Deputies will not protest the Constitution

The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association has called on its deputies to protest against the Constitution of the USA. The president of deputies local 6020 Jeff Bell in an open letter appealed to “all members of law enforcement not to work any detail associated with the Miami Dolphins unless ordered to do so.”

Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association Local I.U.P.A. 6020 call for immediate suspension of Miami Dolphin details
Letter from Jeff Bell

How is this a protest against the Constitution of the USA? The reason Bell asks deputies to “refuse any security details associated with the Miami Dolphins” is because four Miami players kneeled during the national anthem before their game against the Seattle Seahawks the weekend before he wrote the letter. Refusing the security detail is an act of protest against what even Bell explicitly recognized as an “exercise [of] their constitutional right of freedom of speech.” This freedom that Bell wants the deputies to protest is guaranteed by Amendment I of the Constitution of the United States.

The irony is that it is the same amendment that gives deputies the right to form the labor union that Bell leads. The reason it was the first amendment our Founding Fathers added to the Bill of Rights is because King George III’s sheriffs would jail any of his subjects who publicly criticized his monarchy. If Bell wants to live in a country where the citizens are required to stand for their national anthem, he should move to North Korea. North Koreans are indefinitely imprisoned in hard labor camps if they protest the conditions in their country.

Bell goes on to say that “in certain professions, an individual’s freedom of speech must take a back seat to the organization or government entity that they choose to represent.” What gives Bell the authority to decide that NFL football player is one of those professions? The answer is nothing: in the USA, people of every profession have freedom of speech. Even his deputies can exercise this freedom as individuals, which is why they could decline a Miami Dolphins security detail if they wanted to.

Fortunately, the Broward Sheriff’s Office understood the absurdity of Bell’s request. It says the deputies will still work the Dolphins games despite the union’s request.

Le Tour de France spoiler

As a cycling aficionado, Le Tour de France is one of my favorite sporting events. Although to many it seems like an individual sport, I find the strategies of the teamwork required to win the Tour intriguing. When it gets into the Alps, it’s inspiring to see who gets defeated by the mountains rather than the other riders and who can overcome the grueling climbs. It’s exciting to watch the time trial specialists race the clock. But there’s one part of the Tour that I dislike because it’s a spoiler: the final stage.

In Le Tour de France, we always (with rare exceptions) know who the winner of the race will be before the race is even over. The man wearing the Yellow Jersey after the penultimate stage is known to be the winner of the Tour when there’s still a stage to go.  Even though the final stage of the Tour is tomorrow, I can already tell you that Chris Froome will win the 2015 Tour de France.

Instead of racing tomorrow, the entire peleton will be taking a leisurely 110 kilometer ride through the French countryside. No one will try to overtake Froome or even be riding hard. In fact, Team Sky will be drinking champagne and toasting their victory while still “racing.” If you’ll be watching a recording of the final stage, don’t bother avoiding news about who will win the Tour because it’s already decided. This celebratory end to the race is completely devoid of suspense and takes all the excitement out of it for me.

The Tour organizers should end each race the way they did the 1989 Tour de France. The race ended with a time trial on the final stage in which the riders rode as hard as they could instead of loafing off. Greg LeMond came back from almost a one-minute deficit to Laurent Fignon to win the Tour in the final stage. It was the closest race in the Tour’s history, with LeMond beating Fignon by only eight seconds after about 2,100 miles of racing. That’s an exciting way to finish Le Tour de France!

I won’t bother watching the final stage of the Tour tomorrow. I already know who will win. I find the ceremony of the ride into the Champs-Elysées rather boring.

There is no “I” in team

After watching as much of the first round of the World Cup 2006 as I could find the time to, I projected that we would see Germany and Brazil in the finals. Sure, it was the obvious and easy call but I did have some grounds.

The individual skill and technique on Brazil’s team is unmatched. I could call out Ronaldo and Ronaldinho as examples but only because the talent is so deep on the team that it would take too long to list everyone. Like their coach said, he had no subs, just solutions. After the first game, their playmaking between each other was beautiful…right up ’til their last game.

Germany had the twelfth man advantage. With guys like Klose who were consistently putting the ball in the net, it looked like they could score plenty to take the German team to the end. Plus, Germany’s defense was rock solid—the game against Poland had to be some of the best defensive play I’d ever seen. The team was gelling beautifully…right up ’til their last game.

So what went wrong with my projection? In a word: teamwork (or lack thereof). In both cases, Germany and Brazil were eliminated when their teamwork did not come together for ninety minutes. And it only takes one game for that to be your downfall once you get past the first round in the World Cup.

OK, I know that there are only two teams left but I haven’t watched all of the Portugal – France match yet. I’ll finish watching it from my DVR tomorrow after work, so don’t tell me who won. But let’s look at the last three teams.

The one thing that Italy, Portugal, and France all have in common in this tournament is that they have exhibited consistently solid teamwork in every game. They all have strong talent but they’re all fairly evenly matched. I doubt it will be any individual’s skill or one team’s overall talent that will win the Cup this year. I think it’ll be the teams who fail to meld that’ll be eliminated in the remaining games.

New skis bode badly for Bode

What was Bode thinking? Yes, technology has been all the buzz leading into these XX Olympic Winter Games. The new technologies in equipment are supposed to lead to records falling all over the games. Recent history with technological advancement has borne out that it leads to unprecedented performance on the snow. Nonetheless, Bode Miller should have trusted his innate talent and skill on the hill.

Instead, he was seduced by the technology. A ski manufacturer brought Bode a brand new model of downhill skis that just came out of the plant for the first time a couple of days ago. Bode looked at them and was so impressed that he decided to use them for the Men’s Downhill race. Unfortunately, he made the decision on the morning of the race. He had not even used the skis for his training runs.

Bode skied well. His technique was solid. His run was almost flawless and the mistakes he did make were minor. But the skis just did not seem to run. Bode did not even end up in the medals. After the race, Bode admitted that he made a poor decision using the brand new skis.

The Men’s Downhill is Bode’s strongest event. However, he has four more events to go. Perhaps if he trusts in himself rather than putting his fate in the hands of technology, he might still take a medal home in 2006.