Fall is usually a great time of year. We stop fighting each other over politics and race and go back to not liking each other because of what football team we support.
Oh, wait — now the NFL has combined the two, and there is no respite.
As a result of feckless national anthem protests and Nike deciding to pay muddled malcontent Colin Kaepernick millions of dollars to be the tattooed face of the company, viewership of the NFL is down another 13 percent. After being down last year when all this began, NFL viewership is now at a 10-year low.
The numbers are particularly down in the South. We lead the country in football and love of country, followed closely by meth, diabetes and obesity. But SEC football is king. And the only reason Southerners kneel at a football game is if our bourbon flask falls out of our sock.
We love the national anthem, too! What's not to like? The song has bombs in it and rockets going off. It is like the Fourth of July — the day we celebrate the last time we had all 10 fingers.
The Kaepernick protest is not heroic. Kaepernick almost never gives interviews since he looks bad when asked simple questions. He idealizes socialism and Castro, whose brutal regime murdered up to 33,000 Cubans. I guess his college, U Nevada at Reno (the Fighting Blackjack Dealers), didn't teach history well.
He just tweets and re-tweets others. He has tattoos all over his body and neck, so he's not exactly a long-term thinker.
Kaepernick was a washed-up quarterback on a losing team who had no real contract renewal prospects. Like Democrats, he turned conjured-up grievances into a business. He clearly has his right to complain, but he does not have the right to lie about the facts.
As the Manhattan Institute's Heather MacDonald's FBI data studies point out, the Black Lives Matter movement is based on and perpetuates a lie. While they are 6 percent of the population, black males represent 40 percent of all cop killers. A police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be shot by an African-American male than an unarmed black male is likely to be killed by a cop. "Social justice" on that for a moment.
So why did Nike executives hire Kaepernick? Are they tone-deaf leftists living in a Portland bubble? Do they hate middle-America so much they want to put Kaepernick out there in our faces and label him a hero, absent any facts to support it?
It will be easy to boycott Nike, since all its shoes and products are made in the same Chinese sweatshops as Adidas and other competitors. In fact, Nike spends about $10 billion a year on celebrity endorsement deals, one-half of its expenses.
And Lebron or Kaepernick wearing Nike shoes does not make the shoes any better, just more costly. If you are enough of a dope to buy a pair of shoes because you think a sports star wears them of his own volition — for no pay — then you get what you deserve.
There are other forms of sports entertainment, although the NFL is about to fumble its government-sanctioned monopoly on professional football. I prefer college football anyway, and by "college football," I mean the SEC.
Major League Baseball is heading into the playoffs. Baseball players don't kneel during the national anthem, so I have resumed watching the Braves. But where did all those long beards come from? MLB looks like the Union playing the Confederacy.
Fans do not want to be preached to by some barely educated jocks who don't appreciate this country. We respect the flag. Hell, even Cleveland Browns fans take their paper bags off their heads for our national anthem.
It is traditional to stand for any country's national anthem. At the Olympics, the French not only stand for Germany's national anthem — out of habit, they put up their hands in surrender.
We keep picking at the scab of race, and it's divisive. Rosanne Barr was fired over race. Maybe to bring the nation together, we should have her sing the national anthem at an NFL game. It will bring everyone to their knees — and let the healing begin.
Contact Ron Hart at Ron@RonaldHart.com.