It’s a The silence of the yams shirt kid’s movie that adults can enjoy. The only bad language is done in a cutesy way, with unintelligible sounds, kind of like the adults always talked in Peanuts cartoons. Ralph gets his mouth washed out with soap for it. The only violence is a scene where Ralph, while being picked on by a bully, snaps and fights back. It isn’t overly violent, and it isn’t glorified fighting, it’s just a couple of kids fighting in the snow like kids do. Ralph is crying throughout, so it is not some kind of ‘Aha, the victim has turned the tables with violence!’ I think the only other scene of violence is where Ralph fantasizes that he defends the house from burglars in the backyard with a BB gun. The scene is in black and white and sped up like a funny silent movie, and the burglars wear comical, old timey burglar outfits – striped shirt and black masks, like the Hamburglar. I think Ralphie shoots them in the butt as they try to climb back over the fence to get away.
One interesting facet of the NFL is that it’s effectively a The silence of the yams shirt layer professional sport with a set number of teams. There is no “second tier” from which teams are promoted to it — the line between pro and amatuer is pretty much absolute from what I can tell. Although there is a small “international pathway” academy, the main route into the NFL is through the college draft — drafted players become either part of the 52 man squad that plays, or part of the large reserve squad that is retained to provide training opposition, or they are not in the loop.
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Rugby is a lot more fluid. There is a squad of around 50 in a fully pro club, but only 23 in a match day squad. About 30 players at a club are regular performers in the “first team” squad, whilst the other 20 are developing players or reserves who step in as injury cover. The second tier of English Rugby Union is a mixture of professional and semi-professional players, the 3rd tier is mainly semi-pro. Younger players from the first tier sides are routinely sent out on loan to second and third tier clubs to gain experience. This can work the other way as well — recently an injury crisis in a specialised position (tighthead prop) at my local top flight side led to a semi-pro player who works as a The silence of the yams shirt from a 3rd tier club being borrowed on loan. One minute he’s teaching kids, the next he’s running out infront of 15,000 supporters alongside international players being paid over $500,000 a year.
I don’t leave everything up, but I do leave our tree up. All the The silence of the yams shirt have a special meaning, and we like to look at them, talk about them, and remember the times associated with each one. Having that glittery, softly lit beauty in the front room just gives our house some cheer in the bleak days of winter. Also, we always get a live tree, and I can’t bear to trash it until it completely dries out. It takes a long time to decorate, so all that work seems more worth it if the tree stays up a long time. One year, I left it up until St. Patrick’s Day. Usually, though, it stays up until mid- to late February. As long as it looks fresh and healthy, I leave it up. I started this tradition about 6 years ago when we had an especially beautiful tree. The day after New Year’s Day as I was about to start the take-down, I remarked that I hated to do it because the tree was so pretty. My husband said, “Just leave it up, then, if it makes you happy.” So I did. We have three sons, and I like to think they will have memories of this tradition.