COLUMN: Random Thoughts of the Union

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“He shall, from time to time, give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

The United States Constitution, Article II, Section 3

* Thomas Jefferson was not a good public speaker. And he thought the annual address he was required by the Constitution to give to the U.S. Congress came off as a monarch speaking to commoners. So, he played to what nearly everyone then and now considered to be his most prodigious talent. He wrote it…and then sent it off to be read by someone else.

Over 200 years later, the State of the Union address is a supererogatory exercise of vanity and political grandstanding. It is a checklist of talking points delivered in a manner so as to not offend any of the political interests that the president is obliged to recognize.

Add to this the fact that people are tired of hearing President Obama speak. His eloquence and gift for oratory are no longer potent. The new car smell is gone. What is left is a punchless agenda, a failed domestic policy and a government health care monstrosity that has yet to fully reach its destructive powers.

I did not watch Tuesday’s State of the Union address. I did not have to. Nothing will come of it. That is what you get when you have an exceedingly weak president.

* Like many, my opinion of the actions of Seattle Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman in the immediate aftermath of his team clinching a Super Bowl spot is that he is a classless moron. It annoys me that many have defended his actions and relegated his detractors as nothing more than racists.

And the theory that he was just being emotional is easily debunked. Within an instant of the second he knew the game was over, he could have done many things. He could have high fived his teammates. He could have ran to the stands and celebrated with the fans. He could have gone to the sidelines and hugged his coaches. But what did he do?

He immediately tracked down a member of the 49ers that he had been jawing with—who was walking quietly back to his own bench—and in an act to demean and humiliate another professional football player, who likewise is a black man, offered his hand in a mocking fashion.

Sherman did not care about what he had accomplished with his teammates and the fans that love and support him. His first thought was to show blatant disrespect to a man he just defeated.

Richard Sherman is a very good football player. But winning games does not mean you have character. And all the Super Bowls he can win will not eradicate the smell of garbage that comes from his unprofessional conduct.

* Super Bowl prediction: Denver 37, Seattle 13. If I am right, I will forget about it 5 minutes later. If I am wrong, the tally of comments on the bottom of this page will go from 3 to 15. I can live with that.

* There are two things that I refuse to apologize for loving: professional wrestling and curling. And for these guilty pleasures, February is going to be a great month.

The Winter Olympics are coming soon. And while the men’s ice hockey tournament is the big attraction, I will be that guy who is up at 5:30 AM to watch live curling on CNBC or whatever network they funnel their coverage of this great sport.

I think of curling as a live action version of the European strategy board games that I am obsessed with. The argument that the game is slow and nothing happens is lost on me. I find it compelling and increasingly nerve-racking to watch.

In the realm of professional wrestling, the WWE has come up with an idea that, if successful, might well take its place next to Netflix as a revolutionary innovation in entertainment.

The WWE Network is slated to debut February 26th. Originally designed to be a cable channel, it will be a website that for $10 a month offers new programming, archived footage spanning decades and, most notably, the ability for subscribers to view all 12 pay-per-view events a year.

A single PPV event carried by a cable-satellite provider cost between $50 and $60. Now, you can see all 12 for $120. That is an astonishingly bold idea.

Love or hate pro wrestling, everyone should read to see if this model works. Because if it does, sports, music, movies, television and news content could all start doing similar packaging.

* After years of inaction, I finally decided to order the New York Times for Sunday delivery. I often lament not having a big Sunday paper to read. The Herald Journal is barely a five minute read and the Salt Lake Tribune, while a good newspaper, really does not offer much for me as a resident of Cache Valley interested in local news and national opinion.

It’s funny the things we can grow nostalgic pining for. Sitting down this past Sunday morning reading the Times made me feel intelligent. Everyone should feel good on Sunday mornings.

* After doing my last two columns on Utah’s horrific fear of gay marriage and legalized marijuana, I would be remiss if I did not complete the Unholy Trinity (credit to my editor Eric Frandsen for that phrase) and mention the upcoming battle over alcohol in the Utah Legislature. Another proposal to eliminate the “Zion Curtain”, the state law that demands alcoholic drinks must be prepared behind a partition inside of restaurants, is being proposed. It shall not pass.

Take away my old argument about the great irony of “protecting” children from seeing drinks being made whilst simultaneously allowing them to eat 2,000 calorie plates of crappy food. Take away that by passing such laws, the Powers That Be look vindictive and nescient. Remove every logical argument and what is left is just a dumb law that makes Utahns appear to be uneducated, frightful loons.

And with the LDS church’s “nobody asked you” press release last week regarding the status quo of the liquor laws in Utah, many of the elected politicians in this state can hide inside their enclave of ignorance and just have the LDS church rubber stamp their imbecilic stances on liquor.

Shepherd say, sheep do. That is the law of dominance and submission.

* Finally, on Twitter Tuesday night former KVNU For the People host Tom Grover jokingly (I think) stated that I was “not a fan” of Cache Valley. My one word response? Untrue.

Mr. Grover challenge me to name 5 things I like about Cache Valley. My list, as written on Twitter was: USU, the mountains, my kid’s education, no crime and incredible friends.

I like that list. It is simple, direct and entirely genuine. I am not satisfied with my life. But so long as I have those five things, I will smile every day….and more than once.