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Forsyth, Georgia
January 10, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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January 10, 2018

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& EDITORIALS Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not; Jeremiah 50:2 4A 2016 and 2017 winner: Editorial Page excellence 2016 winner: Sports Photography excellence 2016 winner: News Photography excellence 2016 winner: Front Page excellence 2017 winner: Best Humor Column - On the Porch ON THE PORCH by Will Davis Ann: Welcome to our meeting today. Please have a seat on one of the light and neutral colored chairs. You'll notice there are Kleenex boxes underneath each chair, which you are welcome to use. There's a pot of coffee on the counter if you'd like a cup as webegin our journey to healing at this, the Forsyth meeting of the Georgia Bulldog Fan Recovery Group. I am your facilitater Ann, and today we're going to walk through the seven stages of grief as outlined in the Ktibler-Ross model. This will help us all understand how we're feeling as we process our most recent loss. The first stage after a loss is shock. Has anyone experi- enced feelings of shock since the loss? Bob: Yeah. I, am, I feel like I've been hit over the head by a big 2 by 4. I feel like I'm still reeling, like I don't even know what day it is. Ann: Thank you for sharing Bob. And when did this start? Bob: Well it started when Bama was about to kick the field goal. I thought, that's it. We're gonna lose. That was shocking enough. We had led all night. But then he missed it, and I thought we had a (inau- dible, begins weeping). Silence and sobbing. Ann: Bob, thank you for shar- ing when you first felt shock during our loss. I know that was hard for you. I~t's move ~"~ "~ ~"~, ~'x .~ on to the next stage, which is denial. Has anyone been experi- encing denial yet? Brad: What do you mean denial? I haven't denied any- thing. It's just a stupid game, and I wasn't even mad we lost. rm used to it. Ann: Come now Brad. It's OK if you're upset. Brad: rm not upset! rm fine!!! And I'm tired of you bKnging it up. Fin only here because my family made me come so you can just (picks up chair and begins attacking facilitator Ann with it). Ann: (Running into the corner) Brad, I don't think vio- lence will resolve any issues for you. Maybe we should use your outburst as an impetus to move to the third stage of grief: Anger. Has anyone felt that red, hot anger as a result of our loss? Johnny: Yes! I'm angry! Ann: Thank you for sharing that Johnny. That took a lot of xmlnerab'flity. Can you share any more about how you're feeling. Johnny: I'm just so mad, I want to spit! And every time I see a stupid redneck driving around with that dumb Alabama "A" on the back of their truck, I just want to swerve my car into theirs and crash them. I mean, look at it! They've won five of the last nine National Titles? Isn't that enough?!?! And what the heck was Jim Chaney doing!?! Sony Michel was making mincemeat of the Tide defense and his large rear end kept calling plays for Nick Chubb, who had 25 yards on 18 carries. What the #$#$ was he doing?!?! Silence hangs in the room, as many nod and dab their eyes with Kleenex. Ann: Thank you Johnny for sharing your anger with us. You do sound mad and sometimes talking about it helps. Does anyone else want to share their feelings of anger? Pat: You're @#$# right I do. Those referees were the worst I've ever seen!! We probably secured for ourselves a National Title when Tyler Simmons blocked that punt, and they concocted a fake offsides penalty against us!! Did you see the tape?!? He wasn't offsides! Or what about when the Bama player grabbed D'Andre Swift's face mask and they called NOTHING?!? Or what about when Mack W'flson hit Jake Fromm in the head after a tackle, right in i nt of the official, and they called zero! It's an outrage!!!!!! And what about when that thug Mekhi Brown sucker punched Walter Grant and he didn't even get thrown out of the game?!? Before long he was fighting his own coaches and he was still playing! Those referees did us dirty and the whole nation knows it. And if I saw them on the street I would Ann: Well, we're out of time for this session, but I think we made a lot of progress and shared a lot of feelings that we can all relate to. We're almost halfway through the 7 stages of grief, rm going to be optimistic and say that well make it through all the stages of grief just in time for the G-Day scrimmage inAprfl. Go Dawgs! the Monn~ Cavity www. is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President. Robert M. Williams Jr, Vice President Che~l S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer OUR STAFF w,o, ~ ~,r sor Publisher/Editor Business Manager Richard Dumas ~ I~ Diane Glidewell News Editor Community Editor C ro~-- ~ ~ ra~o r, Advertising Manager Creative Director Official Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth 50 N. Jackson St Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER P.O. Box 795, Forsyth, GA 31029 