The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Triple Crown vs. The NFL on Political Correctness and Freedom

Here's the Nonsense:  Professional sports are filled with excitement, entertainment, and fun. The good thing is that they're free of the political correctness that's destroying America.

Here's the Horse Sense:  As exciting as professional sports may be, political correctness has even infiltrated some sports and is causing them to be part of the terrible damage being done to America.  It's another front on which we must fight.

There's a professional sport in America for just about everyone's taste.  They can be a great form of entertainment, excitement, and fun.  But some have moved from that proper place to actually helping the left in their efforts to destroy America and take away our rights.  If we're serious about taking America back, then we have to consider everything we do, even the sports we support.

A sport more popular than many people realize is that of horse racing.  The sport is most known in America for the Triple Crown, which is a series of three races (the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes) that are called the Triple Crown.  The Kentucky Derby, the first of the 3 races, is considered the most exciting 2 minutes in sports and regularly has about 150,000 attendees and millions watching by TV.

Since the Triple Crown started in 1919 there have only been 11 horses to win it.  The last one was Affirmed in 1978.  Two other horses, Seattle Slew and Secretariat also won in the 1970s.  Prior to that you have to go back to the 1940s for a winner (see complete list of winners below).  It is a rare thing for a horse to win the Triple Crown.  People all have their favorites.  Whether it's Secretariat, who won the Belmont by 31 lengths (and is considered by many to be the greatest racehorse in history), or Sir Barton, the first winner of the Triple Crown, or any of the others, with it being 36 years since there's been a winner, the fans are long-ready for another one to come along.  Super-athletes, and that's just what these horses are, don't come along that often and when they do they are a pleasure to watch.

I'm not a gambling man.  I don't believe in gambling.  I'm drawn to watch a horse race just because of the beauty of running horses and their incredible ability.  They're truly one of God's greatest creations.  And this year horse racing is extremely exciting.  First, a little background on what's going on: 

A little colt named California Chrome is the offspring of a mare named Love the Chase that was purchased for a mere $8000.  The owners were told they were crazy to buy her, but they did anyway.  They paid a $2500 stud fee to breed her with Lucky Pulpit, who had only won 3 of his 22 starts.  Then Love the Chase gave birth to California Chrome who is now a contender for the Triple Crown.  

California Chrome has gone from an unknown of little value to multi-million dollar worth with his performances.  This little horse blasted past all competitors in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness this year making him one of those rare contenders for the Triple Crown.  It's an exciting thing to watch.  Anticipation is high as the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont stakes, will be run in early June.  

But USA Today is reporting that California Chrome may not run in the Belmont, eliminating his chance to be the next Triple Crown winner.  The reason?  New York bans the use of nasal strips on racing Thoroughbreds.  They are the only state in the country that bans them.  They are used with no restriction in racing, rodeo, and other equestrian events.  And that may cause the owners of California Chrome to keep from running him in the race.

The nasal strips (called Flair ® Equine Nasal Strips) are very similar to the Breathe Right ® strips that humans wear.  Whether it's the guy who snores too much trying to keep his wife from losing another night's sleep or athletes in virtually all sports, humans wear these things to allow them to breathe easier.  They are purely mechanical and simply help hold the nasal passage open to allow better air flow.  Just like the similar version for humans, they use no drugs of any kind.  Since horses berate through their noses and not like humans, who breathe through both our noses and mouths, this can be beneficial during heavy exercise. 

Even though New York allows the jockeys to wear them, the horses cannot.  The steward who made the decision is said to have been approached to discuss the matter.  When approached he was asked to talk about it and the science behind the use of the nasal strips, but his response was that he didn't care about science.  Wow, now that's open-minded, isn't it?  (I wonder how he feels about global warming?)

Saying a horse cannot use a mechanical device that is also used by the jockeys seems crazy.  It would be like telling an Olympic runner that he can't wear modern running shoes, but must run using shoes that were in use when the modern Olympics first started in 1896, or maybe that he couldn't wear shoes at all.  (And, by the way, the Olympics does allow these devices to be used by horses in equestrian events. Human Olympians are also allowed to use their version of the device.)  It's not like anyone is asking to drug the horses, they just want to use some modern technology.  But New York won't hear of it.  And so California Chrome's chances of winning the Triple Crown may eliminated because of a ridiculous rule.

