The sissification of America continues.

football_player_or_sissyOne of professional football’s greatest defensive tackles Warren Sapp would probably not be able to play in today’s NFL without being fined to death or suspended indefinitely.  The former All-American Miami Hurricane, NFL Hall of Famer was already pushing the envelope when he helped win the 2003 Lombardi trophy for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Sapp’s aggressiveness on the field was one of the reasons the NFL Competition Committee instituted new “unnecessary roughness” guidelines for the league.  In my opinion, that was the beginning of the end of one of the only sports played by real men.

Sapp earned his contentious reputation by playing rough, talking tough and … skipping?  Really?

Earlier that season he was chastised for skipping through the Steelers’ pregame warmup, and was fined for the same antic the following season before a game against the Colts.  I wish I was making this up.

Sapp was fined $75,000.00 and ejected from a game for unsportsmanlike conduct for arguing a call with a referee in 2007, the year he retired.

At least he got a ring out of it before he left.

Little wonder that Warren Sapp was quoted in a USA Today article on October 27, 2011 as saying that the NFL has “gotten sissified.”  He sure got that right!

The NFL isn’t the only thing that’s gotten sissified.  “Political incorrectness” is the new “unnecessary roughness” for the rest of us.  We have become a nation of thin-skinned sissies who go home crying to mommy, believing that sticks and stones really do break our bones.  Anyone who dares engage in playground retorts is in danger of being labeled a “bully.”  Zero tolerance is creating an entire generation of boys who will never get to play Cowboys and Indians without being suspended for pretending their hands are guns.  Any day I expect that G.I. Joes will be banned from toy stores everywhere.

And don’t even get me started on what’s considered as “sexual harassment” these days.  Men do not dare even glance at women in the workplace anymore for fear of being accused of as looking with lust in their eyes.  Today’s generation of working women would be aghast at what used to be considered casual and harmless flirting at the water cooler.  Trust me, ladies.  We were not insulted – we were flattered.  Many of us also remember the days of hearing catcalls when walking past construction sites.  Fondly.

Now it seems that everyone is so freaking thin-skinned that even insults lead to lawsuits.

A judge in Philadelphia just ruled on a lawsuit filed by the leader of an electricians’ union because someone called him a name in a comment posted on an article published online.  As CBS Philly reported, the website has “to reveal the name of an anonymous commenter” because one John Dougherty got his feelings hurt by an anonymous insult.

Dougherty’s lawyer is crying “defamation of character.”

If he’s that upset because someone called him a name, I’m thinking Dougherty doesn’t have any character to defame in the first place.

Unfortunately, the judge thought otherwise.  By ruling that Dougherty was justified in claiming that sticks and stones broke his bones, the judge has opened the door for anyone being able to sue someone for name calling.  Sorry, but this is just beyond ridiculous.

If Dougherty’s feelings were hurt, maybe he should have just run home to mommy for some warm milk and cookies.  Instead of growing a pair, he reported the “bully” for taunting him by skipping around the playground.  What a sissy!

The moral of the story, dear readers, is that the First Amendment is being assaulted as we speak.  If that Philadelphia judge’s ruling withstands the inevitable appeal, anyone who posts a comment online anonymously will have to practice CYA posting because, as insane as it sounds, it will be illegal to hurt someone’s feelings.

Then again, if you want to call someone out on their shit, simply have the cojones to do what I do.  Say it, sign it, and stand by your words.  I don’t write anything here about anyone that I wouldn’t say right to their faces.  Even if they bring their mommies with them.

Warren Sapp was one of the last in a dying breed – a real man in what used to be a real man’s sport.  The USA Today article also quoted former Florida Gator, former Bengals wide receiver and sports commentator Cris Collinsworth as saying “You’ve got to be, like, this caveman out there for three hours.”

Since the NFL has succumbed to political correctness, as former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms put it, “You can’t say anything on the field anymore.  They go running to the press, they tweet it, and they cry about everything.”

To my utter dismay, the manliest of all sports has regrettably been sissified.

If the First Amendment is ever subdued by “unnecessary roughness,” we are all in trouble.

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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  1. Fred Jonas says:

    If you think football is manly, you’re gonna love rugby. And you’ll swoon over boxing. Do you know what happens in a boxing match, if you hit your opponent in the head and kill him? You win! Cool, huh?

    I agree the pendulum has swung too far in football, so that you get penalized for taunting an opponent after a play, or, perish the thought, “celebrate” the touchdown you just made, but I have no problem with intervening against the kind of behavior that does real, serious, and lasting damage to players. You can tackle someone, and convincingly, without gouging or punching or kicking him. There’s no need to try, very concertedly, to damage a player to the point that you “succeed” in knocking him out of the game, because he’s too good against you. Is Sapp, or are you, saying no amount, and no kind, of roughness is unnecessary?

