Saturday, December 1, 2018

Nurse the Hate: The Sad Tale of John Chau (and NFL picks)



I have been fascinated by the story of John Chau.  John was a 26 year old missionary with a zeal for adventure.  He somehow became fixated on the idea of being the first person to bring Jesus to the Sentinel Island 700 miles off the coast of India.  The Sentinese were not excited about the idea of John or anyone else visiting their island.  Living in complete isolation, they have a language unintelligible to the rest of the planet and have no contact with the outside world.  They hunt turtles and fish with spears and arrows.  They chase off anyone that attempts to land on their island, and recently killed two shipwrecked fisherman that wound up on their beach.  It’s still 1478 on Sentinel Island.

Their lack of interest in visitors is not unfounded as in the 1890s, the always reliably cruel British Empire kidnapped several islanders who quickly died when exposed to diseases and microbes that don’t exist on their island.  They now just scare off anyone that tries to come to their island and will eventually attack.  The government of India has placed a ban on traveling to the island as a way to preserve their culture and health of the people.  John, knowing these facts, took this on as a challenge.  John believed that God had placed him on earth to share the Christian faith with these islanders and bring them to the glory of One True God. 

John went to a bunch of fundamentalist Christian schools in the US and became a missionary.  He loved the idea of combining travel and missionary work.  Unfortunately, he also combined the fundamentalist Christian idea of being invulnerable as he was doing “the Lord’s work” with the naivety of being a 26 year old American without a complete understanding of what he was doing.  That’s why John is dead and his body is still on the beach on Sentinel Island.

John had convinced some fisherman to take him out there.  The fisherman wouldn’t land on the island, so John paddled in via a blowup kayak.  The first time he tried to land, the islanders shouted and threatened him by shooting arrows in his direction.  John got scared off and went back.  The second time, he went ashore.  “My name is John and I love you and Jesus loves you.”  When he did that, one of the islanders shot an arrow through the Bible John was holding.  John paddled back.  The next day, he went back ashore and told the fishermen to leave him on the island.  The fishermen came past the next day and saw a group of islanders pulling John’s body on the beach with a rope.  John, knowing the danger before his latest attempt, wrote a note to his family saying “Remember, the first one to heaven wins.”.  You win John.  You win.

If I lived in Texas, I would say something like “Boy, you must be shit stupid.”.  The fact I don’t live in Texas prevents me from saying that, and it does fill me with regret.  Probably not as much regret as John had when he realized he was going to die pointlessly from an arrow or spear, but it’s all a matter of scale.  Even now, people in his missionary group have no regrets of their own.  “He had a higher calling he was following.”  The one dimensional viewpoint of the Christian Right is fascinating. 

Imagine if you will, a van with three guys in loincloths pulls up in your front yard.  One of the guys starts to walk in your yard towards you holding an unidentifiable object.  He then says something in a language you can’t understand.  “Gunga Ga Gunga!”  Then he starts walking towards you again.  Your entire life has been spent hearing legendary tales of outsiders kidnapping your forefathers, never to be seen again.  Meanwhile, one of these outsiders is here, IN YOUR FRONT YARD, walking towards you while you are holding a weapon.  What other scenario would happen except you shooting that guy and then pulling that dude around your front yard on a rope with your John Deere mower making noises like “Woooo!!!!” like you just won the Super Bowl?  Shit kid.  Wake up.  How else could that have gone down?

Only a Christian Fundamentalist would be so blind to the idea that perhaps not everyone needs to get wise to his particular idea of religion.  Perhaps the islanders have a religion so perfect, so complete that it would have rendered that waterproof Bible of his as just a book of stories written and re-translated by people with particular agendas.  Maybe some people can just be left alone, especially if they are shooting arrows at you telling you to get off their fucking beach.  Maybe no one there needs the answers to questions they either aren't asking or have already figured out.  So stupid.   

So now I’m trying to convince myself that betting on the Arizona Cardinals this week isn’t as stupid as the John Chau saga.  I’ll bet that even the residents of Sentinel Island are saying “Munga dinga soomba” about me taking the Cardinals, which loosely translates to “That guy is shit stupid”.  Before someone comes over here and shoots me with an arrow, hear me out…

It is true that Cardinal QB Josh Rosen is 21 years old, grew up in California, went to UCLA and is now going to Lambeau to play in December.  I have no idea if he has ever even seen snow.  Yes, he has only thrown for 250 yards in the last two games combined.  The Cards are last in the NFL in offense, passing yards, rushing yards, and points.  They really suck.  Furthermore, underdogs of more than seven points this season are 1-28 straight up.  That doesn’t look good.  However  In the last 30 years, a team with a winning percentage of .400 or under has NEVER covered a double digit spread.  This stat comes from a sample of the last 30 years in only the back half of the year, so it wasn’t skewed by some 0-2 good team that killed somebody in Week 3.  To take the 4-6-1 Green Bay Packers giving fourteen, we have to buy into the idea that something HISTORICAL is about to happen.  I am not betting against a trend like that.  My trembling hand is putting money down on Arizona +14.

No one has been more surprised by the Browns recent success than I have been.  Well, I knew they would beat the Bengals last week as the Bengals have brought The Cooler in (aka Hue Jackson).  Hue Jackson is the worst football coach in the NFL.  This isn’t hyperbole.  This is a fact backed by history.  That another organization brought Hue Jackson in has blown my mind way more than that time I accidentally took LSD in college and saw a spoon inchworm around a kitchen table.  Let me put it this way, if I was in a serious accident and a doctor version of Hue Jackson rolled up I would stop him from working on me.  As my right hand held my intestines in with blood seeping on the ground, I would reach up with a trembling left hand to pull Hue in closer to tell him, “Don’t do anything.  I am going to take my chances and wait to see if another doctor wanders by…” 

This week the Browns face a real defense after looking like a legit team after playing Atlanta and Cincinnati.  The Texans at home is going to be no joke.  Things are going to get real for the Browns.  This is a bad spot for the Browns as I have no idea how they deal with either the Texans rushing game or the Texans two defensive ends.  I am going to parlay Houston with the Broncos (who travel to Cincinnati).  Cincinnati has the longest injury report I have ever seen.  I assume the Bengals will never win again until they rid themselves of The Cooler.  Houston/Denver parlay.

Season Record:  9-9                 

4 Comments:

At December 1, 2018 at 6:08:00 PM EST , Blogger Mike Scott said...

I thought we had the Rodgers in Lambo in December conversation a couple of years ago. The only reason no team with a winning percentage at 400 or under has covered a double digit spread is because Aaron Rodgers has never had a 400 or worse winning percentage. In December. In Lambo. Haha! Actually, I think you're right. I just thought that shit was funny.

 
At December 1, 2018 at 8:12:00 PM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I already regret the wager

 
At December 3, 2018 at 9:58:00 AM EST , Blogger Greg Miller said...

I stand vindicated.

 
At December 3, 2018 at 10:13:00 AM EST , Blogger Mike Scott said...

Indeed!

 

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