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Minnesota governor blames player arrests on idle time

Vikings Stadium AP

Now that Minnesota governor Mark Dayton has climbed fully into bed with the Vikings, by aggressively supporting efforts to build a new stadium for the franchise in Minneapolis, Dayton finds himself justifying the allegedly bad behavior of the men who play for the team.

In a Tuesday interview with Minnesota Public Radio, Dayton blamed the Vikings’ 10 arrests since 2011 on players having too much time on their hands.

Idle time is the devil’s play,” Dayton said, via Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Dayton also offered up a broad — and arguably unfair — generalization regarding the mindset of a football player.

“It means that young males who are heavily armored and heavily psyched as necessary to carry out their job are probably more susceptible to being in bars at 2 o’clock [in the morning] and having problems.  It doesn’t excuse it.  It just says this probably comes with it,” Dayton said.

“Shake one of their hands and you know that this is someone who is not your ordinary citizen.  They’re heavily armored, heavily psyched to do what they have to do and go out there. It’s, basically, slightly civilized war. . . .  Then they take that into society.  Much as soldiers come back, they’ve been in combat or the edge of it and suddenly that adjustment back to civilian life is a real challenge.  And that’s part of the reality.  That’s not to say it’s good and it shouldn’t be improved.  It should.”

We agree that it should be improved, but we disagree that football somehow morphs the men who play it into a gang of marauding goons who aren’t able to obey the laws of society without the intervention of cattle prods.  Plenty of players never get in trouble.  The few that do create bad publicity for all of them.

But the guys who stay out of trouble haven’t managed to overcome some showdown for their souls.  They simply aren’t guys who get into trouble, despite the fact that they play an inherently physical game for a living.

Dayton’s explanation, even with the obvious and predictable caveats, makes it too easy for players and teams to hide behind the notion that “boys will be boys.”  But NFL players are grown men with access to the kind of resources that will help them avoid trouble, whether through the programs made available to them or the money that they earn.  They should be held even more accountable than someone who isn’t a pro athlete, and no one should be making excuses for the few who make the many look bad.

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115 Responses to “Minnesota governor blames player arrests on idle time”
  1. saintsfan26 says: Jul 17, 2012 8:29 PM

    I’m surprised he didn’t blame the Saints. That seems to be the trend in Minnesota*.

    * denotes 0-4 superbowl record.

  2. cardmagnet says: Jul 17, 2012 8:30 PM

    Title should be “Minnesota governor proves himself to be a moron”.

  3. ravenseattheirownpoop says: Jul 17, 2012 8:35 PM

    While I can see his point, the fact of the matter is that it seems to be occurring at an alarming rate. Everyday we hear of at least one player being arrested. It’s getting old. I’m getting numb to it and that’s a problem.

  4. vikings7064 says: Jul 17, 2012 8:40 PM

    Wow.

  5. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 17, 2012 8:41 PM

    Players brought in front of the Court are now adopting the “Devil” defense. Claiming they were nothing more than “playthings” in a much larger and more sinister agenda.

  6. lbpackfan says: Jul 17, 2012 8:41 PM

    I’d blame the refs from the 2009 NFCCG! LOL LOL LOL !!!!! Ahhhhhh…what a great game that was.

    SKOAL!!!!

  7. bchapman2011 says: Jul 17, 2012 8:43 PM

    I was just laid off and I am now out of work for the first time in 20 years. I have hours upon hours of mind numbing boredom right now yet I do not anticipate every breaking the law and getting arrested. Quit making excuses for these millionaires. It boils down to poor choices and nothing more.

  8. tweeter75 says: Jul 17, 2012 8:43 PM

    Being a Vikings fan and a Minnesotan, I take exception to Florio’s article about our governor. He goes from being a mouthpiece for the Saints against Goodell to claiming that our Governor is now “in bed” with the Vikings, and psychoanylizing a generalized opinion the governor gave. The governor has a point, and Florio has a point. I don’t think he should be lambasted by the anti-establishment liberal Florio for giving his opinion.

  9. philwauke says: Jul 17, 2012 8:46 PM

    Idle time? I have Idle time and I’m not out pimp slapping my mom, Drawing down on people in traffic or playing dui bumper cars. It’s called being grown and responsible.

  10. druss88 says: Jul 17, 2012 8:47 PM

    These are grown men that are millionaires. They get into trouble because of idle time? Please. Minnestota, do yourself a favor and vote this guy out if this is his thought process.

