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Colin Kaepernick is living the new American dream

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Colin Kaepernick is living the new American dream

NFL free agent quarterback and originator of the anti-American kneeling movement Colin Kaepernick just signed a “star” contract with Nike to be the face of their 30th anniversary Just Do It campaign. As a “star” for Nike, Kaepernick will be treated like a “top-end NFL player.” He will have his own branded shoes and other apparel while getting paid millions.

Kaepernick is currently a free agent with few teams considering adding him to their rosters.

Colin Kaepernick to be face of new Nike ad campaign

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-45403855Gino Fisanotti, Nike’s vice president of brand for North America, was quoted by cable sports network ESPN as saying: “We believe Colin is one of the most inspirational athletes of this generation, who has leveraged the power of sport to help move the world forward.”

Kaepernick, 30, signed a sponsorship deal with Nike in 2011 and has been kept on its payroll throughout the kneeling controversy, ESPN reported.

The player opted out of his contract with the 49ers in 2017 and has not played since. He is currently suing the NFL claiming he is being kept out of the league because of his part in the protests.

Outrage towards Nike is matching the outrage and ridicule towards Kaepernick himself on social media:

My Take

I have no respect for Kaepernick. If I wore Nike, I’d stop. But there’s something important happening here that needs to be discussed.

Kaepernick is cashing in on controversy rather than the job he was originally tasked to do. Once a promising football player with real star potential, he became more and more mediocre at a time when he should have been getting better. Say what you will about his activism, but I personally believe he would never have been taking a knee if he hadn’t been benched in the first place.

Was this his goal? Of course not. In fact, I believe he didn’t think it was ever going to be as big of a deal as it is today. But he’s cashing in now, getting paid what the elite in his profession get paid for endorsements. It’s a sad testament to what the American dream is becoming.

I’m not suggesting the old American dream no longer applies, but there’s a new one that’s been emerging for the last couple of decades. First, let’s look at what the dictionary says the American dream is:

The ideal that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative.

Today, it seems there are more and more people achieving their own version of the American dream through means other than hard work, determination, or initiative. Society tends to reward many who have done very little to deserve it, from the Kardashians or William Hung to Omarosa or Kevin Federline.

It’s not just famous people, either. We see examples of people doing normal things, wrapping them in a story that tugs on heartstrings, then posting it to GoFundMe until the media makes them wealthy. It happens every day now. Sometimes, even these incidents go south:

Homeless veteran says couple who raised $400K for him are ‘hypocritical,’ won’t give him money

https://abcnews.go.com/US/homeless-veteran-couple-raised-400k-hypocritical-give-money/story?id=57527615Bobbitt, a 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran who says he was living on the streets of Philadelphia, gave Kate McClure, 28, the last of the cash he had panhandled that day after she ran out of gas, she wrote on a GoFundMe page that she created on Nov. 10 last year.

The page ended up raising more than $400,000, according to the GoFundMe page.

There’s another, less publicized version of the American dream that’s been catching my attention. While merely anecdotal, it struck me how many people I’ve talked to in the last couple of years who are on some form of government assistance. The welfare state has been alive and well for a while, but I’m talking about variations that do not just aid the poor.

I was chatting with a friend who said he and his wife were both on disability. That’s not out of the ordinary, but then he suggested I do the same. I’m not disabled, but he said that didn’t really matter. Doctors today are ready and willing to sign off on just about any mysterious pain or problem that can be cashed in for disability checks.

Then, it got stranger. Not only was he and his wife on disability, but most of their extended family were as well. Brothers, cousins, aunts… apparently the vast majority of both sides of their family no longer worked.

As I mentioned, this is anecdotal. I haven’t researched statistics, but based on what I was told and other stories of work-free American dreams coming true for people, I have no reason to doubt the validity of these claims.

Here’s the bottom line: The America that I thought I grew up in was either an illusion perpetuated by my hard-working parents and years of working hard myself, or this new version of the American dream is growing. When people like Kaepernick can be more successful by failing at their real jobs but cashing in on their activism, should we condemn them?

