TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; How is it that everybody knows (other than Islamic extremists and the National Football League) how incredibly stupid it was to tell 49er quarterback Alex Smith he canand#8217;t wear a Giants baseball cap ninety minutes before, or after, a football game?
Al-Qaida has not claimed responsibility for threatening to penalize Alex Smith $15,000 for appearing in an interview with the blasphemous cap on his head. If it were up to them theyand#8217;d probably chop off his head. But, far be it from me to give the killers of innocent women and children a bad name. It is only my baseless assumption that they think the 49er infidel is guilty of some gross moral violation.
But, religious extremists and the NFL do have something in common. They both think they can tell people what they can and cannot wear, and when they can and cannot wear it. And, apparently, they both think their dress code serves some higher purpose.
If anything, rather than single out Alex Smith, extremists may find it useful to point to the NFLand#8217;s dress code to prove their rusty old claim that America is the Great Satan.
The petty attempt by the NFL to punish Alex Smith cannot be compared to the barbaric practices of religious extremism, but Iand#8217;m making the comparison anyway.
Blame it on that irritating thing called free speech.
Yes, it is absurd to compare the NFL to al-Qaida, or the Taliban, which is precisely why I am making the comparison. It is totally absurd for the NFL to have a problem with Alex Smith wearing a Giantand#8217;s baseball cap to an interview, especially since itand#8217;s October Quest and the Giantand#8217;s (and the 49ers) are doing so well. His wearing the cap was a perfectly innocent example of celebrating the special camaraderie and good fortune of San Francisco professional sports, not to mention the fact that when Smith decided to wear the baseball cap he probably thought he was living in a free country.
Thatand#8217;s what you get for being free Alex, and for showing your support for another bay area sport and having a good time and#8212; the threat of a $15,000 fine!
I see no reason for the NFL dress code. As for covering women from head to toe, I suspect there is more to it than simple religious tradition. One theory is that women have sex appeal and men donand#8217;t, and men are too weak, or too egotistical, to resist women, so women are covered and men can wear whatever they want. Itand#8217;s the womenand#8217;s job to keep men under control, at least in public. Itand#8217;s all very unnecessary to infidels like us.
I doubt if there is a specific dress code for moral growth and admission to Heaven.
Religious militants think the killing they are doing will get them into Heaven. But they will be surprised when they hear Allah say, and#8220;I didnand#8217;t create religions and governments to punish people for being free. I didnand#8217;t create free speech as an excuse for you to kill people, and you donand#8217;t have the right to kill people who donand#8217;t share your opinion, nationality and religion. And how am I supposed to know who the women are at the Pearly Gate if I canand#8217;t see their faces? Thereand#8217;s no dress code in Heaven. Chill out!and#8221;
There I go again, talking as if I understand this world and the after life. Donand#8217;t we all?
There are a lot of things in this world that donand#8217;t make any sense. But far be it from me to presume to know what does make sense, though I am happy to make my contribution.
Iand#8217;d like to take a dip in the lake and walk into Jakeand#8217;s in just my bathing suit, dripping wet with a towel around my neck. That would be within the local dress code, wouldnand#8217;t it?
If I see women not fully covered I will not impose a dress code. But, if they are fully covered, I will have to act. I will inform them that they must show some skin from one hour after sunrise to one hour before sunset, or pay me $15,000.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.