When is Enough, Enough?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by LineInTheSand, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,750
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    The discussion I hope to generate here is an off-shoot from a thread of comments on one of my Facebook friend's walls. The initial comment was about the use of pink flags during NFL games (to bring awareness to breast cancer). How much is too much, and when is enough, enough?

    My personal beliefs are that while "pink" has provided much awareness to breast cancer, it has also overshadowed "purple" and the other, more serious cancers. Why? Well maybe pink has just been marketed better. While the NFL does pink, the NHL does purple.

    The comments however eventually moved in a different direction.

    Before I get started, I will say that at one time I was the pointman for Coast Guard wreath-laying ceremonies in D.C., especially the most important "Veterans Day" wreathlaying at the Coast Guard Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery (it's very easy to miss, small, at one time falling apart...it's tucked away in a corner of the cemetery).

    I also handled the Coast Guard's role in athletic events in Washington, D.C.

    That's the background. The comment I made that got things really going was about honoring veterans at sporting events.

    I was, at one time, a Washington Capitals season ticket holder. When I first got my tickets, once a game, there would be a "welcome the service member of the game" where someone from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard was featured, a little bio read, with video of them on the jumbo tron, and we would also stand and clap. As the seasons passed, the Capitals increased the awareness to "Welcome the service member of the game" and later "welcome other military members." And then future down the road "welcome service member of the game" and later "and other military members" and then "welcome all veterans".... each one resulted in people standing and clapping. Oh, and each little segment was sponsored by someone, SAIC or Booz or a local military job organization.

    But it started to get to me a little. First, we should all understand that not everyone loves the military. Second, this stuff, even patriotic stuff, can be shoved down throats, and the harder and more often it is, the less people want to swallow.

    Here we are in a 60 minute professional sport with three separate "honor the veterans" events. But maybe I'm just not being thankful enough. At some point I made a little "come on now, this is a little overkill.... having all the vets stand up..." and the Army veteran sitting next to me, turned and said, "exactly."

    Well maybe it's just the feeling of a Coast Guard officer and an Army veteran, but then the Marine Corps vet would sat in front of us added in his own agreement.

    Are all just taking our freedom for granted? Maybe. Or maybe sometimes even vets want to go watch 18 guys slam into eachother at high rates of speed without having the military in their fac 24/7. Maybe I had enough Coast Guard for the day, and they had enough Army or Marine Corps and they just want to get lost in the competition of the world's greatest sport?

    "LITS people are dying so they can be there and watch that game."

    True. But watching the game doesn't change that. Maybe honoring them helps bring attention to it too, just like pink. But I think as some point we're brought enough attention to it (pink or vets) and could cross into the area of general distraction... where you actually lose people to the cause.

    What do you think?
     
  2. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    47
    As a person that is going thru Chemo right now, I get what you are saying. The Breast Cancer people have really done a good job of making us all aware of it. I tend to agree with you that there are far worse cancers, especially, pancreatic. I am just glad they are bringing the awareness to such a horrible illness.
    As for the patriotism, I grew up in the 60's and 70's. I have seen both sides of the spectrum toward military. I think it is good that the country actually appreciates vets, instead of the disgust they showed during the Vietnam era.
     
  3. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,274
    Likes Received:
    606
    I'm just gonna leave this here...

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/62332742/

    Breast cancer is the cute cancer. It lets us say things like "save the TaTas" and otherwise sexualize a disease to make it palatable and marketable.
     
  4. QA1517

    QA1517 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    402
    Likes Received:
    102
    I had this very conversation last year at this time. The breast cancer people have done such a good job of marketing that in my opinion it has become more annoying that anything.

    And boy, the looks you get when you pass a group of pink wearing women asking for donations and you don't give anything, maybe because you already gave or can't afford to.

    I agree with the honoring vets also. There is a time and place for everything, and they deserve it. But when it is everywhere all the time it really takes away the significance of it.
     
  5. MedB

    MedB Parent

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2012
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    116
    Lits,

    With the full-measure of respect due to you and others that serve, I couldn't help but think of one of my favorite sayings as I read your post...

