Tuesday, October 29, 2013

NFL 2020

I enjoy NFL football.  I  have  had season  tickets  to t he  Houston Texans  games   since the inception of the franchise. Watching an NFL game either in the stadium or on HDTV at home is a great experience though watching at home is a very different experience from watching live in the stadium.

Watching at home gives one immediate insight into the game through the work of
professional commentators who give a running commentary about what is going on down on the field. Most long time fans can keep up pretty well; but for newer fans, the commentary can be very useful. This year has been a strange year in the number of rarely seen penalties that have been assessed leaving even the most knowledgable fans in the dark.

One such penalty was in week seven in the game between the Patriots and the Jets.  Jets kicker, Nick Folk was wide left on a 56-yard field goal attempt, but the miss was negated when New England's Chris Jones was called for unsportsmanlike conduct on a 15-yard penalty that never had before been called in an NFL game. Fans in the stands as well as fans watching on TV at home were left wondering, "What the hell?" How was Jones guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct?

Referee Jerome Boger explained in a pool report that Jones was called for pushing his teammate "into the opponents' formation." Umpire Tony Michalek threw his flag "almost instantaneously as he observed the action," Boger said. "We just enforced it as he called it."

It was the first time such a penalty had ever been called in the NFL. Soon enough, the commentators were briefed and explained the penalty to the fans at home. 

Watching at home in a comfortable recliner in a temperature controlled room where beer is six or seven bucks cheaper than in the stadium is also a big plus. There are other pluses of watching from home.

To me the big pluses of watching in the stadium are tailgating with friends before the game and watching the game in the presence of 60,000 to 70,000 other fans who sustain the excitement of the game with their cheers, boos and outlandish costumes. Game day in the stadium is a holiday.

But as every fan knows, NFL football is changing and changes in NFL football trickle down to college football, school football and even to kids football leagues. Unfortunately, some of the changes being made for health reasons and are justified on that account, but take some of traditional excitement of the game, especially from the fans who love to watch the hard hits. The hard hits are great to watch (though they often come at great expense to the player taking the hit as well as the player delivering the hit). As for me, (and I may be the only NFL fan who would say this) I enjoy the artistic nature of the game. These highly trained and motivated players often seem to defy human limitations in their athleticism. It takes on the nature of an art form to me.

It's important to remember though that football has always been a work in progress. In the beginning
there was very little or no protective gear. When helmets first arrived on the scene they were simple stitched leather coverings which really did little to protect a players head. Helmets have evolved into technological masterpieces which greatly enhance head protection. Pads, shoes and other protective gear have also evolved considerably, but the evolution is not over by a long shot.

The NFL has recently begun a video series on what fans might expect football to be like in the year 2020. In the series, they look at equipment as well as other changes almost certain to come to pass. 

One non equipment change they speculate on is the first NFL star to come out of the closet as a gay man. When it happens, and it will happen, football will be revolutionized as will the way America looks at gay men.

Take a look at NFL Football Episode 1, Look and Feel in the year 2020 by clicking on the URL: 
2020 NFL

Jack Scott

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Texas Hero Lost - A Notorious Houstonian Dead

Texas lost a hero Friday night. We knew it was coming, but knowing it is coming doesn't lessen the shock of realizing such a man is gone forever.

He wasn't a politician, never dreamed of being one; but what a different world it would be if all politicians had his outlook on life, his simple concept of what it is to be a man, what is right and what is wrong. What would the United States of America look like today if it had such a natural born leader as this man was? In a country where true leadership is virtually unknown to a whole generation of Americans, this hero could teach many valuable lessons to our politicians if only there was someone willing to learn.

He died Friday night surrounded by family and former Oiler's tight end, Mike Barber, without accomplishing a couple of his fondest dreams; but no one who knew him would ever think of calling him a failure because he never gave up and he never quit. And those who knew him best know if he had achieved his fondest dreams he would have reacted by simply dreaming bigger dreams. He was just that type of man.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans knew his name; but he wasn't impressed with his own
President George H. W. Bush and Bum

celebrity because celebrity was never one of his goals. Instead, his basic goal was to mold young men into talented men of courage, determination and character. 

