Chris O'Meara/AP
Chris O'Meara/AP

Learning to Fly Again

I step inside Falcons headquarters as GM Thomas Dimitroff scrambles to get Atlanta back on top. Plus, Michael Sam and Oprah get it right, Robert Mathis gets it wrong and where (I think) the 2015 NFL draft and Super Bowl 52 are going

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga.— Many things to do today, the pivotal offseason of the Atlanta Falcons, the state of the 2015 NFL draft, why Michael Sam and new BFF Oprah did the right thing, Gregg Williams being in the perfect place at the right time, a former NFL general manager driving a basketball legend nuts, a tricentennial ruling the next Super Bowl bidding, a great documentary about a Lions quarterback/Kennedy pal/John Wayne co-star … but first, a story I want you to see, and the coolest photo we at The MMQB have ever run.

So we’ve started this 10-week series at The MMQB. It’s about the history of pro football, with an eye on the future in every story we do. We dispatched young Emily Kaplan down to NFL Films in south Jersey to see a living, breathing NFL museum, the office of the late NFL Films impresario Steve Sabol, whose workplace was left precisely how he last worked in it, right down to his last lunch order. Emily Kaplan wrote vividly of the place, and photographer Jeff Zelevansky took a breathtaking GigaPan photo of the office—you can put your cursor on anything in the office, focus on it and POOF! There it is, full and vivid, on your screen.

Look at the notes Sabol took after a long session watching Bill Parcells coach. Focus on it. Put your cursor on the binder with the Parcells notes, and you’ll see, down near the bottom of the page, what Sabol found after his Parcells experience.

“He’s more than old school. He’s a one-room schoolhouse with no lunch and no recess.”

And that, dear readers, is what our goal is at this site: We want you to walk into Steve Sabol’s office with Emily Kaplan and Jeff Zelevansky, seeing what they see, experiencing what they experience. That’s our goal with the series, and with this site. Hope you enjoy it. Next: On Wednesday, Tim Layden’s vivid story on the history of artificial turf, and how it’s affected the game. There’s a lot in there you would never think of.

* * *

Good life lesson for the Falcons.

When coach Mike Smith and GM Thomas Dimitroff looked at their team in the last couple of years, there were things they didn’t like much. But when you coach and manage a team for five years, and you win 56 games and lose just 24, and you make the playoffs four out of five years, you tend to say, “We’re okay.”

Said Smith: “Human nature, when you’re getting positive results, is not to stress the negative. But when you get humbled, which happened last year, you’ve got to be realistic about your team.”

As the house-collapsing 4–12 season of 2013 proved, the Falcons were most definitely not okay. The pass-rush stunk. The offensive line stunk. The secondary leaked. And every time they got into the playoffs—Smith’s playoff record: 1–4—a team with a strong pass-rush and good secondary frustrated Matt Ryan and sent the Falcons home early.

And so, the night before the first round of this year’s draft, Dimitroff sat in his Buckhead home, watching NFL Network with his son Mason (Mason: “DAD!!! They’re saying your name wrong!”) and pondered the mess his team was in.

“We have gotten to the realization we were able to win a lot of games, but not the Super Bowl,” Dimitroff said. “And we realize how quickly a 4–12 season can change the perspective of a team-builder like me and a coach like Mike. For us, 4–12 has been productive vulnerability. We’re very confident in our ability to bring our team back, but this draft is crucial to getting us there.”

Atlanta had a boring draft, but a lucky one. The night before the draft, Dimitroff thought he had a deal with old friend Dave Caldwell, the GM of the Jaguars, to move from six to three … but it would have been a stupid deal in retrospect. Dimitroff had his heart set on Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews, and he was fortunate Caldwell called him on draft morning and said, “We’re out. We’re staying put and picking our guy.” Blake Bortles. Forget the speculation. Dimitroff wasn’t going to pick Kahlil Mack. He was going Matthews all the way.

