No Penalty Here

Mr. Magick Man is watching Denver beat the Patriots this evening. In fact, the game just ended and it looks like Denver is going to the SuperBowl. But that isn’t why I’m writing tonight.

Earlier in the 4th quarter, the ref called an “unnecessary roughness” penalty. My first thought, after seeing the instant reply, was, “These guys don’t watch hockey AT ALL.”

But then, me and my short attention span started wondering… one of the guys on the Patriots team has these long dreads. They go past his shoulders…

Me: If another player dragged that player down by the hair, would that be  “unnecessary roughness”?

Mr. Magick Man: {Looks at me as though I watch too much hockey.}

Me: I’m serious. Look at the guy’s hair. You could totally do that.

Mr. Magick Man: They don’t have a rule against it. There wouldn’t be a penalty.

Me: You have to be kidding me. Surely, it would at least be a “holding” call.

Mr. Magick Man: Look it up. No penalty.

This is why they make The Google. And this is why the Google Fu is strong with me.

I still can’t believe what I found.

It is perfectly legal to fight like a girl* on the football field. You can pull someone down to the ground by the hair and no one cares.

*: If you are offended by the term “fight like a girl”, then you clearly haven’t been in one of these fights, nor have you seen one. I advise you to get a cat, make sure she’s well established in her territory, and then introduce another cat. Now try to break up the fight. That’s quite similar but on a much smaller scale and probably safer. Or better yet, try to pill a cat.

There will not be a penalty for pulling hair in the NFL. If the hair is long enough that it reaches the jersey, then it is “touching” the jersey and it is “part of the uniform”. A uniform can be used to pull a player down, so it is up to the player to keep their hair short.

I got this tidbit of information from Gus Ana, a guy who answers question in the NFL. But I found the answer on Quora, and it was an answer to a question from back in September of 2014. This was the most recent source I could find.

It does include a nice video of what I’m talking about, though:

Not to be deterred, I went over to the NFL website and found their 2015 Rulebook.

It is nowhere to be found. It hasn’t been added in the new rules. It isn’t addressed. It isn’t even mentioned.

I gotta’ say, NFL, I’m kinda’ impressed. You’re making the effort to meet the violence of hockey. But until you guys throw the ball down, throw off the helmets and start duking it out on the field, you’ll never hold my interest.

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

The tragedy in Connecticut was devastating, and my heart goes out to those families. That being said, I’ve thought long and hard about what I wanted to say regarding the topic of gun control. This is a sensitive issue right now, and a very important one.

Throughout the history of mankind, we’ve found a way to hunt, to harm, to wage war. Cane slew Abel because, in his eyes, his brother was “favored” (no motive is ever really given, it’s always assumed the motive was jealousy). But Cane did not have a firearm when he committed this act.

We are in the midst of another debate of gun control because of a terrible event that occurred – something that should never have happened. We cannot ever replace those lives. However, we cannot change the fact that the perpetrator would have found a method to harm these people if he did not have access to guns.

My friend, Stephen Pope, has a far more eloquent post on this topic. After reading it I got his permission to incorporate it into my own post over here:

Whenever we encounter a tragedy, it’s human nature to have that “knee jerk reaction” and want to go to the opposite end of the spectrum, whatever the issue may be. But knee jerk reactions are never long-term solutions. If someone had listened to Cane, or maybe stopped and asked him how he was doing, maybe he would have had a chance to vent about his asshole brother Abel and that whole story would have had a different ending.

Really, Just Say “No”

We had the Chanukah Carnival at Temple today. I‘m on the Religious School Committee, so I volunteered to help. I ended up minding the Chanukah Store, which was better than selling cotton candy.

Alas, as a part of the store, my table also took Gelt tickets. For those unfamiliar with Chanukah traditions, Gelt is a popular item among the kids. It’s that little bag of chocolate covered coins. The kids would go through the carnival, earn coupons for various activities, and come to me to purchase Gelt, Dreidles, or a mystery item from the grab-box.

This was fine, until this one kid came up… this one little kid, who obviously never heard the word “no” in his young life. He hands over his coupon for the grab box, reaches in, and grabs his item. He looks at it and immediately tells his mother, “I don’t like it! I want a different one!” Y’know, I have other kids waiting in line. You get what you get. But before I can say anything, she lets him switch his prize. I politely ask her not to do that again, and explain that the grab box is a quick grab-and-go item, fun for everyone. It’s a “mystery”, but what you grab is what you get. I’m really nice about it and so is she. So her kid changes his prize… then he says, “I WANT TO DO IT AGAIN! I WANT ANOTHER ONE!” And he starts to reach in to get another toy in addition to the one he just grabbed. She has to drag him away mid-temper-tantrum.

Oh, it gets better…

Later, the little demon-spawn comes back without his mom. He has another coupon. There is a long line of kids ahead of him, but he circumvents the line and just goes up to the side of the box. I politely tell him, “Sweetie, of course you can draw again, but you need to get in line and wait your turn.”

He looked at me as though I’d smashed his hopes and dreams. I told him he had to wait?? He went running from the room as fast as he could, throwing a fit. Well… I wasn’t too concerned. Everyone knows everyone at our small Temple. When I got to a stopping point, I looked up at his mother and said, “Your son just tore out of here in a temper tantrum. I don’t think he wanted to wait his turn.” She got this panicked look on her face and went off after him. She brings him back and molly-coddled him through picking another item from the box.

The kid is maybe 3 or 4. I can’t wait to see how she’ll handle things when he’s a teen.

Whether you believe in corporal punishment or just handling things via “time-out”, at some point you have to establish boundaries. It’s OK to tell your child “No.” Trust me. They’re going to hear that word quite frequently in the real world once they’re an adult. If you don’t expose them to it early on, you aren’t doing them (or yourself) any favors.

The Bad Egg Who Never Heard "No"
The Bad Egg Who Never Heard “No”