A Great Game

by W.F. Price on October 17, 2012

In keeping with taking it easy this week, I’ve been watching football, which I’ve slowly grown to appreciate more as I’ve settled down and moved toward middle age. Although it seems ironic that the more sedentary guys get, the more they like these kinds of sports, it makes sense: I never had the patience to sit in front of the TV for long until fairly recently.

On Sunday, I watched as much of the Seahawks/Patriots game as I could before I had to drive back up toward the border. It was a truly exciting game, But by the time I left I fully expected the Hawks to lose. Nevertheless, I turned on the radio while driving the kids north, and imagine my surprise when they managed to pull off a last-minute win over Tom Brady’s Patriots. It was a fun moment to hear it announced on the radio in the car. I shouted “we won,” while my bewildered kids wondered how a daddy could get so excited over some game on the radio.

I’m a bit ambivalent about football, because it is so physically harsh on players. Half the older men in my family would be cripples without the benefit of joint replacement surgery, and football is definitely the culprit. Most of them have at least one fake joint by the age of 55, usually from a nearly 40-year-old injury. I wouldn’t recommend the game to a boy unless he was exceptionally sturdy, and even then I’d give him a serious warning about it. Personally, I’m glad I never played it seriously — I’m not sure we’ll be able to afford exotic surgeries like that in 20 years time, and my lower limb joints are all intact because I stuck to baseball, crew, soccer and skiing.

However, American football is a beautiful game. The acts of athleticism are awe-inspiring, and make for the best TV has to offer. And if the men do it of their own free will, fully informed of the risks, who am I to stop them?

The Seahawks new quarterback, a rookie named Russell Wilson, also has some baseball background. Never in my life had I seen a quarterback play like a second baseman, but that’s what he did on Sunday, and he pulled it off beautifully. It was quite a contrast to the precision control of the field Tom Brady excels at, but it was a pleasure to see Wilson throw the ball to a receiver on the run as though he was throwing a batter out on a double play.

I’ve got to hand it to the Patriots’ receivers as well, especially Wes Welker, who took a brutal hit from Brandon Browner that would have put an ordinary man in intensive care. Man, that guy is tough to get up and walk that one off!

I also have to give Brady the respect he deserves. He is the consummate professional, and has developed an instinctive feel for the game that makes him very hard to stop. The Hawks couldn’t have handled him without having the upper hand in energy and athleticism, and perhaps the strongest, fastest defense pound for pound in the NFL. This really highlighted the human condition, and the constant struggle between experience and enthusiasm — youthful energy and wisdom.

It was a great game (not least of all because my team won), but there’s one thing about it that bothered me: Those stupid pink slippers they were made to wear for the breast cancer support.

Can’t men be charitable without also being made submissive to others? I understand the concept of humility, but the pink here is entirely secular and meant to send a message that one group of people is dominant. Frankly, it’s inappropriate, and it is entirely anti-democratic.

It’s fine to support charities, but this goes beyond that and raises one issue above all others. Have we ever seen football players wear special shoes for children with cerebral palsy? For wounded veterans? For children whose fathers have been taken away from them by state-sponsored thugs? No, we haven’t, because it isn’t allowed. Hell, Tim Tebow has taken heat for drawing verses from scripture on his face during games. But it’s OK to force all the players to shill for another cause…

It seems like a silly issue to bring up, but it really isn’t. It’s a clear statement of priorities. It’s a reflection of contemporary American politics, and we have every right to question it. Supporting cancer research is a noble goal, and a lot of good can come out of it, but why, oh why, is one group of victims supreme?

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

zed October 17, 2012 at 18:46

Although it seems ironic that the more sedentary guys get, the more they like these kinds of sports,

“Ironic” or “moronic”?

Life really isn’t a spectator sport, despite the cultural trends of the past 50 years. Those who can do – do. Those who don’t or can’t do – watch… men running around in pink slippers.

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Rebel October 17, 2012 at 18:50

What color? Pink?

Pink is not a color: it doesn’t exist on the color spectrum.

Says it all about feminism, doesn’t it?

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Rebel October 17, 2012 at 18:54

Darn it! Clicked the wrong button! Was probably blinded by a flash of pink light.
Make that dislike a like, O.K,. Zed?

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universe October 17, 2012 at 23:27

That drive to watch sports. What is it all about, really?
It’s likely already been written on blogs such as this but here’s another but similar take on the matter.
Engines, machinery, cars, construction sites, physics/mathematics, musical scores,…solutions. All involve the co-ordinating of movement. And watching it work. Or not. A fleeting euphoria of observing mastery at work follows. Be it velocity through individual metal parts working in arranged unison or a post pattern reception.
Call it evolutionary based (zzz) behavior outcome or tinkering, and societal designs from such, whatever I don’t care, da menz are very good with these matters.