Dimitroff, here in his Flowery Branch office, hopes his draft day haul can propel the Falcons back to contender status.
Dimitroff, here in his Flowery Branch office, hopes his draft day haul can propel the Falcons back to contender status. (Peter King/The MMQB)

Now came the next piece of drama in the Atlanta draft room. New assistant GM Scott Pioli was a voice of calm in the room; he’d been urging Dimitroff to not be too eager to move back into the first round. Atlanta sat at 37, and wanted a pass-rusher—either a defensive end or an outside linebacker. The Falcons really wanted Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier, who went to Pittsburgh at number 15. That was too high for Atlanta. Then the object of their affection was defensive end Dee Ford, and he would have cost a third-round pick for Atlanta to move into the mid-20s. But Kansas City grabbed Ford at 23, and there went the two rushers Dimitroff liked. Instead of overpaying for a player he didn’t love, Dimitroff sat and took high-risk/big-reward defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman of Minnesota. He didn’t get a pass-rusher until pick 139, in the fourth round: Notre Dame outside linebacker Prince Shembo, whose career was clouded by an encounter with a girl he met at Notre Dame who later killed herself. The circumstance around her death—Shembo was never charged with a crime—caused many teams to steer clear of him, and he’s a risk for the Falcons. But they were confident in the vetting of Shembo, and in his potential. So he’s the man Atlanta hopes can be the edge-rush help for the aging Osi Umenyiora that the quarterbacks of the NFC South will grow to fear. But the 139th pick is not exactly Jadeveon Clowney territory.

The night before the draft, it was clear Dimitroff wanted one more impact guy out of this draft that he just wasn’t able to get. “This league is about now, and it’s about impact players,” he said. “What did Marv Levy say? ‘Depth is great until you’ve got to use it?’ ”

Soon after the season, Dimitroff and Smith had a summit meeting with owner Arthur Blank. “We have been the hardest on ourselves, and Mr. Blank was hard on us too,” said Dimitroff. “But I welcome that. We deserved it. I’ll be damned if I ever say adequate is okay.”

Blank, who co-founded The Home Depot, told me: “In the NFL, what we’ve learned is a pat hand doesn’t work. From my days at Home Depot, I learned good is the enemy of great. I told Thomas and Mike I was going to have faith in them, because they deserved it after five good years. But they worked at it. They had my plane for 322 passenger hours, not including the combine, going all over the country to find players we need. They’ve been very analytical.”

Dimitroff added several analytics tools to the Falcons’ offseason. The force plate, which measures athleticism and lower-body muscle usage, was important in an effort to gauge the strength of draftees … and to help the team teach offensive linemen to fire off the line in a slightly different way than they had been doing, to help reduce Lisfranc and calf injuries. Instead of firing out on the balls of the feet, linemen are firing out with the lower part of their feet, to even out the pressure on the foot and whole leg. Dimitroff has also used Fusionetics, which educates players about which of their movements increase the chance of injury.

“This is not in any way a quest to find excuses for why we went 4–12,” Dimitroff said. “It is just us being mindful to try to do everything we can to keep our players healthy and at a top performance level. And give credit to Smitty—he’s been on board with everything to try to be sure our players are playing at their peak.”

Mike Tice and Bryan Cox have been imported as assistants on the offense and defense, respectively, in part to instill a toughness that has been missing. “We’ve got to get back to winning the line of scrimmage,” said Smith. Matthews at right tackle, Hageman in the interior of the defensive line, and Shembo as an outside rusher … if those all work, the Falcons will be back strong in 2014. But if Matt Ryan gets whacked around like last year, and if Smith’s defense can’t pressure the quarterback, it’ll be a battle again to stay out of the NFC South basement. And Blank won’t be so patient then.

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474 comments
liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

Speaking of naiveté---the ark, Peyton? With all the animals two-by-two? We're taking this as truth? For a guy who prides himself on reasonable preparation, believing in the Bible seems contradictory.

armagecko
armagecko

I don't know who this Vito Cammissano character is. Judging by the fact that Peter King can't write five words without mentioning Michael Sam, I thought for sure that he and Sam must be a couple... 