  11. bordner says: Jul 17, 2012 8:47 PM

    I kind of see his point to a certain extent, but I think the problem can primarily be attributed to the result of growing up in a system where these players are coddled and enabled and develop a sense of entitlement that just doesn’t exist in mainstream society in general. That being said, they still should be able to control themselves.

    Also, I’m sure for every player that gets in trouble for doing something stupid when they should have known better, there are at least two more who are getting away with something similar, or worse. We only hear about the ones that get caught.

  12. melikefootball says: Jul 17, 2012 8:50 PM

    OH PEASE!!!!! All we are told each week by all the media is what outstanding PROFESSIONALS these players are.. The list continues each days of individual players in trouble. They should be held higher but aren’t. They are continuely given excuses and chances yet they never learn by other players mistakes. As much as I’m not a God-del fan I hope he comes down hard on each playe., The way things are going some team may not have enough players to field a team, as much as they are in the headlines.

  13. thegreatgabbert says: Jul 17, 2012 8:50 PM

    Drayton and Roger Goodell plan to enrol all the players at Shattuck-St Mary’s Military Academy during the off season in the future.

    “Living conditions are Spartan, but most prefer it to prison.”.

  14. SmurfJuice says: Jul 17, 2012 8:51 PM

    But, but.. they collectively bargained for that idle time!

  15. mionjacon says: Jul 17, 2012 8:51 PM

    heavily armored, heavily psyched..

  16. domehead says: Jul 17, 2012 8:53 PM

    Oh, here we go again…”I’m a soldier”

  17. donniebrownsco says: Jul 17, 2012 8:59 PM

    Yeah and my mom used to blame me getting into trouble on me not having a baby sitter.. Grow up..

  18. raqaiw says: Jul 17, 2012 8:59 PM

    Man, I had the whole weekend off and didn’t get arrested. I should get a medal.

  19. mjkelly77 says: Jul 17, 2012 9:02 PM

    Minnesota governor blames player arrests on idle time
    ________________

    When I’m on vacation I never get busted for drugs, DUIs, assault and battery, dangerously speeding, or anything else. I guess NFL players have a different standard to live up to: “Don’t kill anyone and you’re still considered an upstanding citizen”. Michael Vick is still wondering if dogs count.

  20. fdugrad says: Jul 17, 2012 9:03 PM

    My dad was a public school teacher for thirty-five years. To think after all those summers that he wasted his time going to graduate school and painting houses. He could have gotten all his colleagues together and done an ” Educators Gone Wild!” They could have run amok, endangering the general public with their drinking drugging, impregnating ways, not to mention punching anyone and anything that moved. They, along with their lawyers, then could have used the Gov. Dayton excuse/explanation to avoid any consequences for their playful hijinks. After all, one could say teachers need to be ” heavily psyched ” to carry out their jobs, and clearly teachers are not ” your ordinary citizen.” Come to think of it, one could say the same thing about police officers, fire fighters and nurses. Now, if only they could make millions of dollars…..

  21. cooklynn17 says: Jul 17, 2012 9:06 PM

    really dude? well then lets sign the players up for a kniting class or something.

    By definition you’re saying players, so in theory all the players should be in trouble, but their not, just a few select idiots.

    Chill Gov.

  22. subset99 says: Jul 17, 2012 9:06 PM

    That’s sort of strange. I’ve been out of school for the summer as a teacher and none of this has happened to me.

  23. harleywoman883 says: Jul 17, 2012 9:07 PM

    How about blaming it on stupidity and arrogance?

  24. joejoe81 says: Jul 17, 2012 9:08 PM

    “Much as soldiers come back, they’ve been in combat or the edge of it and suddenly that adjustment back to civilian life is a real challenge.”

    Please don’t disrespect our service men and women by equating what they have been through to being a professional athlete.

  25. bradygirl12 says: Jul 17, 2012 9:09 PM

    When I have idle time,I go for a walk,read a book,go to a movie…I don’t assault my Mom or get drunk and freak out upon hearing the words “last call”,or show a gun to a driver who cut me off. These are teenagers in men’s bodies with too much money and a false sense of entitlement. Just sayin…

  26. trapshoot says: Jul 17, 2012 9:11 PM

    Must be running for election.

  27. wwwfella says: Jul 17, 2012 9:14 PM

    so forget that their grown men???