But since the lead topic is about superior athleticism on display through hat-tricks or headers there still involves the working co-ordinating of things, events, actions toward a destination or goal.
Even the watching of human motion excelled in doing something extraordinary or rote in mere games is another manifestation of motion fascination and appreciation. I see this in hockey as I understand how the game works and appreciate the efforts and outcomes. And all accomplished with an organization right in one’s own back yard too. Yaa, my team. That organized work in motion that one can observe in short order, I can understand.
But pride in knowing statistical analysis from today and years gone by, the devotion to a repeated furthering the whole concept of a displaced abstract notion of teamwork toward useless entertainment, the passion involved with these things – I don’t understand.
Except escapism, perhaps. Work, etc. is drudge, life can be the beach, but a little excitement, relief – yes maybe. While things crumble around them and everyone yet. Astounding. ”The cliff is that way boys (and now girls)”.

Then there’s one’s own unique gland exploding beyond functionality being glossed over in favour of the glandular health of others rarely participating in most pro sports. Well, back to the white-knight (mangina) explanations for this. But, really now. What good can come from the business of such distraction?

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Avenger October 17, 2012 at 23:58

Pink is not a color: it doesn’t exist on the color spectrum

Light is on a continuous spectrum.

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codebuster October 18, 2012 at 00:06

Whether consciously or otherwise, the pink is designed to humiliate men… the equivalent of forcing men to wear dunces caps, but not so transparently so as to make it obvious what the powers-that-be are really trying to do.

Have women ever been required to wear something blue to commemorate the men who have died for the freedoms that they now mock?

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Turbo the Drycleaner October 18, 2012 at 02:03

the NFL has to wear pink slippers for the same reason feminists want the catholic church to pay for birth control.

its not for so noble a reason as fighting cancer or even for womens empowerment. feminists are drunk on power and want to step on men, simply because they can. they want to show you that you cant escape them even for an afternoon.

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Jaego October 18, 2012 at 02:09

Yes grotesque. The Gay Agenda is another one – Firemen have been forced to participate in Gay Pride parades.

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Opus October 18, 2012 at 03:24

Spoken like a true Armchair-Quarterback. So, if it is all a bit too PINK for you, may I recommend The Beautiful Game (as it is called).

- from a former registered player with the F.A. (amateur)

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Ode October 18, 2012 at 04:18

It was a great game (not least of all because my team won), but there’s one thing about it that bothered me: Those stupid pink slippers they were made to wear for the breast cancer support.

The idea of forcing someone to wear an article of clothing to remind them they are in a position of subservience is not new. For example in Ancient Rome, slaves would sometimes be forced to wear an iron collar by their masters.

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Charles Martel October 18, 2012 at 07:30

OT: Riding the sperm bike.

Finally, a job that’s worse than driving the Wienermobile.

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Georice81 October 18, 2012 at 08:11

I think that part of the MRM should be a celebration of all that is manly. You rarely hear of that nowdays. I believe that part of the allure of sports towards men is that it celebrates all that is good in being a man: strength, courage, teamwork, intelligence, esprit de corps, etc., etc. We need that nowdays more than ever. Boys need that more than ever.

I was fascinated by Felix Baumgartner’s 24 mile free fall from a capsule at the edge of space. Now THAT is a man! Gutsy, intelligent. athletic…..
After touching down his girlfriend was all goo-goo-gaa-gaa over him.

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Anonymous Reader October 18, 2012 at 08:16

Welmer, the pinking of October is an example of what the murderous Lenin argued in his essay “Kto, ktom”, or “Who, whom?”

Who gives orders to whom? Who must be obeyed, and whom must obey?
The feminine imperative demands obeisance at all times; all masculine virtue must always be available on demand to the feminine. Thus the feminist / feminine /femininist colonization of sport in October is simply another manifestation of the growing matriarchy.

There are a lot of things that are wrong about Big Pink, the Komen foundation. You’ve posted articles here on that subject. But the act of forcing school aged boys and young men to wear pink, to prove they are “tough enough”, is very high on my list of offenses.

Note how normalized the pinking of October has become, in just a few short years. It’s on the verge of becoming a tradition, one of those “we’ve always done it this way” cultural artifacts.

