Archive for December, 2012

Sorry, Bob Costas, but you really blew it

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

[Published in the December 12, 2012 edition of the Clio, Mich. Genesee County Herald]

From A to Zowie

Sorry, Bob Costas, but you really blew it

By Richard Zowie

It’s amazing how a media personality can talk so tough at one moment and be so cowardly in the next moment.

A few weeks ago on December 1, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher shot to death his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and then turned the gun on himself in a murder-suicide.

The next day during halftime on NBC’s Sunday night football, sports commentator Bob Costas quoted Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock and said: “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

Early in the morning on December 8, Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent and his friend, Cowboys practice squad member Jerry Brown, rode in a car. Brent had been drinking. The car crashed, and Brown died. Brent, like so many alleged drunk drivers, is still alive. He faces intoxication manslaughter charges.

According to a report, Brent had previously been arrested in Illinois in 2009 for driving under the influence along with driving on a suspended license and speeding. He pled guilty and received 60 days in jail, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a fine of about $2,000.

On Sunday night, during halftime of the Green Bay Packers versus Detroit Lions game, Costas talked to former NFL coach and current NBC analyst Tony Dungy about the NFL’s programs for helping out players who’ve had too much to drink and need a ride home.

Here’s what Costas SHOULD have said: “If Josh Brent hadn’t consumed alcohol in excess and if he hadn’t gotten behind the wheel of a car, Jerry Brown would still be alive.”

Why not take a stand, Bob? After all, far more people in America die annually from alcohol-related driving accidents than they do from gun crimes. Not to mention all the women who receive serious injuries courtesy of current or former husbands or boyfriends who are drunk or high.

But then, perhaps it’s more politically correct to criticize gun ownership than it is alcohol consumption.

Coors, Anheuser-Busch and Miller run commercials all the time during NFL games. That’s not the case with Smith and Wesson, Beretta and Glock. With the gun criticism, there’s no concern over alienating advertisers. My guess is the NFL receives a LOT of advertising revenue from beer companies and doesn’t want to rock the boat.

To be clear, I am not against drinking, as long as it’s done responsibly. However, Brent has shown a pattern of not being responsible.

As for Belcher, had he stabbed his girlfriend, would Costas have argued that if Belcher hadn’t had a knife, he and his girlfriend would still be alive?

Or if he’d bludgeoned her, would Costas think the two would still be alive if Belcher hadn’t had a baseball bat?

Or if he’d strangled her, would Costas think the two would still be alive if Belcher hadn’t had hands?

No, Bob, the issue is more about a society that devalues human life and then doesn’t hold its citizens accountable—especially its professional athletes.

Until Costas and others grasp that, the madness in this country will continue.

Richard Zowie is a reporter and columnist for the Herald. He can be reached at, and his blog is at


Hey, Bob Costas…

December 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Bob Costas:

Here’s what you SHOULD say tonight: “If Josh Brent hadn’t consumed alcohol in excess and if he hadn’t gotten behind the wheel of a car, Jerry Brown Jr. would still be alive.”

But then, it’s more in vogue to criticize guns than to criticize those who drink and drive, even though far more Americans die annually in alcohol-related fatalities.

That is all.

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Kitchen Nightmares no longer nightmarish

December 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Occasionally I still have nightmares. When they happen, I am very eager to wake up. One nightmare was about a horror film that was so horrible that I shut it off during the opening credits.

And then there’s the Gordon Ramsay show Kitchen Nightmares.

kitchen nightmares

I loved it at first, but lately…meh. It seems like it is far too formula driven. Here’s how it breaks down:

1) Restaurant with either glorious past or with idealistic neophyte owners gets hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and teeters on the verge of closing forever and going the way of New Coke and Vanilla Ice’s street cred.

2) Restaurant owners ask Chef Ramsay for help, knowing he’s a talented-but-foul mouthed Scottish-born British chef who’s more brutally honest than Simon Cowell on truth serum.

3) Chef Ramsay comes in and introduces himself, allowing the restaurant owners a week (or about five minutes of the show) to get acclimated to his U.K. accent.

4) Ramsay samples particular items on the menu and, to nobody’s surprise, hates them all. If he vomits or doesn’t bother eating the food, that’s even worse. If he dies from food poisoning, his ghost tells the restaurant owners to change careers and become bail bondsmen. Naturally, the owners insist the food is excellent and believe Ramsay doesn’t know what he’s talking about. It’s perhaps the same type of denial women had back in the Sixties and Seventies whenever it was suggested that Liberace was gay.

5) The meal service bombs, and Ramsay’s inspection of their food storage area finds rotted food, improperly-stored food and enough health code violations to close the restaurant down immediately.

6) Lots of crying and finger pointing.

7) The restaurant opens with new decor and a new menu and the owners slowly get into a new groove.

I love food shows, but it just seems lately a continual retread. Maybe they’ll find a way to liven it up. Perhaps a murdered body is found in the freezer. Or perhaps the restaurant’s financial failures are revealed to be due to it being a money laundering operation. Or maybe we’ll learn that Chef Gordon Ramsay isn’t really Scottish or from the U.K. but is really from Wedowee, Alabama (a town that made headlines in the 1990s when the school principal threatened to cancel the prom if any interracial couples tried to go).

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Getting ready for the fiscal cliff…

December 4, 2012 1 comment

I read once that NHL goaltender Arturs Irbe was asked why he was a Republican. His paraphrased reply: “I’m from Latvia and lived under a communist big government. Socialism does not work.”

I find it ironic that President Obama and other democrats who run our government seem intent on becoming the same type of socialistic “paradise” that so many have risked life and limb to flee. Those refugees have been fleeing to America. Soon, where will they be able to flee? If socialism has failed everywhere else it’s been tried, do we really think it’ll magically succeed here in America?

Mr. President, what is so difficult to understand about how raising taxes won’t solve our problems, and neither will spending money you do not have?

One friend of mine said that Obama won re-election by conveying a message about the government giving away things for free while Governor Mitt Romney wanted to make it easier for people to get jobs where they could earn money to pay for things. Those who voted for Obama lack the understanding to realize it’s not free.

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