needed by those in poverty can only be scorned. Hugo would have constructed a Farve story with no doubt as to the moral foundation.

And so it goes.

COVID Aid Used For School Sports Programs, Whitewater Academics Second Place To Turf Fields

While a strong advocate of government funding and the muscle that comes with programming meant to make a difference in the nation, I am also lamenting once again the lack of needed requirements on spending such money.

The lead paragraph in the Associated Press story woke me up Wednesday morning almost as fast as a cup of French Roast.

One Wisconsin school district built a new football field. In Iowa, a high school weight room is getting a renovation. Another in Kentucky is replacing two outdoor tracks — all of this funded by the billions of dollars in federal pandemic relief Congress sent to schools this year.

No one needs to be reminded of the concern felt around the country when schools needed to close to stem the spread of COVID-19. Scores of national stories were reported about the shortcomings of virtual learning, the slower pace of learning, and the loss for some students of basically a year in their education.

When the federal government stepped in with a large package of funds to address the pandemic and specifically schools which were severely impacted most people were pleased with the efforts.

When school officials in Whitewater, Wisconsin, learned they would be getting $2 million in pandemic relief this year, they decided to use most of it to cover their current budget, freeing up $1.6 million in local funding to build new synthetic turf fields for football, baseball and softball.

Athletics officials in the district of 1,800 students said the project was sorely needed to replace fields prone to heavy flooding. They touted the federal money as a chance to solve the problem without asking local taxpayers for funding.

“If we don’t do it now with this money, I’m not sure when we would ever do something like this,” athletic director Justin Crandall told the school board in May. “I don’t see us being a district that would go to a referendum for turf fields.”

Two school board members objected, with one raising concerns that just $400,000 was being used to address student learning loss — the minimum to meet a requirement that at least 20% goes toward that purpose.

The board approved the plan over those objections, and the new football field had its grand opening in September. District Superintendent Caroline Pate-Hefty declined to answer questions about the project.

Call me old-fashioned but athletic programs in schools should come in far behind the core reason we build classrooms and hire teachers. The academic mission should be front and center. Following what took place in schools nationwide in 2020 there should not be any district that fails to understand the first order of business is to get every child to the level they need to be at so as to advance further with learning.

Regardless of the state or school district, we should not need to read that coaches or athletic directors are number-crunching to see how federal funds in a pandemic can be used. Prioritizing sports programs over the academic needs of the students is a larger problem than just turfs over textbooks.

This is an example as to why there are always problems with large government programs, and it should bother all of us. As a liberal, I fully appreciate the power of government to act for the needs of the moment. Such robust legislative actions, as the COVID funding bills, do have a real meaningful impact. Many people needed and received a variety of assistance.

But it is also clear that large funded programs often are marred by problems due to too few restrictions, and when that happens it makes for a lack of confidence among the populace for future moments when needs arise. That is why it is essential for those of us who align with an active and robust central government to then demand the implementation of programs be as reflective of the original goal as can be attained.

In Congress, lawmakers from both parties say it’s wrong to use the money on sports. Democrats say it’s not what it was meant for, while Republicans say it’s a sign it wasn’t needed.

And so it goes.