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keyster October 18, 2012 at 08:30

It’s all about the battle for eye balls.
The NFL got involved with breast cancer “awareness” several years ago because they knew that more females were watching the game (with their husbands and boyfriends). The fuchsia attire is a publicity gimmick meant to show that the NFL is sympathetic towards women. It’s also a very subtle move to continue the emasculation of men in America. If you’ll notice there are a few players that refuse to wear it.

Pink, Inc. is BIG business! Over a Billion a year. So much so that they have a difficult time finding enough organizations to absorb the funds. And what’s the number one killer of women? Heart disease. But because the breast is associated with sexual appeal and motherhood, it get’s all the attention from men.

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Towgunner October 18, 2012 at 08:33

What actually makes this even more distasteful is that “they” really don’t give a hoot about breast cancer or any cancer awareness…in reality this is a not so clever ruse that we, once again, have to endure. The primary viewing audience of professional and college football are men. We must, at least for now, watch these games through a singular medium, tv/cable. American football is perhaps one of the most complete examples of hetro-masculinity. Consider that football at all levels confirms that men and women are 1. different and, moreover, 2. that men are better physically then women at least from an athletic point of view (maybe not carrying and pushing out babies). The institution of football, a true American hallmark, needs to be addressed by our social engineers who believe that women and men should not be different and, if anything, women are better than men at everything…because men are inferior and not really human beings so much. Today’s meme of female supremacy has been enabled by leveraging the media because, as we know, anything is possible given a little CGI and actor(ess), director, social engineer “artistic” license. Consider the new meme of the female “warrior” in the remakes of alice and wonderland and brave…here, like in every other crappy politicized show, the female characters are made to be so overwhelming superior to men that they never have any chance of competing. And that’s exactly what these engineers want. “They” know they can’t control the obvious that football is a male only sport, so, they do whatever they can to subvert it, hence wearing pink. When you overlay how sedentary our lives have become, look at the recent obesity stats, plus how advanced our media-based propaganda has become (ref Edward Bernays), you realize just how effective a false representation of reality can have on our collective “perception” of reality. At the end of the day, righteous social justice engineers see it as there calling to “fix” us. Making football players, one of the highest personifications of the masculine ideal, wear pink is, consistent with these cretins, a passive aggressive plot that disguises itself through charity but in reality makes powerful men, many times better than women and the scum behind this, effectively yield to them. Interestingly, what has really come from all this “awareness”, not just in football but practically everywhere I go, all I see are ribbons, walks, 5Ks…etc. The simple fact is that this kind of stuff is largely ineffective because we haven’t found any cure for cancer and, I willing to wager, that rates have only gone up. Worse, some say the pharmaceutical companies cover up real cures? I think proportioned events are necessary and good, but, this is overkill. Making football players wear pink will not get us to a cure, so whats the point? Making sure women’s sports and “strong female lead character” shows and movies plus any plugs of effeminate submissive males/homosexuals are advertised more so during football is not there to generate revenue but to neuter the men who just want to relax and watch a good game. But this is what we’ve come too, this is what many have warned us about the “new normal”. We literally can’t do anything without have some nefarious under-story bent on challenging our “worldview” shoved in our faces.

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Lysander Spooner October 18, 2012 at 09:01

Football…….if they’re wearing pink, I ain’t watching.

Just noticed the MLS is doing it too…….yuck.

In my opinion the long view on American Football is bleak, I think it will go the the way of the Gladiators.

The other futball, the one the rest of the world plays and for the most part better than the USA, will dominate. The USA will never be able to compete on the world stage in futball(men’s) until the NCAA semi-pro taxpayer subsidized system goes under, likely as the NFL fades.

Now, on the other hand, the Lingerie League, there is some potential ;)

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zed October 18, 2012 at 09:14

I think that part of the MRM should be a celebration of all that is manly. You rarely hear of that nowdays. I believe that part of the allure of sports towards men is that it celebrates all that is good in being a man: strength, courage, teamwork, intelligence, esprit de corps, etc., etc. We need that nowdays more than ever. Boys need that more than ever.

Oh, yeah, there is nothing more “manly” than being 53, suffering from dementia, and unable to remember a conversation 2 minutes later.
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=news/national_world&id=8820885

And, there are few things more “manly” than watching a former heavyweight champion drool on himself – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/boxing/5735324/Michael-Watson-set-for-historic-Muhammad-Ali-meeting.html

Yeah, we need to indoctrinate boys in the art of being “manly” by coming up with ever more creative ways to destroy themselves. We need to take them on tours of VA hospitals to show them the remains of all those “manly” men – whatever there is left of them – and all the wonderful prostheses being made for them to replace the parts that were blown off while they were fighting the good fight for “shareholder value.”

