This topic has already been beat to death. Hopefully the NFL’s levying of punishment today (significant $100,000 fine and possible loss of a draft choice) will allow everyone to move on. But I just wanted to share a few observations about how the incident looked to me.
- We can never know the intent of someone else.
- Tomlin’s initial positioning in the white restricted zone with his back turned to the play to watch the JumboTron was nothing unusual – he had no way of anticipating that the play would develop to the point where his position would be a factor.
- Despite other coaches violating that white space, all would agree that his position was improper from the beginning. The NFL had sent out a tape with warnings just that week to emphasize that they would be paying more attention to the enforcement of that restricted space.
- As Jacoby approaches, Tomlin seems to slide his feet together and jam up against the field. This change in position seems unusual at best. Also he never turns his head around to make eye contact with the approaching player. He continues to view the play on the screen. On the other hand, the play develops rapidly and we have been watching the slow motion video which can be deceiving.
- Nobody has been commenting about the position of the official that was running down the sideline tracking the play. Tomlin had to be careful not to jump into that official. Possibly that influenced his initial right step jab into the field – although he has never made that claim. For the official to have to go around Tomlin so that Tomlin was for a moment between the official and the play on the field should have been enough to have drawn an immediate penalty. Certainly that official did not have a good view of the right foot jab that Tomlin took initially or of how Jacoby might have been influenced by Tomlin’s position.
- There was no time for there to be any premeditated attempt at interference on Tomlin’s part. What took place had to be impulsive and instinctive rather than thought out. So the excuse that Tomlin would never make any attempt to interfere with a play on the field does not hold water with me because we are not talking about a cognitive process. This does not speak to someone’s integrity, etc.
- It is possible that Tomlin in an instinctive, playful sense made some type of feint to mess with Jacoby – not realizing that the result was his right foot actually stepped onto the field of play. When he realized what he had done he immediately tried to jump out of the way back towards the out of bounds.
- It would seem that Jacoby altered both his direction and his stride just slightly. Whether he would have been tackled anyway is impossible to determine.
- The Ravens have taken the right approach to minimize the subject, give Tomlin the benefit of the doubt, and encourage everyone to move forward. I will do the same.
What message are the Orioles sending to their players and fans by dumping Jim Johnson to avoid paying him a $10M salary in 2014? Certainly the players received from the Oakland Athletics in return for the All Star closer who led the majors in saves over the last 2 years do not project to be significant contributors. The Orioles basically bet to come on a second baseman who was a high level draft choice and showed initial promise but disappointed last year. (Don’t we already have mediocre options at second base?) They also will receive a “player to be named later” which never translates to starting potential. This move can only be viewed as a salary dump signifying that the owner Peter Angelos has a budget ceiling that the GM must keep under as he attempts to make moves to improve the ballclub. Our payroll has been averaging in the middle of the pack and I guess that is where Angelos would like to remain. Granted, maybe Jim Johnson’s value was not at $10M, but he was an important piece of the overall puzzle.
Cf. the images of devastation from the Philippines over the past week – just awful scenes; cf. images from earthquakes, etc.
Complexity of end time events; We know there are multiple judgments involved; we turn to last chapters of book of Rev. for a chronology; here we have the closest parallel in the OT in terms of some type of ordering of events; do not look to see anything here about the rapture of the church – not in view here; so this passage says nothing about validity of pre-trib rapture, vs. post-trib; but it has a lot to say about the validity of the pre-mill position
THE WHOLE EARTH IS HEADED FOR CATASTROPHIC DEVASTATION AND ONLY THE REMNANT REMAINS TO PRAISE GOD
Where is this earth headed?
- The evolutionists have their answer: They have bought into Charles Darwin’s theory that via natural selection, mutations over time continually bring about small increments of improvement – so things are getting better and better. Do you think?