He never thought of himself as anything other than a simple man. As a simple man, he tried to be the best father, Texan, rancher and coach he could be. As a man who desired to be each of those things full time, he spent his life regretting it was not possible. He had to make difficult decisions about priorities that troubled him. But those he fathered never felt cheated because he had to spend so much time away. Texans loved him and never turned their backs on him. He died a happy man on his small, by Texas standards, 400 acre ranch. It was the place where he wanted to die and be buried. Coach? It  was something he loved and it consumed about half of his adult live. But to him, coach was not just a title attached to any ball coach. To him coaching was much more than winning games. It was about molding the character of  young men, teaching them to plow through adversity as well as teaching them to be humble in victory and resolute in defeat. Above all he was determined to teach them how to exhibit these things on the ball field as well as in their personal lives. Mike Barber was an example of Coach's success. After Leaving the NFL he became a minister. In the last few months, he visited coach several times in that capacity.
Bum, overwhelmed by 70,000 fans who showed up to show their support after the Oiler' playoff loss to the Steelers on January 6, 1980.

It has been said he was the Will Rogers of the NFL; and indeed, though it is a title he would have rejected, it fit him well to those who knew him. Like Rogers, some of his off the cuff comments have never been forgotten:
"If I could be remembered for one thing, that would be for being myself. You may not always be right, but you do what you think is right. If you're wrong, have the ability to admit it. Both are damned important."
"How do you win? By getting average players to play good and good players to play great." 
"Don Shula? Now there's a good football coach. He can take his'n and beat your'n, or he can take your'n and beat his'n." 
"There's only two types of coaches; them that's been fired and them that's gonna be fired."
 "I always thought I could coach. I just thought people were poor judges of coaches." 
of Earl Campbell, "I don't know if he's in a class by himself, but I do know that when that class gets together, it sure don't take long to call the roll."
(when asked about Oilers RB Earl Campbell's inability to finish a one-mile run in training camp) "When it's first and a mile, I won't give it to him." 
(referring to Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon) "That boy could throw a football through a car wash and not get it wet." 
"There are people, maybe two or three, that ain't gonna like you. Not everbody likes everbody. My grandpa used to say, 'Just nod and grin.' "
"You can lead me a lot further than you can drive me. …You can't win today by embarrassing your football players. If I played for a guy who shouted at me, I'd sock him. …If you gripe at everbody, you accomplish nothin. To motivate somebody, you have to explain why something needs to be done before you can ask somebody to do it. Tell me why and I'll do just about everthing."
"The Dallas Cowboys may be Americas team, but the Houston Oilers are Texas' team.
(To an official) "Hey, can I, can I tell you one thing? That's three holding penalties on one football team in a quarter and a half. (Pauses) That ain't funny."

I was privileged, a few months ago, to be in Reliant Stadium in Houston when Bum made what was to be his last visit to a Texans game. At half time he and Earl Campbell and other ex Oilers were honored for their contributions to Houston's NFL teams. There were thousands of young people in the stands who weren't even born when Bum was still coaching, but they still knew who Bum was and joined the throngs in rising to their feet and filling the stadium with extended cheers for Oail Andrew Phillips, the man who will always just be "Bum" to Texans.

I have no idea what Bum's views on homosexuality or bisexuality were. But to me, he seemed like a man who always judged others more on the quality of their character than anything else. More than likely, in his long career, Bum coached a homosexual young man, maybe two or theree. That it never became a public issue fits right in with the man we all came to know and respect.

Bum Phillips

(September 29, 1923 – October 18, 2013)

Rest In Peace, Bum

You Eared Your Place In Our Hearts

We'll miss you Bum! Thanks for your example. Thanks for the memories.

Jack Scott 

P.S.  A couple of the dreams Bum never achieved were winning a Super Bowl and opening a facility on his ranch for deaf youngsters. No one can help with the Superbowl win but everyone can help Bum achieve his goal to open the facility for deaf children.

