My Friday Five: On The NFL’s Problem & Apple

Photo: Chris White

1. The NFL Disgrace

The first game of the regular season wrapped not even 24 hours ago and the NFL has already got a big problem on its hands. In Thursday night’s game pitting the Carolina Panthers against the Denver Broncos, there were several helmet-to-helmet hits from various Broncos players to Panthers’ quarterback, Cam Newton – I counted at least four of them, myself – each bringing no ramifications to the Broncos players responsible. In fact, the only penalty that was handed down by the on-field officiating crew for a helmet-to-helmet hit was negated by, of all things, intentional grounding. Newton was not once taken out of the game to be evaluated per the joint NFL/players’ union concussion protocol rules despite showing signs of possible injury and, not surprisingly, the league defended its decision making on Friday. I thought “player safety” was of utmost importance in the league. I should have known better as it is only a talking point. I mean, would I even be writing this post if the same had happened to Brady, Rodgers or Brees? Think about it.

2. #AppleEvent

Apple made several announcements at its annual event – the most anticipated being the iPhone 7 – alongside a new “swim proof” Apple Watch and new earbuds called AirPods which are completely wireless. The AirPods were announced in conjunction with the iPhone 7 no longer having a traditional headphone jack. Instead, Apple will include new earbuds that plug directly into the phone’s lightning port or users can purchase the AirPods for $159. Many on social media raised a fuss about the departure of the headphone jack (understandably) and the AirPods, which I didn’t quite understand. No one is being forced, at least yet, to buy the AirPods yet people were talking on social media almost like it was the end of the world. It’ll be okay, world. Just keep what you have if you don’t like the new stuff. I, for one, am just sitting here and waiting for new Macbooks to be announced.

3. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has not had a good week. It all began when the banking giant received tremendous backlash for an ad campaign for its Teen Financial Education Day on September 17. Some of the ads appeared to have valued science over the arts, depicting young people with phrases such as “An actor yesterday. A botanist tomorrow. Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.” and “A ballerina yesterday. An engineer tomorrow. Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.” Some took the ads positively but many – including yours truly – did not. In my opinion, as an avid participant in and supporter of the arts, the ads were in poor taste. Quite frankly, I believe the ads devalued career opportunities in the arts and the people who pursue them. Wells Fargo did release an apology via social media – whilst touting its monetary contributions to arts programs, no less. Throwing money at the arts does not necessarily mean supporting them. The ads were shameful and I’m confident that lessons have been learned.

But the fiascos didn’t stop there. Federal regulators announced on Thursday that some Wells Fargo employees secretly established millions of bank and credit card accounts without customers’ knowledge or authorization since 2011. According to USA Today, the bank has fired 5,300 employees because of the scandal but I think even more should be done. In fact, several online publications have called for more heads to roll at Wells Fargo. I’ve never been a fan of nor do I bank with Wells Fargo and these two fiascos validate my decisions, that’s for sure.

4. Happy Ann’y Kelly Clarkson

Prepare thyselves to be amazed. This week marks 14 years since Kelly Clarkson became the first American Idol champ. Can you believe it? I remember the night it happened, sitting at my grandma’s house, where I was living at the time and seeing that winning moment. Who knew that Clarkson would go on to earn 100 Billboard No. 1 singles and win three Grammy Awards as well as Idol become an American icon – only to be no more now. Wowza!

5. Happy Ann’y First Kid

Rounding off this week’s “Friday Five” is a Happy 20th Ann’y to one of my favorite films: First Kid. The film stars Sinbad as Sam Simms, a champion boxer who takes a job as Secret Service detail for Luke Davenport (Brock Pierce), son of the President of the United States. Simms takes the job after the ill-tempered Agent Woods is fired for mistreating Luke. Most people think that Luke is a spoiled brat but Simms sees him differently and the two become pals. First Kid is such an awesome film and one that I’ll always remember. Happy Ann’y indeed!

Thanks for Reading

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