The recent murder-suicide involving Kansas City Chiefs player Jovan Belcher and his girlfriend should serve as a teachable moment for the media and boneheaded sports fans. And I'm not talking about a rehash of the "Guns don't kill people; people kill people" debate.
As fans held up "tributes" to Belcher in the stands at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday and sports reporters mourned his tragic death, precious few observers were noting that the jock happened to be a murderer who has turned his young child into an orphan.
Almost all of the initial reports on the incident focused on the impact it might have on the team, which is so wildly off the mark as to be obscene. If he hadn't eaten the gun himself, Belcher would be looking at life imprisonment. If the Kansas City players and management had a clue, they would have immediately announced they were dedicating parts of their multi-million dollar salaries and franchise profits (and don't be afraid to hop in, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell) to an enormous trust fund for his three-month old daughter, who will now presumably be raised by family members.
But no, that would involve having a rough idea of who the victims were here. And they never suited up for the Chiefs.
P&J always get a chuckle when we see TV ads for violent video games, like Call of Duty: Black Ops II, that give the disclaimer "Rated Mature." Pardon us for laughing, but any faux soldier over the age of 18 who is spending his time waging virtual war against swarthy enemies in his parents' basement prior to his shift at Burger King is not what we would come close to calling "mature." Perhaps a new system that rates a game "for those old enough to vote but without a life" would be more appropriate.
As the Obama administration searches for a successor for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, P&J have obtained part of the questionnaire doled out to Pentagon Paramount Chief wannabes from "a person who asked not to be named because he had no authority to speak about the matter."
• How often are you capable of lying to the media and public? a) Weekly, b) Daily, c) Hourly, d) Every time my lips move.
• Do you support extraordinary rendition of terrorist suspects to unnamed foreign jails for torture? a) Should I?; b) Why not?; c) What terrorists? D) No foreign countries use torture.
• Do you consider the Pentagon budget sufficient? a) Never; b) As long as we keep the war costs out of the budget and public eye; c) As long as I get a chauffeur, personal assistant, private jet, and a dozen-person entourage; d) Sky's the limit!
• How do you feel about drones? a) You mean President Obama?; b) Cool; c) What collateral damage?; d) Can I steer one? I've been practicing on my Xbox.
THE LAST SANTA AT THE OUTLET
Whenever this time of year rolls around, Jorge remembers his stint as the last Santa Claus at the Outlet Company department store in downtown Providence. Well, actually, there were two "last Santas": Jorge and Bob Sachetti. Bob is an actor who had worked on a film with Jorge and tipped him off to the Santa gig.