Posts Tagged ‘Sports Illustrated’

Taylor Swift, Shohei, Nikki and Colorado

Friday, December 29th, 2023

By Bob Gaydos

Taylor Swift Time’s Person of the Year

Taylor Swift … Time’s Person of the Year
RJ Photography

   What with holidays and football (who’s the surprise NFL quarterback of this week?) and war (pick one) occupying so much of our attention recently, it’s been hard to keep up with the rest of the news of the day like, well, (1.) Taylor Swift being chosen as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, an honor that meant so much more when people actually read magazines such as Time, but is still significant, given the fact that she is a performer, a young person (33) and apparently has a sense of moral obligation to do good and spread the wealth she earned on the way to becoming a billionaire and bringing millions of dollars as well as entertainment to communities that lobbied to host one of her concerts, prompting Time to call her “a source of light” in a year filled with “shades of darkness,” which might be used to describe (2.) Deion Sanders’ impact on the moribund football program at Colorado University, as the indefatigable Coach Neon, to the surprise of many, brought not only talent and wins and TV exposure and recruits, but money and happiness and respect to Colorado, earning him the Sports Illustrated award as Sportsperson of the Year (see above on magazines), even though reality and other, better, football teams eventually brought the Buffaloes back down to Earth, leaving room in the nethersphere for Los Angeles Dodgers fans as their team, perennial favorites to win the World Series only to disappoint, (3.) spent $700 million to sign one player, Shohei Ohtani, to a 10-year contract, even though the MVP and only fulltime pitcher/DH in Major League Baseball can’t pitch next year because he needs arm surgery, which probably prompted the Dodgers to then (4.) sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a highly sought after pitcher (like Ohtani, from Japan) for 12 years and another $325 million, which comes to more than a billion dollars for two players, which is a lot of money even if most of Ohtani’s payments are deferred until he retires and exceeds the payroll of several other major league teams and is likely to (5.) increase the price of tickets and $12 ballpark hot dogs in L.A., none of which will apparently matter to fans if the Dodgers win it all, win at any cost, which is (6.) pretty much the motto of today’s Republican Party, evidenced in big and small ways, such as (7.) Nikki Haley, challenging Donald Trump for the GOP nomination to run for president, conveniently forgetting to mention slavery as a cause of the Civil War, lest all her South Carolina and other potential Southern supporters get offended, or Trump’s ongoing efforts to (8.) avoid conviction on 91 felony charges, from New York to Washington, D.C., to Georgia to Florida, as he continues (9.) to lie about losing the 2020 election, insult and threaten prosecutors, judges and private citizens, inflame his racist base with increasingly ugly fascist rhetoric and, in the current fashion of Republican “leaders,” whine and whine and whine about being a victim and then talk about being a dictator and getting retribution if he is elected president again, which (10.) officials in the states of Colorado and Maine ruled could not happen because Trump violated his oath of office and the 14th  Amendment to the Constitution by supporting an insurrection (the one we saw on TV) and so he is ineligible to run in those states’ presidential primaries, however (11.) officials in California and Michigan ruled the opposite way, meaning the question will (12.) inevitably be decided by the Supreme Court, which is now a 6-3 conservative majority, thanks to Trump appointments when he was president, but which might not do him any good anyway if the justices, enjoying lifetime appointments, realize that (13.) a second Trump presidency, with a president ruled immune from responsibility for his actions and promising to get rid of non-loyalists, would no longer make the justices an equal branch of government and, thus, at risk of removal at whim, which is Trump’s style of governing, (14.) or they can hope like heck that he gets convicted and locked up first, thus preserving our democracy without them having to take a stand.

      Can’t wait ‘til 2024.

rjgaydos@gmail.com

Betty, Elon, Tom, Sarah: No, No, No. No!

Saturday, January 15th, 2022

 By Bob Gaydos

People’s prediction.

People’s prediction.

