Forget any elected official or world-renowned superstar. When it comes to tragic and grotesque stories about U.S. women's gymnastics, Randall Margraves was the face of America on Friday morning.
During a sentencing hearing in a Michigan courtroom Friday, the father of three girls who said they were among the more than 250 sexually abused females under the care of Dr. Larry Nassar asked the judge for five minutes in a locked room with the man he called a "demon." When the judge denied his request, Margraves asked for one minute.
His request, fueled by anger, outrage and pain, was not for a lecture. And it was rightly turned down by the judge, before Nassar again was sentenced for his serial brutality against girls and young women.
So, in a fit of emotion, he lunged at Margraves before being tackled by bailiffs and detained. Judge Janice Cunningham said there was "no way" she was going to hold Margraves in contempt of court, and Margraves later apologized for trying to attack Nassar.
Heck, here's one vote for wishing that Margraves was apologizing for having actually attacked Nassar.
Sunday is super when it comes to the NFL, and we're 100 percent sure the folks a couple of sections back will break down the numbers between the Eagles and Patriots before Super Bowl LII. So why don't we look at a few numbers off the field that will make you pause.
Food is a monster part of Super Bowl Sunday. The National Chicken Council projects 1.35 billion — yes, billion — chicken wings will be consumed this weekend. That's almost 400 million feet of chicken wings, which means those wings could cross the road more than 13 million times just to get to the other side.
Nielsen estimates that more than $1.2 billion — yes, billion, again — will be spent on beer this weekend and more than $1 billion — yes, bill well, you get the idea — will be spent on wine and liquor combined.
As for non-football football numbers, it was eye-popping this week to see a poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal in which more than 48 percent of parents said they would not let their kids play football because of safety concerns. That number is up 8 points from a similar survey conducted four years ago.
More NFL issues
If the growing number of parents concerned about the safety of football is not bad enough for the NFL, that may not be the worst number. In a season filled with declining ratings, know this: The survey hammers home President Donald Trump's assertion that the protests during the anthem are really hurting the NFL.
According to the survey, 49 percent of those asked say they follow the NFL closely, compared to 51 percent who say they do not. That's a nine-point swing in just four years. And to further Trump's assertions are the breakdowns by groups.
Among groups that are generally pro-Trump, and by assumption against the protests, the drops include men 18-49 (down 24 points), men without college degrees (down 23 points) and all white men (down 22 points).
Conversely, anti-Trump groups of blacks, Latinos and women all either stayed the same percentage-wise or increased in percentage points on the "follow the NFL closely" question.
Until next time.
Contact Jay Greeson at email@example.com or 423-757-6343.