Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Von Miller extortion episode proves once again that "smart" phones make dummies out of people

I’ve expressed the opinion that I believe “smart” phones are among the dumbest inventions of all time. They allow rude people to become even ruder, loud people to become even louder, “smart” people to think they are smarter than they actually are, and dumb people to be even dumber. Believe it or not, the world actually functioned quite well, in fact better, when there were no such “phones.” I’m not against your standard “cell” phone, which does what it is supposed to do, which is to allow you to fulfill urgent communications with another party when the availability of other means are not readily available. But “smart” phones allow people to do all kinds of mischief via built-in picture taking and video recording, and “texting” without forethought.  

While it may be true that ordinary people only make themselves foolish amongst themselves—unless, of course, they post something on YouTube and everyone can see how moronic they are—and are rarely fodder for public humiliation on a national scale, that is not true for politicians and athletes. Former New York congressman Anthony Weiner was “caught” sending explicit photos and “sextings” to women not his wife, which essentially ended his political career. Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Brett Favre was subject to public humiliation (but little else) by the public “exposure” of his private “package” all over the Internet, which he had sent “privately” over his “smart” phone to a former New York Jets “employee” who did  little more than serve as sideline “eye candy.” 

Athletes also have other “issues” they have to contend with, such as being extorted for money from people who know that they are vulnerable to bad publicity, such as being cut from their team and losing all their money. Robert Griffin III was threatened by an extortionist for reasons still unknown, Hynes Ward was the victim of a prostitute-related extortion plot, Chris “Birdman” Andersen was the victim of identity theft that eventually led to a false accusation of child sex, and Leonys Martin was the victim of a Cuban extortion ring that wanted a share of his salary. Coaches are not immune from extortion, either; Louisville’s Rick Pitino was the subject of months of extortion threats from the wife of an equipment manager, until she was charged, convicted and jailed for it.

But now the Von Miller case beats all that. For some reason, the Broncos’s star linebacker was in Mexico instead of training camp this past June, having sex with a woman named Elizabeth Ruiz. While engaged in this activity, Miller stupidly allowed her to record the act on her “smart” phone. Ruiz told him that it would remain “private.” Oh sure, like she wasn’t going to share it with her friends? I mean, she was just going to keep it for her “personal pleasure” and “bop” to it? Miller said that he asked Ruiz to erase their little pornographic movie, and she said “Gotcha.”

Well, its five months later, and what she meant by “Gotcha” is perfectly clear. Miller has gone to court, charging that Ruiz is attempting to extort $2.5 million from him in exchange for not releasing the evidence of their tryst over the Internet or on DVD, as if anyone wants to see that for anything but a laugh. 

Most “normal” people are not that “proud” of their anatomy to be displaying it out in the open, although certain Hollywood types have been known to do this without a trace of shame. But the Miller episode should be a lesson to athletes, especially football players. There are people out there, having seen what gender “victim” advocates and an NFL front office fearful of the being accused of “insensitivity” and “de-emphasizing” victim politics in a “male-dominated” environment, who see athletes as perfect goats to be taken advantage of, for money, and lots of it.

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