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County: $35 Out of County: $48 Single Copy: $1 Deadlines noon on Friday prior to issue. Comments featured on opinion pages am the creation of the writers, the do not necessarily reflect the opinions ofl~e Reporter management Publication No. USPS 997-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield egislative sessions have a particular rhythm. They start Islowly, then pick up the pace as more bills are filed and vetted by commit- tees. There's a rush to the first deadline, Crossover Day. Then a short breather, and an even more furious sprint to the Day 40 finish. At the end there may be suspense. There are sometimes surprises, and often disappointments. But there are no cliffiaang- ers. When ifs over, it's over. Or thafs how it used to be. As the 2018 ses- sion opens this week, f many eyes will be on ~ J~/"@~ such worthy topics as rural development, mass-transit fund- ing, health care and tax reform. But the session's rhythm and tone will hinge on the fate of one bill left clinging to life last year. In turn, we]l see what becomes of the fracturing relata'onship between House members who see them- selves as policy workhorses and a Senate they view more as a stable of politically ambitious show horses. Let's take a step back, to the 2017 session. House Bill 159 by Rep. Bert Reeves, R-Marietta, would have updated the state's adoption laws for the first time in two decades. Reeves spent a couple of years working on it, a worthwhile pursuit to help some desperate children. The House had approved it more than a month earlier. Senators took it up weeks later but sent it back to committee. By the end of Day 40, it had re-emerged as a lengthy adden- dum to a barely related Senate measure, which is how things get done around there sometimes. In the end, though, it fell victim to a last-minute effort to add protect-ions for faith- based adoption agencies that don't want to work with same-sex couples. How to accommodate those agencies is a debate worth having. It's not the kind of issue that should be handled hast- fly, after a multiyear leg- islative process. Unable to agree on how to move forward, senators sent it back to committee again and adjourned. That's how HB 159 became a litmus test for some pow- erf-ul House members tired of what they see as constant political postur- ing from the other chamber. How and when the bill is resolved will affect the rhythm and pace of this election-year session. While a number of prominent folks in the Senate are running for higher office, from Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to Sens. David Sharer and Josh McKoon, none of the House lead- ership is doing so. It's clear they feel no pressure to adjourn quickly so their Senate counterparts can resume fired-raising and campaign- ing; when I asked one House wag if I was wise not to make plans for spring break in early April, he replied: "Or Memorial Day." (The primary is May 22, six days before Memorial Day. He was joking -- I hope.) Rushing senators will be in an awkward position. They often com- plain they don't have the time to deal with the huge flow of bills that come from the larger House, which has 180 members to its 56. Last year, the chambers agreed to move Crossover Day from its traditional Day 30 slot to the 28th day. They also agreed to take two "committee days" in the middle of the following week to let Senate committees get to work vetting House bills. Just five of the chamber's 29 committees opted to meet on those two days. Five others scheduled meetings but canceled them. House members haven't forgotten that, either. This is where many GOP senators would object that the House didn't cooperate last year by passing their priority bills. True, but 2017 was also not the fit t time this dance has gone on. It's just the first time it meant some kids who need new families were kept from getting them. How that cliffiaanger is resolved will tell us a lot about how the rest of the session will go. Kyle Wingfield writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Monroe County Reporter and other newspapers. Reach him and read more at / Kyle Wingfield. JUST THE WAY IT IS by Sloan Oliver id anyone watch the Atlanta Falcons game, either in person or on TV, two Sundays ago? I ask that question in all honesty because not many people did. That Sunday, the Falcons were playing the Carolina Panthers in a "must win" situation. Falcons win, they make the playoffs; Falcons lose, the season's over. In other words, it was the Falcon's most crucial game of the season. It was a HUGE game for NFL fans. But the other question is: Are there any NFL fans remaining? CURIOUS about NFL atten- dance, I turned on the Falcons game. It was the 4th quarter; the Falcons were ahead by less than 10 points; but the Panthers were still very much in the game. In past seasons, at that point in the game, the stands would have been packed with rabid fans screaming for (or against) the Falcons. Not this year. The stadium was half empty. Reason being, the NFL players and owners are killing the "golden goose." They