Lessons from Gridiron Players *Weekend Open Thread*


Recently, a friend of mine who is a teacher put up a “Certificate of Recognition” passed out to the hundreds of teachers. She was laughing at the whole “everyone gets a trophy” aspect of such “recognition” for the efforts of these teachers. I guess “Everyone Is Special!” isn’t just for kids anymore!

I bring this up because even though the NFL season is still a few months away, an NFL player had a strong response to this whole, “everyone’s special, here’s a trophy” mentality.  In fact, his reaction was to immediately take away the “participation trophy” from his first grade daughter. Townhall has the story:

Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams is waging a one-man battle against the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality. Williams decided to teach his kindergarten-aged daughter a lesson about winning and losing: he gave her teacher back her field day participation ribbon to encourage her earn a ribbon by placing in an event.

According to Williams, she then placed first in the next event.

Williams tweeted a picture of his daughter wearing the ribbons she won throughout the day.

The post noted that overall, Williams received favorable comments for his actions. I, for one, am delighted that people are standing up to this mamby pamby mindset that eliminates competition and promotes the idea that all children are EXACTLY the same and can achieve EXACTLY the same goals. That is just not accurate. Everyone is equal in a big picture sense, sure. And everyone has their gift, sure, but not everyone is smart enough to be a medical doctor, or able to be an artist, or a musician, or any host of other vocations or occupations. It is doing NO ONE any favors to set kids up for certain failure when they realize they have been lied to all of their lives about how the world works.

The bottom line is this: when everyone gets the same award for being “special,” no one is…

And speaking of education, this next story is both an indictment of our educational system, and a celebration of learning to read. This is also a gridiron story about former University of Georgia football player, now an NFL rookie, Malcolm Mitchell. From The Federalist:

Malcolm Mitchell was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the NFL draft last week. But the wide receiver out of Georgia is living another unlikely dream, too, fielding a public invitation to Reese Witherspoon’s book club on Twitter. It wouldn’t be the first ladies’ book club he’s joined.

The path that brought the Valdosta native to the actress’s attention has been marked by chance encounters and second chances. When Mitchell arrived at the University of Georgia his freshman year, he wasn’t reading at a college level. He hadn’t been read to as a child, and never took interest in high school. Frustrated, he set out to improve his skills.

Wandering through an Athens, Georgia, Barnes & Noble, he ran into Kathy Rackley, who was carrying a pile of books under her arm.

Mitchell asked her for help finding books that might work for him, and she mentioned her book club.

“He said, ‘Can I join your book club?’” Rackley recalled. “And I said, ‘I don’t know if you want to join mine. We’re all 40-, 50-, and 60-year-old women.’”

Rackley didn’t know anything of Mitchell’s gridiron exploits, and he didn’t tell her. The young football star showed up for a ladies’ book club, and kept going once a month throughout his college career. When a knee injury kept him off the field for most of his 2013 season, he became a voracious reader while he rehabbed.

“Somebody called me a nerd. That’s not a word that I’m used to hearing,” he told CBS in 2014. “I was proud of it… It’s like a badge of honor to me, knowing where I came from.”

This is a great story in so many ways, especially because Mitchell has given back to young people, reading tot hem, and even writing a book, according to The Federalist. That is no small thing, especially if it helps these young children to develop a love for reading, something many of us here share.

But it also begs the question, how did a young man who was only reading at a junior high school level not just graduated from high school, but accepted into a prestigious university?? That I find to be incredibly disconcerting. How about we actually make sure kids can perform at the grade level they are in, and that they are competent enough to actually GRADUATE? If not, hold them back. That used to be a fairly common occurrence. Not so sure in this “Everybody’s a winner” pedagogy if that still happens.

That said, though, it is impressive that this young man took it upon himself to better himself, and now has accomplished a lot more than getting into the pros:

[…] He started visiting local schools and reading to kids, trying to instill in them what he’d missed as a child. His “Read With Malcolm” efforts eventually spawned a self-published children’s book in 2015 called “The Magician’s Hat.” Mitchell spent $500-1000 of his own money on it, and the NCAA ruled he could sell the book long as the football program wasn’t promoting the sales. Former Georgia coach Mark Richt supported Mitchell’s efforts, writing the foreword to the book, which is the semi-autobiographical tale of a young man whose magic trick is to reveal the power of books to change lives. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

And now Reese Witherspoon has invited him to join HER book club, as the article points out. Not too shabby, especially if it encourages more young kids to read.

As they say, “reading is fun-damental,” as this cute video highlights:


Isn’t that cute?  I love seeing all those happy kids with their books.

Indeed, as this crazy campaign season continues, getting lost in a good book may be just what the doctor ordered. Nothing like being transported by a great story, is there?

