42 People Who Need a Stern Talkin-To (Who Aren’t named Hope Solo)

hope lede
He gets just enough of the save to keep the match level!

I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.

Well, okay. I’m not happy. I noticed Hopey Solo – I mean, Hope – trending on Twitter the other night. That can’t be good, I thought. And it wasn’t. Turns out, Boo got suspended for six months for mouthing off after a shootout loss to Sweden in the World Cup.

The USWNT also terminated her contract. She called the Swedes “cowards” for their conservative tactics in a tied match against the U.S. I disagree with her. In my eyes, Sweden played legal tactics that give them the best chance at winning.

Hope’s diatribe was only words. No mammals were traumatized. Amphibians either. It might have lacked class, but Hope responded honestly to a question.

For it to cost her a contract? Absurd. It’s societal. We want to condemn others for their worst, while lauding ourselves at our best. Hope’s been in trouble before. She’s also a huge part of America’s No. 1 ranking and a hero for young girls everywhere.

I didn’t say perfect role model. I find her punishment harsh and cowardly, honestly. We’re quick to condemn and suspend and take the names of American historical figures off monuments and schools because of something they said or did.

I used to vet authors I chose for quotes at the end of my posts. You know, make sure he or she doesn’t have ties to ISIS or David Duke or the American Pork Council. But you know what? Brilliant words aren’t brilliant conditionally.

Brilliant words carry their own brilliance. They could come from a dictator, a vegan, even a raiders player. Yeah, I’m that serious. I might quote Bill Cosby or Andrew Jackson or even Rob Gronkowski. Let their words stand on their own, despite their collective deeds.

Similarly, let’s give Hope Solo some space. She’s been given plenty, and has taken more, from her women’s professional team. You know, she does deserve a stern talking-to. Here, though, are 42 people, off the top of my head, who also could use one.

And they ought to take a number ahead of Hopey, if you ask me.

photo credit: Washer door via photopin (license)

1. Whoever said you have to separate your darks and lights in laundry.

2. Whoever’s responsible for the naming convention and color codes for feminine hygiene products.

3. The dude who first spit tobacco juice into a Mountain Dew bottle.

4. The dude who designed the Cleveland Browns’ new uniforms.

5. The person who suggested it would be stellar if the skinny guy from Maroon 5 made animal noises whenever he ran out of lyrics in his songs.

6. Any person who has installed a big-ass speaker in a car that rattles.

photo credit: Elia backbox via photopin (license)

7. The inventor of those loud mufflers kids like to supe their cars up with.

8. Whoever says you get 18Mbps, but when you run a speed test, and you get 1.5Mbps.

9. The joker who proposed to Pippa Middleton.

10. The McDonald’s cashier (and her buddy at Bojangles) who wouldn’t let me pour Coke Zero in a sweet tea cup.

11. The genius behind minor-league mascot names such as those for Modesto Nuts, Macon Whoopee and Biloxi Shuckers.

12. The person who makes up the fine print on coupons.

back to school
photo credit: Can’t Believe Summer is Over via photopin (license)

13. Anyone who hangs up Back to School Sale signs in July.

14. The mouth that DeAngelo Williams has become.

15. Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford, who asked for a trade when his team drafted another QB.

16. Whoever decided a smartphone keyboard should fit entirely under a sugar wafer.

17. The NFL, for charging full price for preseason games.

18. Whoever decided grownup silverware shouldn’t have cartoon characters’ heads on the end of the handle.

fried rice
photo credit: Thai fried rice lunch at Sabai in Richmond via photopin (license)

19. Whoever forgot to put pork in fried rice.

20. The very first tailgater. (It might have been Barney Rubble, or a jerk Roman on a chariot.)

21. The guy at the carnival who pulls out a half a stuffed banana toy after you successfully pop three balloons with a dart (when they have huge stuffed California Raisins stuck up all over the place)

22. Whoever forgot to put railings on tall playground equipment when my kids were little (I was the guy running under them like a cheerleading spotter on crack)

23. The inventor of fat-free Ranch dressing.

24. Disc jockeys who insisted on talking about 50 Shade of Gray during morning commute with the kids.

photo credit: So many time… via photopin (license)