   I was a little preoccupied getting new eyes for Christmas (cataract surgery) so a few items of interest slipped by without comment. When that happens, I like to steal an old Jimmy Cannon trick to give my two cents worth and move on quickly. So …

Maybe it’s just me, but: Putting the smiling face of Betty White on the cover of People magazine in December with the headline “Betty White Turns 100!“ deserves an “F“ in journalism 101. As the world knows, the beloved TV star died in her sleep at age 99, a couple of weeks shy of 100. You’re supposed to report news, not predict future birthdays, People. Especially for 99-year-olds! Putting White on the January cover, too, only helped point out the blunder. It may have something to do with the magazine being sold twice in three years, most recently to a company whose wealth was built by online dating sites. Hey, who needs facts? Someone’s job should be on the line, but in the new “journalism” of the day, I doubt it.

Maybe it’s just me, but: Over at People’s former sister magazine Time (sold, too), Elon Musk “graced” the cover as Person of the Year. Really? “Visionary. Showman. Iconoclast. Troll. Elon Musk is reshaping our world.” That’s how Time described him. OK. Richest man in the world to boot. I guess I’m partial to people who aren’t a pain in the ass and proud of it. I like the Capitol police officer who saved democracy. Eugene Goodman is his name. He got a gold medal for steering Jan. 6 rioters away from the Senate Chambers. There was no more important person in 2021.

Maybe its just me, but: Completing the sweep of fails by former sister magazines, Sports Illustrated chose Tom Brady as Sportsperson of the Year. I get it, he’s supposedly too old to be a pro quarterback, but he’s still winning Super Bowls and sticking it to the Patriots to boot. A living legend. But he’s no Shohei Ohtani. The Japanese superstar channeled Babe Ruth by starring as both pitcher and hitter for the California Angels. The American League MVP led the league in home runs, was an ace starting pitcher with a blazing fast ball. He was the designated hitter when not pitching. He was starting pitcher in the All Star Game and batted lead off. When he was removed from a game as pitcher, he was moved to right field to keep his bat in the game. He was, in effect, the best player on your Little League team now wearing a big league uniform. Baseball hadn’t seen anything like it since, well, the Babe. Last year was Shohei’s. SI, like its former sister mags, got it wrong.

Maybe it’s just me, but: Meryl Streep does an excellent job portraying what a Sarah Palin presidency would be like in the Netflix movie, “Don’t Look Up!” Ditsy, dumb, devoid of common sense and decency. Also deadly. (Watch the movie to find out.) Having escaped her try for the vice presidency, I didn’t think Palin was someone to be concerned about since the Alaskan beauty-queen-turned-governor-turned-reality TV star was supplanted by Trumpsters in the Republican Party. Then I recently overheard a conversation between two past-middle-age, white females, a mother and daughter: Daughter: “Sarah Palin is trying to get back into politics.” Mom: Really?” Daughter: “Yeah, we could use her.” Mom: “Yeah, we could.”  Chills ran up — and down — my spine at this quiet demonstration of generational brain-washing. Don’t look now, America …

  All caught up for now.

rjgaydos@gmail.com

Bob Gaydos is writer-in-residence at zestoforange.com.

 

GOP: No Country for Young Women

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

By Bob Gaydos

Megan and Greta, persons of the year.

Megan and Greta, persons of the year.

Perhaps you missed it, what with the holidays and all that Ukraine and Iran stuff coming out of Washington, but two young women, Megan Rapinoe and Greta Thunberg, graced the covers of two influential magazines to close out 2019. They were named, respectively, Sports Illustrated’s “Sportsperson of the Year” and Time Magazine’s “Person of the Year.”

     Perfect.

     The Deep State strikes again.

    On the scale of events guaranteed to stir the bile in the presidential twitter pot and bring the blood pressure to boil among untold numbers of aging, white Republican men this double-barreled salute to emerging young female voices ranked just below that of impeachment of the chosen one. To him, maybe it was equal. After all, an outspoken, equality-minded lesbian soccer player and a charismatic, 16-year-old climate activist with Asperger’s are not supposed to upstage the dotard-in-chief.

