Category Archives: Football

We Mustn’t Build It or They Will Come

But build it we did and the enemy did come.

As many individuals who served in the American military believed, building an outpost at the bottom of a valley in Afghanistan was an absurd and terrible idea.  Even when respectful apprehension at the plan was met with agreement, the commands from higher pay grades and ranks superseded all forms of reconsideration.  Jake Tapper’s book The Outpost opens with the lunacy of building an outpost in a valley and not atop a mountain when he relates a conversation between “a young intelligence analyst named Jacob Whittaker” and his “superior officer, Second Lieutenant Ryan Lockner” in the “summer of 2006” (3).  Lockner gave Whittaker an assignment to create a visual aid for a morning presentation detailing the location of a new outpost.  After verifying that he had the correct information for its exact location, Whittaker confirmed that he could make the requested Power Point, “But sir…that is a really awful place for a base…it’s located at the base of a mountain peak…and flanked by a river on the west and another river to the north?”

Lockner added, “And there’s no good road to get to it — they’re still building that…”

To which Whittaker responded, “And it’s an eternity away by helicopter if something goes wrong..Sir, this is a really bad idea…A. Really. Bad. Idea. Anyone we drop off there is going to die.”

Jake Tapper’s summary of the exchange between Whittaker and Lockner includes more information on the topography on the area that Camp Kamdesh (eventually renamed Camp Outpost Keating) would be built no matter how tactically nonsensical.  Orders were orders after all.

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I finished reading Jake Tapper’s book recently and loved it.  I experienced a substantial pang of sadness and “what the hell?!” afterwards because of current events.  So many lives lost, so many dollars poured into plans, projects, and good intentions that evaporated just like that.

I had wanted to write a blog entry about it after I’d rewatched the The Outpost (Rod Lurie, 2019) and re-read some of the passages in Clinton Romesha‘s account of being at Camp Outpost Keating when it was breached by the enemy….but, I didn’t feel like waiting any more.

If you’ve not seen the film nor read either of the books but would like to plunge into the triumvirate of texts, I recommend you watch the movie first, then read Red Platoon, and then read The Outpost.  Most of the book consists of establishing geo-political and historical contexts that preceded, facilitated, exacerbated what happened at COP Keating.  If you have seen the movie and read Clinton Romesha’s book (or have consumed just one of them) and you want a more compare-and-contrast reading experience of Jake Tapper’s book, then I suggest you read the final section, Book Three entitled “Enemy in the Wire: The End of Combat Outpost Keating”).

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I do want to re-watch the movie soon and organize my notes and thoughts for a blog post.

And, the Atlanta Falcons were in merry ole London over the weekend for gridiron action against the New York Jets.  The Falcons moistened the Jets’ towelettes 27 to 20.  Final score.  Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFL Films: 30 years ago in Atlanta

The year was 1991.  The Berlin Wall had fallen two years ealier; the Oscar winners from that spring included Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Bates, Jeremy Irons, and Dances with Wolves among others; Mariah Carey‘s Emotions album was released that fall; and Desert Storm was making news headlines.*

Such is all the prologue you need for what 1991 was like.  Just sit back and enjoy this NFL Films production.

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Part of me wishes that I had watched more Atlanta football back in the day so that I could have relished all of that end zone celebration.  Alas.

Please enjoy these videos as well:

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*I was in fourth grade.  I remember the teacher bringing in a TV to the classroom for us to watch the news.  I didn’t understand the significance if what was happening, but I do remember many of my classmates began to worry about their fathers, who were in the military.

Pic cred: NFL Films YouTube screengrab

NFL 2021: Washington Football Team celestial-delinquents the Falcons

I tuned into Fox at the top of the fourth quarter today just in time to be delightfully surprised to see the Atlanta Falcons ahead of Washington Football Team (WAFT) 30 to 22.  Shortly thereafter, though, WAFT wide receiver Terry McLaurin made a touchdown.  Instead of a kick for an extra point, WAFT decided to go with a two-point conversion, which failed twice (a defensive offside penalty on Falcons linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. during the first attempt gave WAFT another chance).

At this juncture at the bottom of the fourth quarter, it was equally likely that both Falcons fans and WAFT fans would believe their team could win.  It was highly probable that the Falcons wouldn’t have to exert that much effort in keeping their small lead.  Even if the ball went back to the other team, there was so little time left on the clock to do much of anything offensively.  It was possible that WAFT’s defense could make an interception or the offense could get within field goal range.

Did anyone imagine that WAFT would win with a touchdown?  Oh yes.  They did, thanks to running back JD McKissic.  34 to 30.  Final score.

