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The Other Sunday Religion

Now the anti-science crowd is attacking the most beloved of American traditions: the National Football League. 

Robert Weintraub offers the following nugget on Slate.com (under the auspicious headline "What Brainiac Turned Football into a Game for Brainiacs?") regarding the state of the NFL: "To this observor's eyes, bobbled snaps, false starts, unblocked defenders, and delay-of-game penalties are at an all-time high. I'm sure there are stats to prove otherwise, but as Charlie Brown once said, 'Tell your statistics to shut up.'" Isn't this the same type of rhetoric used by opponents of evolution, global warming, etc.? "Don't be foolin' me with your tricky 'numbers' and 'science'. I know the truth, and it can't be proved with statistics or evidence." 

Weintraub's argument is that today's quarterbacks and offenses aren't able to handle the playbooks that are "thicker than the Bible" due to their pea-sized jock brains (the underlying assumption is that the average football player's brain is able to only absorb the contents of a book the thickness of a Bible). FOX Sports provides empirical data that contradicts Weintraub's position. "Amazingly...[quarterbacks are] just as good, if not better this season across the board statistics-wise than they were five, 10, and 15 years ago."


Barry Bonds is Making Headlines Again...

...so this is the perfect time to promote my short horror story, "Dead Ball," appearing in the Altair Australia publication "Zombies" anthology this winter.

"Dead Ball" is the final story by veteran sportswriter James Jameson. While on assignment for the Houston Chronicle, Jameson uncovers the horrifying truth behind aging slugger Mitchell Gordon's chase to beat Barry Bonds's home run record. Here's an exclusive excerpt:

“Hey! Hey Mitchell! Mitchell Gordon!” a six-year-old boy yells, spastically waving his arms at the superstar slugger in rightfield. But Mitchell Gordon can no more hear the kid than a pig can smell its own stink. Even when a routine flyball is hit to right, Gordon barely moves his neck to track the ball’s trajectory. It drops 10 feet in front of him and he begins the long walk toward the ball. It may be “just” a spring training game, but I’ve seen post office employees move faster than this lumbering hulk.

Mitchell Gordon is a designated hitter with the Texas Rangers these days and infrequently takes the field in right. Sitting in the pressbox, I thumb through the media guide that the club provides to the reporters. As a newspaper writer for the Houston Chronicle, I’m supposed to be covering the whole team. In 22 years of covering sports, however, I’ve never seen such a lackadaisical performance than the one that Gordon is putting on in rightfield at Surprise Stadium, the Rangers’ Cactus League home in Surprise, Ari. There’s only one thing that Gordon plays for anymore. When the aging slugger takes first base on four intentional balls, the look in his eyes says everything. He turns 45 in June, well past retirement age for professional athletes. Even the guys that don’t accelerate their aging with steroids and human growth hormone show wear-and-tear late in their careers. For an aging slugger like Gordon, it’s only a matter of time before an injury forces him out of the game. It’s a race against time now, as Gordon is just 12 homers shy of Bonds’s career home run record.

The irony is that Gordon has already hit his last home run in this lifetime, because Mitchell Gordon has been dead for some time...

To order your copy of the "Zombies" short horror anthology, visit Altair Australia's online shop (if the site doesn't load immediately, try it again later...pre-order traffic has been intense!). Pre-orders are underway--the book will be released on December 1st, and would make an excellent holiday gift for the horror-lover on your holiday gift list.


Where Are All the Atheist Artists?

Greg Beato has a great article at Reason Online regarding the dearth of artists and designers in the atheist community. As an artist myself, I've always wondered why there aren't more of us out there. With the rise of the "New Atheism," it's time to evolve beyond the Darwin fish and create some new memes for a new generation of atheists.