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Thanks for reading, I appreciate your time

June 27, 2011
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor (mmathison@heraldstaronline.com) , The Herald-Star

I appreciate everyone who reads this column. I know not everybody likes it and that is fine with me.

I do not write stuff to be popular. I write stuff that I see happen and make comments.

I do not make up what I see, nor do I try to take the popular opinion.

I know people are tired of hearing me smack adults.

But, you know what, adults need to be smacked - me included. Kids are the way they are, in a really large part, because of us.

I had a guy e-mail me two weeks ago and told me to go find a new job. I know some of you wish for that to happen and it would be none too soon.

I appreciate the fact he sent an e-mail and put his name to it.

He didn't hide behind some random call letters, leave it blank, or just sign his name "parent."

You want to rip me, go ahead, just be adult enough to sign your name.

You want to thank me for something I wrote, go ahead, just be adult enough to sign your name.

I know I take some unpopular stands.

I'm fine with that.

If I wrote weekly columns that everyone liked and no one disagreed with, then I have said nothing. I know, many of you think I say nothing weekly.

I have been set back a little by the positive response of my last column on NBC Sports intentionally cutting out "under God" and "indivisible" of the Pledge of Allegiance one week ago Sunday at the start of the U.S. Open broadcast.

I received one response from the United States Golf Association which, like the two NBC apologies, was lame.

"As you may be aware, NBC Sports issued a second apology statement, accepting responsibility for the omission of important language in the Pledge of Allegiance during the opening segment of their Sunday 2011 U.S. Open telecast:

"We understand your concern over the beginning of our U.S. Open coverage on Sunday."

That was the start of the USGA response and it followed with NBC's second apology.

"We are aware of the distress this has caused many of our viewers and are taking the issue very seriously.

Unfortunately, when producing the piece - which was intended to capitalize on the patriotism of having our national championship played in our nation's capital - a decision was made by a small group of people to edit portions of the Pledge of Allegiance.

This was a bad decision.

As soon as management became aware of this decision and the controversy it justifiably created, it immediately took steps to correct it resulting in an on-air apology provided by NBC Sports' lead golf commentator Dan Hicks.

It was not the intent of NBC to upset anyone and we sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended.

Thank you again for taking the time to voice your concerns."

That makes four times NBC has yet to say what words is kept out of the Pledge of Allegiance, so, in my opinion, it has edited "under God" and "indivisible" four times on purpose.

It appears to me the people at NBC just cannot get themselves to say or type "under God" or "indivisible."

How sad.

I have heard nothing from NBC Sports, the Golf Channel and President Mike McCarley and ESPN.

If you would like to send your views to either of the four companies, here you go:

Comments@USGA.org

nbcuniversalviewerfeedback@nbcuni.com

espn.go.com/espn/contact (and fill out the form)

www.golfchannel.com/about/bio/jay-coffin/ - and click on "Contact Jay."

I went to The Golf Channel's website and typed in "Pledge of Allegiance" into the search box and it came up with three articles.

The first article mentioned was by Associated Press writer Doug Ferguson about Dustin's Johnson's blunder at the PGA Championship a year ago.

"Johnson said he knew without reading that every bunker at Whistling Straits was a hazard. If he had memorized the local rule the way school kids memorize the Pledge of Allegiance, he would have played it the same way."

Kind of ironic isn't it?

The other two articles are from Peter Kessler's conversation with Chi Chi Rodriguez in 2000.

I am not a big "what-if" guy, but here are two for you.

What if NBC had the same montage, inserted the national anthem instead of the "Pledge of Allegiance" and, twice, purposefully left out "land of the free and home of the brave?"

Would you have the same stance after the two editing decisions and two subsequent apologies that did not mention what words were left out of the national anthem?

What if someone in your family purposefully broke something that was near and dear to your heart, they knew that, and you hear from them, "yeah, sorry about that?"

Would you question the sincerity of their apology and also openly question what in the world they were thinking missing with something so precious to you?

Also, if those at NBC who made the decision, along with those at ESPN, TGC and the USGA, have no problem spending or collecting money that says "In God We Trust" on it?

Just curious.

Toronto football coach Eric Meek took 14 players Sunday to participate in the second-annual Lauren's First and Goal Football Camp at Otterbein College.

There were more than 300 high school players and 80 college coaches in attendance.

All proceeds benefit Lauren's First and Goal Foundation, which benefits pediatric brain tumor research and cancer services.

Lauren Loose is a 14-year-old who was diagnosed with multiple brain tumors at age 2.

Her parents, John and Marianne Loose, started the organization in 2004 "to provide financial support for brain tumor research and cancer services, to offer financial and emotional support to families living with pediatric cancer, and to increase awareness of the disease."

John Loose has been an assistant coach at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa., for the past 11 seasons.

The eighth-annual LFG Football Camp at Lafayette College was held earlier this month. That camp had more than 1,800 high school players and 270 college coaches.

The camps have helped raise more than $1 million since the inception.

Football, teaching, learning, volunteering and raising money for cancer - that's a good marriage.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com).

 
 

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