WUTQ

Some Write-In Ideas for Colin Kaepernick

So…NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has spent a good portion of 2016 kneeling during our national anthem in order to protest against inequality and injustice. And now…he doesn’t vote???

Seriously. He told a reporter he had no plans to vote this year. For anything.

His actions on NFL fields were universally scorned at first. Then, there was a groundswell of support. And he even turned around the opinions of some (like Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice) who initially opposed his kneel-downs.

But this move doesn’t make sense at all.

Okay, so both major candidates were weak and you couldn’t bring yourself to vote for either Trump or Clinton. Fill in the circle for a third-party politician like Gary Johnson, which could make a powerful statement about the failures of our two-party system.

Dude! Vote for somebody. A businessman or an educator or a friend you admire. Write in someone! Then use your celebrity status to illuminate the identity of your write-in vote and explain how his or her values would help set the country on the right course.

We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on the write-in option. Maybe he didn’t understand he could cast a write-in vote. Or worse–he couldn’t think of a single inspirational person. We have some ideas for him…

Ray Allen, the quiet, driven, dedicated and charismatic NBA star, who had an exemplary run on and off the court. He retired last week. He’s got some extra time.

ray-allen

(Credit: ESPN.com)

Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, the tough and wise King of Jordan, who stands for peace and interfaith dialogue, and who turned around the economy of his country, despite the enormous social challenges presented by Jordan’s geographical proximity to Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

jordan-king-abdullah

(Credit: inserbia.info)

Laura Casemento, the president of Utica College, who fought hard to punch a hole in the glass ceiling by once turning down a bank presidency because they didn’t offer her a coinciding spot on the board of trustees, and who is presiding over a tuition reduction to $20,000 annually!

laura-casemento

(Credit: utica.edu)

Kaepernick wouldn’t even have to choose somebody real to make his point. How about a vote for Dave Kovic, the Kevin Kline movie hero, who resembles the actual president, assumes the Oval Office briefly, and offers common-sense solutions to our problems?

dave-kovic

(Credit: thesportspost.com)

Again, the Kaepernick sympathizers will rush to defend his American right not to vote. But, come on. While he was sitting this one out, other athletes–Black, White, Hispanic–were heading to the polls and proudly Tweeting about it.

Arizona Cardinals’ wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald voted. Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez voted. The entire Coastal Carolina football team voted. Together.

Yes, Kaepernick makes a powerful statement again by not voting. But not the right type of statement. it’s irresponsible, it’s lazy, and it devalues everything he stood for (or didn’t stand for.)

His protest for justice coupled with his decision not to vote is hypocrisy of the highest order. Choosing not to vote for anyone or anything is apathetic; and it conveys a hopelessness for our country.

Maybe he never truly believed in what he was doing during these national anthems. Maybe he was just taking a knee all this time because he was tired.

Dave Coombs votes and hosts morning drive radio on 100.7 FM WUTQ in Utica.

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Rating the Presidential Candidates By Athletic Ability

barack-obama-football

Photo credit: Business Insider

As the 2016 presidential race kicks into high gear, and Barack Obama gets set to pass the political football to his successor, you may be wondering “Who’s the best jock for the job?”

Okay, maybe you’re not wondering that. Still, many modern presidents have had strong sports associations, from George H.W. Bush’s playing days on Yale’s baseball team to Obama’s golf and basketball habits.

It’s a proven fact that playing sports develops good characteristics, like teamwork and discipline. And practicing how to cheat and get away with it.

For what it’s worth, here’s a breakdown of the main candidates’ athletic backgrounds or influences, and how it might translate to votes and political applications.

Jeb Bush was captain of his prep school tennis team. Those skills might come into play at some point, like volleying issues back and forth with other world leaders. Or, maybe physically clobbering Putin with a racquet. Otherwise, tennis may not be a big help. (B-)

Ben Carson, while appearing to be fit, does not seem to have any actual experience in sports, other than playing with his kids in the back yard. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. However, even Obama would probably poke fun at Carson’s basketball form and uniform in this picture:

Ben Carson-hoops-Vince Rodriguez

Photo credit: Victor Rodriguez

Untuck the shirt and ditch the belt. Come on, Ben! It’s game day! (C-)

John Kasich may not be much better at hoops. During a campaign stop at a gymnasium in New Hampshire, he displayed an ugly jump shot. But, at least he had the persistence to get the job done that day from behind the three-point arc, finally connecting on his ninth attempt in front of reporters and cameras. The only problem is: you don’t get nine tries to fix the economy or prevent a world war. (C)

Martin O’Malley maintains his physical fitness by following the rigorous P90X video workouts. If you’ve seen pictures of the former Maryland governor without a shirt, it’s clear that “gun control” is not an issue. (B+)

Ted Cruz has no apparent connection to sports other than through his body man. Bruce Redden was a placekicker for the Oklahoma State football team before hanging up his cleats and picking up a briefcase to trail Cruz around. Also, Cruz admits to playing some sports as a teenager, but only to avoid further ridicule he received as a young nerd. Cruz coincidentally resembles current Duke basketball star Grayson Allen, as The Washington Post pointed out in a 2015 photo comparison:

IMG_3703

Cruz is the one on the right. Of course. (D)

Marco Rubio played defensive back at a Miami high school and was good enough to score a football scholarship to Tarkio College in Missouri, where he spent one year before eventually securing degrees at the University of Florida and the University of Miami. If he’d played football at either of those schools, he wouldn’t be where he is today. (A-)

Rand Paul also played defensive back at his high school in Texas, and was on the swim team at Baylor University. So, he may be the field’s top pure athlete. (A-)

Chris Christie was a catcher on his high school baseball team. The position calls for brains and is considered a grind on the body, just like a political campaign. Christie’s body and popularity may be past their prime. (B)

Bernie Sanders ran track in high school and claims he once notched a 4:37 mile. The Vermont senator grew up a big Brooklyn Dodgers’ baseball fan and played slow-pitch softball for a team called the People’s Republic of Burlington. From the looks of the photo below, he wouldn’t have any problems throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day. But if he’s doing it as President, he’d better not go underhand. (B+)

bernie sanders-softball

Photo credit: Burlington Free Press

Donald Trump warns that the socialism Sanders espouses will eliminate golf, a sport that is currently struggling on its own in many areas around the country. Trump is a single-digit golf handicapper. His game will no doubt suffer if he ever really gets the chance to Make America Great Again. (B)

Hillary Clinton has listed speed-walking as a pastime she’s enjoyed. So, she might want to pick up the pace. (D)

Based on these stats, who do you like in 2016?