And so, for this Weekend Open Thread, feel free to share what book you are reading, or your favorite book (s), or anything else that’s on your minds. Have at it!


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71 Responses to “Lessons from Gridiron Players *Weekend Open Thread*”

  1. piper Says:

    Money, money, loans, self-funding, pay backs and all the lies that one tells in the donation box.


    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Every day there is some new revelation about this slimy manchild. It’s, at least for me, gotten past outrage to tiresome. I’m sick to death of hearing about Trump. But if you turn on the television you’d think there was only one politician in the whole country. He’s not just a vulgar buffoon anymore, he’s a boring, vulgar buffoon. We won’t even go into the lies because that would take up half the day and he’s just not worth that much time to me.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      It truly is astonishing, but the media is the one to blame for this, caring not to vet him at ALL until now, until it is essentially too late, in service to their DNC masters. Once again, they have put this country at risk for their despicable lack of ethics and morals.

      And yes, I am sick to death of hearing abt him, too!

  2. helenk3 Says:


    some very interesting numbers

  3. helenk3 Says:

    for my grandkids and great grandkids, I am the book grandmom. I send books that I think they would like. Yes they are read and reading does make a very big difference in a kids life. it is time with a parent, learning and fun

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I am a “book” Grandma too. Not sure all of them appreciate it but if not tough.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      That is so cool of you two! Your grandkids are lucky to have grandmothers who care so much!

  4. helenk3 Says:


    some good arguments in the comments

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      The answer is that it doesn’t. The problem is that most of the Trumpster Trash is so ignorant that they really don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. So they spew talking points. And everyone gets called out for being part of the establishment whether they are of not. Another misused and over used term is RINO, IMO. Evidently no one is allowed to disagree with the Trump. Or his evil minions.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        If anyone is a part of the “Establishment,” it is Trump, a point made clear by his relationship with the ousted Boehner who all of a sudden is being treated like he is a voice crying out in the wilderness. His comments abt Cruz alone indicate what kind of person he is, and it is no one I want to listen to, I have to say.

        Or the nation, which is why he is no longer SPEAKER.

        • kenoshamarge Says:

          Now that Boehner seems to feel emancipated by not holding any office he is showing his true colors. And they ain’t pretty.

          I thought he was a weak Speaker and did not act as if the GOP had a majority in his bowing and scraping and inevitably caving to Obama. I had no idea he was such a petty little man.

          There seems to be a lot of that crawling out from under various rocks these days.

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

  6. kenoshamarge Says:

    6 States Whose Leaders Are Giving a Big Ol’ Middle Finger to Obama’s ‘Gender-Neutral Bathroom’ Order


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      AHAHAHAHAHA – good for them!! This has just gotten to be insane. There are so many REAL issues facing this nation, and for the PRESIDENT to be making such a big deal out of this is idiotic.

      I don’t care what someone thinks they are in their head – no men in the women’s/girls bathrooms or locker rooms – PERIOD.

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        The saddest part of all, at least to me, is that people who really are transgender, if such exist, will now be resented because of a tyrannical government that insists on shoving laws that endanger 97% of the population in order to solve some problem I suspect isn’t there.

        More than likely “real” transgender people have been using the bathroom that suits their mindset for years and no one even noticed. Now any pervert male animal can, by government decree, be given access that once could only be dreamed of by those that went before.

        This is a touchy subject because anything to do with sex is always a touchy subject. Young people growing up have enough problems to cope with. Now the government is putting anyone layer of confusion on them and another reason for others to reject or demean or hate them.

        We’ve heard from liberals for years that they wanted the government out of their bedrooms. More hypocrisy it seems, they want the government out of their bedrooms in order to them in our bathrooms.

        • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

          EXACTLY, Marge! The true transgendered people have already been using the restroom with no fanfare. But now, a whole bunch of people are getting pissed off that this bathroom thing is being shoved down our throats putting people at risk as it opens the floodgates to predators.

          It boggles the mind, doesn’t it? That the people who screamed for decades, “Out of our bedrooms!” is now demanding that they control, well, EVERYTHING?? It is just astonishing.

          And when did “Transgender” mean just FEELING one way or the other?? It used to mean, and not long ago, people who were actively altering their original gender with hormones and surgery. This BROAD spectrum of just “feeling” one way or the other is just , well, pushing the boundaries.

  7. kenoshamarge Says:

    Senate Appropriations Bill Spends More Than Obama Requested

    The U.S. Senate’s first spending bill of 2016 allocates $261 million more than President Barack Obama requested and lacks significant conservative amendments, but it still sailed to passage Thursday in the Republican-led chamber.

    Voting no were eight Republicans: Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz of Texas, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Arthur Heller of Nevada, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama.


