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but will there be tv timeouts?

In the Get A Life department:

As an unabashed, nail-biting Oakland Raiders fanatic who sits in the nosebleed seats and who just bought my grandson pajamas and a dishware set emblazoned with the team's infamous pirate logo, I still must admit that there is something unsettling about this year's whirlwind of playoff and bowl games. Isn't there something perverse about a nation completely engrossed in football while the drums of war, a deadlier game, beat persistently yet quietly in the background?

Actually, no. There is nothing perverse about it at all. What would he have us do? Sit around biting our nails while watching CNN? Eschew every good thing in our lives, everything that gives us joy or excitement while we scan the latest headlines looking for a declaration of war?

It seems clear that if Americans were to devote the same seriousness of thought to the consequences of invading Iraq that they have to evaluating the pros and cons of the controversial computerized ranking system of college football teams, we would not be on the road to "preemptive" war on the other side of the world

I have given serious thought to the pros and cons, as have millions of others. And my conclusions on that matter don't make a bit of difference in the long run. Was I supposed to equate the Packers loss last week to a potential loss of life in a war? Was every Green Bay turnover supposed to make me ponder the potential of missles that don't hit their targets?

Despite the rampant use of war metaphors in sports, however, war is no game. The whistles are not blown in time, there are no penalties for unnecessary roughness and those risking their lives are never paid the big bucks.

Exactly. And that's why the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are going to fight the war, not the New York Jets.

Next time you have nothing to write about, Mr. Scheer, do us a favor: don't write.

(link via Oliver Willis, who is not a liberal)


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Very well put. I think that it's important that we're knowledgeable about the situation at hand, but we also can't let it rule our lives. Biting my nails and watching CNN costantly as opposed to going out and watching a movie or reading a book and enjoying myself, is not going to help matters at all.

"It seems clear that if Americans were to devote seriousness of thought ... , we would not be on the road to "preemptive" war on the other side of the world".

Clear to who, Kemo-Sabe? Typical liberal, assuming that the only reason people don't agree with him is that they haven't given it any thought.

Here's news for him: A lot of us HAVE given this serious thought---and concluded that we need to forcibly stop Saddam & his ilk.

Hell, I think about it so much my mind starts running around in circles (so to speak)

Are you ready for some football??

Its weird to me he's comparing Iraq and football. Does anybody else remember the superbowl in 1991 during operation Desert Shield (soon to be Storm)?. When Whitney Houston sang what to this day still remains the most stirring National Anthem I have ever heard .... I get chills just remembering.

No real point ... except that in my mind football has already been irretrievably linked to "The free world kicking Iraq's butt" and so couldn't get my mind off of that to even comprehend what his point was.

Seeing as the guy's an Oakland fan and all, I totally agree that he should seriously start shifting his focus from football to the much more pressing pursuits of worrying about war and pondering on the fragile and delicate state in which human life hangs every single day...

If only to mitigate the disappointment of seeing his overrated, ageing side slink home in defeat in a game or so.

See? I can be compassionate...

I think the first sentence covered it....he's a Raiders fan. They eat children.

(BTW, I hate logical fallacies where somebody assumes that because you give one arena or area in life a certain amount of attention, that you are incapable of devoting similar amounts of thought to other issues as well. I'm able to concentrate on hockey, football AND war. Woohoo.)

While I have no control over either the playoffs or the impending war with Iraq, at least I can couch-coach the playoffs. I don't even know what plays to call when it comes to Iraq.

Football, Hockey AND war? dude, that's pretty impressive right there...

Last time the Niners reached the Superbowl and Newcastle United were fighting for the Premier League title, I had to hire people to help me get down the stairs.

And I don't even want to talk about what happened what I had to eat, drink AND laugh at the feckless Giants snapper at the same time last week. Man, that chili dog went EVERYWHERE...

This must be where I'm going wrong when I call for time-outs during recreations of WW2...

"I have given serious thought to the pros and cons, as have millions of others. And my conclusions on that matter don't make a bit of difference in the long run."

Is this REALLY what the right has come to? Part of me sort of hopes so, since it in a limited sense gives my side a better chance of doing better, but another part of me tells me that when this sort of attitude is held by anyone who isn't a flat-out nutso (and I take it that you aren't), it's a very, very bad thing for democracy.

That part of me says: go ahead, be a libertarian or a liberal, a conservative, a capitalist, a socialist, a communist, or whatever; just don't be convinced that nothing you do or think will have an impact on political decision-making. When you think this, you're either claiming that you no longer live in a democracy or you've abdicated your responsibility as one of its members. Neither of these beliefs could justify your countryfolk going in the Gulf to die on your behalf. Only a firm belief that you do live in a democracy in which citizens have real obligations to one another, along with a sincere willingness to act on this belief, can justify such a sacrifice.

So, yeah, both Scheer and every American soldier who might be sent to the Gulf have every damned right to ask the people that they're supposed to be fighting for to take the (potentially?) coming war at least as seriously as they take their football.

P.S.: Go Eagles.