I wish I didn’t have to write about this. I really don’t. But after everything that has happened in this country in the last few weeks regarding racism and injustice, it seems almost unavoidable. We read Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, in which Dr. King outlines what he views as just versus unjust laws, and how people are obligated to disobey an unjust law. Dr. King writes that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”, and that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” It seems that when we look at what is happening in America today, Dr. King was years ahead of his time, because here in the year 2014, we still don’t have the freedom and equality Dr. King was fighting for in the 1960s.
In his essay, “On Liberty”, John Stuart Mill clearly outlines his views on one potentially very controversial issue: the harm principle. Mill states in his essay that “the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.” This idea on a basic level is very clear. If someone wants to harm another member of society, then that is considered breaking the law and he or she should be punished. But if someone wants to harm themselves, that is permissible, because no law should disallow someone from harming themselves if they really want to. Mill thinks that is their prerogative and their right. This idea on its face seems to be rather simple, but in reality, it is a complex issue that can take many different twists and turns.
After reading about the ideology of Edmund Burke, followed by the article by Marc Tracy about the potential future changes in football, it got me thinking about sports and how they revolutionize and change over time. That led me to a conclusion and a rebuttal to Tracy’s argument that soon football won’t even look like football: what if that’s a good thing? What if the NFL cutting down on kickoffs is good for the longevity of the league? I love football as much as the next guy, and would hate to see these changes radically occur overnight, but they might actually turn out to be a good thing. Burke argues against radical change, but what if change happens in small doses that don’t seem radical at the time? I generally fall on the conservative side when it comes to rule changes in sports, but maybe those changes are necessary.
This past week, I voted in an American election for the first time. Now, I find this to be no small matter, especially considering the low voter turnout for my demographic. Despite the best efforts of Lil Jon, only 13% of voters in Tuesday’s midterm elections were between the ages of 18-29, which is right on line with the 12% of voters age 18-29 who voted in the 2010 midterm elections. People around the world would give their lives to live in a democratic country where they can have their voices be heard via an election, so why here in America are our youth taking that privilege for granted? I think it comes down to a combination of a few factors, mainly the “my vote doesn’t matter” mantra along with just an overall laziness and unawareness of the issues and the candidates.
On Sunday night, Peyton Manning passed Brett Favre and set the record for most all-time touchdown passes in the NFL, with 509, and I couldn’t help but think my post needed to be some sort of Manning tribute. I mean, this guy has been unbelievable. Look at his stats: in the 16 seasons in which he has played, he has 509 touchdowns, over 66 thousand yards, a completion percentage of 65.5 and an average quarterback rating of 97.5. The guy is a first ballot hall of famer, and he’s still going strong. The Broncos have the best chance to win the Super Bowl this season, according to Vegas, and by the time it’s all said and done, Peyton may have more records to add to his belt. As the current face of America’s signature sport, it’s time to take a look at Peyton and his role in America’s new pastime.
With all the outrage and drama surrounding the Brady Hoke-Dave Brandon Michigan football debacle, it’s time we took a look at another big-time Michigan athletic team that never seems to garner national headlines, yet always seems to do things right: The Michigan basketball team. Tip-off is in a month, the team just had their first week of practice, and Coach John Beilein is putting his plans in place on how this team can reach its third straight Elite Eight. Coach Beilein is not flashy or outspoken like some of his coaching counterparts, yet come March and its inevitable madness, he always has his team ready to go.