God bless Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. Sure, he's a liberal Democrat and a loyal party apparatchik, but he's also a straight shooter. And so, he doesn't feed you a line of bull. Instead, he tells it like it is.
And Rendell absolutely hit the bull's-eye with his much-discussed comments about Roger Goodell and the National Football league suits who had the gall to cancel Sunday night's game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Minnesota Vikings.
Indeed, Rendell made telling and poignant points about the wussification of America, and the liberal-corporate paternalism that has taken hold, and which seeks to eliminate any and all risk -- and thus, any and all fun -- from life.
Goodell canceled the game because, get this: there was too much snow. No, I'm not kidding. There was too much snow, said Goodell and the league hierarchy. So the game had to be canceled, rescheduled, and played two days later (last night).
Why, fans traveling in the snow might slip and fall and hurt themselves! Or worse yet, they might get into a car accident. So we have to protect people from themselves. We have to "ensure public safety."
This was too much for Rendell, who didn't hesitate to denounce this nonsense, and in no uncertain terms.
"I think it's a joke," the tough-talking Pennsylvanian told Fox 29 News in Philadelphia Sunday night.
I mean, we canceled the game and there's less than three inches of snow in Montgomery County, where a lot of our fans come from. There's less than two inches in Wilmington, where a lot of our fans come from.
In Philadelphia, we've got a great subway system; Broad Street is fine; the Parkway is fine; 95 and the Expressway are clear.
I think the fans can make their own judgments about their own safety. This is football. Good Lord: Vince Lombardi would be spinning in his grave that we canceled a football game with this amount of snow….
Football is a cold weather sport. It should be played unless there are blizzard conditions. This is in no way, shape or form a blizzard…
As I said, we haven't had one incident on our roads. Our roads are all clear. We have a great subway system.
And it's football. Good lord: you schedule a football game for Dec. 26 and you expect that you might have snow.
The next day, on a Philadelphia sports radio show, 97.5's The Fanatic, Rendell continued to speak truth to power:
I think it goes against everything that football's all about… There's no cancelation for bad weather in football. It's never happened before…
The San Diego Chargers and the Cincinnati Bengals played an AFC Championship Game in a minus-64-degree wind chill. Nobody cared about the fans. They let the fans make the judgment whether they were going to go to that game or not go to that game. At the time the game ended, there were about 5.5 inches of snow on the ground.
People go to games in New England, [they] go to games in Chicago, [they] go to games in New York routinely with that amount of snow on the ground…
Rendell is absolutely right. Why, one of the most memorable NFL games in recent history is the 2001-2002 AFC divisional playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders.
The game was played in Foxboro, Massachusetts, in the midst of a veritable winter wonderland of heavily falling nighttime snow. And the fans -- those in attendance at the game, as well as those watching on TV nationwide -- loved it!
The snow added to the romance and mystique of the event, which now lives in football lore.
The Pats, of course, escaped with a narrow three-point win, thanks to the infamous "Tuck rule," which transmogrified a clear late fourth-quarter fumble by New England quarterback Tom Brady into an inexplicable "incomplete pass."
The "incomplete pass" allowed New England to keep the ball and to kick a game-tying field goal. The game then went into overtime and the Pats won. Soon thereafter, the Patriots would win their first of three Super Bowls within a four-year time span.
So you can hardly blame Rendell for being peeved and ticked. So, too, was every football fan in America. And the governor spoke for them. He spoke for us.
I for one -- and I've been stopped by tons of Eagles' fans today. We were looking forward to sitting in the snow. It would have been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And we could have made the judgment for ourselves [about] whether it was safe or not…
But behold the liberal-corporate paternalism voiced by Mike Missanelli, who hosts The Fanatic radio show. Missanelli was dismissive of NFL players who have denounced the league for canceling the game.
"The players are going to say that because they're filled with machismo!" Missanelli cried. "How could you shirk the public safety angle of this, Governor?"
Rendell was incredulous. "The public safety [angle]?" he responded. "Mike, [there were] five inches of snow… People drive in that all the time… That's their choice."
Not according to Missanelli! You see, to liberal-corporate paternalists, choice is a bad and dangerous thing -- a very bad and dangerous thing!
"OK," he said.
But you know when you give people a choice -- and you know what you're doing: You're testing them, OK? They're going to think the same way: "Ah, it's not so bad… You go down there." And you know that it's like having a gun to their head…
Well, as Saturday Night Live's "The Church Lady" put it, "Isn't that special?!" Choice is "like having [or putting] a gun to people's head." Really?!
That certainly explains a lot. It certainly explains why the Left and the Democratic Party refuse to give parents a choice of where to send their kids to school, refuse to give young people a choice of where to invest their Social Security, and refuse to give hunters and sportsmen a choice of guns and weapons.
And it also explains why "Comprehensive National Health Insurance" -- aka Obamacare -- is designed to progressively restrict our healthcare choices and options such that a "single-payer" healthcare system -- aka socialized medicine -- becomes, over time, a de facto reality for all Americans.
Even our military personnel now will be denied the choice of whether or not to serve in units that are free of open homosexuality and "sensitivity training."
As Rendell explained, "People are always underestimating the intelligence of [the American] people."
"My biggest beef is… what's happened in this country," he said.
I'm saying that we've become a nation of wusses… In most places in the world, people would have sneered at this.
This is football… It's a game that should be played in all-weather conditions. And the fans can make [these] judgments for themselves…
"The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything," Rendell continued.
If this was in China, do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium. They would have walked, and they would have been doing calculus on the way down…
[This represents] the Wussification of America.
…See if you can get [former Minnesota Viking coach and Hall of Famer] Bud Grant on the phone? What do you think Lombardi would have said? He would say that we have become a nation of wusses."
In some respects, that's all too true. Why, try building a high-jump diving board at any public town or municipal swimming pool. You can't do it. The lawyers have made it impossible.
Too much "risk," don't you know! Why, kids might hurt themselves when jumping 10 feet into the water. So we have to ban high-jump diving boards -- or at least make them too costly to build.
Football was the one sport that we thought was protected from liberal-corporate paternalism, but not anymore. Thanks to Roger Goodell and the effete American suits who run the NFL, football is now just part and parcel of what Rendell rightly calls the "wussification of America."
Problem is much of the world isn't filled with wusses. It's filled with tough-minded foes and adversaries, many of whom would destroy us if they could, and nearly all of whom would love to bury us (figuratively speaking, I mean).
Time, then, to toughen up. Time to reject the "wussification of America." Time to reject Roger Goodell and the effete NFL suits. Time to reject liberal-corporate paternalism.