In Praise of Death Panels 

Finally, into my fourth decade of life and I have a government advocating the values I stand for: mandatory abortions, shoddy, dirty, decrepit medical facilities, and most of all — at long last — death panels! How eagerly, how urgently, those of us leaning towards the political left have longed for this day, when the fate of elderly and infirm could be voted on by sinister group of shadowy bureaucrats. As everyone who has spent the requisite time studying the voluminous literature provided us by Minister Mentor Obama, newly formed panels such as the CEAC, or Continued Existence Allowance Committee, are the best way to adjudicate the difficult matters facing our civil society. What an exciting time for all Children of the Glorious Revolution! The cleansing has begun. Now, in the spirit of these happy times, let us convene and decide which sports careers should be allowed to… expire.

Tom Watson
I invested four days in the Tom Watson drama at the British Open last month. For a 59-year-old man to win the British Open would certainly have comprised one of the greatest athletic accomplishments in recent memory. I wanted to be watching when it happened. Of course it didn’t happen. Instead Watson shanked an eight footer on the final hole and then was inhumanely savaged by the thoroughly underwhelming Stewart Cink in four miserable playoff holes, during which Watson suddenly appeared to be positively senile. What began and nearly ended as a fountain of youth story, evolved rapidly and without warning into a public service announcement for dementia. For the Rush Limbaugh-loving Watson, the appropriate course of action seems only too clear: time to cancel his subscription.

John Smoltz
I’ve always liked John Smoltz, from the time when I took my first job as a 20-year-old columnist living in Georgia and he was a veteran star of the Atlanta Braves staff. Therein lies the trouble — he was a veteran pitcher on the Atlanta Braves when I was 20 years old. That is an amusement, but not a reason to still be pitching. When Smoltz flamed out recently with the Boston Red Sox, it seemed that every last fastball he threw was being launched out of Yankee stadium with one of those T-shirt guns. The Death Panel seeks only to arrive at humane solutions for nuanced impasses such as these. Good night sweet prince.

The Washington Nationals
Major League Baseball left Washington, DC in 1973, after the hapless Senators relocated to Texas and became the hapless Rangers. Following three decades of deprivation, professional baseball returned to the nation’s capital in 2005. Unfortunately, that was only the visiting teams. For this fine sports town, long starved, it feels like an unnecessarily vindictive prank to send not a baseball team but instead a 25-man clown car, driven by perhaps the most insanely feckless front office east of the Cincinnati Bengals. In addition to rapidly establishing themselves as prodigious losers (following a recent spate of quality play, they are currently 40-83) the Nationals have managed to assemble the league’s consensus worst farm team, misspell the team name on their uniforms and see their (since resigned) General Manager Jim Bowden investigated by the FBI on suspicion of embezzling from the team. Is it time to euthanize baseball in Washington? We like to think of it as proactive compassion.

Charlie Weis
The vaunted Bill Belichick ‘coaching tree’ is beginning to look more like a diseased Doric column. Prized assistants Eric Mangini and Romeo Crenel have been hired and fired by pro teams and Josh McDaniel looks befuddled in Denver. It would appear that not much of Belichick’s peculiar, super-sinister genius has rubbed off on many, or perhaps any, of his underlings. (There may be more going on here then meets the eye, as was brilliantly pointed out by DJ Gallo) The worst offender of all is Charlie Weis, a Belichick acolyte who lucked into the Notre Dame job after they could not staple it to Urban Meyer. Weis then proceeded to have an exceedingly fortunate beginning at the university involving players he had nothing to do with recruiting, declared that his teams would enjoy a "decided schematic advantage" over their opponents, and was prematurely rewarded with an obscenely bloated 30 million-dollar contract extension. Then? Failure on a scale not witnessed at Notre Dame since… well, ever. The soft schedule and hard sell that the Golden Dome has contrived in order to rehabilitate themselves in 2010 feels like little more then a sharpie’s shell game. They may win eight games against weak opponents, but they’ll never contend for a National Championship under this coach. What to do? Curtains? Instead the panel proposes this more moderate option: We chloroform Weis, take him on a long ride out to a remote stretch of western highway, and leave him lost and disoriented two hundred miles from Bear River City, Utah. There’s your pre-existing condition right there.

Brett Favre
At a certain point, we must recognize that in the case of a few dissenters, nothing else works. The Mississippi Gulag could not hold him. A nine-month sentence at the Eric Mangini Psychological Retraining Center did not cure him of his counter-revolutionary whims. There would appear, at this unfortunate juncture, only one way to make this malefactor actually retire and mean it. I won’t say more for now, but under our new system, let us expect this malefactor to be quietly… removed from the arena. We need to use the Navy SEALS for something.

Mind you, these are merely suggestions! Suggestions for a clean and efficient new sports world led by our Master Mentor Obama, whose truisms and tender mercies have led us to our newly disarmed society of cooperation and good deeds! Join us, if you will. Otherwise, grab a pick and start digging — it’s time for your reward.

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