Also, while I'm poking at Peter (don't get jealous, Michael), the fact that Greg Hardy has 25-30 guns is as irrelevant as the fact that Peter King stocks 30 beers in his fridge. Owning a gun doesn't mean that you will use it to harm anyone any more than owning 30 beers means that you will get drunk and smack your wife around. Hard for you to comprehend, I'm sure, but owning a gun (or 25-30) is perfectly legal in the Carolinas. Some folks drink beer, some folks shoot guns. Both folks can commit an act of violence on occasion, but I don't think you want the police to regulate your beer collection. So, Gettleman can do his due diligence regarding Hardy's gun collection, but if he's smart (yeah, I know he's from Boston; it's called an oxymoron), he'll recognize the legal authority of the 2nd Amendment. If not, Dallas can use Hardy. Shoot, they'll even buy him bigger guns.


Add in his derision of Milan Lucic saying, "I'm gonna kill you next year" after an important game, and one begins to wonder if Peter King has ever played a sport in his life. Heck, I'm wondering if King had an inguinal orchiectomy at an early age. I've heard your testosterone levels drop after 40, but should it really be totally depleted by age 56?! This is info that Michael really needs to know, Pete, before things get serious between you two....

JimKirkwood1
JimKirkwood1

Seems like just yesterday people were giving Mante Te'o (sp) a lot of grief

scotto80
scotto80

“I think it’s very contradictory, and I’m someone who supported Michael Sam and understood the importance of his involvement in professional football; but he has certainly called into question to me everything about him, including what we saw on draft day,” he said. “Everything seems orchestrated now. We didn’t know that there was a documentary TV show already in the process of being filmed and now we do. Now we judge everything in that light and we have to wonder, was it genuine emotion? Or is this a part of a reality TV show?”


The above comment was made by Jason Whitlock of ESPN so you can forward your bigot and racist accusations to him. Peter made a very big deal about the televised moment of Sam's selection suggesting it would be shown over and over as seminal moment in sports and societal history. Despite the "documentary" tag, Sam was making reality TV for the OWN network and as everyone should know by now reality TV can be as scripted and rehearsed as any other TV show. Sam has the absolute right to be who he is and be proud of it..but his clandestine dealings with OWN paint him as a bit of  charlatan

Fingernail
Fingernail

"It would be compelling to see Sam at home with his boyfriend..."


Shiver.


I gotta say, for the most part I've always been ok with gay people. I've hung out with them, worked with them, even danced at a gay club once just for the heck of it. No big deal. Whatever. So, in the wake of this whole Michael Sam love fest, I found myself reflecting back on the moment where I watched Sam breaking down in a gush of sobs as he learned he would be a Ram, and his boyfriend rubbing his arm and his back affectionately, and, after ending the call, Sam kissing his boyfriend.


It was a beautiful moment. I was touched. But in reflecting back I was also confronted by another emotion that I had apparently brushed aside: Ewww.


I get it. Gay people are people just like heterosexual people are people. We're all human. And would that we all were better about "live and let live". Anyone should have the freedom to experience love.


But it will NEVER be normal.

gravedigger187_1974
gravedigger187_1974

Furthermore don jones had to attend educational training. That is a 700 dollar word for brainwashing.

gravedigger187_1974
gravedigger187_1974

Peter, I think it was an absolute travesty that Don Jones got suspended for hi tweets on The micheal Sam incident. He is in entitled to his opinion and should not come with reprocussions. The NFL was wrong and roger goodell should be ashamed for succumbing To peer pressure. He is a coward. Whether it was micheal Sam and Vito or AJ Mccarron and that reality series moron he kissed. I tuned in to watch the NFL draft not a damn daytime soap opera. ESPN should be ashamed of themselves for the intentional pause when it was learned who the pick would be and cut to it.