    Cruz no longer on the campaign trail to point out crap like this so Obama’s Mitch feels free to spend like a Democrat.

    • helenk3 Says:


      we need Ted Cruz in congress just for reasons like this vote
      someone needs to remember the people of this country. the rest of congress forgets about them until they want donations for reelections

      • kenoshamarge Says:

        The Senate that passed the above horrific spending bill is never going to confirm an honest man. While it would rid them of him in the Senate they would never be rid of him on the Court. And he would have a stature as a Justice that they could never achieve. Although media does it’s best to smear any conservative Justices. But they smear anyone that doesn’t have a liberal agenda and ideology.

        They would prefer him in the Senate where he is vastly outnumbered by the crooks and liars on both sides of the aisle. They smear him since they cannot silence him.

  8. piper Says:

    I have been a reader since 4th grade when I got my first library card at the new library which opened close to my home. Although I have a kindle and enjoy reading books on it, my inclination is to get the hard copy from the library to read. Sadly I finding more and more people even my contemporaries preferring television and playing games to reading.

    • piper Says:

      A library that I would love to visit and would be comfortable reading there for many hours.

      BTW – many people can’t correctly spell library let alone pronouncing it correctly.

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I spend a lot of time reading and I don’t have a Kindle yet. I prefer the “feel’ of a book in my hands.

      I have to wait for paperbacks because the hardcovers are too heavy for my arthritic hands. But I have one of those holder for books that people put on treadmills now and holding a book is no longer a problem. My hands feel better too so it’s a twofer.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I love libraries, and I still get the hard copy books. Just something abt the feel and smell of them that I love!

  9. helenk3 Says:

    for readers here who have e-readers like kindle of nook, there is a website called bookbub that you can get books very cheap or free

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I’m a hoarder when it comes to books and hang onto mine. I actually have an old Andre Norton Science Fiction paperback from ACE books that I bought 50 years ago. It’s a little “crispy” but I reread it once in awhile.

  10. helenk3 Says:


    we are not alone

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      No we are not. I’m glad she called this constant call for unity for what it is, group think. I’m not very good at group think and even worse at being bullied into doing something I don’t want to do.

      There are a whole lot of us and we aren’t going to get back in line. For one, many of us are Independents and we owe no allegiance to any party.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Thanks for this, Helen. And yes, many of us will NOT be bullied by this call for unity, even fealty, to a man we find to be utterly despicable and void of ethics or morals. We owe our votes to NO one. They must be EARNED, and Trump has done nothing to earn my vote; neither has Hillary.

      Like you, Marge, I’m an Independent, and will vote my conscience. Frankly, EVERYONE should do that, and forcing someone as unpalatable as Trump on us makes me do nothing but dig in my heels…

  11. helenk3 Says:


    words no longer matter

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      No words don’t matter. Words like truth, honesty, integrity, and values. None of them matter any more to the Republicans, the most of them, than the Democrats.

      The politicians have been venal and corrupt for a long time. But it took voters like the Obots and the Trumpster Trash to give the country to the crooks. I’m glad I’m old and won’t live to see much of what is going to happen. Unfortunately my granddaughters will. And two of them voted for the charlatans. One for Obama and one will vote for Trump. They deserve the world they are voting for. The five with a brain do not.

  12. helenk3 Says:


    looks like the republican party is reaping what they have sown.

    the donald get the money , the rest of the republicans will just have to go without

  13. helenk3 Says:


    why I like Ted Cruz

  14. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Sorry I was away so much today. I had an MRI this morning in preparation for y final visit with my spinal specialist prior to my surgery in June. Then, we signed the contract with our builder – YAY!!! Cannot wait to get started on the new house…

    Love the conversation going on here today. What a great group you all are!

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      You need to take care of your health. And yay too about the contract!

      But we always miss you and are glad when you come back.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        You are too kind – thank you! I appreciate that!

        Well, once I have this surgery, I will be out of commission for quite some time – probably a good thing since that will be close to the time of the Convention. 🙂 It is a mixed bag, though, since of course I will want to know what you and the Gang think, but the key to healing is rest, eating right, doing PT, and NO emotional upheaval. Ahahaha…

        • kenoshamarge Says:

          Dear Girl if you can find someplace with no “emotional upheaval” please let me know – I want to get tickets. Best bet is to turn television off, read good books and talk to friends who will protect your health by not telling you the state of the world.

          Maybe we should start a new network – OGNN aka the Only Good News Network. Although if I think about that it would get to be rather boring in a short time.

          I’ll think about it. In the mean time it’s Sunday morning, right at this minute the sun is shining in Wisconsin. I am leaving for church in a few minutes and for that period of time God will be in his heaven and all will be right with the world. Shortly after that God will still be in his heaven and the world will continue to go to hell in a hand basket.

