Tales from the Jugular

Politics, Music and Football Don't Mix

By: Anthony Burke
Published: Wednesday, January 28, 2004
It's early and that damn cat woke me up. So, as I sit on the sofa, drinking my morning glass of milk before work, I grab the clicker and flip on the TV. HBO, there is nothing good on, Starz, the same thing. Well, let's try music channels, I give up.

There is not shit on at 5 AM. On my way to ESPN, I am stopped by a news channel, (I don't remember the one), and I see that fines are being handed out because people download music. OK, I am listening. You can get fined per song you have on your computer. Damn, maybe I should go delete my music now, No way in hell.

Now the government is after an old man in Texas when it was his grandkids downloading stuff, but hey, the computer was in your house. When is the madness going to stop? It is not the entire thing that bugs me, it is the singling out individuals. What the hell is going on? I am getting upset and well, it is too early for that, so I flip over to SportsCenter.

Finally, a little sanity for an insane morning. Wrong! Even my sports have been plagued with stupid rules that single out one person for something, but not another for doing the same damn thing. What is next--Rush Limbaugh on NFL Primetime? Oh wait, that has been done, and well, he made a splash, a belly flop off a high dive. Terrell Owens has a sharpie in his sock and signs a football after he made a TD, during a game. Look the other way but Joe Horn grabs a communicator (for trainer use) that looks like a cell phone and he gets fined. It has been there for years, every stadium has them. And it is excessive celebration to throw a fan a high five in passing, this according to college rules.

I just believe politics has no place in football, just like politics should not take precedence to the music. Now, both the NFL (No Fun League) and this file sharing mess is not only everywhere I turn; they have become the only topic of conversation at work. My goodness, is this the twilight zone? Since they asked my opinion on the Joe Horn situation, I gave it. I think his stunt did not hurt anyone, and NY sideline or not, it is his home stadium. I say it was ok for TO, so the fine on Horn is ridiculous. Again, I am the outsider.

Then the subject of file sharing came up? Where do I stand on that? Remembering what I saw this morning, I replied by saying that I look at it from both perspectives, I do remember what it was like to be broke and want new music. Is the involved intending to buy the CDs? If they fully intend to when he/she gets the cash, I do not see a problem with that. The flipside is that this method can in no way be tracked.

Then there is the other side of this argument, if everyone just downloaded and burned, what incentive does a record label have to keep _________________? They are not bringing in revenue, and bam, they get dropped, never to be signed again, and no more music. If you want to stop file sharing, then make the sites illegal to own and operate. If not, shut the hell up!

It was then that someone pointed out that I have a CD/DVD burner. So, I also have music on my computer, and yes I do use a file sharing program. But, do you know what makes this little man different? 98% of my CDs and 100% of my movies I can produce store bought copies of them, right away. The other 2% of my CDs that I not own, well, there is a reason I do not own
them so I could care less if I have to trash them. I guess I have had too many CDs stolen or ruined so that is why I burn a copy also, for the car and keep the originals in my house.

Later the same day I was asked why participate in a potentially illegal or immoral program like file sharing? My only response was that "it has been done for me, so I am returning the favor.” Yes, stores have listening booths but who has time to sit at a store and listen to an entire CD? Download it, if you like it, buy it. Simple as that.

All this fuss over football and music. Stop trying to place politics in everything; it is only driving fans away. Who cares if _____________ can't get 10 new cars a year? They are supposed to be in this for the love of what they do, not the mighty buck. Some rules and government regulations are great and needed but the politics people think may look good, actually make them look like an ass!

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