As a federalist and conservative, I cannot. I don’t like what he started, but I won’t begrudge him for his success. I will continue to believe hard work, determination, and initiative must be the driving forces for not only the true American dream but also for America itself. Nevertheless, I won’t be buying Nikes any time soon.

Entertainment and Sports

Jon Cryer announced as Lex Luthor on Supergirl and the internet goes crazy

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Jon Cryer announced as Lex Luthor on Supergirl and the internet goes crazy

If you weren’t impressed by Jesse Eisenberg playing one of the most iconic villains in comic and movie history, stand by. Your mind is probably about to be blown.

The next actor to take on the role will be Jon Cryer of Two and a Half Men fame. The comedian had taken on many supporting roles through a long career before landing the CBS gig. Now he’s going to play the bald baddie in the CW show Supergirl.

Twitter wasn’t impressed.

My Take

I like this move for one reason and one reason only. It can’t get any worse than the initial reaction. All he has to do is be pretty good at the role and everyone will say, “Hmmm, not bad. Wasn’t expecting that.”

I’m not a fan of the show so I can’t really express a valid opinion. All I can say is that moves like these generally turn out to be okay. Remember the backlash against Hugh Jackman as Wolverine?

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Entertainment and Sports

Jack Reacher reboot: Smaller screen, bigger actor

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Jack Reacher reboot Smaller screen bigger actor

Tom Cruise is one of the biggest actors in the world when it comes to popularity and recognition. He’s also one of the shortest leading men in Hollywood, stretching to hit 5’7″.

His two-movie portrayal of Jack Reacher was enjoyed by many fans, including the book series’ writer, but there was something missing – about 10 inches. In the books, Reacher was described as 6’5″ with hands the size of dinner plates.

There will be no more Jack Reacher movies. There will be a new actor to play the role. The next version of the drifting former major in the military police will come to us through the small screen, almost certainly as a streaming show on Netflix or Amazon.

“Cruise, for all his talent, didn’t have that physicality,” series creator Lee Child told BBC.

So, who could replace Cruise?

The next Jack Reacher

We know Reacher’s character is tall intimidating. He is physically fit and can handle himself well in most fights.

Age isn’t much of a factor. He left the military at age 36, so they have a lot of flexibility depending on which stage they want the story to be picked up.

He’s American, Caucasian, and generally jovial except when he’s kicking butt. He’s blond in the books, but that’s malleable.

So, here’s a list of people who fit the bill. Some of them are hard to imagine playing a television role, but it’s 2018. That’s much more common in the streaming age. A-list actors don’t consider television a downgrade the way they used to.

In order from my favorite to least favorite choice for the role…

  1. Vince Vaughn
  2. Adam Baldwin
  3. Liam Hemsworth
  4. Joe Manganiello
  5. Billy Campbell
  6. Armie Hammer
  7. John Corbett
  8. Ben Affleck

Anyone who balks at Vince Vaughn playing the tough guy as Jack Reacher hasn’t seen Brawl In Cell Block 99.

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Entertainment and Sports

Golden State Warriors to sell $100 monthly passes that don’t have a view of the court

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Golden State Warriors to sell 100 monthly passes that dont have a view of the court

Some people want to see a basketball game live. Others will have to be satisfied with a view of a television screen in a bar at Oracle Arena. To get that honor, fans will have to pay $100 a month for a pass.

If that seems crazy, consider this: There are 44,000 people on the Golden State Warriors’ season pass waiting list and they’re about to sell out their 300th consecutive home game.

Admittedly, the atmosphere at the stadium is wonderful. Feeling the floor rumble after a huge dunk is great. But dealing with parking, crowds, lines at the bathroom, and $13 cans of beer may not be worth the $100 per month. Then again, they expect to sell out these passes as well, so who knows?

I’m happy with my grocery store cans of beer, parking in my driveway, shorter lines to the restroom, and a big plasma screen for the game.

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