Kevin1
Kevin1

Lifelong nonsmoker here...I love breathing smokefree air...But seriously...Dude, you're in BAR. Get over yourself. People drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes in those places.

GiovaniSmith
GiovaniSmith

So much for the standard of university education these days (even if the subject is "Speech Communication"). 


Peyton Manning actually believes in the story of Noah's Ark!?!


What a buffoon...

GiovaniSmith
GiovaniSmith

Wilf? 


Doesn't Wilf mean something naughty?

CeRAMicRAMekin
CeRAMicRAMekin

I doubt seriously that Eugene Sims, backup DE for the Rams has anything to worry about in making this roster. So that makes 4 must keeps IMO. Going to be a tough nut to crack for Sam. 

ShaneLeonard
ShaneLeonard

I think its hilarious how all the sports writers and NFL are tip toeing around this Michael Sam issue, King included.  I am skeptical if very few are really saying what they are truly feeling out of pure fear of being ostracized.  This has so little to do with football, and everything to do with sensational media, and a ridiculous amount of political correctness.

kenc29
kenc29

"So I’ve been working a bit with a nutritionist, and after studying my diet (or lack thereof), she said, “No more lattes.” The horror! We reached a bit of a truce there. I shan’t give up my favorite warm beverage, but I think I can handle three a week, with brewed Italian roast the rest of the time. We’ll see."


What?!? For what reason?

TomHaxby
TomHaxby

O.K. so I get it Michael Sam is queer. Can I call him queer in this era of PC? Do queers get their own showers in the NFL?  Don't really care about him or the story. Quite frankly,  tired of it like many people.

YuSuk
YuSuk

Bummer that people can still smoke in bars!? Are you freaking serious? ..That should be the proprietors CHOICE! Some places would allow smoking and other places would not allow it. Why can't both sides be happy? Its ridiculous that non-smokers just get their way without any public vote. I thought America was a democracy...It's only smoke, get over it you freakin' cry-babies!

FranklinMint
FranklinMint

I love PFF, but I don't think the article sheds much light on the best CB in football debate at all. If Sherman's not going up against the best, then he can't be called the best. You can speculate that he might be the best, but until he's tested on a regular basis, it can't be stated definitively. 

weir6
weir6

Michael Sam: WHO CARES?  Why is this such a big deal?  If someone says something on the field to him, are they going to be fined?  It's about football, not the player's sexuality.  So tired of hearing about him

sjq294
sjq294

Drink coffee like a man, Mr. King.

EdwardWhitelock
EdwardWhitelock

Mr. King, I have been a regular reader of your column for over ten years, and the thing that keeps drawing me back to your work as a writer is the heart you put into it.  You care about bigger things than the game you're describing.  You strike me as a "people writer" more so than a "sports writer" and I hope you take that as the compliment it is meant to be.  


But I have to say that this sentence, coming from you, really threw me: "He didn’t get a pass-rusher until pick 139, in the fourth round: Notre Dame outside linebacker Prince Shembo,whose career was clouded by an encounter with a girl he met at Notre Dame who later killed herself."  


Your phrasing diminishes the seriousness of the allegations, and I say this from a perspective that is not intending to condemn Mr. Shembo as guilty without charge or trial.  Really, I'm not responding as a back-seat lawyer; I'm responding as a fellow writer. 


I understand the need to be neutral and objective.  I do think, though, that your choice of the phrase "encounter with a girl" glosses over the seriousness of the situation.  In the least, it leaves you open to being yourself accused of brushing off what is a serious issue in collegiate sports: sexual abuse and a culture of violence against women.

As a longtime reader, I am confident that this was not your intention.  At least, I hope not.

liquidmuse3
liquidmuse3

@armagecko  Easy on the Michael Sam talk, man. I dunno if you're just critiquing Peter (hell yeah, please do that), but Michael Sam was a tough hombre in the SEC, so I'm not sure bagging on him in a seeming "toughness spectrum" is a good bet (again, I don't know where you were going with it). Plus, what's more physically imposing in the bedroom, a dude or a chick? Gay dudes as "soft" always strikes me as a naive stereotype.


