Dr. Bill Atwood

Getting a pass

Back in 1967 I was astonished at the reaction to the blockbuster movie, “Bonnie and Clyde.” It amazed me to hear folks cheering for the thugs of the Barrow gang and to hear folks talk about the final shootout that killed the two bank robbers ... one would have thought that superior role models had been murdered for no good reason.

The facts are that Bonnie and Clyde were outlaws who robbed banks and scared folks. People died because of them and small towns were horribly impacted when banks were robbed and the owners of the banks couldn’t cover the loss. Remember this is prior to FDIC and during the Great Depression.

What affected the reaction to Bonnie and Clyde was that they were portrayed by Hollywood in a nice way but they were also portrayed by great looking stars. Faye Dunnaway and Warren Beatty were hot properties. Our society seems to give a pass for bad behavior if you are good looking.

We have so strayed away from Judeo-Christian teachings that our society is losing much of the basis for its morals. Morals must be based upon a belief in God or else the morals lack the reason to exist.

The Seinfeld show was based upon nothing really but followed the lives of four central characters that seemed to have a need to follow a set of rules - they determined the set of rules and values in a manner that seemed to benefit them. They were funny and they did not affect us directly so we enjoyed the series for a decade.

Lucy Ricardo was and remains a popular TV character. I have enjoyed watching the reruns for a half century. But let’s be honest - Lucy was self-centered, manipulative, selfish, greedy, sneaky, demanding, and uncaring about the consequences of her actions. However, Lucille Ball was attractive and as such so was her character in the series. We allowed our judgment of her actions to be swayed by our affection as we all love Lucy.

We tell our children who are in our sphere of influence to play by the rules and to do what is right. We tell them to do what is right even when nobody is watching. We remind them that honesty is the best policy and we admonish them that cheaters never prosper.

We have all watched as somebody ran a red light and got away with it, yet we had applied the brakes. The offending driver is ahead of the traffic and seemingly got away with a wrong-doing and we have to calm ourselves down by reminding ourselves that we followed the rules.

Why do we accept the boorish behavior of liars and cheats just because they are famous or great looking? Barry Bonds was successful in his later years as a ball player because he used steroids. The same for Mark McGuire and Alex Rodriquez. To be sure they were not the only ones but they seem to get the public sympathy.

Now it seems that the NFL, having dragged its feet as long as they could, has issued a report that the Patriots cheated by deflating game balls. It appears that is how they got to the Super Bowl and that led the way for the cheaters to win the Super Bowl Championship. The report states that quarterback Tom Brady “probably knew” about the deflating of the balls. He is a cheater. What is more interesting is that when a reporter even asked about the report, the supportive crowd booed the man asking the question and cheered the cheating quarterback. He’s good looking and so he gets a pass.

One could suppose that as long as our celebrities are good looking, win games or awards, or wear beautiful jewels and clothes they deserve to cheat, lie, and then get away with it by hiring agents to “re-do” their tarnished reputations.

Parents should refuse to buy Brady NFL clothing. Parents should throw the Brady stuff out and those parents should tell their children the honest reason why. They simply state that Brady, by his own actions, has proven to be a cheating liar and doesn’t deserve to be honored as a hero. The same with A-Rod, Bonds, McGuire and the others of their ilk.

Their statistics should be erased from the record books and then they can’t be seen as sports leaders or Hall of Famers. Let them be seen as the disappointing cheats that they are. Same thing with our politicians, and elected leaders.

We even accept adultery by some because they are famous but we sure would not want those cads in our living rooms.

The Patriots as a team, as an organization, the coach, and those who deflated as well as covered up the actions involved in the cheating should be severely punished, if not removed from the game.

If a coach of a local team did such things, we would demand nothing less.