There are so many candidates for Biggest Losers of 2013 that they deserved their own column. Here they are:
Andy Reid: Kansas City treated the former Philadelphia Eagles coach like the Second Coming, inexplicably ignoring his horrendous big-game record and three-word press conferences. Well, they got exactly what they deserved. Like clockwork, Reid jumped out to a 9-0 start, made the playoffs, and then imploded. His hallmarks of terrible play-calling and horrible time management were on full display as he blew a 28-point lead — the second-worst playoff collapse in NFL playoff history. But hey, there’s always next year — for Reid to do the exact same thing.
Big Ten Football: Speaking of bad football, just look at how pathetic the Big Ten has become. Neither Michigan State nor Ohio State, the conference’s best, would rank better than sixth in the SEC, and that’s being generous. This bowl season, yet again, demonstrated how bad the conference really is: it went 2-5, and, had Georgia and Stanford not defeated themselves with inexcusable dropped passes, the Big Ten would have been 0-7. Add in the dismal performances of its incoming teams (Maryland and Rutgers), and that record would show two more losses. The Big Ten has officially become the Big Who Cares conference.
Miley Cyrus: Talented? Absolutely. Trashy? Yep, and that’s a shame, because Miley would still have a tremendous following, maybe even a bigger one, if she stopped her dignity-be-damned headline grabbing antics.
Some parents want her to still be the wholesome Hannah Montana character that she rode to fame, but that’s not fair, as she has blossomed into a young adult entertainer. But she continually pushes it too far.
The irony is that the more these brash celebrities try to emulate the very best, such as Madonna, the farther they fall from the mark. Madonna showed keen entertainment and business acumen, and always stayed ahead of the curve while creatively pushing the line but never crossing it so as to appear outright trashy. That is what made her such a worldwide icon, a label that fits to this day. Cyrus, on the other hand, is the butt of jokes and will likely be a has-been in five years. Ultimately, talent is still what sells, not gimmicks — a lesson the young Wrecking Ball will soon learn.
Obamacare: Our government messes up virtually everything it touches, and health care will be no exception. The Obamacare website/IT disaster illustrated our government’s propensity to vastly overspend (over $1 billion) on things that either don’t work or are totally inefficient. How people think that bureaucrats making potentially life-and-death medical decisions will work remains a mystery.
Yet, through it all, there is still no alternative offered by the anti-Obamacare Republicans. You can’t beat something with nothing, as the last several elections proved. If the GOP doesn’t learn that message quickly, they will wake up in 2016 as losers yet again. Advice for 2014: Don’t get sick.
New Yorkers: The exodus of money from New York City has already begun, as new Mayor Bill de Blasio has embarked on the liberal path of "taxing the wealthy" to pay for his "universal" pre-K pet project (and as we know, anytime a politician uses the term "universal," you know it’s going to be bad).
This writer took issue with former Mayor Michael Bloomberg on several of his signature issues — namely soda bans, anti-tobacco policies and stop-and-frisk. That said, Bloomberg and his predecessor Rudy Giuliani (both Republicans) presided over a huge renaissance for New York: crime decreased, streets were cleaned, deficits were transformed into surpluses, and the once-stagnant economy roared to life. Unlike many big cities where outgoing mayors leave a trail of disaster for the new guy, New York doesn’t have that problem. There are good reasons that America’s biggest city hasn’t had a Democratic mayor in two decades; de Blasio should heed that lesson and tread lightly.
But he won’t. And sadly, the Big Apple will start to rot. Is it four years yet?
Trial lawyers: The main reason our society has become so selfish is because trial lawyers have ingrained in Americans the belief that they have the "right" to sue for absolutely everything, whether or not there is any fault. Accountability and personal responsibility have disintegrated, and the once-automatic response of helping people in distress has morphed into turning the other way for fear of liability, Good Samaritan laws notwithstanding.
Sure, there is a need for a strong legal advocate when a wrong has been committed, but we have reached the point where we live in fear of lawsuits. Spill coffee on yourself? Sue the restaurant. Don’t like the grade your college professor gave you? Sue. Get fired for not doing your job? Lawsuit time.
Three recent doozies illustrate how crazy it’s become:
1.) The family of former Kansas City Chiefs football player Jovan Belcher has filed a wrongful death suit against the team, blaming concussions and possible brain injury for his actions — which included murdering his girlfriend by shooting her nine times while legally drunk (more than twice Missouri’s legal limit), and killing himself. Tragic as that is, no one forced Belcher to play football, and all of today’s players know, or should know, the risk of concussions and brain trauma. To blame the team (and the league, as many conveniently do) is bad enough. But to sue? Those people are the ones who need their heads examined.
2.) A pharmacist in Ireland refused to give a potentially life-saving Epi-pen adrenaline injection to a girl having a severe allergic reaction to peanuts because the mother didn’t have a prescription with her. The girl died in the street. Was that non-action due to an imbecile unable to bend a rule to save a life, or fear of being sued if he intervened? Either way, it is a horrendous sign of the times.
3.) Perhaps most perplexing is the car commercial where a vehicle jumps on top of a train to get around traffic. There are four, yes four, different disclaimers admonishing viewers, "Do Not Attempt," along with, "Fantasy. Cars Cannot Jump On Trains."
Really? Is that what it has come to in this country? Companies feel it necessary to add disclaimers to shield them from liability in case some moron attempts to drive his car onto a moving train?
If only we could sue trial lawyers for bringing frivolous lawsuits, and the judges who allow them.
Look for Biggest Winners of 2013 on Thursday on DelcoTimes.com.
Chris Freind is an independent columnist and commentator. His print column appears every Wednesday. He can be reached at [email protected].
About the Author
Chris Freind writes a weekly column for the Daily Times. Reach the author at [email protected] .