- -The environmentalists have their answer: Mother Earth has existed for millions and millions of years (maybe it is billions now – the time estimate keeps getting longer with every analysis) – but recently man has arrived to bring pollution and degradation so that the planet as we know it is gradually degrading; we need to invest all our efforts in trying to stave off the eventual collapse – So they vote for slow degradation as opposed to gradual progress
- The nihilists have their answer — Life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value – therefore they reject the validity of all morals and religious values – Basically their answer is that the world is not headed anywhere and who cares
- The existentialists have a slightly different twist — A philosophy that emphasizes the uniqueness and isolation of the individual experience in a hostile or indifferent universe, regards human existence as unexplainable, and stresses freedom of choice and responsibility for the consequences of one’s acts. Your personal experience is the only thing that really matters.
- The hedonists run with that philosophy in the direction of therefore, let’s eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.
We come to the conclusion this morning of Isaiah’s section of Ten Oracles of Judgments against various nations – chapters 13-23. The theme has been constant: You cannot trust in the nations around you or in the arm of the flesh … you must trust completely and exclusively in the Lord Himself.
Most times the context has been one of political and military tension. Here as the spotlight focuses on Tyre, the context is more that of the world of commerce and economics. This is a message directed against Wall Street where “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” Who is more driven by the love of money than the heroes of capitalism that work the trading desks of Wall Street. Apart from submission to God, their motivation is distinctly greedy and selfish – How can I leverage the funds at my disposal to make the most money possible. They long to be applauded as successful and smart and perceptive. They want the mutual fund that they manage to be given rave reviews.
I have stayed away from political topics for years it seems … as I check through my blog records. But finally I feel I must speak out.
When it comes to the answers that President Obama has been giving lately to some of the major crisis points of his administration, he is not leaving us with many options. If we give him the benefit of the doubt that he is not outright lying in his responses, the only judgment one can make is that he must be ignorant of significant events and thus incompetent in terms of his overall management. None of these choices enhance the confidence one can place in our Chief Executive.
Let’s just briefly list some of the major blind-spots that have been claimed lately:
1) With respect to Benghazi – we are still trying to nail down what did the President know about this terrorist directed attack that killed our Ambassador and when did he know it? What about the requests for additional security?
2) With respect to the IRS targeting of tea party loyalists and other conservatives — In light of the large number of trips made by the IRS executive to the White House, it seems strange to believe that the President had no knowledge of these activities.
3) With respect to the NSA spying/listening in on the German Chancellor and other important allies – the President’s response is even putting him at odds with the leaders in our own intelligence community who resent his denials. It is a fact that the information gleaned from such surveillance was included in his daily security briefings … so you make the call.
4) With respect to the rollout of his signature Obamacare program, the President maintains he was unaware of the glitches and the lack of readiness of the website programming until the actual implementation – in other words, he found out when we found out. Not very believable to me.
These are not minor issues. These have explosive consequences on a global scale. Yet the President would have us judge him to be a competent administrator while he remains ignorant of such major issues?? Is this pattern of deniability believable?? There are many reports in the different news media that are focusing on the same line of thought. Some of these articles even go back further in time to question the same pattern of deniability with respect to
- the failure of clean-energy company Solyndra, and attempts to go after reporters’ phone and email records. . .
- the FBI investigation of an affair involving David Petraeus that led him to resign as CIA director — the timing of the revelation might have been conditioned on some political contingencies . . .
- going back even further: his ignorance of a guns-on-the-border sting operation called ‘Fast and Furious’ that went awry . . .
This type of logic reminds me of why I have always been a fan of the Christian apologetic that challenges people to consider the claims of Christ on the basis of “Liar, Lunatic, or Lord??”
Maybe President Obama could star as Sgt. Schultz in a film remake of the old Hogan’s Heroes show — “I see NOTHING; I know NOTHING!”
