A day of big decisions (and one bigoted Kentucky clerk)

One of my biggest character flaws is that I am very indecisive. I’ve never been a man of great conviction.

I prefer to remain objective on most issues. I try to learn as much about a subject as possible, and understand both sides. That way when a topic comes up in discussion, I can contribute to the conversation without being preachy or overly opinionated. Perhaps it’s the journalist in me.

That being said, as a terrible decision maker, I have a lot of respect for our citizens who serve as judges. They must not only learn all of the facts on an issue, but make an adamant, definitive decision favoring one side. And then, they have to articulately explain why they made that decision in order to maintain their integrity.

I could never do it. But others can, and a couple of them made some important decisions today that made headlines.

Kim Davis protestersWell, the importance of one of them is in the eye of the beholder. The Hon. Richard Berman, of Federal District Court in Manhattan, erased a four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady imposed by the NFL for his alleged role in deflating footballs during the NFL Playoffs last year.

This decision really has little impact on the world as a whole, but it dominated sports talk today. Brady has been the poster child for the NFL for almost two decades, and had nary a blemish to his record until this year. As a Jets fan, I possess a lot of spite for this man. But ultimately, I really don’t care whether he is suspended or not.

The most amusing thing that came out of the drama surrounding his suspension was the much maligned courtroom sketch of him, which people ridiculed for looking nothing like him.

Here’s a cuckoo idea. Instead of street artists drawing funny caricatures of people, why don’t they do hypothetical courtroom sketches? I’d want one of those.

Today’s other decision by a federal judge carries much greater national importance. The Hon. David Bunning ordered a county clerk in Kentucky to be jailed for contempt of court for disobeying his order that she must approve marriage licenses for same-sex couples, per the Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year.

The clerk, Kim Davis, refused to do it because she said it infringes upon her religious beliefs. She even called it a “Heaven or Hell” situation.

How can anybody see the world through a lens where they absolutely cannot, under any circumstances, acknowledge equal rights for all humans under the law? So much so that you’d go to jail for it? Somebody needs to draw a courtroom sketch of this woman to look like the devil.

Some religious zealots will call her a martyr, but her true place in history will be as one who ignorantly and unsuccessfully tried to stop progress. She’s a modern day George Wallace, the former governor of Alabama who, in 1963, disobeyed federal law when he tried to stop four black students from attending school.

So let’s see. Is Kim Davis right, or is she an idiot?

Answer: she’s an idiot.

That decision was an easy one. Even for me.

Snowpocalypse, deflated footballs and the hottest tennis match known to man.

Crippling.

Devastating.

Record breaking.

These are the words being tossed around not to describe a tsunami, or a tornado or even a hurricane. But snow. The white powder that falls from the sky and is used to make snowmen.

I understand it’s better to overreact than to underreact, but can we save the doomsday vernacular for meteorological blizzard-2015events that actually kill people, and not ones that can be totally avoided by staying inside?

What’s next? A paralyzing rain? A
calamitous fog?

It’s snow. Any one who lives in a region that is capable of receiving a blizzard knows how to handle it. The way meteorologists, news anchors and government officials are describing this current Nor’easter, you’d think this was some type of acid snow.

Which would actually make for an awesome movie. Someone call Michael Bay. Actually don’t, because then he’ll ruin my masterpiece idea with excessive special effects.

Not to say that a snowstorm isn’t still pretty bad. But it’s an inconvenience more than anything — not a natural disaster. Although, it’s definitely not weather you want to run in, as one jogger learned the hard way.

But speaking of natural disasters, how about those New England Patriots? The team has become the whipping boy of the NFL after they were accused and found guilty last week of intentionally under inflating footballs to a degree that’s not allowed by the league. And since they’re in the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in America, the story has taken on a life of its own.

It’s the constant focus of talk radio and sports television shows. Saturday Night Live featured it in its opening sketch last weekend. It’s even been given its own conspiracy name: Deflategate.Tom Brady defaltegate

The problem is that the team has a reputation for bending the rules. Several years ago, they were accused of illegally filming opposing teams’ sidelines. So NFL fans who don’t root for the Patriots are rightfully annoyed that they continue to challenge the integrity of the league, and on top of that, keep winning. It’s not fair.

Their coach Bill Belichick has denied involvement, and Tom Brady is simply smiling and charming his way out of blame. And now, reports say that a Patriots locker room attendant may end up being the scapegoat. It’s all one big mess, and the NFL better hope that the Patriots lose to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, or else you’re going to have a lot of angry people.

But let’s transition the topic from deflated balls to tennis. Where the balls are green and hoppy.

Maria Sharapova, who at one point in my life I may or may not have been deeply in love with, is playing against Eugenie Bouchard, who is basically is the next Maria Sharapova — in terms of attractiveness and skill.

Sharapova BouchardSharapova, 27 — who once rejected my autograph request  — is nearing an age where tennis careers typically begin their downward slide, which is probably much earlier than most professional sports. She’s already achieved the esteemed career grand slam, and is still in impeccable shape and succeeding on the court. Her beauty has been well documented, and she’s one of sports’ rare emblems of looks and talent.

Well, in comes Bouchard, 20, of Montreal, who appears to share a similar package after reaching the Wimbledon final last year.

The best part? The two play each other on Tuesday in Australia — which means it’s happening late Monday evening stateside — in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open. One can call this match the passing of the torch. A really, really hot torch.

For men who appreciate beautiful women who excel at their craft, this is our Super Bowl.

In fact, because I like both of them so much, I’m willing to take the loser of the match out to dinner and drinks. As a consolation prize.

I’m just that kind of guy.