Want to do something really “manly”? Instead of watching a bunch of overpaid steroid-using mutants get paid to injure each other, go out and build something. Open the hood of your car and marvel at the advancements in automotive technology in barely more than 100 years. Buy an air gun and set up a shooting range in your basement, get a few of those 3/4″ dots, and see if you can put 10 shots in one jagged hole. Pick a state park, a forest, any forest, put some water and a few camping tools in a backpack, and start walking. Take no food, and realize that you will either have to figure out what is out there to eat, or go hungry.

Too much work for the average man, I know. It’s much better to sit on their asses swilling beer and watch guys mortgaging their future health for a few million bucks per year, and watching their guts close the gap between them and the TeeVee.

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Matt Strictland October 18, 2012 at 09:45

Thanks no, you can keep gridiron. I appreciate the synthetic tribes aspect of the culture but I am not going to participate in watching men, even Black men (and football is mostly Black) destroy themselves for the profit of a few.

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keyster October 18, 2012 at 09:47

These are men battling over land, just as men have done for years. That’s what makes it so appealing; our tribe vs. theirs in a match up of physical strength/agility and strategy. Women like the broad shoulders and slender hips accentuated by the padding. Their view of football is completely different from the male. They like the quarterback because he’s sexy, a certian team because of their color scheme. Men in combat, pushing each other back and forth over the battlefield, while cheerleaders do little dances out of harms way on the sidelines. The “voice” man, the play by play ex-player, the macho female reporter on the field, the cheering throngs of season ticket holders, the mascots, the glorious victor and the humiliated loser at the end.

Really Baseball is much more elegant and nuanced and their retirees can still function later in life. But then knowing how much football sacrifices it’s meat makes it even more alluring; that these specimens of size, strength and speed giver their all in battle only to be tossed on the heap of damaged old men in 10 years…like a VA hospital.

We’re a warring species and football statiates that need to fight and win. Injuries titilate, blood and death is a bonus.

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Charles Martel October 18, 2012 at 11:43

Zed
Oh, yeah, there is nothing more “manly” than being 53, suffering from dementia, and unable to remember a conversation 2 minutes later.

I was thinking the same thing when I reached your comment.

As a former rugby player I shall point out that the forward pass was illegal in American football until a rule change in 1906. This rule change ultimately transformed the game, with American football becoming the strategy-oriented and fairly static game we see today.

There’s a growing movement to ban high school football. Though I have no strong feelings either way my guess is that will happen within a decade or two.

Oh and thumbs up on the new comment editor, Bill.

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albert magnus October 18, 2012 at 11:57

Sports are about stories and stories bring people together. That’s why people have played them all the way back to the Greeks and probably longer. While I’ve heard that there is something wrong with spending an evening watching baseball or Sunday afternoon watching football, I keep doing it anyway because its fun and often can be done with something more constructive like chores or fixing something. Its also an easy way to start a conversation with a complete stranger or a family member.

Yes, there are a lot of negative things about it and you can take it too seriously, but you can say that about everything.

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Georice81 October 18, 2012 at 12:17

@ZED,

I don’t question what you say about football. I myself am not enamoured with the game. You can replace what I said about football with baseball which in my opinion is a better sport especially when it comes to injuries. But my point still stands in that we need to emphasize and cheer for all that is manly and sports does do that together with other things.

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zed October 18, 2012 at 13:25

But my point still stands in that we need to emphasize and cheer for all that is manly and sports does do that together with other things.

I suppose it is like a Rorschach ink blot – what you see when you look at it depends on how you already think.

I, personally, do not believe that there is anything “manly” about sitting on one’s ass, watching unbelievably overpaid fools engage in an activity which serves no purpose except entertainment.

There have been mountains of verbiage written about what the MRM is or should be. My own experience with manliness, etc, etc, is that masculinity is the active principle, while femininity tends to be more of the passive principle.

Someone observed that sports are a good proxy substitution for waging war. I regard them as a symptom of an indolent society. Spectators are removed from having any real effect on the outcome, so it teaches helplessness and passivity – all they can do is root for their team, or express rage when they lose.

A year or two ago, somewhere in the southern US (where football is the 2nd religion) some fan was so upset about his college team losing that he poisoned two 100-year-old trees on the opponent’s campus. That is the point where fan-dom crosses over into sickness.

US men are an unbelievably passive lot, and my personal opinion is that they have been conditioned to view life as a spectator sport – they cheer for their own team, but do damn little to improve their own situation.