And I support your gun treatise, but a beer has no ability to kill someone. A beer + a car, perhaps. But a gun, by itself, can kill. I guess you're making the argument that if you add an a**hole to either, bad things can happen...but a bad person + beer, vs. a bad person + beer + guns? Clearly, guns are more dangerous (I can't believe I have to even say that).

usameos6
usameos6

@scotto80  I was listening to Tom Nalen here in Denver talking about this as well and his comment was that if he was in training camp with Michael Sam and this film crew that he wouldn't go anywhere near him as he would be afraid that anything he said would have the possibility of being taken out of context and used against him in the media.  He felt like it would be more honest if he wanted to document this situation that he would have been better off just going to camp like a regular rookie and writing about his experiences later instead as this won't cause the sort of 'observer effect' where the presence of the film crew fundamentally changes his camp experience.

Translucent
Translucent

@Fingernail  Who's to define what is "normal"? And who cares whether the behavior is "normal" anyway?

Mike26
Mike26

@Kevin1  Not in most major cities - which is where PK clearly spends most of his time and believes everyone else should behave as city folks do, because he comes across as very condescending in his words.



However, I agree with the point about smoking - it's been proven to have no positive purpose in public restaurants, bars and other establishments, and the addition of public parks has been a positive development as well.

drudown
drudown

@ShaneLeonard  


Actually, it is very much about what pre-W America used to be about: protecting individual liberties, celebrating individual expression and having a system of government for the People, by the People that respectfully takes no position on gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, et al.


Lo and behold, the "new" GOP has eroded our Nation's freedoms in the following order: (1) by creating "figurehead" politicians like Reagan that don't actually lead- they just sell snake oil agendas like "no new taxes, ever" which foreseeably weakens the State; (2) "deregulating" the Media by "killing the Fairness Act" under the Reagan Administration now made "news" subjective- that is, "for sale" instead of simply reporting on the Public Interest; (3) by inculcating this fabricated "hyper-partisanship"- it provides Congress with a much more convenient "excuse" to not enact laws in the Public Interest- even "gifting" wholly unprecedented "blanket immunities" (see, "Halliburton Loophole") that turns Due Process, common sense and the Common Law on its head; (4) finally, of course, there is the outright GOP "contempt" for government, the Police Power of the Several States and rule of law. 


You want make an "issue" of Americans celebrating liberty. 


I take issue with your contrived lip service to Freedom. 


You are as phony as the GOP's "Climate Change" denials in consideration of super-PAC bribes.


"After the event, even the fool is wise." - Viscount Symonds


Our Congress is on the take and not raising revenue necessary to meet tomorrow's challenges. If it doesn't want to, say, collect Federal Income tax from the NFL and other Corporations- then reogranize the debt with the EU and Russia- not rattle sabers for more useless military occupations that serve the Corporations you REFUSE to TAX in violation of the Constitution your "paid for" Faux News "contributors" invoke. 


Enough lies and smoggy skies to make the People choke.


"You mean, like Nate Kaeding in the playoffs against my team?" - Rex Ryan


Damn you, Noodle Leg.

JohnSmith25
JohnSmith25

@ShaneLeonard You are so certain that everyone is as bigoted as you but are just being politically correct.  How convenient.  The truth is that the whole reason Sam's sexuality is a story is because of the "sensational media."  The players don't care.  Sam's teammates in college didn't care.  The world has passed you by and you don't even know it.

grstallions87
grstallions87

@ShaneLeonard  You are correct, but its what society is all about, in sticking with the subject but in another area, a tv channel cancelled a flip this house kind of show because they are known to be CXhristians but praised the show that had 2 gay guys.  This is what society and sports has become, go with the hot topic even if it has nothing to do with the person's profession.  This stuff has been going on since Political Correctness came along in 1992

blynder
blynder

@TomHaxby  

Call people what they want to be called.  Seems simple enough.  

