Heroes of the Week:  Governor of Alabama, the NFL, and Tokyo Olympics

by on July 26, 2021 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach, Sports

By Colleen O’Connor

Finally, some clarity from unlikely quarters.  No more bumbles, stumbles, and contradictory sound-bytes.

Start with the best truth teller on the planet; Alabama Republican Governor Kay Ivey. Her candor on COVID caught everyone by surprise.  She blasted a reporter who asked, “What is it going to take to get people to get shots in arms?”

“I don’t know — you tell me. Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it’s time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It’s the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.”

Wow, the truth writ large.  Possibly because her state ranks 47th in vaccination rates while the Delta variant has started to rage.

“These folks are choosing a horrible lifestyle of self-inflicted pain,” Ivey added.  “I’ve done all I know how to do. I can encourage you to do something, but I can’t make you take care of yourself.”

Brava! Governor Ivey.  Clear, candid, cranky.  She is right.  The talking heads on most COVID related TV panels suggest “don’t blame,” “try understanding” or “kindness.”

Like a battle-weary General, Ivey gets it.  Her constituents are dying.  No time for platitudes or feigned concern, and long-distance coaching.  Tell it like it is.  And deliver some consequences to those who “are letting us down.”

Next up for Heroes of the Week; the National Football League.  These men (and they are mostly men, owners, players, coaches and staff) get it.

It is called capitalism, with a hefty price tag, that even a child can comprehend. Cancelling a game; postponing a game; infecting other players with COVID, resulting in potential lawsuits; empty stands; and declining TV ad revenue, translates into big buck losses.

The owners get it. They can count. Consequently, the NFL just issued a forceful memo to all teams. Get vaccinated or it will cost you.  There will be consequences.

If any “game cannot be rescheduled during the 18-week season in 2021 due to a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players, the team with the outbreak will FORFEIT and be credited with a loss for playoff seeding.”

Plus, a salary loss for the players. The NFL will fine unvaccinated players $14,650 every time they violate COVID-19 safety rules. Again, a reality check; a statement of facts; and real consequences.  In real clear language.

Thus far, two assistant NFL coaches, one with the New England Patriots and another with the Minnesota Vikings, are quitting rather than getting vaccinated. As for the players, they, too get it.  Lots of young players lining up to take their place.

So, Bravo to the NFL for trying to fill the stands, please the fans, and defeat COVID simultaneously.

Then, the final Heroes of the Week; the Tokyo Olympics and Olympians themselves.

Think what the country of Japan and the city of Tokyo have been through.  Only 3% of the population had received single-dose vaccination by mid-May before COVID-19 struck.

Even with a massive push to vaccinate before opening night, just 30% are now partially vaccinated.  This, amid the onslaught global visitors and the dominance of the  Delta variant.

In addition, Games remain unpopular among the Japanese with at least 63% of its citizens wanting to cancel or postpone.

Winning the rights for the 2020 Olympics at a cost of at least $25 billion; postponing a year due the pandemic; firing the opening ceremonies director the night before; accepting the silence of empty seats; and even the withdrawal of Toyota TV ads, constitute a recipe for disaster.

What a Herculean struggle to get this Olympiad in play.  Yet, the Japanese persist. And, something unforeseen happened.  Fans defied the pessimism and the orders of Tokyo officials not to gather along the race route; instead lining up to cheer the international cyclists along a that 6-hour, 145-mile race route.

As Yahoo sports commentator, Jay Busbee noted:

“Horns sounded, cowbells clanked, and Japanese fans shouted as the cyclists whipped through the city…a ‘thrilling fight.”

Athletes, who devoted years of their lives to training for this moment, delivered amazing performances from newly minted stars.  Stumbles for some veterans.  Still, all in all a thrill.

Even that slow opening night delivered some fabulous fashion statements countries like Japan, Angola, Bahrain, Cameroon and Angola, Liberia. See for yourself

Cheers, for the real Heroes. Governor Ivey; the NFL; and the Tokyo Olympians for stepping into the moment and giving us a glimpse of sanity.

Not for the Bezzos in space, but for all those Heroes of the Week on earth.


















{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gravitas July 26, 2021 at 11:42 am

NOW….others fall in line:
“New York will require city workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly by mid-September.
California will require all state workers to get vaccinated or be tested regularly, Newsom says.

Medical groups call for mandatory vaccination of U.S. health care workers.
And the Dept. of Veterans Affairs is requiring all front line health care workers to be vaccinated!

About time!


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