Likely lost in all the excitement over Sean Payton's kind-of-sort-of return to coaching the Saints (it's still preseason, after all) was the fact that former Louisiana State University cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has been wowing people left in right while in training camp with the Arizona Cardinals.
Y'all remember the Honey Badger, don't you? His rise as a viral video sensation (Honey Badger!) and fan-favorite with the Tigers to his trouble with the law and unceremonious dismissal from the team, all were covered with incredible zeal by local and national media.
Mathieu took off a year from football and, even though he's said he doesn't want people to call him the Honey Badger any more, it appears that he hasn't given up on the Honey Badger mentality. Had Mathieu not had his run-ins with the law or been dismissed from LSU, it's possible he would've been a top-10 draft pick. Instead, he fell to the third round where the Cardinals took him with the 69th overall pick (after 11 other cornerbacks had been drafted).
Now Mathieu is garnering attention for all the right reasons, notching a sack in his first preseason game and dazzling fans and coaches alike in practice. Regardless of his past transgressions (and really, smoking pot pales in comparison to what other LSU players have been accused of doing) I always rooted for Mathieu to succeed after the hellacious childhood he endured. Now it looks like he's put himself in a position to prosper and we couldn't be happier for him (unless, of course, the Saints drafted him. Then we'd be happier.)
I'm going to plainly describe this because I've rolled my eyes too hard and I'm having difficulty typing:
It's a three-minute "rap" video starring brothers and professional athletes Eli and Peyton Manning. It's a DirecTV advertisement for NFL Sunday Ticket. The song is "F.O.Y.P." (that's "football on your phone" and an acronym nobody will ever use). The Mannings wear wigs. Archie Manning also is in this. He also wears a wig.
This is "funny" because "quirky" is now ad-friendly shorthand for "comedy." It's also "funny" because the Mannings are goofy-looking vanilla white guys and hey, look, they're "rapping," which "obviously" isn't for them. Also, wigs are "funny." This is DirecTV's recipe for a "fun" "viral" "video" and "song."
Late last Friday, Louisiana Republican congressman Steve Scalise sent a letter to commissioners David Stern of the NBA and Roger Goodell of the NFL where he asks about recent reports that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has approached either commissioner about helping implement Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as “Obamacare”. (You can read the letter in full here.)
Among other things, Scalise referred to the Affordable Care Act as “a train wreck”, claimed that Louisiana residents face insurance premium increases of up to 56% and the bill inhibits job creation and economic growth. This should come as no surprise, as Scalise has sought to repeal Obamacare as recently as this May, even though the Supreme Court upheld the law a year ago.
The NFL has apparently listened to Scalise and spokesman Greg Aiello said the league has no plans to help President Barack Obama’s administration educate football fans about the law. To be sure, implementing a massive, nation-wide overhaul of health insurance is going to have some hiccups, as reported by the Government Accountability Office, but in many ways the law is on schedule.
Obamacare’s is struggling in popularity nationwide and many have said this has less to do with the actual law than with people’s misconceptions of it thanks to the GOP. No matter where you stand on the topic, there's no denying that the Affordable Care Act is a massive and complex bill and will likely affect most, if not all Americans. It is important that people be properly informed about their health care options so they can choose the best option for them. And even if you're well informed on the subject and still oppose the law, tough dice. The Supreme Court has already decided that the law is constitutional and its implementation over the next two years is happening no matter what.
Scalise should know this. Louisiana's health care system is in shambles and his cognitive dissonance on the issue is astounding. In a 2012 study, America’s Health Rankings rated Louisiana as having the second-worst health care system in the country along with the nation’s second-highest poverty and obesity rates. Despite this, Louisiana recently voted down a Medicaid expansion bill, which would have covered 400,000 working poor at no cost to the state for the first three years. Essentially, Louisiana has restricted free health care to nearly a half-million people whose wages are lagging far behind their health care costs.
Came home from the grocery store this pm to a passed out waiter on my front lawn. Took my daughter and I 45 mins. to figure out who he was.— Mary B. Sonnier (@ChefMarySonnier) June 29, 2013
First it giveth, then it taketh away. Newspapers are dead and buried then return to a daily schedule. New Orleans Pelicans come and go within minutes. Prison donuts are a thing and likely will not be anymore. The right and left react to landmark decisions in Texas and D.C. A $100 brunch institution shuffles off this mortal coil. Service industry employees slumber in unusual ways. Governors — do they poop?
In this week's delayed edition of Y@ Speak (not what you expected, right?), New Orleans examines what is real, or really real, and whether they're, you know, cool about it. If not, one can always seek refuge in Target on the West Bank, where the celebrities go.
From Team Gleason's Facebook — a letter from Steve Gleason:
Regarding the DJ skit in Atlanta yesterday. I would like to thank the public for their support. 'Defend Team Gleason' now has been officially redefined. Additionally, the DJs have provided genuine apology. Received and accepted. We have all made mistakes in this life. How we learn from our mistakes is the measure of who we are.
I think everyone can learn from this event. Its clear to me that, on a national & global scale, ALS is not understood, which is part of why its under funded and largely ignored. In the past 36 hours lots of people have been talking. Lets talk about this... There are zero treatments for ALS. If you take any action as a result of this event, I prefer it to be action to end ALS. See what we are doing to change that @ teamgleason.org. SG
Once again, the universe has reinforced the lesson that in America, you're welcome to say whatever you like, but you don't get to control the consequences.
The universe has also reduced our weekly web poll to yesterday's news, as all the options involved came true at one time or another within 12 hours:
So we've pulled that poll question and have come up with a new one:
God's speed, Rodrigue
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