Their "own showers"?  I get you are tired of it; I really do - and some people still like the story and think has relevance to their lives.  We all gotta live here so, maybe you should employ the skip over technique. :)

Mike26
Mike26

You must be country folk with that kinda attitude mister!

salvaje50
salvaje50

@YuSuk it's only tar in your lungs that makes them look like old prunes

BillKeating
BillKeating

@weir6 It's not about football or the player's sexuality. This is political correctness. This is the media playing their favorite game of finding some celebrity or athlete saying something about a minority that most Americans would supposedly find offensive and then hounding that man (it's rarely a woman and usually a white man) until he is broken.


The minority can be African Americans, Native Americans, women (yeah they are a minority for the purpose of political correctness), Jews, (the race, not the religion. It's ok to slur religions. See the hit Broadway musical "Book of Mormon".)  The media reduced the 80 year old owner of the Clippers to a blubbering baby when they caught him on tape demeaning blacks. The got old CBS NFL pre-game show game picker Jimmy the Greek fired and on his way to an early grave for getting on tape, after he had been drinking, the "very controversial" statement that blacks were better athletes than whites. He added that he thought this was due to the way that they had been bred to be good slaves. You don't see where either statement is not at least debatable? Sorry for you.


In the end they will get Dan Snyder, too. Their pressure is relentless, and they are helped by some well known sports writers who want to be at least footnotes when the greatest book of civil rights history is published someday. Few sane people in the country really believe that Native Americans are offended by the Washington nickname of "Redskins." But to the media it's "Off with his head! and they can mount another scalp on their office walls." You say that the Native Americans are really concerned about their appalling unemployment rate? Sorry, the media isn't interested in anything that dreary. You ask "Where is freedom of speech and freedom of expression." No, those rights are only secured for political critics. So be wise and don't be caught saying anything that the media can hold against you. Like this comment.

justwanderin
justwanderin

@weir6  It's not a big deal, but King and his ilk have an agenda to push

blynder
blynder

@weir6  

You don't think it is a big deal, others do.  It'll die down in a  few weeks - that's the new cycle.

davidhd
davidhd

Me too, but the story will come to a "tragic" end in a few months when the Rams realize they have several great defensive ends, and that Sam isn't one of them.

armagecko
armagecko

@liquidmuse3 Advice #1: If you ever find yourself tempted to use the phrase "I dunno," it's usually best to shut the fruck up. As Mr. Twain implied, better to keep your mouth shut than to open it and prove you're an idiot. 


Advice #2: If you're the least bit confused about my comments, read them again. It's not really that difficult, assuming you have an 8th grade education. However, given your comment that "a gun, by itself, can kill," I think the 8th grade might be too much of an assumption on my part. For the record, a gun by itself cannot kill anything... this side of the Twilight Zone anyway. Also, if you don't know any "soft gay dudes," then you have lived a VERY sheltered existence (and you clearly don't own a TV). 


Advice #3: Stop taking everything so literally. Do you have Asperger's? No, I'm serious, dude. You need to get a check-up. If you're having trouble understanding my post and Peyton's graduation comments, you quite possibly may need medication. Or, maybe the cops simply need to confiscate your beer collection. Should you have any other comments, please review Advice #1.


craigory
craigory

@Translucent @Fingernail How about defining normal by looking at human biology?  Anyone who took a high school health class can tell you that a male's genitalia is compatible with a female's, not another male's. 

"Who cares whether the behavior is normal"?  There are very good reasons not to encourage abnormal behavior.  I don't even know where to start with that one.

Buck2185
Buck2185

@Mike26 @Kevin1 PK believes you should drink yuppie beer, have Sam htting you from behind and at the same time have a mouthful of Patriot....

Translucent
Translucent

@Mike26 @Kevin1  ..."proven to have no positive purpose in public restaurants, bars and other establishments,..."