Sometimes companies try to redefine reality to shift liability away from their operations. It would be nice if just saying something would make it true … but that is not how things work in the real world. My favorite example is the sign which I saw recently on the back of a dump truck for a major excavation company here in Baltimore. We all are too familiar with the experience of having our windshield dinged by the stones flying out of construction trucks with loads that are not properly covered and protected. This sign warns drivers to stay back 200 feet to avoid such hazards – not very realistic in most traffic situations – especially since the sign would not even be readable from 2/3 a football field away. Dream on! You break it … you must pay for it. [ I guess the sign might have a little more credibility if you spelled "RESPONSIBLE" correctly.]
If Defense and Pitching win championships … then I guess the recent awarding of 3 Golden Gloves to Orioles players (Hardy, Machado, Jones) for the 2013 season underscores our need to improve the pitching staff. [We had 3 other legitimate contenders at other positions as well – so our defense can’t be the problem.] Every year for the past decade, the Orioles have greatly hyped and overrated their starting pitching prospects. We keep being told that the crop that is just one or two years away from the big leagues will produce some front line talent. But the disappointments continue. Now that Bundy is coming off Tommy John surgery and Grossman has only been serviceable in spot relief, we are left grasping at straws once again.
It seems that management has shifted gears to try to convince the fans that quantity will somehow erase the deficiencies of lack of quality. We have plenty of contenders for the #4 and #5 starting pitching roles, but no genuine aces to stack up against the clubs that are making it into the postseason. This is not a problem easily fixed via free agency – even if we had the resolve to spend the big bucks on long term contracts. Our philosophy has been to stockpile good pitching prospects and try to develop them through our minor league system – while saving the free agency bucks for buying that position player that would put us over the top. But our pitching developmental program has consistently misfired. The high profile top draft choices have failed to make their mark. Injuries have been a huge problem. We finally have a good core of position players but lack the pitching to get us over the top.
I guess we should bank on ground ball pitchers who will keep the ball in the Yard and give our defensive standouts a chance to make a play. Avoid walks and cut back on the homeruns and see if we can win a higher percentage of the close games that seem to be our destiny. [Interesting that the initial feedback from the newly hired pitching coach tracked right along those same points.] Pitching aces are nowhere in view.
In the first half of the Oracle of the Valley of Vision directed against Jerusalem, we saw the big picture of what happens when a nation forgets God and chooses to trust instead in their own defenses. God brings devastating panic and bondage and confusion. We saw Isaiah weeping over the apostasy of God’s people who were immersed in a culture of self indulgence and frivolity when they should have been weeping in genuine repentance over their careless indifference and carnal partying. This unbelief on their part constituted the unpardonable sin.
In the second half of the chapter, the same theme of condemning self-reliance is developed by looking at specific case history of two particular individuals – Shebna and Eliakim. We have jumped from the big picture to a very specific Pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey approach. These two prominent leaders represent two very different types of failures that lead to the same end result.
Since the Orioles are interviewing candidates for the position of pitching coach, I thought I would highlight the Top Ten Qualifications for a Major League Pitching Coach. This seems like a cushy job to me. You stay behind the scenes and don’t face any of the media pressure. The manager ultimately makes all of the decisions anyway about which pitchers to start and when to relieve them. You offer some level of advice but have very little criticism directed your way. If you are fortunate to catch on with a team that has a couple of aces you will be considered a genius and enjoy a long run in the game.
10) Must know how to speak out of both sides of his mouth so that he can offer that type of paradoxical counsel that ensures he is never wrong:
- Be aggressive in the strike zone – Don’t give the hitter anything good to hit
- Get ahead in the count – Don’t be predictable
- Never get beat with your third pitch – Keep the batter guessing
- Hit your spots – Cut it loose
- Pitch to your strength – Exploit the batter’s weakness
- Throw strikes – Don’t give in to the hitter
- Don’t let the runner get a lead – Concentrate on the batter
- Don’t overthrow – Maintain your velocity
- Find your release point and arm slot – Don’t over-think your mechanics