Don't ever change the name of Soldier Field

© 2018 Jim Spence - We finished up our golf game yesterday and one of my two buddies asked if all three of us would be playing again next Sunday. We all nodded. "I don't watch the NFL anymore," one of the guys said. I agreed that I too had dropped the league full of millionaires from my schedule.
I am reminded of the story of the Chicago Bears team from a few years ago.
It seems the Bears coach had put together the perfect team. The only thing that was missing was a great quarterback. The coach had scouted all the colleges and even the Canadian Football League, but he couldn't find a ringer who could ensure a Super Bowl win. None of the other teams in the league would trade the Bears a Super Bowl caliber quarterback.
One night while watching the news the coach saw a war-zone scene going on in the West Bank in Israel. In one corner of the background, he spotted a young Israeli soldier with a truly incredible arm. He threw a hand-grenade straight into a 15th story window 60 yards away, killing a murderous sniper.
He lofted another hand-grenade high and soft so it went right down a chimney 45 yards away.
Then he threw another grenade with a perfect spiral at a passing car filled with shooting gunmen. The car was going 60 mph, but the soldier timed the throw perfectly and it went right through the driver's side window.....BULLS-EYE!
"I've got to get this guy!" the coach said to himself. "He has the perfect arm!" The next day he flew to Israel and signed the soldier to a contract on the spot. His army enlistment was nearly up and within just a few days he came to Chicago. The soldier was a fast study and learned the game of football quickly. His very first season the Bears won the Super Bowl.
This young Israeli man was hailed as the great hero of football and during the MVP trophy presentation ceremony, the network broadcaster asked the former soldier what he wanted next. The soldier/quarterback said all he wanted to do was call his mother. The announcer smiled and handed the soldier his own cell phone. The MVP quickly dialed his mother's phone number. When she answered he said, "Mom, we just won the Super Bowl!"

"I don't want to talk to you, the old woman said. "You are not my son!"

"I don't think you understand, Mother," the young man pleaded. "We've won the greatest sporting event in the world. I'm here among thousands of my adoring fans accepting the MVP trophy!"

"No! Let me tell you!" his mother yelled angrily into the phone. "At this very moment there are gunshots all around us. The neighborhood is nothing but a pile of rubble. Your two younger brothers were beaten and shot Friday night. I have to keep your sister in the house at all times so she doesn't get raped by the thugs who are constantly terrorizing us."

The old lady pauses to think about what her son has told her and then she tearfully adds, "I will never forgive you for moving all of us to Chicago!"

The moral to this amusing little parable is that a millionaire taking a knee during the national anthem, just like all other forms of "talk," is cheap. It is very convenient and easy to "act symbolically." Rolling up your sleeves every day during the off season and using your fame and fortune to fix deeply ingrained cultural dysfunctions, including endless cycles of senseless violence takes real commitment and sustained effort. The NFL and its knee taking players should go sell their mock concern somewhere else. The nation is already well stocked up in cheap symbolism. We have another word for cheap symbolism. We call it politics.
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