Jeff Pearlman

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Cookies and heroes

Griner

Griner

Imagine, for a moment, if you hated chocolate chip cookies.

You thought they were disgusting.

You thought they were nasty.

You thought the world would be better served without chocolate chip cookies.

Then, one day, you’re bleeding to death, and the only thing within reach is a chocolate chip cookie. You grab it, place it atop your wound and—against all odds—the blood ceases to ooze and you live.

From that moment on, you’d never say a bad word about chocolate chip cookies. No, they might not be your favorite. But you’d at least respect them and wish them well.

Right?

Right?

Back in June, a Louisiana congressman named Steve Scalise was shot at a Virginia baseball field. He nearly died, and one of the people who helped save his life was Officer Crystal Griner, a member of the Capitol Police Department. Griner was working as part of the congressman’s security detail that day, and was shot in the ankle trying to protect Scalise. Later on, Donald Trump noted that, “Many lives would have been lost if not for the heroic actions of the two Capitol Police officers who took down the gunman despite sustaining gunshot wounds during a very, very brutal assault.”

Now, in the line of duty it matters not that Griner is openly gay. She had a job to do, she did it. Period. Sexuality? Not an issue.

What is an issue, however, is that this coming week Scalise will be a featured speaker at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit. The FRC, led by the awful Tony Perkins, is stridently anti-gay, and invites presenters who share that viewpoint.

Yes.

Imagine being Griner. Are you not wondering why you took a bullet?

Imagine being Scalise. Are you not wondering where your principles went?

Imagine.

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Once again, Jeff Pearlman has produced an exhaustively researched, elegantly written book that re-creates one of the most colorful and memorable teams of the modern era. No basketball fan's bookshelf will be complete without it.

— Seth Davis, author of Wooden: A Coach's Life