Take a sharpie to your Nike merchandise

© 2018 Jim Spence - This little blurb might be worth sharing with friends and families in the face of a national athletic gear dilemma.
Last week Nike’s management team made the decision to cram their political views down their customer’s throats. Astonishingly, Nike's management has decided to elevate Colin Kaepernick to hero status, suggesting he "sacrificed everything." Sacrificed everything eh? Most people would suggest that distinction should be reserved for those who have died in epic battles against crime and totalitarianism. It seems ironic to many that Kaepernick would in fact be jailed in most socialist/totalitarian locales for expressing the same views he does here when it comes to bashing the fundamental fairness of America. Some guys just can't stand winning and it is time to slap that same label on the Nike management team. Some might say there must be something in the water in the Portland/Beaverton area that causes the majority of residents to lose their minds and do stupid things.
My view is different. Like those in the NFL commissioner’s office, these people running Nike knew they were taking a calculated gamble when they lionized Kaepernick. It would seem they are trying to appeal to those in the market for athletic gear. And most certainly not all of their customers are 60+ golfers who purchase comfortable shirts, shoes, and hats to provide sun protection for their heads.
One of my golfing buddies last week wondered aloud what he was going to do with some of his Nike products as he also finds Colin Kaepernick to be one of the biggest phonies in the national spotlight.
Thinking about this situation all week led me to a decision. I wear wide brim hats to protect my ears from the harsh New Mexico sunshine during my golf outings, dog walks, and gardening activities. My wide brim Nike hat is the most comfortable wide brim I have, and it also offers me the most protection. I wasn’t about to throw away something so functional just to provide a muted little political response to a company that is now insisting that its management team can shove its warped political views down my throat.
Other American companies provide options. Thank God for the Newell-Rubbermaid, the company that makes Sharpie permanent markers. With just a little effort I was able to convert my old wide-brimmed Nike hat into a still very much usable head protection product that I am also comfortable wearing in public. I will wear the former Nike hat pictured above until it wears out. However, from this moment forward there will be no further purchases of Nike products......EVER.


A page right out of Hillary's playbook

© 2018 Jim Spence - Taking a page out of the Hillary playbook, Serena Williams blamed everyone but herself for her meltdown at the U.S. Open yesterday. Williams violated rule after rule on her way to yet another U.S. Open final loss, a series of losses that now seem to overshadow her six U.S. Open victories.
It all began to unravel with William's coach flashing her hand signals, which is against the tournament rules. Carlos Ramos, the chair umpire, noted the violation and issued a simple warning to Williams. William’s coach Patrick Mouratoglou actually admitted that he was using hand signals to coach Williams. At this point, Serena, who was already struggling with a razor-sharp Naomi Osaka began to slowly go berserk. She pointed her finger at Ramos and chastised him repeatedly with a steady stream of insults.
After building a lead in the second set, Williams literally gave away a game with a couple of untimely double faults. Furious, Williams smashed her racket into the surface of the court sending graphite and ceramic composite material flying. According to the rules, smashing your racket, like your coach sending hand signals, is also a code violation. Ramos, who was simply doing his duty as the rules enforcer, charged Williams with a second code violation which, by rule, cost her a single point. Williams, furious about the enforcement of the second rule violation became enraged even more. Her rage was mindful of the death threat she issued to a lines woman at Flushing Meadows a few years ago. In that match, Williams behavior resulted in her disqualification and a $250,000 fine.
Let's interrupt this narrative to ask some relevant questions about tennis and life. Should there be rules in tennis? Should players have to hit the ball over the net and also land it on or inside the lines? Should there be time limits placed on the server between serves and both players returning to the court after scheduled breaks between games? Should an umpire or law enforcement official be subjected to interminable insults for enforcing the rules/laws? Should players respect the game, the fans, their opponents, and the rules?
Image result for serena pointing her fingerThe final insult, or barrage of insults, came from William’s mouth as she tore into Ramos again and again. At the changeover, the score was 4-3  in the second set in favor of Osaka. This time the Williams tirade seemed to have no end. Serena was clearly choosing to hold up the match and make everyone present, as well as those of us watching on television, feel very uncomfortable. Finally, with Ramos unable to calm Williams down, stop her endless stream of insults, or even come close to getting her to return to the court and play, he assessed her with a third code violation, which cost her a game.
Ironically, Williams kept saying over and over, "I'm not a cheater," apparently regarding her coach giving her hand signals. In the end, she was a cheater. The sum total of her choices caused her to cheat those in attendance and those watching on television out of seeing her behave responsibly and compete at her best in the face of adversity. The customers paid for her best effort and did not get it or anything even close to it.
Williams reaction to her own self-destruction would have made Hillary Clinton proud. As she continued to delay the proceedings, she blamed the entire episode not on her completely avoidable actions, but on get this………SEXISM. Now that is rich.
In the sport of professional tennis there have been many code violations and penalties assessed including point penalties, game penalties, and outright disqualifications. Serena Williams seems to be caught up in her enormous fame. Her face is plastered all over ads and commercials all around the world. She is even in a music video where they place a crown on her head. Perhaps she seems to think she is above the rules written for all the little people.
To be fair to Williams, unlike Hillary, Serena has actually accomplished monumental feats over her long professional tennis career. It is a shame that the greatest female player to ever touch a tennis racket somehow felt entitled to destroy a fine Saturday afternoon for everyone else and then blame sexism for her own dumb decisions. In that sense, it was definitely kind of a Hillary thing.