  28. porkchopexpress1969 says: Jul 17, 2012 9:14 PM

    Jeez the idiot needs to take his meds and be quiet. Go back to work and figure out a way to redistribute my money.

  29. ruvelligwebuike says: Jul 17, 2012 9:15 PM

    Minnesotans are outraged. For years they’ve touted their amazing state and the unique and exciting things about Minnesota. How special it really is.

    Now these guys have idle time? I mean…bike paths, parks, museums, golf courses, beaches. The list goes on. None of the other 49 states can boast of such amazing things. Plus they have a huge mall. I mean, does life get any better?

  30. Patriot42 says: Jul 17, 2012 9:19 PM

    Yeah, When I have nothing to do I always get arrested.

  31. randygnyc says: Jul 17, 2012 9:19 PM

    How dare he compare these coddled, spoiled, mostly illiterate, super wealthy athletes, and what they do with their miserable lives, with any of our honorable military members.

  32. eaststsfb says: Jul 17, 2012 9:25 PM

    I can’t believe the fine people of Minnesota elected this knucklehead into office…oh wait, most of them are Vikings fans. Now it makes sense.

  33. ghostofgilchrist says: Jul 17, 2012 9:26 PM

    I suggest the players use some of their “idle time” to campaign for this dope’s next opponent.

    Maybe he should ask a military vet who’s seen real live combat how it compares to a football game.

  34. mas151 says: Jul 17, 2012 9:29 PM

    But, it has to be note that there is a culture in Minnesota that seems to attract this behavior. Let’s go back to Keith Millard and “terroristic threats”, since that time the Vikings (along with the Bengals) have been the poster boys for poor social behavior.

  35. jimmylions says: Jul 17, 2012 9:39 PM

    With regard to your summary about Dayton’s remarks, I pretty much agree with everything you said. But I think it should also be noted that many of these star athletes aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed, and also had their youthful indiscretions swept under the rug in college.

    In Ann Arbor, a certain starting U of M QB (not Tom Brady) broke the large front window of a popular bar, after he was ejected for being too drunk. For a normal person, criminal charges would have been filed. These charges would have resulted in Player X being suspended from playing football his senior year at U of M.

    It was a front page story in the Ann Arbor News one day, and completely vanished the next. That’s one of the perks of being a collegiate athletic star who is clearly on track to go to the NFL.

    Also – the Wonderlic exams demonstrate that the NCAA doesn’t really require athletes to actually learn anything. Coaches and agents cover up embarrassing Wonderlic scores by talking about “football IQ.” High Wonderlic scores actually seem to be a bigger liability than low scores. The NFL doesn’t want members of MENSA in the locker room.

    So when you have very young men who:

    A) Are still at an immature age where poor decision making is common
    B) Think that other people will clean up their personal messes
    C) Make more money in a year than most people see in their lifetime (and have an ego the size of that paycheck)

    It’s really no surprise when they have both personal and financial issues as young professionals.

    So yeah — it’s a lot more than idle time.

  36. rhopperstad says: Jul 17, 2012 9:39 PM

    We need to redistribute the wealth and idle time of the NFL to those who are too damn lazy to work and need more idle time . how about an NFL czar ? you can go back to your rubber room now Mark .

  37. swagjag says: Jul 17, 2012 9:41 PM

    “idle time”. . . Not a lack of self discipline. These are not 6 year olds.

  38. jessethegreat says: Jul 17, 2012 9:43 PM

    Dayton is a progressive democrat, so it is only natural of him to pass the buck from adults accepting responsibility for their actions/choices and finding something/someone else to blame for how things are. Pay no never-mind here, folks.

  39. steeltuff says: Jul 17, 2012 9:47 PM

    Comparing the training regimen of NFL players to the regimen of combat soldiers is moronic. Soldiers on the front line are facing death and they remain in this “armored, heavily psyched” culture for an entire year. NFL players are well-paid, pampered athletes, who are now even limited to the number of on-field workouts they are obligated to attend, due to the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Our heroes in the military do not deserve their regimen to be compared at all to the one in which some NFL players seem to be enduring these days.

  40. devrick says: Jul 17, 2012 9:48 PM

    So, it had nothing to do with the players being immature and overpaid with an overwhelming sense of entitlement and zero sense of personal responsibility? ‘Cause that makes sense.

  41. tastethejace says: Jul 17, 2012 9:49 PM

    This state governor just compared men who play football for a living to veteran soldiers coming back from war in justifying how they could be involved in altercations with the law due to not being able to harmonize with normal society.