The Phillips family invites donations to Bum's charities. Contributions can be made through:

or  to

Bum Phillips Charities
2189 South Riverdale Lane
Goliad, TX  77963


   The Most Hated Man in Houston Dies

Life often take strange twists and turns and so it did with  the death yesterday of Bud Adams. It was strange that Bum and Bud who were close friends who parted ways over business  and owner/coach issues and finally decided to let bygones be bygones years later were again separated by death and then joined in death 3 days later.

For Bum it showed what a great guy he was to let bygones be bygones and to forgive Adams for doing the unthinkable. Texans and especially Houstonians never did forgive Bud although after moving the Oilers to Tennessee he continued to live in his Houston River Oaks mansion, where he was found dead on Sunday, and conduct much of his business in Houston. As he was worth an estimated 1.3 billion dollars at his death, he contributed greatly to the Houston economy and the welfare of Houston.

In all fairness, Adams along with Lamar Hunt, another Texas billionaire, must be given credit for creating the AFL. Without the AFL coming into being, there never would have been a professional football team in Houston, at least for several more decades.

Some Texans fans and former Oilers fans don't know that. Some do and don't give a damn. They still have never forgiven Adams for taking the Oilers to Tennessee and never will. Even in death, some are not willing to forgive. He is seen by many Texans as a deserter and a man who got too greedy when he was already worth millions.

He bought the Oilers franchise for $25,000.00 in or about 1960. At the time of his death, the Titans franchise was worth in or around $1,000,000,000. 

Suffice it to say Adams, dead at 90 years of age, the same as Bum, lived a long and productive life and he shared much of that productivity with the City of Houston and its citizens. Maybe he won't ever be forgiven by Houstonians, but then too, he'll never be forgotten.

Rest in peace Bud. I can't say many Houstonians will miss you. But thanks for what you did for Houston before and after snatching the Oilers out of state in the dark of night.

Kenneth Stanley "Bud" Adams, Jr. 

(January 3, 1923 – October 21, 2013)

Founder of the Houston Oilers - now the Tennessee Titans

Jack Scott


Friday, October 18, 2013

Neo Sexuality

Earlier this month Josh Hutcherson gave gave a candid interview to "Out Magazine." Hutcherson is an up and coming actor whose latest film release was "Hunger Games."

Hutcherson turned 21 years old on October 12th. He was born in Union, Kentucky, a state not noted for its liberal or cutting edge social values. However, in the "Out" interview, Hutcherson held nothing back while discussing who he is and his views on his own sexuality.

At one point in the interview while replying to a question on his own sexuality, he replied:
"I would probably list myself as mostly straight,"  Maybe I could say right now I'm 100 percent straight. But who knows? In a fucking year, I could meet a guy and be like, 'Whoa, I'm attracted to this person … I've met guys all the time that I'm like, 'Damn, that's a good-looking guy,' you know? I've never been, like, 'Oh, I want to kiss that guy.' I really love women. But I think defining yourself as 100% anything is kind of near-sighted and close-minded." 
"I have this dream that one day, my kid's gonna come home from school and be like, 'Dad, there's this girl that I like, and there's this guy that I like, and I don't know which one I like more, and I don't know what to do.' And it'd just be a non-issue, like, 'Which one is a good person? Which one makes you laugh more?'"
Hutcherson may well be the voice of the future for the young people of America. There is no doubt that a large number of American  youngsters are, unlike their parents, not  uptight about  homosexuality and
bisexuality. A huge number of younger Americans see homosexuality and bisexuality as just another choice of sexual identity; and to them, one who makes that choice is no more cause for being singled out than is one who chooses heterosexuality.

A growing number of Americans of all ages can and do identify with Hutcherson's dream for a time when sexuality is a non-issue for their children and grandchildren.

Hutcherson went on to explain how his opinions on sexuality were shaped, in part, by the deaths of his two gay uncles in the AIDS epidemic of the 1990"s. His uncle Steve died only one day after his mother revealed to her brother that she was pregnant with Josh. Hutcherson told "Out" he was sorry he never met his uncles.

"…they sound amazing," he said.

In "The Hunger Games," Hutcherson plays the part of Peeta, a baker's son in the poor District 12. He finds  himself  in  triangle amoureux  with   heroine Katniss  and her life  long  male friend Gale. "Out"asked Hutcherson if he thought some of Peeta's problems could have been solved by a threesome, he thought it was a great idea. He said he was even going to pitch the idea for the sequels. 