    And yes, there is no room for athletes to go whining, or, as you say, crying to their moms or the media, because someone called them a name. I still don’t know what really happened about Jonathan Martin. It was most probably something. But what? Is there enough his teammates could have done to have caused him legitimately to have felt unable to tolerate it any more? Are they really only sticks and stones? I don’t know. I wasn’t there. The stories conflict. And I’m not an athlete whose job it is to go pound people for a living. Would I be tougher and more resilient if I were? Should Martin be?

    Sapp and, to an extent, Collinsworth seem to say “let them play.” But they’re both still young, and they seem healthy. Junior Seau and others say different. Maybe the older guys, with joints they can no longer use and brains that don’t work so well, aren’t quite as enthusiastic about the damage the game does either.

    I don’t hear Sapp or Collinsworth or anyone else advocating to lose those cumbersome pads and that ridiculous helmet. Somebody is trying limit damage. Whose call should it be where the limit lies?

    Evidently, heavy flirting was not entirely unwelcome by you, and it didn’t feel to you like harassment, or the creation of an impossibly uncomfortable, or “hostile,” work environment. But it does to some people. I certainly agree the charge can be taken too far, and the truly harmless can be portrayed as damaging. But we do have to be sensitive to those cases of more truly hostile and ill-meaning men (usually) and less self-assured and confident women (usually) who do in fact, as it turns out, have every reason to fear for their safety, or even just their jobs. Happens, Steph.

    Do you have advice for the growing number of women who are being raped in our good old United States Armed Forces? They’re not going to want you to tell them it builds character, and that the “enemy” would do far worse to them. It starts with “catcalls” about which no one wants to make too big a deal, and proceeds as far as the perpetrators can get away with it.


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      How insulting for you to call men who whistle at women rapists. Catcalls do not lead to rape any more than drinking leads to heroin addiction. What a ridiculous comment.

      For you to infer that I think female soldiers should put up with rape is as even more ridiculous. I refuse to even respond to such an asinine accusation.

      I also did not say “heavy flirting.” I said “casual and harmless” flirting. Stop putting words in my mouth and cloaking it as truth.

      As for football, no one forces a man to play the game. It’s a calling. As with any calling, one knows the risks involved. If he isn’t willing to accept those risks, he should play chess instead.

      That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!


      1. Fred Jonas says:

        Now Steph, I did not at all equate whistling at women with rape, or suggesting that the whistlers are rapists. As to whether some behaviors, or substances, are “gateways” to other behaviors or substances, you can make your argument to more people than just me.

        Who decides what flirting is heavy and ominous and what flirting is “casual and harmless?” Where do you draw the line? How would you advise other people as to where to draw the line? When “we’re all having fun here,” there is no complaint. When there is a complaint, which party, the flirt or the subject, do you want to tell to knock it off? And please provide clear guidelines, so the world won’t have to consult you to rule on each case.

        It’s an interesting sociologic problem as to what leads people to sports. What about the guy who isn’t too bright and has few or no skills? And comes from a background that enables social dysfunction, or even violence. And who is given a “college” experience, because he’s athletic. He is in many respects the same guy who joins the service, because there’s nothing else for him to do. Are you sure he’s merely exercising an option, and he could just as well have decided to go to medical school or law school, or opened his own business, or maybe become an inventor, or maybe a teacher? Or, as you say, maybe a chess player. Perhaps he can become a champ. “Free will” here, Steph? the reason incarcerated people are not allowed to “volunteer” for medical experiments is that it is understood they cannot make “free” choices. Don’t be so generous with other people’s lives and health.

        Likewise, it is accepted that some people, like children, patients, and others, are in positions of disadvantage that cause them to be unable to make appropriately autonomous decisions about sex. There is an “unfair” “power” differential that disqualifies their ability to choose. The same goes for the military, perhaps more than some other settings. If you agree rape is not appropriate in the military, is there any other “sexual-“related behavior that might also not be acceptable? Is being flirted with in the military different than being flirted with in an office (where you can lose your job, if your response is not what the boss wants: you’ve heard of that, right?), and is that different from being flirted with on the bus or at a gas station?

        PS: Don’t be so touchy. We’re only having a conversation.


        1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

          That ripping sound you hear is me pulling my hair out. Does this response work for you?


          “We” were not having a conversation. You were lecturing me on the “benefits” of a nanny government. I was doing my best to ignore you.

          I’ll go finish pulling the rest of my hair out now.


          1. Fred Jonas says:

            Suit yourself, but “say[ing] it, sign[ing] it, and stand[ing] by your words” shouldn’t involve tearing your hair out because someone disagrees with you about something.

            I still say you’re an incredible blogger.


          2. Stephanie Kienzle says:

            Finally, something we both agree on.


  2. Fred Jonas says:

    Obviously, I meant celebrating and not celebrate.