    That’s all that needs to be said.

  42. cleverbob says: Jul 17, 2012 9:49 PM

    I can totally sympathize. Anytime I go more than 10 minutes without occupying my mind I start hatching schemes to make it rain at the scrip club then drive home drunk and threaten my own mother.

  43. pacificnw7722 says: Jul 17, 2012 9:53 PM

    “Idle time is the devil’s play,” Dayton said, via Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.”

    Sounds like Bobby Boucher’s mom…..You’ll rid yourself of yo’ foolish ways. You gonna lose all your fancy “foos’ ball” games.

  44. fatguystrangler says: Jul 17, 2012 9:54 PM

    Give me a break. These aren’t school-kids on summer break getting into mischief because there’s nothing to do. They’re high-profile young professionals who are getting into trouble. I am not, by any means, saying they can’t be out living the dream. But, for the Governor to say what he did is making excuses for adults with downtime. On a sidenote, is the NFL going to need some sort of Traffic Court? These guys are keeping judges busy with all the alleged impaired driving.

  45. philahitman says: Jul 17, 2012 9:55 PM

    PHILAhitman blames player arrests on players having poor character, upbringing and descision making.

    Idle time can be used for business opportunities, charity work, family time etc,.

    Idle time is not the problem. Scumbags is the problem.

  46. teambringitstrong says: Jul 17, 2012 9:55 PM

    This is my opinion, not fact but methinks his brain hasn’t thawed out from the winter yet.

  47. hugejazz says: Jul 17, 2012 9:59 PM

    Dayton may be oversimplifying it but he’s not completely wrong. Lots of money, lots of free time, immaturity coupled with a feeling of invincibility and you have the potential for trouble. That’s not justifying it. It just explains part of it.

  48. vegasbillzfan42 says: Jul 17, 2012 10:00 PM

    What a load of crap!!! Now we have politicians offering apologies for athletes. What a joke. What’s next, will the president try an say that marshawn lynch was drinking and driving to save time on the way to Alden smiths house? Come on man!!!

  49. drwbrsdmndsnxplntn says: Jul 17, 2012 10:01 PM

    I’m disappointed like everyone else, but I’m sick of holding pro football players to a higher standard. People get arrested for being dumb stuff all the time.

    Yawn.

    Not just because I’m a Vikings fan or anything, but if you’ve even ever played one kickoff on special teams, it’s a rush man. Doing dumb stuff is extreme man you feel untouchable. It translates into the rest of your life.

    It can only be summarized using a rough translation from middle-French… “let do”. It’ll all work itself out for better or worse.

    Anybody else ready for football yet? This is mind numbing.

  50. shaggytoodle says: Jul 17, 2012 10:01 PM

    You know what they say idle hands spend time @ the genitals and we all know how much he hates that.

    -Old Drippy

  51. croghan1919 says: Jul 17, 2012 10:02 PM

    I blame the short season for the idle time.
    What the league needs is a 32 game schedule.
    Last team with a man standing wins.
    CRIPES!

  52. offkiltereagle says: Jul 17, 2012 10:05 PM

    Here’s a novel concept, how about me blame the players for their arrests. Why is personal responsibility a concept that eludes so many?

  53. jets13 says: Jul 17, 2012 10:05 PM

    So when the NFL has too many camps/otas/work outs……..it’s the NFLs faults players are “messed up”……..and when the NFL cancels these such things and the players have free time…….it’s the NFL’s fault the players get in trouble.

    So either way, the NFL is at fault and the players are not.

    Love the libreals always blaming the establishment.

  54. ctattles says: Jul 17, 2012 10:14 PM

    These players have free will to do what ever they want. Some want to break the law. They pay the consequences. Life goes on.

    I just think some of these minor crimes need to stop being over blown. Like smoking marijuana.

  55. nflhof says: Jul 17, 2012 10:15 PM

    “Way too much free time”……..that’s what my buddies Dad told us when we were in HS.

  56. firstroyal says: Jul 17, 2012 10:17 PM

    makes sense, after playing football with my son, when i have extra money in the bank and a day off all i can do is think about commiting a felony.

    wow

  57. starvingardens says: Jul 17, 2012 10:27 PM

    I’m sorry Governor, you’ve got it all wrong. You blame the player arrests on the players and nothing else.

