My Last Redskins Post

Redskin logo facepalming

I’ve had it.

I’m tired of the “organization.” I’m tired of the excuses. I’m tired of the so-called name controversy. I’m tired of the D.C. media gossip, the leaks from who-knows-where, and all the idiot “fans” who think that Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy, Joe Shmoe would do better than RGIII behind an NFL-Europe-quality offensive line. Above all, I am tired of the drama.

Sports are supposed to be fun. This isn’t fun anymore.

It’s not just the Redskins. It’s the NFL as a whole. A greedy handful of billionaires pay a slightly larger handful of multi-millionaires and a whole lot of cannon fodder to crash into each other on TV. They only started caring about concussions, or domestic abuse, or a supposedly offensive name when it threatened their bottom line.

I put up with it far longer than I should of. I tried to recapture the innocent fandom of my youth—given one last gasp in 2012—but I was fooling myself. That NFL had its own problems, but I didn’t know then. This NFL has even bigger problems now and I can’t turn a blind eye anymore.

I also can’t twist myself in knots over a team I have no control over.

The difference between a “good” NFL owner and a “bad” NFL owner is simple. The “good” owner is a greedy billionaire who hires the right people to run his front office and hire talented coaches and draft and scout talented players. The “bad” owner is a greedy billionaire who thinks he knows better than everyone else.

Dan Synder, who bought the Redskins in 1999, is a “bad” owner. He has taken the great NFL franchise of the first quarter-century of my life and turned it into a laughing stock.

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Bloggerhood Etc. 10/13/14

BEEFTANK!

BEEFTANK!!! (Image: Jon Bois/SB Nation)

Best Return.Breaking Madden: BEEFTANK Returns” by Jon Bois at SB Nation.

Most Honest.Making Peace With My Mental Illness” by Cara Strickland at Little Did She Know.

Best Special Needs Post.An Extraordinary Story” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Best List.10 Reasons I Can’t Relate to the 30-Something Blogger” by Andee Zomerman at Nature of a Servant.

Best Question.I Sing Because I’m Happy! Or is it the Other Way Around?” by Adam Hall at Tenor Dad.

Best Parenting Post.Target’s Response To My Calling Out Their Girls” Clothing Problem” by Stephanie Glese at Huff Post Parents.

Best Commentary.Synod 14: The Church Needs to Replace the Family” by Artur Roseman at Cosmos in the Lost.

Strangest Story.I’m a Blonde Tattooed Girl From Texas. Why Are ISIS Fighters Tweeting Marriage Proposals to Me?” by Jennifer Williams at New Republic.

Best Use of Bad Candy.Six Silly/Spooky Candy Corn Crafts” by Brent Almond at Designer Daddy.

Best Travel Article.Shakespeare and the Seven-Year Old” By Melissa Hart at Show Me the Monkey: An Oregon Family’s Adventures.

Best Guest Post.Why I Am Made Right” by Ashley Linne at Addie Zierman’s How to Talk Evangelical.

Cutest.What Happens When Second Graders Are Treated to a Seven-Course, $220 Tasting Meal” by Jeffrey Blitz at New York Times Magazine (Video).

Best Essay.40,000 Suicides Annually, Yet America Simply Shrugs” by Greg Zoroya at USA Today.

Best Bilingual Video.Transformers: Age of Extinction (變形金剛4 灭绝重生)” by Honest Trailers (via YouTube).

“The Transformers are back! And they’re as over these movies as we are.”

Is the Messenger the Message?

“The medium is the message.”—Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (McGraw Hill, 1964).

McLuhan’s famous quote from a half a century ago has never been truer than it is today. The proliferation of mass media—first audio recordings, film, and television, and later home computers, the Internet, and mobile devices—have placed an overwhelming variety of content in our hands every waking moment of our lives. From education, to entertainment, to mindless distraction, the digital media onslaught is never-ending.

But now, in this age of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and every other social-media platform wrestling for our ever-diminishing attention spans, has McLuhan’s prophetic quote become passé? In our current, self-centered, selfie-obsessed, digital navel-gazing culture, has the messenger become the message?

This is the question I am trying to answer, as a writer, as a blogger, and most importantly as a Christian. How do I balance the need to create and maintain a platform with the necessary call of Christian humility? How do I get out of my own way and point back to the One who is the Maker and Sustainer of all things? How do I glorify Him through the gifts he has given me and use those gifts for the uplifting of others rather than my own glorification? And how do I accomplish the very practical task of bringing traffic to my blog and spreading the word about my writing at the same time?

These are difficult questions. I can ask them in five minutes, but I’m not sure how long it will take for me to answer them.

Five Minute Friday

Bloggerhood Etc. 5/12/14

Mom and baby

Photo: Pax Christi, USA

A belated “Happy Mother’s Day” to all the moms out there. Hope it was a good one. Here’s the best of the week.

Most Timely.The Original Mother’s Day Proclamation” by Julia Ward Howe (1870), posted at Pax Christi USA.

Best Essay.Three Little Words: Too Many Men” by Michael Farber at Sports Illustrated.

Best Use of Bad Language.Urban Slang Dictionary for Noxious Weeds” by Evelyn Shoop at Momsicle.