Hutcherson has been active in GLBT causes and willing to use his fame for the good of the GLBT community.

In 2012, Hutcherson was presented with the Vanguard Award by GLAAD in recognition of his work, an honor that's given to a straight ally who fights for GLBT equality.

In his acceptance speech, he spoke about why he launched Straight But Not Narrow, a group dedicated to providing straight people with tools to fight against homophobia.  

"We wanted to create a place where straight people felt safe coming out and saying, 'It’s okay to be gay,'" he said. "And I didn't know one, so we decided we were going to make one and we have. It's gaining momentum and it means the world to me."

Clearly Josh Hutcherson is a seeker and supporter of change in America's views on sexuality. There is evidence that he and others like him are the vanguard of a movement which will result in extraordinary change in our sexual morés. Here's wishing him success.

Jack Scott

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Lifetime Achievements

Recently I received a long and very complimentary letter from a reader. Two paragraphs were as follows:

"You seem to be successful, happily married, with a history of a good marital sex life, socially at least somewhat liberal, fiscally conservative, Texan, intelligent, an interesting writer, bisexual, good taste in men (at least from your photo blog), Christian, and you have had longstanding very close friends-with-benefits relationships with men, and your wife is aware of this and it didn't ruin your marriage.
Jesus, man, how did you manage all that?  Kudos to you."
Like anyone, I appreciate a compliment whenever one is offered. However, in this case, I have to point out that the person offering the compliment is seeing me as a man in his mid sixties. If he had known
me when I was in my mid thirties, his compliment might not have been offered. There certainly have been times when I struggled to keep it all together, and there have been times when I was scared shitless about what it was going to take to achieve a goal.

Even so, the person complimenting me has more than likely seen, as have I, men in their sixties and even seventies who have not been very successful in their lives. What is it that allows some of us to achieve great success in our lives while others among us seem to struggle throughout their lives, or even worse, simply give up at some point?

The letter writer is correct when he describes me a fiscally conservative and socially liberal. For the most part that is correct. However, while I consider myself socially liberal, I am, by no means, a bleeding heart liberal. My recent reply to an "Anonymous Liberal" points out the distinct difference between me and the bleeding liberal hearts who are too blind, too elite, and too egotistical to see that they are on a path to destroying this country and its heritage.

I point out this reply because it answers part of the letter writers questions. My father was a man of few words. He spoke in a clear and simple way. He took seriously his duty to raise me and my brothers to be men who could support ourselves and our families. From an early age, he impressed on us that we were part of a world which doesn't give a damn about us. He stressed that there was no excuse for failure to be found outside ourselves. Adversity was just another name for challenge; and challenge was just another name for opportunity in my father's philosophy.

Feeling blue or mistreated? Get over it! Pick yourself up by your own bootstraps and keep doing whatever it is you have to do to achieve your goals was another major part of my father's philosophy of life, though he didn't say it in such gentle words.

I can't remember a single time I ever got a single word of sympathy from my father. Bleeding or
bruised? "I've had worse places on my eyeball," he'd say. Bullied or mistreated? "Learn to defend yourself; give as good as you get," he'd say. Yet, my father was always there, it seemed when he had to be. I almost drowned on my tenth birthday. I was going down for the 3rd time, and convinced my life was about to end when my father plucked me out of the deep water. I don't know for sure, but I've always felt my father let me get enough lake water in my lungs to convince me I'd better learn how to swim.

In today's world, not nearly enough people share my father's philosophy for success. "If I can't make more than minimum wage, why work?" they say. "Why should I stay in school?" they ask. "The governments got money, why should I work? they contend. Worse still, many people today would consider my father's philosophy a sign of ignorance. In response to anyone with such a viewpoint, I point out that my father raised three very successful sons.

Liberals contend minorities still need preferences and handouts to achieve success. The truth belies their contentions. Tens of thousands of minority middle and upper class Americans have made their lives a success just by taking advantage of the opportunities available to all Americans and by refusing to be defeated. The only fight I have with these successful minority Americans is, even they, now fall victim all too often to the liberal lie that minorities must have special help and preferences to achieve success. They have forgotten that it is their own struggle that made them what they are today.