  58. dawglb says: Jul 17, 2012 10:28 PM

    Stupid comment.

  59. grillmarks says: Jul 17, 2012 10:28 PM

    Getting in trouble because you have too much time on your hands. What, are these guys 12?

  60. dawglb says: Jul 17, 2012 10:29 PM

    …. Mr. Governor.

  61. sakatak says: Jul 17, 2012 10:29 PM

    I respect football players a lot more than politicians.

  62. skinsrock says: Jul 17, 2012 10:31 PM

    Here’s the problem for my Skins… Redskins Park is in the burbs 40 mins away from DC… The city just has a flavor that you can’t get in the VA burbs… Difference between hip hop & hard rock… A cab ride is anywhere from $60 – $100… For an athlete who is born confident in their ability of all trades… I’m sure they think they can make it home, but as they continue to find out… the police in the DC area & especially in VA have a heavy presence and sooner or later their gonna get you.

  63. AlohaMrHand says: Jul 17, 2012 10:32 PM

    Yes the booze and hookers don’t play any part in it

  64. rcali says: Jul 17, 2012 10:33 PM

    Wait, didn’t NFLPA and GODdell give the players more off time? Whoops!

  65. berniemadoffsides says: Jul 17, 2012 10:35 PM

    Do the math for us, Mike. Find out what % of NFL players are arrested each season and compare it to the rest of the country’s statistics.

    11 playears in a year out of 53 roster spots? So over 20% (I’m doing this off the cuff, not knowing the roster turnover in Minnesota) of us get arrested?

  66. vikinganswer says: Jul 17, 2012 10:42 PM

    Give me a break!!!! These guys have less down time with all the OTA’s and mini camps not to mention working out on their own everyday during the off season. Get another job if you cant stay out of trouble.

  67. rubberinnertube says: Jul 17, 2012 10:52 PM

    Governor Millhouse with His Glasses Off should know that proportionately football players are no more likely to commit crimes than the general population.

    Mark Dayton is simply a trust fund baby that gets off on holding public office as a means of feeling popular. Outside of being sure he’ll take the lion’s share of credit for the legislation around the Vikes’ stadium, I’m not sure what he’s done since he took office…

  68. staffordsyear says: Jul 17, 2012 11:01 PM

    I blame canada.

  69. ninefingers9 says: Jul 17, 2012 11:08 PM

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day!

  70. scrapingthefloorioforstorios says: Jul 17, 2012 11:08 PM

    whatever happened to blocking and tackling being what the leagu was about??

  71. skiss68 says: Jul 17, 2012 11:11 PM

    Dez Bryant finds constructive things to do in his idle time.

  72. kjs7way says: Jul 17, 2012 11:27 PM

    He also stated that all of his not-so-great decisions were based on his non activity…….

  73. benmci says: Jul 17, 2012 11:42 PM

    you can blame Minnesota too. Dante Culpeper took Fred Smoot on a boat ride and got in trouble, Robert Smith and Chuck Foreman were blindsided. Joe Kapp could only last a year. It’s not the players it’s Minnesota.

  74. giantsmetsfan says: Jul 17, 2012 11:49 PM

    Sounds like the beliefs of a true Democrat. Blaming everyone else for one’s own problems.

  75. ayyyeh says: Jul 17, 2012 11:52 PM

    A lot of this has to do with the neuroscience of profession and the physiologic profiles the body creates and adapts to based on what the human’s job is. (See the prejudices and hormonal alterations to police officers new to the field, or the hormonal alterations and oxytocin changes to a newly retired player turned broadcoaster – look at war veterans coming back, etc).
    There’s a bit of nativity in Florio’s comments here : Mike Florio as father, doped up on oxytocin and on minimal cortisol, is not Mike Florio the bachelor, straight from an adrenaline producing workout, amped with testosterone. His own reaction to the dialogue would be entirely different if he was poled about it 10 years ago (I don’t know his current age) and his answer might be even worse if he’s a grandfather x amount of years in future.
    Per the ability to relate, I think the reality is people who aren’t gifted enough (blessed or cursed) to have professions that take on similar physiologic profiles may or will not understand, and here Florio is going out of his way to lack empathy with players who chose a profession that carried a neural profile that facilitated different hormonal levels.
    I’m just trying to help.
    It’s easy to caste stones at young men who go out of their way to do acts some would call inconsiderate, but your ability to empathize is partly due to whether or not you share the same ‘neuroscience of profession’ – here, in this case, a journalist, does not – and loads of testosterone, aggression, violence, rage, superior performance in regards to athletics – those are absent in the author and existent in the subjects (its why they are famous and make money and get women).