Best Parenting Post.The Struggles of Christian Parenting” by Stephen Mattson at Sojourners.

Best Special Needs Post.On Early Intervention” by Robert Rummel-Hudson at Support for Special Needs.

Best Blog Interview. “‘I Just Have To Write What’s on My Heart’: A Conversation with Teryn O’Brien” by Boze Herrington at Sketches by Boze.

Best Guest Post.(De)tale: Plates” by Rachel Marie Stone at Cara Strickland’s blog Little Did She Know.

Best Reflection.A Good For Nothing God” by Zach Hunt at The American Jesus.

Best Comic (and Best Question).WTF is Wrong with Americans?” by Silhouette Man at tickld.

Best Reading List.Pioneers in Pigtails: Remembering the First Heroines Who Made Us Mighty” by Megan Jean Sovern at Huff Post Books.

Funniest.7 Tips for Dating My Three Year Old Daughter” by John Kinnear at Ask Your Dad.

Best Video.Please Stop With the Buzzfeed Quizzes” by Glove and Boots (via YouTube).

“It says I am loyal, kind, and wise.”

Calling Each Other “Friends”

A giant FB friend collage.

A Facebook “friends” collage.

Today’s Five Minute Friday prompt is “friend.” Another repeat prompt—not the first—but coincidentally it’s back exactly one year later. Here’s what I wrote about “friend” last year.

Facebook has ruined the word “Friend.”

First of all, it is not a verb. You do not friend people, you meet them—preferably in person—and over time, if you find enough in common between you to make connections, a friendship will grow organically.

Second, “defriend” and “unfriend” are not words. I do not defriend someone to make him my unfriend, or unfriend someone to make her my defriend. If a friendship ends, it is usually through inaction. Except for a couple of Seinfeld episodes, no one ever “breaks up” with a friend.  Friendships don’t get killed, they die through neglect.

But worst of all, Facebook abuses of the meaning of the word “friend.” In real life, we have layers of friendship. Best friends, good friends, friends-of-friends, acquaintances, colleagues, people-we-know-but-don’t-think-too-much-about, people-we-nod-to-politely-as-we-pass-them, etc.

But in Facebook, everyone is a potential friend. All it takes is a friend request …

It was a real-life friend that got me on Facebook in the first place. And early on, the people I connected with—often after many years out-of-touch—were real-life friends too. But then I started connecting with people I only knew online. That’s when it got a little weird, and a few of these virtual “friendships” had to end.

But there’s a good part too, and maybe it’s proof that a tool is only as good as what you do with it.

I’ve since met some of the people I once knew only through social media. I’ve gotten a chance to talk to them face to face, if only for a short time. And it’s been wonderful. No, they’re not really “friends” in the same way people I’ve known for years are, but they are colleagues and, in many cases, fellow disciples of Jesus too.

Jesus said “I call you friends.” Maybe we can call each other friends, and—unlike Facebook—have it mean something.

Five Minute Friday

The Blog is on Twitter (Again)

Twitter "bird" graphic

“Tweet”

I’ve been rethinking my social networking priorities over the last few days. This was prompted—as such soul-searching often is—by that ubiquitous community/virus named Facebook.

I’ve never been convinced that Facebook Pages are worth even the minimal time I put into them. I get far better results from my Twitter feed, my WordPress likes and comments, and even my personal Facebook profile, than I do from my name-branded Facebook pages. But when I log in and see a message like this, I wonder if even my minimal time is being wasted.

Coming soon: A New Layout for Facebook Pages
Add your Page to the waitlist to try it out.
Learn More.

(Note: The link may not work without a Facebook login) Continue reading

Bloggerhood Etc. 3/24/14

Giant Burt Reynolds!

Photo: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Spring is in the air and March Madness in on TV. It’s Monday. Time for the best of the week from around the blogosphere.

Best Parenting Post.Why all those years of lost sleep spent parenting are worth it” by Lisa-Jo Baker at Surprised by Motherhood.

Best T.S. Elliot Reference in a Headline.A Turbulent Priest Awaits the Conquest of Crimea” by Simon Shuster at Time.com.

Best Social Media Post.When You Don’t Make the List” by Addie Zierman at How to Talk Evangelical.

Weirdest Concept.2014 NCAA MASCOT DEATHBRACKET” by the Staff at SB Nation.

Best Special Needs Post.Happy World Down Syndrome Day (Thoughts on Growing Up With a Sister With Down Syndrome)” by Melissa Otterbein at Like Birds on Trees.

Happiest Post (and Cutest Video).Pharrell – Happy (Puppy & Doggy Version)” by The Pet Collective (via YouTube).

Most Nostalgic.Let’s Talk About the Music From Mystery Science Theater 3000” by  Chaz Kangas at LA Weekly Blogs.

 Best Comic.If You Find a Baby Songbird Out of the Nest” by Rosemary Mosco at bird and moon.

Best Question.Can Your Daughter Accept a Compliment?” by Michelle Cove at Huff Post Parents.

Best List.5 Reasons Why Your Partner Doesn’t Actually Want to Go to the Farmers Market with You” by Anjali Prasertong at The Kitchn.

Best Solve.Wheel of Fortune: Amazing Bonus Round Solve!” on Wheel of Fortune (via YouTube).