This horse has an opportunity to show a level of performance not seen in decades.  It's a disappointment to see that taken away from him over an irrational rule.  But then I'm not surprised because the logic some people use to make any decisions these days defies rationality. (see update to California Chrome story at end of post)

I gave up watching most professional sports years ago.  Most of it happened when the irresponsible and narcissistic attitudes of athletes not only took over sports, but were encouraged.  When the NFL players started dancing around the end zone after a touchdown I knew it was over.  I was raised to believe in good sportsmanship.  That didn't just mean being a good loser, but even more it meant to be a good winner, which meant not rubbing a victory in your opponent's face.  Allowing that sort of behavior was not only in poor taste, it allowed a very bad role model for Americans, especially children.  Say what you will, but everything that we allow our children to watch influences the values they develop in their lives.  

Role models in many professional sports are rare to come by anymore.  When a positive role model like Tim Tebow comes along he is ridiculed and vilified, while others in professional sports are seen as heroes even though their behavior both during sporting events and in their personal lives is disgusting.  

In fact, with the narcissism we encourage in our society, it's amazing we have any role models left at all.  The idea that the Miami Dolphins would send Don Jones to get more education about personal comments he made regarding the picture of the NFL's first openly gay draft pick (Michael Sam) celebrating his draft by kissing his boyfriend defies what America is supposed to be about. Yes, we're a pluralistic society and that means people have the right to do things with which each of us may agree or disagree.  That's part of what our society and freedom are about.  But we've now become a society where people must think and speak a certain way or they will be punished and reeducated.  That's what the Miami Dolphins did to Don Jones.  Doesn't he also have a right to his viewpoint, no matter how much we agree or disagree with him?

The NFL has become nothing more than politically correct thought police.  Yet they encourage bad behavior on the part of players by allowing such things as the antics on the field that go on and the lifestyles many of these people live.  Ultimately this undermines our society because of the influence we allow them to have in our lives and the lives of our children.  As far as I'm concerned, any person serious about saving America would think twice about watching or supporting the NFL or any organization that promotes thought control.  

I'm sure, though, that most people aren't willing to give up their entertainment, of which sports like the NFL are a big part.  You who are reading this may be one of them.  (In fact, I'm sure I'll lose a lot of readers due to their resulting anger at me for even suggesting this.)  But something we have to understand is that we don't win if we keep supporting them.  We only win if we, by lack of support, force them to change their ways to truly American ways that allow for free thought and speech.  

Whether you like it or not, it's a first amendment issue.  That's what you're standing for or against by supporting them.  What are you willing to give up to stand for freedom?  If we won't give up something as simple as a game, then it shows how doomed our nation really is.

So how does the NFL and the Triple Crown compare when it comes to political correctness?  Are the stupid rules New York has set for their horse racing the same as an NFL team sending a player in for reeducation on their thoughts?  No, they're not.  The New York officials have set a rule which we can disagree about, but they're not forcing anyone to think politically correct thoughts.  But the NFL (and I'm sure other professional sports will follow suit) is promoting thought police to control the way people think and act.  My questions to them would be:

1.)  What is their guideline for determining what behavior is acceptable?
2.)  Who sets those guidelines?  
3.)  When new politically correct rules are developed and they demand that the NFL support things those who control the NFL disagree with, will the NFL then think it's unfair or will they give up their ways and go along because it's the politically correct thing to do?  

It's not just the NFL or select groups where this is happening.   U. S. Senate leader Harry Reid has scheduled a meeting for June 3 to put forth an amendment to the U. S. Constitution that would limit political speech by citizens.  Breitbart News is reporting"The proposed amendment includes a provision that 'Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press.' So Breitbart News, The New York Times, and the mainstream media would be able to say whatever they want, but citizens and citizen groups such as the National Rifle Association could not."  If passed, that would be the first time an amendment has taken away a constitutional right from American citizens.

Freedom of speech and thought are the cornerstone of liberty.  America was founded upon that cornerstone, but the cornerstone is not just under attack, it's crumbling.  Unless we are willing to allow people to think as they choose and support their right to do it, we will lose all of our freedoms.  And sadly, that is a loss that is well under way.  We have already lost some of that freedom and we are a hair's breadth from losing the rest of it.  This must be fought on every level, not just in government.  Without change to our culture by standing against any and every effort to take away freedom, we have no chance at survival as a free nation.

We do not have the right to behave in ways that harm other people.  But we do have the right to think as we choose and express those thoughts.  Anything less is exactly what George Orwell wrote about in his book 1984.  If you haven't read it (or read it lately), it's about time you do so.  It's a quick read that will show you exactly where we're headed.  And it's not pretty.

UPDATE:  The story about California has taken a turn.  New York has granted California Chrome the right to wear the nasal strip in the Belmont Stakes.  This is both great news for the sport, for California Chrome and his owners, and for rational thinking.