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The thickness of pig and elephant skins.

October 11 has passed as of this writing and when perusing the New York Times' daily almanac for an outgoing voice mail message I saw that on that day in 1991 Anita Hill was testifying at the Supreme Court seat hearings for Clarence Thomas. She recounted sexual harassment from him, he was quoted as complaining of a media witch hunt.

Around the beginning of this year one Laurence Phillips was found self-hanged in a jail cell, and during the previous year he had killed a cell mate.

Phillips, who happens to be black for my readers who don't rush to Section Three every day and I'm glad of it, was a star football player for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who won the national championship in 1994 when he was on the roster. Before the game he battered a girl friend and oh, how his coach Tom Osborne agonized over whether to play him in the big game. And he agonized some more. Well, Phillips was called on to play; it was in his best interests, football was therapeutic for him in so many words, said a man to whom the Governor may indeed have bowed.

Phillips fizzled in pro football and committed felonies, including more battery and driving a car into a group of teens.

Osborne, after football, served three terms for Nebraska's Third District in the House of Representatives as a Republican.

When I was young Nebraska was practically first among the states known for the rise before the cows work ethic and, certainly into the early 70's, the white male ethic of warm barber's clippers around the lower part of the head at the prescribed intervals. Black kids? Culture shock, no kidding, but if you carried the football well there was capital to spend.

Black and white relations, women's concerns---hardly the strongest term to be used there, the Republican Party's current likeness to a football play with flags and bodies flying, also the questioning of football player "privileges" and the long time "walk it off" philosophy toward injuries including concussions . . . Trump is no diversion from some wondrous path for the elephant party, in my oft-scoffed (bring it on, as Section Three oft sports) opinion.

I remember some conservative columnists referring to elections and games a lot like the treatment I remember from my brief involvement in high school football: We won! You lost! That's it! No questions and silence on the bus.
Now, more and more, they may sometimes win but are being caught and questioned. Still, it will take a village, a very massive one. But with the broken plays, flags and turmoil the village is still taking shape.

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