    "These are the problems you want to have"

    As I argue with my wife over having to nag first my DS, and now my DD on where she stands with college applications. I keep reminding myself of that phrase. Maybe it applies here too. :smile:
     
  6. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    4,501
    Likes Received:
    452
    IMHO, one of the reasons breast cancer garners so much attention is it's the leading cause of cancer among women. Also, it has the perception that (unlike, say lung cancer) there is very little you can do to prevent its occurrence. Finally, unlike many cancers (including pancreatic), it does strike young women as well as old -- and is more deadly the younger you are.

    Put another way, I'd venture to say that most adults personally know at least one person who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I doubt the same is true for most other cancers.

    Finally, I think there's a certain . . . well, it brings a smile to one's face . . . when a bunch of huge guys in a 100% male sport support a cancer that is nearly 100% female by wearing shocking pink.

    The above said, I think it would be equally -- if not more -- beneficial for them to promote prostate cancer awareness. Not sure what color that is, but it's a VERY preventable and treatable cancer IF diagnosed early. Some of the retired players have been vocal but maybe splitting the month b/t the two cancers might be nice.
     
  7. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,750
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    I'm not 100% sure this is all true. Personally I know more people with the blood cancers than with breast cancer. I've known more people with skin cancer. Of the four people I have known in the past two-three years who have died from cancer, or effects of cancer, none were breast cancer. One was kidney, one was lung.

    Blood cancers affect more children than breast cancer. Blood cancers generally aren't preventable.

    And yet, all I see is pink.

    I think what you've mentioned above are perceptions, and some of those perceptions have become reality.
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,539
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    If you're expressing your gratitude to someone all the time, it eventually becomes meaningless. Same thing with pink. My wife has been through breast cancer twice. Nevertheless, I've had pink up to my eyeballs and am a bit tired of it. I think it distracts attention and dollars from other cancers and that it is, in part political.
     
  9. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,750
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    This was basically the point I tried to make.

    We thank the troops once in something entirely unrelated to the military. Cool. Twice.... ok... but why? Three times.... it's becomign distracting and overkill (not to mention, I don't think it's really expected).

    Pink is pink.... we've, at some level, become desensitized to it. Pink hasn't motivated me to buy anything more or bid on a game-used jersey.... why? Because it's everywhere, and I assume things are working.

    My favorite hockey team sold game used jerseys for Katrina... and you know what, I bid (and won).... but if they did that everything, not sure I would have paid attention like I did when it was unique.

    The NHL sells pregame (game worn) purple-numbered warm up jerseys.... for "Hockey Fights Cancer" and we bid (and won) two. It's a one game deal and it stands out. Pink... not so much.
     
  10. BDHuff09

    BDHuff09 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    9
    I agree. A friend of mine and I were having this discussion the other day.. He was diagnosed with leukemia at age 16. He doesn't understand Why the NFL doesn't have players wear orange for a game for leukemia research, or even gold for childhood cancer support. In my opinion these players are a bigger deal to the kids than they are to adult women.
     
  11. MabryPsyD

    MabryPsyD Dr. G.

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2013
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    88
    Well, the goal is to raise awareness. We're talking about breast cancer on the Service Academy Forums. I'd say its effective.

    "There's no such thing as bad publicity..."
     
  12. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,807
    Likes Received:
    444
    So what? In theory, raising awareness should equate to prevention and more donation, but does it happen?

    My DD soccer team purchased individual pink game shirts. Not sure how much money was spent, I would have preferred a donation to breast cancer research than buying pink t shirts.
     
  13. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    35
    With regards to the Pink at NFL games, I find that it is a bit too commercial for me. It is almost seems like the NFL is trying to benefit from Breast Cancer Awareness than the other way around.

    For a league that fines players for wearing their socks the wrong way, having the pink towels, the pink penalty flags, etc. just screams corporate at me.

    The most meaningful thing I saw (and it was only a 2 second shot) was a KC player (don't even remember who) that had the ribbon carved into his haircut (only noticeable when he removed his helmet). To me that says I thought about the cause and have taken a personal interest, not just put on the pink things the coaches passed out. I imagine that if he carved the wrong athletic company logo into his haircut, he would have been fined.

    And yes, these days the success of the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign does crowd out many other (and some bigger) preventable causes of death - drinking and driving comes to mind here. But responsible drinking doesn't sell well especially when the beer commercials are paying the bills.

