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I’m struck that commentators still fail to add a disclaimer — distinguishing between news and speculation. The real story here is us — namely, the nature of poor news coverage and the desire to skewer someone as soon as possible.

Whether this was accidental, willful ignorance, or purposeful, we as the public simply don’t know. In any case, there are far more possibilities than commentators would have us think.
My guess, and only a guess, is simply that no one checked the air pressure at all — just like we don’t empirically test balls in other sports.

Many merely assumed that everything was okay. If that’s the case, then ethically, negligence has always been considered a lesser offense than conspiracy.

There was a safe assumption (because few honestly cared), and according to Brady, the balls were randomly selected out of a bag. This process was described by Drew Bledsoe (Brady’s predecessor and former rival) during an interview today, and there’d be no reason to stop this process of random selection. The QB reaches in a bag and selects the ones he likes; no NFL quarterback has an air pressure gauge in his back pocket to test each football. He assumes.

Again, that’s not to excuse anyone — merely to remind us that the media is not exactly known for being perfect. In the meantime, we might guess, but we should hold back judgment. Maybe my guess is way off, but at least I label it as a guess. We should demand that reporters do the same.

football

Regarding Brady and Belichick, my thought is that they were “willfully ignorant.” That still leaves them culpable to some degree, of course, but it allows them to honestly say that “I did not know.” For some reason, the reporters did not push that point harder. The “process” of preparing the footballs was still quite vague, even at the end of the press conference.

Brady said he selected the footballs out of a grouping. Of course, he’s not testing PSI (no one would expect that), but if there were 20 footballs, he could easily select the 12.5, 12.0, 11.5, or 11.0 ones. He would “not know” in a sense; he just knew that he selected ones that felt right. After months, the ball boy would never need to be told; he would simply know that deflated ones made his boss happy. It would seem that strange number — 11 out of 12 — would confirm this. No one was explicitly told to deflate them, but by “defined chance,” Brady happened to select the lower PSI balls from the group.

Brady may have been honest during the press conference. After all, he played better in the second half with the inflated balls, so maybe he didn’t notice during the activity of the game. I would normally be suspicious, but if the referees did not notice, then the difference is pretty subtle. He may have planned his willful ignorance before the game, but really, no one pressed him about that.

I’m surprised the referees haven’t been grilled more. It’d probably be too risky to deflate them on the sidelines, so my guess is that the “football checker” was also negligent. But who could blame him? It’s such an unexpected thing to happen that he probably just checked them by hand.

That’s a lot of speculation, but willful ignorance is a way to “tell the truth” and “ignorantly” cross the line.

small_magnus es domine

What makes Jesus unique from all other teachers or prophets?  According to Mark, John, Paul, and the author of Hebrews, here is a brief list to start:

  • He created the world, preexistent before creation. (John 1:1-14; Colossians 1:15-19)
  • He lived a sinless life, fulfilling every obligation of the Law. (Hebrews 4:14-15)
  • He suffered for sinners, taking holy wrath upon Himself. (Romans 5:9)
  • He made peace with God, mediating between God and man. (Romans 5:1)
  • He rose from the dead, defeating both evil and death (Mark 16:1-13; John 20:1-10; 1 Corinthians 15:57)
  • He reigns with absolute authority, interceding as our eternal high priest. (Romans 8:34)
  • He indwells the hearts of His people, comforting and assuring them.  (Galatians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 13:5)
  • He will come again, welcoming His people into His presence for eternity. (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
  • He is God, who alone fulfilled all of God’s promises. (John 1:1-18; 2 Corinthians 1:20)

plane

In the aftermath of the Flight 370 crash, news outlets and culture at large have been captivated by the story.  Given the rapid developments of world news and the short attention span of 24-7 news channels, it is all the more surprising that channels like CNN have focused (roughly 90-95%) on this story for roughly three weeks.  Meanwhile, discussions regarding Russia and Crimea were mentioned for “just a second” (in the words of one CNN anchor) prior to returning back to Flight 370.

In light of this immense amount of attention, we can draw some observations that teach us about humanity.  What follows are several reasons why this story has been so captivating:

 

  • We wonder about the future. Many of us fly, and we worry about our safety.  We are partly captivated for selfish reasons — evident by the fact that most of our attention has been on the plane rather than the victims.  This is most evident when news anchors use the word “exciting” when describing finding debris and/or wreckage.

 

  • We recognize (yet doubt) the limitations of technology.  Part of our fascination results from the disbelief that cell phones, satellites, and radar cannot give us an immediate answer.  We find it hard to believe that part of the world is beyond our knowledge.

 

  • We feel loss with fellow human beings.  Despite the fact that we probably do not know anyone on board, we sympathize with those who are hurting.  Seeing family members wail over their loved ones resonates deep within us.

 

  • We believe that humanity will rise.  People want a resolution (e.g., finding debris being called “hope”) to be assured that humanity will overcome our pain and our ignorance.  We may have lost 239 lives, but our investigation may save hundreds of lives in the future.