Some house cleaning before we get to the mailbag.
You know the rules. Here's TFP college football expert David Paschall completing the five most memorable SEC games he covered in the 2000s. Sorry UT fans, because I remember this one vividly. And here Paschall shares that Alabama and THE Ohio State will play home and home in 2027-2028.
We also have been terribly remiss in not preparing a horse racing contest for this weekend's first leg of the Triple Crown at the Belmont. Here's betting the gambling numbers online will be historic.
We've had some serious topics this week, and we have questions about serious topics today. As always, though, I appreciate you guys and gals keeping it clean and polite. While it's impossible for us to come to a consensus on every issue, we can always listen and be respectful. No matter how many words are missssspelled (sic).
And I am going to answer this week's Rushmores here and now, because yes, I have dropped the Rushmore ball the last two weeks.
Rushmore of current sports stars who will be great TV analysts — Phil Mickelson, Freddie Freeman, Drew Brees (as long as he doesn't step in it again), Clint Boyer
Rushmore of animated sequels — Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, Incredibles 2, Toy Story 3. (Is the third installment of a movie still technically a sequel? Discuss.)
Rushmore of movie musicals — Grease, Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain, Wizard of Oz. (And we're including an animated version because, well, we can: Frozen, Sing, Beauty and the Beast, Moana)
Rushmore of disc jockeys — Wolfman Jack, Casey Kasem, Alan Freed, Howard Stern
To the mailbag:
From several of you
What are your thoughts on Juneteenth?
To be honest, I was not as aware of Juneteenth, which is today and is the celebration of the news of emancipation reaching Galveston, Texas, which was reportedly the last city in the U.S. that still had slaves.
I have said multiple times I'm all for more holidays. Heck, if the radio show wants to take the day off, I'll start kicking back CoColas now. Hey, why wait, I say? Avoid the rush, I say.
The support is growing for a national holiday for Juneteenth, and in today's climate, here's betting that by this time next year, we are celebrating Juneteenth as a nation.
But this article calls Juneteenth America's true Independence Day. I don't agree with that. America's birthday, warts and all, is and always will be July 4 to me.
Man, strange days. And, we offer this without opinion and with the caveat of simply reporting the numbers: When Juneteenth becomes a national holiday, the movement toward equality for blacks will now have two — Juneteenth and MLK Day — of the 11 federally recognized national holidays. We have one for the birth of Christ.
And, conversely, we have one celebrating a day of thanks, that in some circles celebrates the start of white people stealing the land from Native Americans. So think about that for a moment.
From A Reader
Would be interested in your thoughts on the Gundy situation. I've been sitting on the sidelines, merely observing, but this situation seems totally extreme (and insane). The calls for Gundy's job made me think, for the first time, am I in danger of losing my job one day simply due to cancel culture / identity politics? To that end, I also believe the events of the last few weeks have won President Trump reelection. (Full disclosure - I did not vote for President Trump or Secretary Clinton in the last election. I wrote in Evan McMullin after voting for Rubio in the primary). That said, I believe the far, quick, and extreme shift by the left will spur many like me to vote for President Trump this time around, and that the silent majority is just that -- a majority. Wonder if you agree.
We have written more than a few (hundred) words on Gundy this week.
Sitting on the sidelines and observing is an astute way to phrase how a lot of folks are approaching these days.
I do not have that luxury. Or, to be frank, that kind of reserve. It's the cut of my jib.
I wrote earlier this week that some of the backlash felt by many in this country would galvanize Trump supporters. I was rightly corrected in my wording that Trump supporters have always been galvanized.
Your wording A Reader is better. Something as drastic and far-reaching as defunding the police department will be a huge boost to Trump's slumping re-election campaign in the eyes of middle America that are undecided.
A lot of those undecided voters are looking for reasons to vote for someone other than Trump, but if I had to guess, the fear of defunded police and the growing resentment of being called a racist because there was slavery in this country 155 years ago and some terrible treatment to far too many black people by rogue cops.
I am the first to admit that I have learned a great deal about the feelings of black Americans the last few weeks. I have realized some things that I thought were harmless that are the exact opposite to others.