    Just had a co-worker lose his wife to colon cancer this weekend - another highly preventable killer that is struggling to get attention. I guess the ta-tas are a bit more tasteful and successful than the "real men wear gowns" campaign that I've seen for promoting colon cancer screening.

    Hats off to the Breast Cancer Awareness folks. Just be careful as the over commercialization of the effort can be numbing after a while.

    As to the sporting events where they thank the vets, I feel a lot better about it if they actually invite a color guard for the national anthem and use that as the vehicle to promote respect for our flag and those who defend it. Otherwise, I find it to be almost a corporate branding of the cause, which cheapens it in my mind similar to the Pink at NFL games.
     
  14. osdad

    osdad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    746
    Likes Received:
    27
    Some statistics:

    Breast cancer: incidence = 123.8/100K women, mortality = 22.6/100K
    Colon: incidence = 52.2 (m), 39.3 (f), mort = 19.6, 13.9
    Pancreas: 13.9/10.9, 12.5/9.6
    Prostate: 152, 23

    What this is telling me is that many more women get breast cancer and men get prostate cancer than colon or panc but they die from it at a much lower rate. (Source)

    So should our focus be on the cancers that strike more folks or on the ones that a more lethal?

    Regarding the "honor our service men and women", it's like Chris Rock using the N-word, if you use it in every sentence it looses its impact. I feel the same about singing our national anthem and God Bless America at every baseball game. Why? What does a gathering of people for a sporting event have to do with anything of national importance?
     
  15. Bullet

    Bullet Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    994
    Likes Received:
    99
    Perhaps we should get Miley Cyrus to wear pink in her next Twerking video, then? :eek:

    Just Kidding.

    Look, I'm totally for getting attention to Breast Cancer as the wife of my previous cubicle mate (and good friend) wife just recently fought the disease (won that battle, and had a clean bill of health for two years, only to be recently diagnosed as having it spread throughout her body and into her brain. But that is another story). Bringing attention to one of the top killer diseases is important. I guess many think it is overboard when compared to other diseases, but like Mabry said, "all publicity is good publicity" (just ask "Jerry's kids, anothre example of getting attention towards a terrible disease).

    But as to the whole "Thank the Troops" issue? Yeah, it kind of does rub me a little raw whenever someone introduces me as a Veteran, and the first thing someone does is say "Thanks for your service", or the Yellow Ribbons on the bumper we all see everywhere. But I don't know the whole story about these folks; perhaps they have someone proudly serving in theri family, and they get what it means to serve and are thinking me for it.

    But the "let's honor our troops" at all the ballgames, where people stand up and cheer for about 15 seconds? Well, a part of me thinks that these folks are doing it out of guilt just a tad, thankful for our troops and guilty that they haven't served, so I better cheerly loudly when given the nudge to do so. Perhaps a better way than just recognizing some random troop at halftime or in the 7th inning stretch is to "pass the helmet" around the stands like they do for the firemen at thelocal street corner, or putting up information on the big board on how to donate to some worthy organization that helps the troops like Wounded Warrior, the USO, or the new "I've Got Your 6" campaign.

    So, do I mind the "pink" movement? Not so much. Do I get a little judgemental of the "Thank you for your service" comments. Well, I do (a little) at first because I think they do so out of guilt, but I quickly get over it and usually just respond "it was my honor to serve".
     
  16. pathnottaken

    pathnottaken Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2013
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    The reason the NFL does pink for breast cancer and not "Blue", or "Purple" is two fold. First the nice humanitarian reason, several people in the front office had family members affected by breast cancer so it is personal to them; second however is not so nice marketing reasons, the one group that the NFL needs to get a bigger share in viewership is women, so breast cancer is a nice way to reach out to women.
     
  17. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,750
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    And let me say this, I am VERY OK with "marketing" as a reason. Maybe that's why I'm so jaded. They don't HAVE to do anything. Private companies, partnerships, heck, even public companies have their operations and investors to think about first. Their decision-making should keep that in mind. If the opportunity arrises to do some good, and that good also benefits the organization, cool, go for it. I'm not advocating for selfless acts of companies (sure, it's good for individuals to think that way though).

    I'm sure the front office employees had more contact with survivors of other cancers. The breast cancer causes are just more organized and visible...
     

Share This Page