Dave Coombs hosts a morning radio show on 100.7 FM WUTQ. He rides a bike and will never run for president.

Radio Ink!

Gomez, Dave and lisa-2

On January 20, 2015, I wrote about my latest effort to get national publicity for my morning radio program. This just in: I scored! The bad news: I’m no longer WITH the show being touted.

Somewhere between ponying up my own money to pay for a tattoo of my show’s name on the lower left calf of performance artist Illma Gore…and the creation of that tattoo (above and below)…I was fired from my job.

Left shin side 1

I suppose there are options here. I could dig into my pockets again and pay Illma to WIPE OUT the two other names of the folks on my former show, but that would be petty and vindictive. Or, I could give my consent to Gomez & Lisa to allow MY name to be removed or altered. But, hell, that would be tattooicide.

So, I guess it stays. And I hope she never gets cankles.

There is another play. I could reach out to Illma and see if she has any real estate remaining. My current morning show is called The Talk of the Town, unofficially subtitled “Dave, Jay & Sam.” At least this time my name would be first.

Although, location can be risky. Gomez once had a radio partner who had the name of THEIR show printed on pencils. His partner’s name came first, reading left to right, from the graphite toward the eraser. As fans sharpened their prized promotional items, the partner’s name gradually disappeared!

There is no such danger in the world of ink. Unless, God forbid, there’s a prosthesis in Illma’s future. So, I’m checking my advertising budget. Although if I’m serious about getting the biggest bang for my advertising buck, I’m thinking maybe a REAL billboard this time. On a REAL highway.

Dave Coombs is the morning radio host on 100.7 FM WUTQ. He has no tattoos.

Cult of Humanity

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(The Observer-Dispatch, 10/18/15)

Monday on our radio show, after a week of having our sensibilities bombarded with details, thoughts, and images involving the abhorrent revelations about the Word of Life Church here in our community, we turned to renowned and eloquent cult expert Rick Ross. Beginning with the question in the headline above from our local newspaper, this exchange transpired:


If this description sounds familiar, it should come as no surprise.

As I’ve been privately and publicly mulling over the lurid details and bloody behavior of the cult-like group at a church which sits exactly 3.5 miles from my front door, it has struck me that we’ve all been close to twisted human programming of various types and in varying degrees.

While very few of us have endured anything like the atrocities at the so-called “Christian” church in Chadwicks, we’ve undoubtedly experienced or witnessed some of what Mr. Ross described. How many of us have been in or observed a marriage or relationship in which one individual holds another “captive” in some fashion?

Maybe it’s a controlling spouse, bent on psychological domination over her partner or family. Or, perhaps it’s an alcoholic, whose moods shackle the ones he supposedly loves the most. We’ve certainly seen these types of characters depicted in popular movies like the aptly-named Ordinary People or Gone Girl.

How about the boss who leverages his power against employees and utilizes threats and coercion to achieve results? Simon Synek’s book “Start with Why” examines once-successful businesses in the early stages of failure. He theorizes that when companies lose sight of the passions and mission statements that drove their humble beginnings, “manipulations start to dominate not only how the company sells its wares but how they retain employees,” and then tactics such as “instilling fear in people become the only way to hold on to talent.”

And we’ve all encountered bullies who use physical force or superior attitudes in day-to-day life to control the people and/or situations around them.

Quite often WE are complicit in allowing the destructive behavior to occur, dooming our lives, when we could be rescuing them. Speaking up is a good place to start. It’s a strategy we covered on a show recently with New York State Senator Joe Griffo:


Good idea. See something, say something. Stop a shooting. Bust a bully. Call out a cult. Save someone. Save yourself. Of course there are no guarantees, but certainly nothing will come of doing nothing.

Dave Coombs is the morning host for “The Talk of the Town” on 100.7 FM WUTQ/Utica-Rome.

Sounding Good…

Justin Smithson and Keith James

(Photo by Rhonda M. Starer)

Our friend Justin Smithson (pictured above with great keyboard player Keith James) from the band “Showtime” got the chance Saturday to open up for REO Speedwagon at the legendary Stanley Theater in downtown Utica, NY.

Friday he was on our show and forgot his guitar. Today, he returned to tell us about his great experience and he remembered to bring his strings. Here’s his cool version of an Allman Brothers classic, straight from the acoustically-friendly Roser Communications studios at Canal Park:


Today’s show featured a little bit of everything–live and local music, political talk with a local assemblywoman, big local real estate news, a national cult expert on the recent tragic events at the church in our area, a comparison of our sleeping habits versus those of our ancestors (we do NOT get significantly less sleep than they did, probably because they rested uneasily, in fear of being eaten!), and our treatment of a story about a man who cut off his ears in order to more closely resemble his pet parrots. Now, that’s a full day!

Thanks to my bosses for allowing us to do the kind of radio that’s making an impact.

Dave Coombs is the morning host for The Talk of the Town on 100.7 FM WUTQ. He refuses to cut off any body parts.

 

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