But I also know that in this conversation filled with energy and angst, emotion and anger, the feelings of white people are not that important. The cancel culture is about destruction; we have to be about creating the lifestyle and society we all aspire to have.
At some point, everyone is going to have to be comfortable with the changes reached and the progress achieved, right? Because no matter how many syrup bottles we change or federal holidays we recognize, we're going to have to get to a place that we can all live together right?
At least that's my hope, and especially in the time of cancel culture, the process to that point is filled with uneasy steps. (Especially in this line of work, no?)
For all Americans. God help us — all of us — find a path to peace and prosperity in these times.
From Chas and others
For Friday's bag: OK, I get Aunt Jemima, but is Mrs. Butterworth a person of color?
AlsoCan Uncle Ben be far behind?
And Anyone from Blazing Saddles still alive? If so....mercy!
The packaging and the products are being reviewed for a slew of familiar names.
Jemima is no more. Uncle Ben, Mrs. Butterworth and the Cream of Wheat guy are all under review. Colgate is looking over its shoulder and Land O' Lakes is changing course.
My first thought when these stories hit was, "Man, I can't believe we didn't change those long before now."
My second was, "Man, Bojangles better have a plan." (side note: Did you see the story about calls for the Texas Rangers to change their name? Seriously.)
On a serious note, though, this is not all that funny. And moreover, these changes are not meaningful changes. These are easy changes that companies are undergoing not because of a change of heart but a potential challenge to their bottom line.
That's not to assert that any of those companies are overtly racist by design, but these decisions are driven by avoiding backlash — and that's fine and a motivating factor that can engineer all sorts of positive change — and boycotts.
As for Blazing Saddles, well, I know it was asked tongue in cheek (mostly) but this is a hot button issue for me.
First, that movie is amazing. A-MAY-zing.
Second, that movie was made by Mel Brooks, the man who lampooned things and issues so well and effectively, he made a comedy about Hitler. And if you can make Hitler funny, well, you get free comic license to make fun of anything, no?
Third, anyone with two eyes and an IQ over 45 realizes that Blazing Saddles makes way more fun of white people than anyone, no matter how many times people say the N-word.
Hey Gone With the Wind is underrated, and my stance on that is my stance against censorship and history denial.
But I am willing to stand proudly on the Blazing Saddles hill for as long as it takes.
From A Listener
How dare you chastise the protestors on your stupid radio show for going to someone's house! This is America, you do recall the freedoms of the Constitution, right you right wing (bleep)hole?
If you think Chattanooga protestors have the right to terrorize councilman Chip Henderson's home, then shame on you.
In fact, as long as you promise to patronize our sponsors, you have my permission to never listen to my radio show ever again.
Period. Because there simply is no place to bring a local public figure's home and family into the fray. None.
Also know this: I frequently bemoan the lack of quality candidates — the phrase I often use is voting has become picking of the least bad of two choices — but if you stupid protestors are going to council people's homes, then who in their right mind would want to serve their community in an elected compact?
Shame on those people. They are dang lucky someone didn't get seriously hurt in this one friends.
Players getting caught with their pants down "tell us when and where" and now not accepting the proposal.
This was not exactly a question but Matthew's point needs to be discussed.
The background: The back and forth between the players and owners was escalated when the players took to social media and with the message of "Tell us where and when" about returning to the field.
The owners offered 60 games, prorated starting July 19. It would equate to the exact same amount of money the owners have wanted to pay all along. Alas.
The players responded with 70 games, a share of the postseason money, a universal DH and the agreement of not filing a grievance.
Rob Manfred needed about 45 seconds to say not only no but "Heck No!"
To Matthew's point, the players pushed chips and called the owners bluff. Well the owners pushed chips back — and did it with a positive spin but the exact same amount of money — and in some ways may have changed the public's perception in the process.
Up until this week, the owners have carried most of the blame. Well, this offer and counter remind us that everyone is to blame in this inability to get baseball back in gear.
And the long-term threats on baseball from this are undeniable and way more scary than most of us realize.
Because I believe that if they do not get on the field in 2020, there will not be baseball in 2021 either as both sides try to figure out what the framework and labor agreements are moving forward.