This week, three members of our editorial team have contributed to “What we are reading”. With just a few days to go now until the USA votes, we couldn’t resist one final contribution, as detaching ourselves from what has been dominating the media in recent weeks hasn’t been easy.
We kick off with Rosemary Barnes’ favourite article of the week, Brexit Revisited, and move on to look at the current state of the NFL, along with what Tom Hanks has been up to…
An article I read this week in UK tabloid The Daily Mail entitled “A Sneering Elite Could Land Us All With Trump” struck a chord with me. Writer Sarah Vine said that the behaviour of Clinton and her supporters is strikingly similar to Britain’s Remain camp.
With less than a week to go before America goes to the polls, Clinton’s lead has narrowed following the latest FBI revelations. While she is fighting back hard, perhaps the most serious problem she faces has nothing to do with emails or rogue males….but more to do with attitude.
It is suggested that “the behaviour of Clinton and her supporters is strikingly similar to that of the Remain camp in the run-up to the EU Referendum, as their attempts to scare British voters off supporting Brexit escalated into self-righteous hysteria”.
And if the Clinton team don’t do something quickly, the same blind arrogance that brought down Cameron’s leadership could end up handing Trump the White House.
Although the circumstances are somewhat different to the one faced in the UK in June, the political circumstances are very similar.
I happen to agree that if there is one lesson to be learned from the EU referendum, it’s that voters do not like being bossed around by those thinking they have a God-given right to rule. Recall Obama telling everyone to vote Remain? The response was: “Who are you to tell me what to do?”
So, with echoes of Brexit, liberal Americans may soon find their “smug certainties” have brought about their worst nightmare!
Tom Hanks and His New Car
Last week Tom Hanks shocked the world showing off his “new car” on Twitter. His tweet was published on 29th October and to date has had more than 15,000 views.
What was so shocking about his car? Well, let’s just say the car in question had the nickname “the little one” and can be bought today for around $300.
Tom tweeted he was “so excited about his new car!”. A picture showing “Hanx” next to a small, red car was his joke. It was not actually his car.
According to media speculation, he took this picture during a visit to Hungary where he was surprised to find such a car on the roads.
So excited about my new car! Hanx pic.twitter.com/e5es8RoR1s
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) October 29, 2016
Readers who were not born in any of the Communist, Soviet-influenced countries may not believe that such cars really existed, but actually, this was the most popular car in communist Poland from 1973-1989!
It’s called the Polish Fiat 126p, nicknamed “the little one”. Size-wise, it was 3 meters long and 1.3 meters high. Engine? Up to 0.6 liter and 24hp.
Technically, only 4 people were able to fit inside leaving the driver with his knees virtually touching his chest. It was so small that the driver could remove frozen snow from the inside of the rear window with one hand, without leaving the driver’s seat!
This car was also being produced after communism collapsed in Poland. Up until 2000, exactly 3,128,313 cars left Polish factories with many being sold in other countries within Eastern Europe.
Today, such a car in poor condition can be purchased for as little as $300. However, cars in good condition are valued as high as $10,000.
So hey Tom, next time you laugh at the little one, remember that this car is a part of history. Some people really had to drive it!
NFL Ratings’ Decline Reinforcing ‘No Fun League’ Moniker
For many in the United States, the National Football League (NFL) as a brand and sport is one of the most recognizable and iconic. With over thirty-two teams spread across the US, it’s difficult for individuals to not find a specific group to cheer for. Lately however, the problem has not been with the fan base for a specific team, but rather with the sport itself.
Today’s NFL on Sundays little resembles that of your father’s or certainty grandfather’s generation. A gaggle of yellow flags, stoppages, and rules are thrown at viewers, whose only respite is a repeating stream of beer and truck advertisements – apparently Trunk Month is a real thing?
According to a recent article in the Washington Post, the sinking feeling you have watching the NFL is not an isolated case but rather emblematic of a larger trend currently unfolding.
‘Primetime’ games on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights are all down substantially in ratings from recent years, in some cases by over -24%. YoY.
The primary drivers of this trend are a less appealing product on the field, which is only being undermined further by media fragmentation. Even factoring in streaming, the number of viewers tuning into NFL games are certainly on the decline.
Perhaps falling victim to over-management, the litany of rules emanating down from the league office in recent years has truly eliminated a large degree of what has made the game so enjoyable for decades.
An emphasis on player safety and parity has also created an environment that has warped the flow of the game itself, with parallel efforts in place to prevent leading teams from establishing more lengthy dynasties or success – a few notable examples exist that buck this trend, such as the New England Patriots’ success, though these franchises are few and far between.
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We conclude another week of stories that our editors are reading. Feel free to share your views in the comment section and any recommendations of your own. We look forward to hearing your opinions!
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