    Anyway, hope this helps and opens someone’s eyes, ore at least gives a new glimpse into the mysteries of how everyone coming to view this post brings in their own hormonal profiles and alterations based on their own jobs – its actually incredibly interesting and a field our children will take up.

  76. ninerfan49 says: Jul 17, 2012 11:56 PM

    And here I thought it was just plain stupidity!

  77. Andre's Johnson says: Jul 18, 2012 12:09 AM

    Writing for PFT turns a man into a marauding goon.

  78. Solitaryman says: Jul 18, 2012 12:12 AM

    Stupid idle time.

  79. denverbronconj says: Jul 18, 2012 12:17 AM

    +1..Completely agree with you Florio, given the common ignorance iterated by a governor..a status that even a pro wrestler can obtain in this state…makes the comment even more irrelevant.

    To follow his logic, every law enforcement position that directly deals with civilized warfare makes these people subjective to being a miscreant.

    Wow, maybe I should run for governor if that’s the intelligence needed to deduce that the failures of these pro athletes are directly correlated with their occupation. Minnesota should be proud of their governor for finally solving the issue that has plagued the NFL for so many years.

  80. skolvikings2011 says: Jul 18, 2012 12:18 AM

    Yep, we sure know how to elect ‘em in Minnesota. First Jesse Ventura, then Al Franken. This guy might outdo even those two bozos. Might as well call it now: Prince in 2014!

  81. 805_9er says: Jul 18, 2012 12:29 AM

    This guy sounds incredibly stupid. Very odd for a politician………… 8D

  82. catman72 says: Jul 18, 2012 12:33 AM

    I’ve had plenty of idle time during my 40 years of living and somehow I’ve never been arrested.

  83. zerophocus says: Jul 18, 2012 12:49 AM

    This is just a guess but I imagine if you paid any random group of 1000 people hundreds of thousands of dollars a year minimum, gave them a strict regimented schedule for 8 months out of the year and gave them the other 4 months off you’d have a similar amount of problems.

  84. piemasteruk says: Jul 18, 2012 12:49 AM

    Hey Mr Minnesota governor. How about you check out how many Rugby players get arrested in England, France or Australia and we will see if your theory holds up.

    (P.S. it won’t)

  85. linvillegorge says: Jul 18, 2012 12:59 AM

    Funny how the vast majority of the rest of the population manages to not get arrested during their “idle time”.

  86. chezdigital says: Jul 18, 2012 1:13 AM

    Florio, I’m surprised that you don’t agree with this notion, even to some degree, for at least a percentage of the league, whether it be 20 or 30 percent.

  87. theawesomersfranchise says: Jul 18, 2012 1:13 AM

    Yet another enabler of the wealthy.

    Yes yes free time is the reason, it’s certainly not people always protecting them and making excuses for them all their lives.

    Guess what all you criminals in Minnesota, governor Dayton knows you all have your reasons and it’s ok.

  88. pcoisma says: Jul 18, 2012 1:21 AM

    The Gettysburg Address
    Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
    November 19, 1863

    On June 1, 1865, Senator Charles Sumner commented on what is now considered the most famous speech by President Abraham Lincoln. In his eulogy on the slain president, he called it a “monumental act.” He said Lincoln was mistaken that “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.” Rather, the Bostonian remarked, “The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech.”

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

    But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

  89. chessic4 says: Jul 18, 2012 1:22 AM

    Always wonder why so many of these guys equate drinking in a crowded, smokey bar until 2:00 a good time.

    Spend time with your family. Find a hobby. Play a board game, do a puzzle, or bake cookies with your kids or wife. Read a book. Watch a good movie. Find Jesus. Volunteer to teach football at the Y. Build a house for the homeless. Philanthropy is good.

    How hard is it to stay away from druggies, party-girls, and people that carry guns.

  90. neauxgeaux44 says: Jul 18, 2012 1:23 AM

    Because there is nothing else to do in boring bland Minneysoter than to drink…must still be hurting from the Saints beat down ofThe Vikings 2 years in a row..pity…

  91. nepatriots128154 says: Jul 18, 2012 2:15 AM

    The actions of a few are casting a negative light on the whole. While football players definitely appear to be arrested at a much higher rate than the average citizen (just my guess, it sure seems that way), the majority of players aren’t making fools of themselves and getting arrested.