are %iting the hand that feeds them." PATRIOTIC Americans are the ones who fed them by will- ingly giving millions and bil- lions of dollars to the NFL in an almost unquenchable thirst for football. We rooted and cheered for the team that represented our city. Our emotions rose and fell with every win and loss. We glorified players who could run, throw, pass, catch, kick, block, and tackle. We wore their jerseys and bought products they endorsed. We've willingly overlooked indis- cretion after indiscretion: girl- friend and wife beatings, drug and alcohol abuse, more family violence, and arrests for theft, bur- glary, rape, and even murder. We voted tax break after tax break for the owners, and we forced blue- collar workers to pay for stadiums so billionaires could employ mil- lionaires. This country made foot- ball players wealthy beyond their imagination and allowed them to live a life unimaginable to 99% of the world's population. As a result, ,I the have become arrogant and feel entitled to all that we've OLIVER given them. WITH ALL the riches thrown to the NFL, how did they repay us and show us their thanks? They spit on us. They disrespected us, the country and the flag. They played us for fools. They showed us contempt and scorn. Many players refused to stand for the National Anthem, and by doing so, they stood in sup- port of thug criminals and against the country, against police officers and against the military. Ordinary Americans love and support the country, warts and all. And we admire and support those who defend it. The entire NFL made it clear; they despise this country and the people who put their lives on the line to defend it. The NFL mocked those who love this country and called those who disagreed bigots and racists. Because of that, mil- lions of fans have turned away from the NFL. Astonishingly, the players, the owners, the league, and the sports media cannot understand why game attendance and TV viewership is way down. Their stupidity is amazing. Keep up the disrespecting and the NFL will lose the few fans that remain. The lesson for everyone: if you turn on those loyal to you, don't be surprised when they do the same. I AM one of the millions of fans who have stopped watching the NFL. Since I've tuned out, I couldn't help but think of the decades that I've been a loyal fan. But why was that? Why did I spend so much tune, energy, and emotion on professional football? Why did I cheer for this team or that team? What do I have in common with the players or the owners that would make me loyal to them? What made millions of fans become so loyal to this team or that team? THE FALCONS are a good example. How many players are actually from Atlanta much less from Georgia? Answer - very few, if any. The players are not from the city they represent, very few actually care about the city, and even fewer give a hoot about the fans. Their disrespect tells me they don't care for anyone or any- thing but themselves. It's obvious that the players have nothing in common with the average fan, and want nothing to do with them. So, for football, basketball or any sport, why should I care one iota about a bunch of guys who call themselves the Atlanta this, the New York that, or Dallas what- ever? Why should I put any emo- tional stock into what these guys do on Sunday afternoon? What my kids do, what my spouse does, what my employer does, and what our civic leaders do are things that actually matter. It matters NOT what some privileged athletes do while playing a game, especially when those athletes don't care one lick about you, me, the city or even the country. Tuning out the NFL has made me re-evaluate what is and isn't important. And no matter the sport, the Atlanta this or New York that are not important. They lost me and mil- lions of others. If I ever do return to the NFL it's only because I enjoy the game, and not because I care about any team or player. WHO ELSE has noticed the complete lack of sportsmanship in most sports? Frankly, I'm through with the players making it, all about them. Imagine how tiring it would be if the shortstop did cart- wheels around the baseball dia- mond celebrating his great throw to first base, after every out. It's gotten that way in football. After almost every good play, the player preens around flexing, thumping, and shouting to draw attention to them. It's the "me" mentality and narcis.sism on full display. And when a touchdown is scored, play- ers have celebrated by gyrating their hips imitating a sex act and lifted their leg simulating a dog urinating on the goalpost. Long ago, I stopped watching the NBA, because most basketball players make it all about them, and now, the NFL players have done the same thing. Sportsmanship is gone. WEEKLY Quote: '%then you get to the End Zone, act like you've been there before." V mee Lombardi, famous coach for the Green Bay Packers, chiding his players about the ridiculous cel- ebrations carried on by football players after scoring a touchdown. Sloan Oliver is a retired Army officer. He lives in Bolingbroke with his wife Sandra. Email at sloanoli-