Such self delusion is not just engaged in by successful minorities. It is also engaged in my successful white Americans who try to shield their children from the struggles they had to overcome on the road to success. They give their kids everything money can buy and never teach them the value of hard work and personal achievement. I admire Bill Gates and other wealthy Americans who do not plan to share their fortunes with their children, but instead teach them how to make their own fortunes.

Another reason for my success is that I was born with an inquiring mind. I always wanted to know, Why? I was never satisfied with success. I always wanted more. As a young man, I looked at people
who had grand homes and expensive cars and I wanted to be just like them. I was willing to work long, hard hours to achieve what I wanted.

I have never been a person who is afraid of or resistant to change. Nothing has ever been sacred to me simply because it is the way it has always been done. I have always been sensitive to the rights and the feelings of others because I have always been a believer in the old maxim that "what goes round comes round." Now, in the twilight of my years, I can honestly say that in my observation throughout my life those who cheat and steal and take advantage of others are seldom successful in the long run and never happy in the long run.

I have never been one to blame my failures on others. That sort of thing is simply alien to the philosophy of life my father instilled in me. It is a tell tale mark of the ignorant. If I fail, I simply try to learn from the failure and initiate a new strategy. Along the same lines, I've never thought of myself as the only person who has to carry a bag of rocks around with him. I know everyone has their own bag of rocks, and I believe it is out bag of rocks and what we do about them that determines our stature in life. No one else can relieve us of our rocks. They are our personal responsibility.

I've always been willing and able to reassess my bag of rocks. Often I've found what I thought was just a rock was, in fact, a gem stone. Such is the case with my bisexuality. For years it was one of the biggest rocks I had to carry. When I finally was able to assess it correctly, I found it to be one of the biggest gems in my life. It was because of my bisexuality, that I met some of the most important people in my life. It was because of my bisexuality I have been able to help some people to deal with their own sexual challenges. It is one of my life's greatest satisfactions to know that I have been able to affect lives for the better. At the same time, there is satisfaction that I was not able to affect such change all by myself, but rather by helping others to identify their options, clarify their thinking and take on new paradigms that brought about the changes.

I have always been a planner. I had the good sense to marry a woman who was also a planner. She is also intelligent and self sufficient. She doesn't need me to take care of her. She simply needs me to share my life with her. So many people ruin their chances of real success in life by marrying beautiful, needy women who are both unwilling and unable to be an asset to them. Such carelessness, more often than not, takes a huge toll on one's life.

Finally, throughout my life, I have surrounded myself with great people. Especially in my career, I
intentionally hired people who were smarter than I and who knew things I didn't know. I intentionally tried to avoid at all cost hiring problems and instead to hire competence and team members.

Have I made mistakes in my life? Too many to count, but mistakes have always been just a weigh station on the road to success. One of the greatest discoveries of my life has been that people appreciate a good attitude and a willingness to do something, even if its sometimes wrong. More often than not, such people are quickly forgiven their mistakes. It has happened to me over and over in my life.

I've always believed in powers bigger than myself. In my mind such belief is vital to keeping oneself grounded.

It's never too late to achieve success. We don't have to be rich to be counted successful. We don't have to have the grand home of the expensive car to be seen as a success. Some of the most successful people I've ever known have been quite poor in material means. As my father always said, "Be the best at whatever you do. If you dig ditches for a living, be the best ditch digger anyone has ever known."

Jack Scott

Anyone can comment on what I write in this blog. Regretfully, the recent amount of spam in my email account as required that I reinstate the word verification process for comments which I personally hate.

But at the same time I have loosened the comment moderation process so that those of you who have a Google Blogger ID or other recognized blogger ID will no longer need to wait for your comment to be moderated. I'm hoping this will tempt you to take the trouble to comment.

The truth is I want respectful comments both from those who agree with me and those who do not. All I as is that you keep comments to the point, clean and non-threatenting.

I look forward to hearing from each of you.

Jack Scott