I try to run every Monday, Wednesday and Friday dependening on the weather of course. I have taken to running 4 to 7 miles, depending on how I am feeling and what I have going on for the day. During those runs, I attempt to take different routes so I don't get bored (and I don't appear to be casing homes). Honestly, I like to run around and see "what's doing" in the neighborhood. Like a modern day Mr. Rogers minus the creepy cadence and Keds, but I do rock a sweet sweater vest. (Just kidding... or am I?)
So this week as I was enjoying my run I saw a pack of kids, following a mom like baby chicks to a mother hen. I was running towards them and made sure to have a smile on my face and as friendly a demeanor as one can have during their morning run. She was on her phone so in order to attempt alerting her to my presence I made a special effort to breathe louder and run harder so she was aware that I was headed her way. What happened next was completely textbook based on her being enveloped by her phone.
I jogged near, breathing loudly, stomping heavily, and gently said, "Good Morning!" And as my premonition foreshadowed, she was startled, screamed and dropped her phone on the cold hard ground. "Dammit!" I thought frustrated, "now she is screwing up my run pace!" Anyway, being the gent that I was raised to be, I stopped, apologized for startling her, picked up the phone and handed it to her; but not before noticing on her phone was not some breaking news or an urgent text, but some game. Here she is, looking like Shelly Long in "Troop Beverly Hills" and this game takes precedent over paying attention to her surroundings AND the elementary school kids she was obviously in charger of. What if I was a rabid dog? A mugger? Or a werewolf for that matter? (If you can have sparkely vampires, I can have "teen Wolf.") Would she be able to describe me to a sketch artist? Of course not, but I bet she could tell them what level of "Diamond Candy Restaurant Poker World Crush" she was on.
All of which got me thinking; society is way to into these phones.
I am finally convinced it is too much with the phones and I am as guilty as the next person, but something has got to give. You go to a restaurant and everyone has their phones out. Complete families from dad down to baby. And I am not talking about a rootie poo restaurant like McDonald's, I am talking the high dollar places like SmashBurger! Kids in the store, not running around or helping their parents, but on some mobile device. Do we not realize that we are depriving this whole generation of little ones the opportunity to act like a total ass in retail establishments? We are completely making one of Katt Williams' comedy bits (link NSFW) irrelevant. What is the most disturbing is the use of the phones in the car, while driving. My wife takes a van pool every morning on the way to the office and she and her coworkers entertain themselves by counting the number of people texting, reading and playing games while driving. TEXTING, READING and PLAYING GAMES WHILE DRIVING! On the freeway. In Houston, Texas. In the car. While driving. In the fourth largest city in the United States. Also the largest without subway/suburban trains.
Which begs to ask the question; Why does the fourth largest city in the United States not have effective mass transit?
Please note the operative word, "effective." Metro busses are just giant cars that clog up the roads adding to the problem, not a longterm traffic solution. Houston, do we all realize that San Juan, Puerto Rico has rapid rail transit and we don't? (Let me put this in perspective for you... the birthplace of Menudo has better transportation than the birthplace of Destiny's Child?) Look, I was born and raised in Houston, so it pains me to concede this, but Dallas, the Garthe Knight to Houston's Michael Knight (or vice versa... whatever) has an effective version of light rail. Again, "effective." I am talking about "people movers" that get people from the suburbs to a city's business districts. The Home of NASA, no real light rail. We are so sad here, that we had railroad tracks that ran parallel to the freeways into the suburban areas and we ripped them up to build more freeway! Sure, we have this "Metrorail," but that sad attempt at rail only goes through and around Downtown and from Downtown to NRG Stadium, home of the Texans. Those are no commuter routes! It's a boondoggle.
Look, I am a long suffering Houston sports fan. This is a city famous/infamous in sports terms for snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory. ("The Comeback" anyone? The 1992 Oilers v Bills playoff game? I still get nauseous at the thought of that game... and Frank Reich! FRANK FREAKIN' REICH!) So really I have little to no room to talk about a dynasty like the New England Patriots, but deflating balls to gain an advantage in the cold? Was that even necessary against a team that plays their home games in a retractable roof stadium that I can't recall ever being open?
Don't be fooled or fall for the David Blaine like misdirection they are planning to pull, they deflated those balls, but ironically they probably would have beaten Indy anyway. It just seems that Bill Belichick, and now Tom Brady by default, are "cheats." Not "cheaters," but "cheats." Which in my mind are two totally different things. Let me explain...
A "cheater" is just a person that has little to no chance of winning were it not for blatantly breaking rules. A "cheater' can't win without cheating. A "cheat" is competitive, if not better than their opponent, but uses little technical loopholes to bend, not break, the rules to ensure victory. A "cheat" will probably win anyway, they are just attempting to take any amount of chance out of the equation.
Just a little fun fact... Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco, Eli Manning and Tom Brady all have a few things in common. All 5 are considered "elite" quaterbacks (well, maybe not Eli after this season). They have all played in Super Bowls within the last 5 years. They also all happen to play their regular season home games in a cold weather, open environment. One thing they don't all share is that 4 of the 5 of them throw for less yards in games deemed "cold weather games." Guess the one who throws for more yards in such games? It rhymes with "Rom Prady." That's right! It's Tom Brady. (Thanks @SeanCablinasian for the rundown on the radio this week!)
Let me be clear, I am not one of those Patriot haters. (Besides, I don't want to get beat up by Kid Rock, Dean Cain, Sarah Palin to any other super patriotic "celebrity" who never served, for the appearance of not supporting the troops. That might be how they interpret saying "I DON'T like The Patriots" because...silly.) I like the owner, Bob Kraft (even though Rush Limbaugh in the owners box picking his nose at the 2012 Super Bowl was a bit of a head scratcher but whatever. Limbaugh's a party from what I understand as long as you have "oxy," Viagra or Dominican hookers... allegedly). Tom Brady is a hall of fame QB who is a "baby daddy" on the cool and married to a super model. Belichick is kinda 'gangsta,' wearing his hoodies and his I.D.G.A.F. attitude. They win. What isn't to like?
But, deflating balls is just one of those cheats where you just kind of shake your head in disappointment. Its the kind of douchebag move that an 80's movie antagonist would pull. So congrats to Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for being the Mortimer and Randolph Duke of the NFL. (I mean really, the Duke Brothers were loadied they didn't really need to corner the concentrated frozen orange juice futures with that inside report from Clarence Beeks?)
Well, that is a bit of what is rattling around in my head this week...