1) I'd guess that bar owners who like serving the legion of drinking smokers consider allowing smoking to be a "positive."


2) Does something have to be "proven ... positive" to be allowed in public? Karioke bars will be in trouble...

Bongo
Bongo

@JohnSmith25 @ShaneLeonard:  While I agree that Sam is getting a lot of attention and the story has already worn thin until we get to see what happens in training camp - as have most beat-to-death stories at this time of the NFL calendar - but the reason he's getting so much attention is because it's a pretty big deal.  


You may not agree with his sexuality, but the whole point is that it shouldn't matter.  And by the reactions of many people, it still does matter to them.  Sam obviously wanted to be himself and not live in fear of someone "outing" him.  He gets to do that.  Now let's see if he makes the team.  


And no, I don't believe any NFL team will keep a player who they don't need.  The NFL is a HUGE business, and they can weather some criticism if Sam is cut.  There is no PC subplot to ensure that Sam makes the team.  That would be very bad business. 

JohnSmith25
JohnSmith25

@grstallions87 @ShaneLeonard What a load of tripe.  Cable networks choosing not to associate their brand with people who have odious views is not political correctness.  It's capitalism.  

usameos6
usameos6

@blynder @TomHaxby  I've been inside the Broncos locker room and the days of the giant mass shower are long past - now there are private showers for everyone, dressing areas, etc. etc. etc.  I find it pretty funny that people tend to fixate on showers ....

YuSuk
YuSuk

Not if you're not smoking :) --Are you one of those people that wants to live to be 100? My grandpa did and he smoked for over 70 years. By 95 he had seen all of his good friends pass and couldn't understand why people had to live so long. Something has to kill ya... Lung cancer didn't kill him either btw. Second hand smoke certainly won't hurt anyone, people who don't smoke get lung cancer. The "truth" campaign of course lumps those numbers into their statistics... People need to relax on smokers, they're people too. They make choices just like everybody else

BillKeating
BillKeating

@weir6 I should add that men can say things disgusting and shameful. I'm thinking of the day after the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion that killed civilian teacher Christa McAuliffe. Out at lunch the next day with a pretty large group of young engineers that I worked with, I was incredulous to hear them making dead teacher in space jokes. But I believe the media would not mobilize for war if a civil rights victim was not the subject.

blynder
blynder

@justwanderin

Ha... what is that agenda again? Where is it written down?  Who agreed on this agenda?  One could say that everyone has an agenda to push, even/especially those who claim that others are pushing an agenda.  

It's agenda pushing.  

"How come PK gets to have an agenda?  Soon everyone will have an agenda - it'll be anarchy" - Random Reference Machine is ONLINE and functioning at 8.9 percent...

Bongo
Bongo

@YuSuk :  Second hand smoke isn't harmful?  You really believe that?  It's SMOKE!  The cigarette does not magically decide whose lungs to invade.   So you think parents who smoke with kids in the car are not harming their kids?


Sorry, it doesn't work that way, regardless of whatever conclusions you want to draw from your grandpa.  FYI:  one of my grandpas lived to be 96 and smoked cigars and drank whiskey on a daily basis.  But I also had an uncle who died at 60 from lung cancer after smoking for many years, and after having quite for the last 10 years of his life.

CMFJ
CMFJ

@YuSuk  


Great for your grandfather that he was one of the 25% of smokers that did not die of a smoking related illness.  I suppose you are too old to learn that anecdotal evidence is not meaningful.


Here's an idea for you.  Find someone whose mother, father, sister, or brother has died of lung cancer and tell them "Something has to kill ya."  That should work out well for you.


"Second hand smoke certainly won't hurt anyone, people who don't smoke get lung cancer."


First, that fact that non-smokers get lung cancer has absolutely no bearing on whether second hand smoke can hurt you.  Zero.  Second, actual epidemiological data says you are wrong.  Of course, you probably won't believe that.  Your inability to reason, understand causation, or even use common sense if obviously irreversibly impaired.

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