          Just as Ben Franklin told us that America was a Republic if we could keep it, God gave us a beautiful world that was filled with “natural” disasters and problems. We being the idiots that we are, compounded all the things that nature would do by fighting with and among ourselves.

          Sometimes I despair. But in a few minutes I will find some peace. And I thank God for that.

          • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

            ROTFLMAO – yeah, I know. I remember after I had a hysterectomy years ago reading how important it was to have a calm environment in which to recover. Um, yeah, sure – just let me know where one is! 😀

            Wonderful comment – a sermonette, if you will, for us this Sunday morning. Thank you, Marge!

            • kenoshamarge Says:

              Did you hear a big roar up in the sky? That was the sound of God laughing at the idea of Marge giving a sermonette. He knows I belong on the receiving end. The message I received this morning was:

              Jeremiah 29:11 – For know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

  15. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Sadly, thanks to Obama, the Dems, and the HRC, I fear we will see more of this kind of thing. Parents should sue, and get vocal. Their children should not be put at risk because of this far left political correctness that has run amok. Obama keeps talking abt rights but seems to forget that WOMEN and GIRLS have rights, too, dammit. Or we did…

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      Evidently in the Amerika of 2016 women don’t even have the right of privacy in a bathroom. That will be what Obama is remembered for as being “historic”, not the color of his damn skin. I care nothing for the color of a person’s skin – but Obama’s heart is black and I do care about that.

  16. helenk3 Says:


    guess she checked her principles at the door

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Uh, yeah. Apparently like the Nebraska Rep. Party which voted to reprimand Sen. Ben Sasse for HAVING HIS OWN OPINION AND CONSCIENCE.

      WTH is going on with Reps?? Since WHEN did they start demanding people walk in lockstep and vote against their conscience?! Since when did they give up the First Amendment???

  17. helenk3 Says:

    I think we need this story today


    the goodness of people

  18. helenk3 Says:

    hope this works

    a little Sunday Morning beauty

  19. helenk3 Says:


    why is this not a surprise?

    • piper Says:

      Oh my – Sarah Palin a person I once respected who has now turned in the Tina Poehler caricature. I laughingly can see her wanting to see WH from her porch. /s/

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Oh, good grief. Well, I am pretty sure Rubio and Cruz have already acknowledged they would not even CONSIDER being on Trump’s ticket. I have NO doubt whatsoever Kasich is calling every day BEGGING to be on the ticket! 🙂

      And Palin – I used to respect her so much. Now? Yeah, NO.

  20. helenk3 Says:


    how backtrack’s dept of crime is sabotaging the FBI clinton investigation

    • piper Says:

      The real reason for this refusal to do a full and thorough investigation has more to do with protecting Obama than Hillary. If she goes down, she’ll finger the prez and there’s goes his legacy. As much as Obama dislikes maybe even hates Hillary, he knows that she’ll tell the truth about Benghazi and his dereliction of duty, and other deceptions.

  21. kenoshamarge Says:

    Oh my, poor Jeremiah 29:11 is looking mighty thin these days. Maybe it would be easier to read if I reposted it down here:

    Jeremiah 29:11 – For know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Nice, Marge – thanks for this! And hey – God works in mysterious ways! 😀

  22. kenoshamarge Says:

    Gates: ‘I Have Some Real Issues’ With Trump on National Security

    “I have some real issues with things he’s said about national security policy and some concerns,” Gates said. “I think there are some contradictions. You can’t have a trade war with China and ask them to help you on North Korea. I have no idea what his policy would be in terms of dealing with ISIS. I worry a little bit about his admiration for Vladimir Putin.”


    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I am sure that HAD to be sarcasm when Gates said that is worries “a little bit about his admiration for Vladimir Putin…” No kidding. His concerns on ALL those issues are spot on. And again, why Republicans are going along with whatever idiocy Trump spews AND demand allegiance to him defies reason.

  23. kenoshamarge Says:

  24. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    A friend had this WONDERFUL story on Facebook that happened this past week in Cincinnati. It involves a mother turning to a police officer for help – a mother GOOSE, that is: https://www.thedodo.com/goose-leads-cop-trapped-baby-1789420060.html

  25. piper Says:

    “If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.” Thomas Sowell

    Read more at:

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      Sowell is something else! A video abt him is a BIG part of my post today. Such a bright, smart man…

  26. helenk3 Says:


    just WOW

  27. helenk3 Says:


    Amy I think this book would interest you.

  28. helenk3 Says:

    Amy, can you put this picture on the side of your blog? this is the best picture of the 2016 election I have seen yet

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