  3. bill - RP says:

    This is not a First Amendment issue.

    First Amendment prohibits the GOVERNMENT from “the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech.”

    It says nothing about employers making rules about their employees’ conduct.


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      The First Amendment has to do with freedom of speech. Writing a opinion column is all about free speech. Someone getting his feelings hurt because he was called a name is called a freaking wimp.


  4. NMB Lady says:

    I’m sorry, Is Mr.Jonas advocating for “Not too bright” people who might otherwise join the military (he dishonors our veterans) or play sports (he dishonors our athletes), to go to medical school (because stupid people become doctors all time?) where flirting doesn’t go on (he doesn’t watch “Grey’s Anatomy”)? Is he saying that people might be so clueless that when their flirting is not reciprocated, they keep pushing? We call that “pathetic”. Flirting is a “gateway” to getting together, not rape. Holy Crap, what evil lurks in the heart of this dude? This is no argument, it’s really rather frightening.


    1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

      Holy crap! You said all the things I wanted to say and more. Even I was at a loss for words at his insane diatribe. Fred lost me at “Junior Seau,” who he obviously doesn’t know is no longer alive and, as such, doesn’t have much to say about anything anymore. But maybe it’s just me.


      1. Fred Jonas says:

        That’s what you wanted to say? And you had even more? What a shame you stifled yourself.

        Suppose that I know very well that Junior Seau killed himself, as did a number of other athletes, and that in killing himself, he sent a message (literally) that he had been suffering badly from the effects of head injuries he sustained while playing football. (He seems to have ignored the head injuries he inflicted on others.) Suppose Junior Seau sacrificed himself to draw attention to the disaster that is football, and the damage it does to its players, like himself. If I knew that, and if it was true, does that change your “argument?”


    2. Fred Jonas says:

      That’s right, Ma’am. Decisions to pursue sports in college are made by clear-headed and right-thinking young men, who consult carefully with their parents and their high school guidance counselors. They choose their colleges carefully, too, to be sure that it will provide them with a solid and valuable education, for that day when the career in athletics will be over, which they soberly anticipate. And they save wisely during that career. We’ve seen this a million times.

      And yes, you’re quite right. Flirting, especially in social sanctuaries like bars, as well, of course, as everywhere else including work places, leads to interesting conversations and real senses of connection, sometimes even including a meaningful attraction, so that people can, as you say, get together, and maybe, probably, form a lasting relationship. It’s always respectful and good-natured. Always. That’s in part because all men are lovely gentlemen, and they always, always know to take no for an answer. And the ladies are always discrete, unambiguous, and do not tease. This is why the ERA was voted down, and women’s liberation was so absurd: they’re completely unnecessary. When “flirting is not reciprocated, [flirts] keep pushing?” Wow, who ever heard of anything like that?!

      Do yourself a favor: stay away from newspapers, television, and radio. Do not look at your homepage. And whatever you do, stay on the yellow brick road, and DO NOT leave the boundaries of munchkinland. It’s freaky out there.


      1. Stephanie Kienzle says:

        OMFG he did NOT say that!

        OH YES HE DID!

        Oh shiiit. Shouldn’t have done that, dude. You just unleashed her inner snarky bitch. I suggest you duck.


    3. Fred Jonas says:

      Ms NMB Lady, my main comment to you came out as a separate comment instead of as a reply. I probably clicked the wrong button by mistake.

      In any event, I forgot to mention that I would certainly not wish to “dishonor” our armed forces. And I certainly wouldn’t dishonor them as our own government does, by criticizing them for their behavior at My Lai or Al Graib prison. The only service people who deserve criticism are those female soldiers who complain, wrongly, of course, that the service men with whom they work commit sexual assault on them. It is of course unimaginable that American service men, whom we are always careful not to dishonor, would ever do such a thing.

      You keep telling it like it really, really is. And thank you for correcting me when I was so wrong.


  5. NMB Lady says:

    Mr. Jonas, Do you define all groups by their worst representatives, or is it just men in the military and athletes in “rough” sports? It gives one pause. You seem to form opinions based the day’s most scurrilous headlines. You are a member of a common lot nowadays, those who sight a policeman parked in the shade during his break and run about like an old hen, clucking to the community that all cops are “slackers”. You are a “hater” who loves to imagine that high school athletes are cajoled into the draft because opportunities for a “real” education were not offered. Who the hell are you to decide what talents are worthy of honing? You imply that If you are athletically gifted, you must be a low IQ, meat-head with equally lacking parents who need to be saved from themselves? You ARE the problem. You are the reason our public schools are being dismantled in the name of “core education”. You have no regard for people who value and celebrate athletics, arts, service to country and all the other things you denigrate. You are the worst of your kind who believe they know what’s best for everyone and feel there should be a law to enforce it. Every screaming headline that reinforces your prejudices, justifies your hate. Get over yourself.


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