To Those Of You That Made Fun Of Trump For Giving The Clemson Tigers Fast Food, Shame On You

To Those Of You That Made Fun Of Trump For Giving The Clemson Tigers Fast Food, Shame On You

There are people who enjoy the simpler things in life and don't need anything larger than life in order to be satisfied.

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Imagine being an athlete that worked very hard all season long and defeated a top contender that's known for being undefeated. Hooray! You won against that undefeated team and you, your teammates, and your family get to go to the White House and have a celebratory dinner. The twist is that the dinner you're going to be served is composed of fast food from various chains.

That's what happened on January 14th, 2019, when the Clemson Tigers visited the White House after their 44-16 win against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The players were met with a buffet of fast food from Wendy's, McDonald's, pizza, and much more. This buffet came out of Trump's own pocket due to the partial government shutdown and with him being fast food lover himself.

"I think we are going to serve McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King with some pizza. I really mean it," he said. "It will be interesting. I would think that's their favorite food. So we'll see what happens."

According to a pool report written by Josh Dawsey, the players "whooped as they saw the food spread" with Trump saying that this was "great American food."

The reaction to this fast food dinner had, of course, received backlash. People called the celebratory meal "classless" and also said that the players "deserved better." Really? The Clemson players have to meet with "culinary coaches" in order for them to eat in healthy matter. In addition to that, they also had their diets monitored, giving them individual cooking demos, selecting the right type of "fuel."

Imagine going through all of that dietary restriction for months and getting to finally eat food that you have been dying for, it would be a dream come true, especially to lineman Matt Bockhorst! To the naysayers who shamed President Trump for serving fast food to players, let's take a look back in history.

It's the turn of the decade, 1939 to be exact. King Goerge VI visited then President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on American soil. The four-day visit consisted of a sight-seeing tour of Washington, a formal State Dinner and a big bash at the British Embassy. The visit also had a casual yet memorable moment in history: the British Monarch ate his first hot dog.

Along with Queen Elizabeth (the mother), the casual picnic was held at Roosevelt's Hyde Park's cottage on June 11, 1939. The menu also consisted of Virginia ham, smoked turkey, cranberry jelly, green salad, rolls, strawberry shortcake, coffee, beer, and soft drinks. The headline from the New York Times read "KING TRIES HOT DOG AND ASKS FOR MORE" the following day and according to reporter Felix Belair Jr., the British monarch enjoyed his share of two hot dogs with beer. The royal guests even ate off of paper plates like everyone else in attendance.

What President Trump did on that fateful evening was anything but different than what President Roosevelt did. They both displayed an aspect of American living that was relatable to the working class. An average American will often treat themselves to some fast food if they've had a busy day at work and don't feel like cooking.

To the people who turned your noses at this story, shame on you. There are people who enjoy the simpler things in life and don't need anything larger than life in order to be satisfied. If I were in that room that night, I would be very thankful because who can turn down free food, especially if it's food that you crave from time to time?

In my honest opinion, President Trump delivered when it came to feeding those football players. Not only will Clemson bring home the title of being National Champions, but also bellies filled with Big Macs, french fries, pizza, and all the food their hearts desired!

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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Why I Love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not for political reasons

I don't want to talk about political beliefs necessarily when I talk about why I fucking love AOC.

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My political affiliation couldn't be kept a secret even if I tried. In the words of my mother, I've been a liberal since I popped out of the womb. So to me, the dramatic change in representation in the House was a huge win for me at this time in history.

While I sit on one side of the aisle because that's where I hear the most conversations about my closest political beliefs happening, I don't want to talk about political beliefs necessarily when I talk about why I fucking love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The first I'd ever heard of this powerful voice from New York was in a video being shared around on Facebook that gave me a strong sense of hope that I haven't felt in a while. She explains the nuance behind "identity politics" and the importance of complete representation in Congress in terms of race, class, and policy. Here was a young woman in my generation (or just outside of it) running for Congress because she knew there was work to be done, not because she knew she would win, or because of some larger force paying her to win, or because she comes from a family of politicians. She ran because she was passionate and because she works to understand her district and represent them in ways that give her district a matched fight with revolving-door politicians who know how to play the game.

This woman, to me, represents accessibility into politics for Americans. When I first started listening to politicians and presidents talk on TV, I remember listening to Obama speak my freshman year of high school (maybe for a state of the union address?) and I asked my mom what a lot of words meant. I learned what poverty, immigration, economic policy, taxes, the middle-class, and more were. She had answers for some but not all of my questions, and then I asked why they felt the need to use such big, intimidating words? Weren't they supposed to represent the country, who to my understanding, probably didn't know what all of these words meant if my own mother didn't? (Moms know everything.)

I didn't want to be left behind in a country that made decisions based on Harvard graduate levels of thinking when most of us were in fact, not Harvard graduates. I was aware when Obama used words I had on a vocabulary test the week before, and I was aware that my honors class was strikingly different from my friends' general education English classes, and that our entire high school was years ahead of some less privileged schools 30-minutes away. But all of us, no matter how politically accessible our situations were or not, were to be represented by a man using these words.

AOC is progressive (in a non-political sense) for Americans because she uses rhetoric and tools to educate Americans instead of persuading or intimidating them to think that she just knows best. She's a politician, yes, so of course she uses persuasive techniques to get policy she believes in to pass so she can do her job as a legislator. But have you seen her Instagram stories or heard her speak in interviews?

Her style of leadership involves a refreshing level of transparency and group participation. I feel like I'm allowed to ask questions about what happens in Washington D.C., and about what another congressperson meant when they said ______. She answers questions like these online to her followers, some of which are her represented correspondents, and some of which are people outside of her district just desperate to expose themselves to any congressperson willing to talk to them on their level. Her flow inspires the average American to listen and checks the confident incumbent from underestimating just how much she knows.

Not all of us are fortunate enough to afford college. Not all of us are fortunate enough to come from a community where high schools prepared and primed us for college-level vocabulary filled conversations. Some of us have to accept politics as a realm with which we can never be involved, heard, or interactive. A.O.C. is what's changing this mentality. 43% of adults living in poverty function at low literacy rates. If they can't understand political rhetoric, how will they be able to democratically participate? Politicians spend so much time talking about poverty rates and how they want to move every family into a middle-class lifestyle, but they don't alter their political approach to invite the poverty-stricken or under-educated Americans into their conversations. AOC does this.

She spends time every night explaining whatever her followers have questions about in full detail. She actually uses up-to-date technology and social media to communicate with Americans, making older senators look lazy or technologically incompetent for not engaging with their community as often or as explicitly. Not to mention, every video I've ever seen produced by her or her team (including her Instagram stories) have closed-captions already edited in. She considers every American to be her audience before speaking, and the fact that what she's doing feels new and refreshing to me suggests just how badly we need her, and more people like her, in politics today.

This isn't even because of her understanding that literacy affects voting--in the original video I saw of her, she understands that the people she represents were flat-out not being addressed in politics. "People aren't voting because no one is speaking to them." Truly and meaningfully, directly and honestly.

She's America's teacher, a representative of why mentorship on all levels is important, and to me, what America would look like if our politicians were not only our representatives, but our educators, our mentors, and our teammates.

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