I know I am a retrograde curmudgeon, but when I contemplate the obsession of American men with pro sports, and the unbelievable growth of the welfare state, I am reminded of Caesar’s line –
“Bread and circuses – give the people bread and circuses, and they will be happy.”

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Charles Martel October 18, 2012 at 14:10

Zed
Someone observed that sports are a good proxy substitution for waging war. I regard them as a symptom of an indolent society…….A year or two ago, somewhere in the southern US (where football is the 2nd religion) some fan was so upset about his college team losing that he poisoned two 100-year-old trees on the opponent’s campus. That is the point where fan-dom crosses over into sickness.

The Byzantines were obsessed with chariot racing, to the point where supporters of the two most popular teams, the Blues and the Greens, engaged in a long-running feud that resulted in riots and murders.

Sir John Glubb tells us that declining civilizations idolize sportsmen and entertainers.

So much for American exceptionalism.

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TFH October 18, 2012 at 16:53

Supporting cancer research is a noble goal, and a lot of good can come out of it, but why, oh why, is one group of victims supreme?

Because a large number of men dying does not reduce the number of babies that can be born.

But if even a single young woman dies, the number of babies that can be born goes down. Hence, a woman’s life is far more valuable (old women benefit from this too, even though they are no longer relevant to the production of babies)..

Hence, men always have been expendable. In the old days, this meant dying on the battlefield while women were mostly safe. Now that battlefield deaths are no longer common, male expendability has instead found its place in making laws heavily rigged against fathers, husbands, and productive men (worst of all if you are all three of those things)..

Male expendability is the only constant.

This is only now beginning to change as technology becomes more and more important, while women are no longer producing more than 10-20% of their lifetime reproductive output. The androsphere represents the very first stages of this great re-pricing…

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Jaego October 18, 2012 at 17:26

Yes, and one is an outsider with other men if you don’t follow this crap. So they have created a fake tribe, a substitute for real ones. There is an incredible price to pay for all this – in terms of what men could have done with the time and energy but didn’t.

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Natália October 18, 2012 at 22:12

It does make sense to raise awereness about breast cancer to a male audience. Even tought most breast cancer patients are women, it’s possible for men to develop it too. And the mortality rate among men is
higher than women’s.

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Avenger October 19, 2012 at 00:32

The androsphere represents the very first stages of this great re-pricing…

I think that there will be a change. The world is overpopulated and most problems would be solved with small populations worldwide. The female will no longer be irreplaceable. The human brain is the same today as it was 50k years ago and we’re still thinking with that same brain. It’s not even thinking but pure instinct encoded into the brain by a history of shorter life expectancies and high infant mortality. It’s really an animal’s way of “thinking”. The more food around the more breeding. In most places we’ve managed to produce more food than we really need hence the obesity and constantly increasing populations and depletion of natural renewable resources. In fact, now we are living on our capital but should be living on our interest. When you live on your capital you will eventually go broke.
Even in the past it was possible to have an overpopulation. Everything had to be done by hand without power machinery, and you would need the best easiest worked land just to survive. Too many people in your tribe to feed from the land in your area was what was behind infant sacrifice to Baal or Moloch, a primitive form of birth control.
Abortion, birth control, one child policies etc are all subconscious instincts to keep the population down.Even females working may be some sort of instinct to feed the overpopulation and have more people working. The problem is that we’re thinking with brains that really haven’t evolved and doing a lot of things the wrong way not the rational and logical way.Nature and the environment are controlling us we’re not controlling it and it works in very inexplicable ways that we don’t understand. We’ll eventually figure out that less people are better and the female will not be held in such high regard as when we needed to increase the population. The breeders will need to be put under the authority of the Patriarchs before they breed us out of existence.

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Lamont Cranston October 19, 2012 at 06:49

The wife of the Redskins owner started this, breast cancer survivor.

Players are not forced to wear pink except for the small pink ribbon on the helmet which you can hardly see. A lot of player are not wearing pink at all.

The forward pass did not really catch on until the late 1940s/early 50s. Before that, it was considered unmanly, but yes, football has become static. Only 11 minutes of action in a 60 minute game.

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meistergedanken October 19, 2012 at 08:12

Jaego wrote: ” Yes, and one is an outsider with other men if you don’t follow this crap. So they have created a fake tribe, a substitute for real ones.”

You raise an interesting question: is faux tribalism worse than no tribalism at all? Any thoughts on this? Sounds like a topic for Jack Donovan.

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Gilgamesh October 20, 2012 at 15:16

Natalia, a man did develop breast cancer, and the Komen foundation refused to help him. They aren’t getting a dollar from me.

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