    Having said that… 10 arrests!?!!? 10 arrests out of what, 60 players or so? That’s idiotic. Some of these man-children need to grow up. They’ve been given a rare opportunity to make a great deal of cash, and these blockheads can’t stay out of a cop car. What will it take for some of these players to realize the opportunity they were given?

  92. spartan822 says: Jul 18, 2012 2:45 AM

    Good article, Florio. For once I actually agree with pretty much everything you said. Pro athletes should be held to a higher standard, and some of them get that, and some don’t.

    One thing that Dayton said that troubles me was the part about improving the “reality” of the game as he sees it. He compares football to going to war, which in some ways is a valid comparison, but really not a very good one. He says that football players have a hard time transitioning from “war” back to “civilian life”, which is pretty asinine if you think about it. And when he talks about “improving that”, I hope he’s not talking about taking more of the violence out of football. So much has been taken out already that I think we have reached a happy medium between safety and football that is actually entertaining to watch. Take much more out and you may have an almost unrecognizable product that may not even be worth watching. But hopefully that’s not what Dayton was taking about.

  93. poolboy87 says: Jul 18, 2012 3:25 AM

    I find it pretty astounding that a politician would be stupid enough to say that football is “basically, slightly civilized war”.

  94. kevsright says: Jul 18, 2012 4:38 AM

    ‘ without the intervention of cattle prods…’
    Great line! :mrgreen:
    Young guys, lots of $$, not a lot of sense,
    = trouble.

  95. In the Weeds says: Jul 18, 2012 5:27 AM

    Right.
    Clearly, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton is on the take–so crooked in fact, that he has to have a highly-specialized team of speedy aides help him screw his pants on every morning.
    Using Dayton’s own logic, (if you can call it that), this comes with the territory of politics, which is basically civilized war.
    Politicians are not ordinary citizens. If they were, there would be jails all over the country larger than any stadium Minnesota could Try to build.
    Politicians are heavily-funded, heavily protected to do what they have to do and go out there, etc.
    Does he Expect players to get into trouble Because they are players, rather than because they lack maturity and responsibility–like politicians?

  96. kingpel says: Jul 18, 2012 5:58 AM

    A good portion of these young men just grew up rough. Its silly to think that just because you cut them a large check all of the bad habits and behaviors they learned throughout their lives will just disappear.

  97. sterling7 says: Jul 18, 2012 6:13 AM

    Everyone seems to think Roger Goodell’s job is easy, he has to babysit these man-childs. This is B.S., the organizations, the coaches and everyone connected with these teams make excuses for these grown men behaving like assclowns-and they get away with it. Regardless of the charge players should be subject to the same punishment as anyone else that walks down the street. If it was my team I’d simply say you’re grown men-act like it, if you can’t then you’re gone……..period!

  98. acetw says: Jul 18, 2012 7:02 AM

    “We agree that it should be improved, but we disagree that football somehow morphs the men who play it into a gang of marauding goons who aren’t able to obey the laws of society without the intervention of cattle prods.”
    ————————————————-
    Unless those men play for New Orleans, apparently…

  99. hulkhogansays says: Jul 18, 2012 7:07 AM

    A politician coming up with an excuse for rotten behavior? No way. I’m flabbergasted brother. Look when it comes down to it, it’s all about self control. You either can or you can’t. If you can’t, the only person at fault is yourself period.

  100. wicky888 says: Jul 18, 2012 7:10 AM

    Lol good one, I can’t believe that guy is in charge of a whole state.

    How about personal accountability? What ever happened to that?

  101. butteredsanta says: Jul 18, 2012 7:29 AM

    Typical Democrat…Always somethings or sombody elses fault. His comments would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. No wonder this nation is circling the drain….Never anyone’s own personal responsibility

  102. imopen7 says: Jul 18, 2012 7:37 AM

    Soooooo…. what about all the regular joe’s out there unemployed, lazy or just have nothing better to do than be stupid? Think they should get a free pass too, Gov?

  103. bucs71 says: Jul 18, 2012 8:06 AM

    So, I guess all the other players that don’t get into trouble, have no downtime then? Plain and simple, they think they can get away with things that normal everyday citizens can’t.

