Welcome to the new morning post concept, which I’ve decided to call “The Cooler.” It works on three levels (in my head), but I’m not going to explain them because there’s nothing worse than explaining why you think you’re clever. Let’s just say these are five things you might want to discuss around the water cooler (1) to make you feel cooler (2) even as I act as the cooler-downer of hot takes (3). Here we go:
*A good compromise seldom makes all parties happy, but it at least leaves people satisfied that a reasonable solution to a complex problem was achieved.
The NFL’s convoluted attempt to simplify its national anthem policy does no such thing. It might seem simple — stand if you are on the field or stay in the locker room — but further investigation of the policy only invites more questions and creates divides.
The interesting thing — one mentioned by a few of you when I tweeted Wednesday, “Remember this day when the NBA is more popular than the NFL in 10 years” — is that the NBA actually has a more strict anthem policy. So why is the NFL hammered while the NBA is lauded?
Easy. The NBA has cultivated and earned a reputation for being supportive of players and big-picture social justice issues. ESPN’s Dan Graziano nailed it with a Thursday morning post on this very issue. He wrote: “Why is the NBA hailed as a bastion of social responsibility while the NFL comes under criticism for trying to push its players around? The answer has to do with sincerity, trust and authenticity of motivation.”
Maybe each sport is playing to their respective bases. I just have a feeling it’s not going to be a good long-term look for the NFL, which already skews much older than the NBA.
*Did thoughtful NFL player Chris Long have some things to say about all this? You bet he did.
— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) May 23, 2018
*Speaking of the NFL and the anthem, here’s a story from Yahoo saying the league polled fans during free agency last year about Colin Kaepernick. That might be useful to the QB in his collusion case against the league.
*I’ve run five marathons (humble brag), but I can assure you I’ve never accidentally run a marathon. That distinguishes me from Mike Kohler of West Fargo, N.D., who signed up for the Fargo Half Marathon, started at the wrong time, took a wrong turn, and ended up doing the full 26.2 miles instead of just 13.1. He’d never even run a half marathon before!
*After one good game, the NBA conference finals resumed the trend of being lopsided duds when the Celtics went up 3-2 on the Cavaliers with a stifling 96-83 win. That said, Cleveland gets Game 6 back at home, and if you want to bet against LeBron James in a Game 7 be my guest.