     But they did. And the insults, yelling, lying and bullying — the basic political weapons of today’s Republican Party — followed. Trump took to twitter to tell Thunberg to get some “anger management” assistance and “chill.” Irony is not one of his strong suits. Trump’s toadies on Fox News and other conservative news outlets called the Swedish teenager “mentally ill” and part of a Democratic Party plot to make the Donald look bad or stupid or callous or insensitive or crass or self-absorbed or cruel or totally inept. Pick one. All apply.

      The reactions from the Party of Trump to the magazine covers were mostly focused on Thunberg, perhaps because even Trump — who had a fake Time cover naming him person of the year printed and hung at his Mar-a-Largo country club — knew he couldn’t sell anyone on a cover of SI with him waddling around a golf course as sportsperson of the year.                              

       Also, Rapinoe, a leader in the push to sue for pay for U.S. women soccer players equal to that of the less-successful men’s team, had already given Trump plenty of grief by saying she wouldn’t come to the White House — before the U.S. women’s soccer team had even won the World Cup. (For the second time in a row.) Trump advised her to win before spouting off. She wasn’t waiting. Afterwards, having scored the goal that won it, she struck the pose. As she told SI, “It was kind of like a ‘F— you,’ but with a big smile and a s— eating grin. You are not going to steal any of our joy.”

        That’s the kind of in-your-face, you-don’t-scare-me-old-white-man talk that the old, white Republican men, most of the younger, white Republican men and, apparently, the women in their lives find rude and unacceptable and, I’m guessing, disrespectful to their elders. Because, and again I’m guessing, they’ve been taught that their elders know better and, besides, young people — especially female young people — should be seen and not heard (and straight and not, you know, difficult.)

        I find it hard to believe I just typed that last sentence, this being 2020, but it certainly seems to fit with what passes for a philosophy in the world of Trump and the Republican Party. It’s almost as if a whole category of people has devolved over the past half century. More likely, failed to evolve. In fact, we do have a vice president who doesn’t believe in evolution. Or having lunch alone with a female who is not his wife. Trump would have lunch alone with anyone’s wife.

     At first glance, this Trump/Pence odd couple pairing and the two men’s seemingly opposite views towards women may seem strange. But they are really both sides of the same coin. To them, women are merely objects of sexual desire. Either they can be easily seduced by a charming or powerful or wealthy man, or the women themselves are sexual predators, ever on the prowl for a charming, powerful, wealthy man. They are not, however, to be considered as equals, contemporaries, colleagues, persons with ideas, principles, beliefs that may differ from those of the male in the room. And above all, they are not expected to express their thoughts unless they agree with those of the male in the room. (Welcome, Betsy DeVos. It helps that you’re filthy rich.)

       Greta Thunberg is a smart, witty, outspoken mix of ideas and courage. She uses being “different” to her advantage by not letting it hold her back. She calls it a “superpower.“ As for knowing her place, it was leading a worldwide school strike to save the planet. And it was speaking in front of the U.N. General Assembly — a room dominated by males — challenging them on the need to change the way we live if we hope to save the planet from destroying itself. A proud moment for a (non-Republican only) parent to witness.

       Trump also addressed that body. He drew loud laughs (not sought). Greta famously stared Trump down at that session. She also drew applause and admiration. Whether she prompted action is yet to be seen, but no one doubted her right to be on the podium.

     No one except for Trump and most Republicans who unfortunately still think that women’s place — their daughters’ place — is in the home, in the kitchen, in the bedroom, on the arm or in the service of some “important” man, but not leading movements to better the world. Also, as we’ve seen, not in a meeting of national political leaders discussing women’s health issues. And definitely not on the coveted covers of popular national magazines. 

rjgaydos@gmail.com