How was it that the Falcons were in a position to be in the lead through a good chunk of the fourth quarter?  Two WAFT extra points were no good (the first failure was in the second quarter and the other failure was in the third quarter).

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

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Celestial Delinquent” happens to be the name of a song by Olivia Lufkin that came out in 2004.  I was listening to it when I was running errands earlier in the day and the lyrics made me realize how little consequential, structurally sound, and non-profit-driven changes there have been regarding the health of planet earth.  So many artists, scientists, and activists were voicing their criticisms and concerns decades ago et maintenant?  It just seems like we’ve become even more rotten celestial delinquents.

Here are the lyrics, bolded for emphasis.

You live in a home
With running water and a
Air conditioner and T.V
You have nothing to give and
You have nothing to say
So you sing-a-ling-a-long
Everything is alright
How can one person change the world?
I have to pay my bills
I gotta go to work
The earth is dying
I am so ashamed
We are all to blame
We must raise human consciousness

I want to be up high up with the sun
Disappear completely into love
I want to be up high up where I can
See the secret roads

All you selfish people
Who think of nothing but money
Realize how angry and stressed
You are all the time
When you’re angry you only see things
From a bad angle
That’s why you are going crazy
That why you feel like shit
You’ll never find true happiness
In this state of mind
I want to be up high up with the sun
Disappear completely into love
I want to be up high up where I can
See the secret roads

What’s most important is
Where we were born, where we grow
Where we live
Without Earth we are extinct
Instead of finding ways to live on other planets
We have to find a way to live on our own
Instead of spending so much money on sending space shuttles into space and making weapons for war
Why don’t we use it for making solar electricity, homes, cars, appliances *
Someone is going to have to give in
Somebody is going to lose money
But we can’t be greedy, we can’t be lazy
We have to learn to give and help each other
And rise about this world we created
Rise above fear
We need to share to save the human race
Take the human race into a higher vibration

I want to be up high up with the sun
Disappear completely into love
I want to be up high up where I can
See the secret roads

~!~

*Of course, we can do both.  We can keep exploring space as well as improve and expand alternative energy source infrastructure.  In terms of the automotive industry, there has been considerable progress in the kinds of consumer options available.  Think about the number of electric motorvehicles in existence in 2021 compared to 2004, but not everyone who’d want an electric car can have one because of any combination of the following factors:
~ It’s not in the budget.
~ They don’t live in a place where they can charge a car at all (or reliably or safely).
~ They want a CD player in the car and not a glorified tablet to the right of the steering wheel.
~ They already have a gas-powered car that has been paid off and is functioning just fine (and it probably has a CD player).
~ They use a gas-powered motorcycle for transportation and already know how to maintain it, so unless electric motorcycles aren’t cost-prohibitive to maintain and don’t require a ridiculous learning curve, they’re sticking to that which is cost-effective.
~ What if the power goes out mid-charge?

On that note, a gas pump can still work without electricity, but if power outage is widespread enough, it might not matter what form of power powers your power.

NFL 2021: The Falcons push the Giants off the table

You know, the way cats push things off tables.

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I watched the last four minutes of the game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Giants today.  Neither team won their first two games of the regular season, so a victory in the third game would be a moral and statistical boon.  I tuned into Fox right after the Falcons tied the score 14 to 14 with a touchdown (thanks to tight end Lee Smith) with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter.  The Falcons won this one with a field goal at the very end of the quarter.  17 to 14.  Final score.

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFL 2021: The Buccaneers aluminum foil the Falcons

When I saw that the Atlanta Falcons were going up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers today, I thought to myself, “What’s the point?  Tom Brady is just going to let the other team put as many points as they feel like in the first half of the game and then pull out a can of TD-arse in the middle of the third quarter.”  The game didn’t unfold quite like that, but it might as well have.  Tampa Bay was always in the lead, but by the bottom of the third quarter, the Falcons had narrowed the score gap down to 28 to 25 (on account of running back Cordarrelle Patterson’s touchdown and Matt Ryan’s leap into the end zone during a two-point conversion attempt).

The fourth quarter revealed Tom Brady’s modus operandi in offensiveness, which is to consider the opponent’s scoring as a challenge and then respond with a TD (courtesy of wide receiver Chris Godwin), bringing his team’s lead to 35 to 25.  What began as a hypothetically still winnable game for the Falcons soon turned unrealistic as the Buccaneers’ defense spat out back-to-back interceptions-for-touchdowns (thanks to safety Mike Edwards).  Final score 48 to 25.

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Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.