  104. hodag54501 says: Jul 18, 2012 8:10 AM

    Here’s a concept: if you get arrested and convicted on a charge(other than speeding) it’s an automatic one-game suspension.
    Instead of losing a few hundred bucks, they’ve suddenly lost several thousand.
    The next time it happens, you’re suspended for two games.
    Third time it happens you’re suspended for “conduct detrimental to football”…as in a season.

    You make your children accountable…if they’re going to act like children, they should be accountable.

  105. vikings1976 says: Jul 18, 2012 10:13 AM

    New wave of Saints fans still yapping. And have the nerve to talk about Viking futility. You might not remember the half filled superdome year after year, the fans who invented the bags over the head routine, the decades of failure….and now an 18 year old Saints fan has something to say? Please. Go back to your sewer Mr. 3 year running Saints fan.

  106. mjkelly77 says: Jul 18, 2012 10:43 AM

    Redundant but warrants repeating … the National Felon League.

  107. tombradysponytail says: Jul 18, 2012 10:51 AM

    Maybe they should open a community center for NFL players. They could go there to play ping pong, watch movies, play video games, maybe start a midnight basketball league…

  108. dukemarc says: Jul 18, 2012 11:03 AM

    Dayton just wants to cuddle those poor NFL players, like the children they are. The only thing this guy has done since coming into office is get the Vikings a stadium. The North Metro is a mess, Duluth is wondering where the flood support is going to come from….but good old Marky(I gave myself an “F” as a Senator), got the Vikings a stadium. What a joke this state has become.

  109. stellarperformance says: Jul 18, 2012 11:35 AM

    The arrest rate for NFL players as a percentage of a whole is actually lower than the average citizen. But we’re dealing with averages, and unfortunately, The Vikings, Bengals, and Broncos skew the average. These are guys that are too young with too much money and a history of entitlements, both real and imagined. They are making news only because it’s the NFL. If they were ordinary “joes” that won a lottery and blew their money on owning strip joints and beer bars, you’d never hear about it. Stupid is as stupid does.

  110. mnomalley says: Jul 18, 2012 12:56 PM

    Mark Dayton married a Rockefeller, who’s family is famous more eugenics and being one of the original families of the illuminati. They have very interesting views of the general population and how they should be “managed.”

  111. jacksprat57 says: Jul 18, 2012 6:19 PM

    ravenseattheirownpoop:

    Resist the siren call of such fatigue. Instead, separate the wheat from the chaff. (1) Victimless crimes don’t count, unless others are thereby seriously exposed to great potential harm. Ganja? They’re idiots, but that’s between them and their team/teammates. You were an idiot once, too. (2) DUI matters, but let’s quit pretending that it matters more than we really believe that it does, just because a rich jock does it. Here’s the test: If you’d let your mother or your best friend slide, then you let everybody slide. In any case, you’ve no business being any MORE judgmental of the jock. (3) That leaves the things that are truly worth being P/O’d about, like beating on women, carrying guns through airport security, and such.

    Also, be chary about overreacting to charges of resisting arrest. In case you missed it, a lot of cops have been taught encounter strategies that are seriously counterproductive. They tend to play into the authoritarian personality’s willingness both to overreact and to too hastily categorize the disobedient as the bad.

  112. jacksprat57 says: Jul 18, 2012 6:29 PM

    tastethejace:

    Do you mean that you don’t get the parallel between PTSD caused by the horrors of war and PTSD caused by repeated concussions? If so, then you might want to read up on the subject.

    Young men do both at least partially for our benefit. To an extent, each deserves our compassion. When they terrorize their mothers, bear their wives, or some such, then our compassion needs to take a backseat to our self-protection as a society.

    Just don’t conflate the idiocy of risking millions of dollars for a toke with such conduct.

  113. jacksprat57 says: Jul 18, 2012 6:33 PM

    stellarperformance:

    Funny thing is, there actually WAS and OWNER who behaved the same way as Pacman, more or less. Leonard Toth, who once owned the Eagles, literally gambled away everything he owned, including his team. Like many of thee guys, he was remarkably cool with it afterwards, too. In his tiny little two-bedroom apartment.

  114. pterodonktyl says: Jul 18, 2012 7:36 PM

    If you put 53 actual US soldiers out there, you’d probably get more than 3 wins in a season.

  115. jackbutlermethod says: Jul 23, 2012 8:52 PM

    I think the typical NFL player is more comfortable taking risks (e.g.: running full speed into another guy running full speed; or getting loaded, then driving home) than your average person…

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