25. Anyone who leaves troll comments on HuffPo pieces.

26. John Hinkley Jr.

27. The dude who walked up to me at Lazy 5 Ranch and said, “Puerto Rican?” (I should have said, ‘where??’)

28. The EpiPen price setter. Jerk.

29. The setter of health insurance deductables.

30. Whoever took Home Economics and Wood Shop out of the school curriculum.

photo credit: Kaepernick via photopin (license)

31. Colin Kaepernick, for not standing.

32. Anyone who doesn’t understand why it’s un-American to not defend Kaepernick’s right to express himself this way.

33. People who drive in the breakdown line during a traffic jam.

34. Anyone who yelled “Zika!” at Hopey in the Olympics.

35. Dog fighters. And I don’t mean war-plane pilots.

36. Newsie types who call terrorist leaders ‘masterminds.’ Why romanticize it?

fire lane
photo credit: park here via photopin (license)

37. People who park in fire lanes.

38. Whoever snuck in that code that automatically spams your friends when you download a new app.

39. Soccer parents convinced a team that whoops their kids’ team’s ass MUST be evil and cheating.

40. Whoever made the bubble soccer video that made it look amazing.

41. The dude who flicked a cigarette out the window today on Interstate 20 East.

42. The kid who stole my Tyrannosaurus Rex in second grade from the side of our house. (I hope he bit you.)

hope solo quote


  1. rachel says:

    what do you have against tailgating?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Nothing against the kind that smells like barbecue. Everything against the one that includes a car behind me so close I can’t see headlights (and can tell if the driver needs a nose-hair trim)

      1. rachel says:

        ahhh…duh! 😂

  2. Mary Lou says:

    I love this, Eli! Shared on Facebook. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Mary Lou! I appreciate the share on Facebook, too.

  3. Angela Millsaps says:

    Hopey is lucky to have you standing in her corner. I will meet you anywhere for my stern talking to…several of those are me up and down. Thank you for the laugh this morning! Such a great writer and even greater man!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think the kids call it bae. if three or more of these apply to you, there’s a special code you get for expedient handling and scheduling of your talking to.

      Glad to supply some laughs. I’ll settle for decent writer and not so horrible dude.

  4. Those are some great observations. ☺

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      They just sorta rolled out on the keyboard, you know?

      1. I do know…and I love when that happens. ☺

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        It’s better than when they accidentally give you a drink cup at McDonald’s instead of a water cup, even.

  5. Kathy G says:

    Whoo! Feel better now? 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I feel … light.

  6. I agree with you about the over-reactive response to Hope. When I become empress of the universe I’m initiating a policy where everyone needs to take 3 deep breaths before doing anything. Clearly more oxygen will help up sanity levels, don’t you think? On my list of people who need a stern talking to I’d add the inventors of those impossible-to-open rigid clamshell boxes. If they insist on continuing to manufacture them, then they should at least supply bandages for those of us who end up injuring ourselves.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Yes, what are they thinking with those boxes? And us, we humans. So quick to condemn. It’s like a race to PCism. I’d rather take our time.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I purposely left both presidential candidates off the list, Wendy. They were given!

  7. ksbeth says:

    #18 is my favorite and still rankles me every time it take a fork out of a drawer ) p.s. the detroit lions sell pre-season game tickets for a dirt cheap price. we usually go every year for 9$ or less –

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      i’d have the flintstones or woody woodpecker on my silverware, beth. i could even deal with phineas and ferb on some spoons.

      i love that the lions do that. in so many nfl cities, fans never get to see the home team. except for jacksonville. they make kids who misbehave in class sit on the 50 yard line.

  8. suzjones says:

    Great list. Personally I’m over people finger pointing and calling names….
    And I hope the kid was bitten by the T-Rex 😉

  9. laurie27wsmith says:

    Still here I see Mate.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      My brother. How are you?

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        I’ve been better Mate but I’m still kicking. It’s been something of a rough trot over the past 10 months. There’s a need to find the bits that are missing in me, although I think the ones that drove me to write have vanished. Even photography is dying on the vine. Enough of my gloom, you seem to be motoring on. Hope all is well with you and the girls. Cheers, Laurie.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        There you are, mate. You’re thought of often. My prediction is those bits for photography and writing will resurface in time, stronger than ever.

        It keeps rolling around here, with a different cast of characters than you probably remember.

        The girls are good, mate. I’ll email you.

      3. laurie27wsmith says:

        Nice to be thought of. One day you reckon? It’s always good to have a change of cast. Looking forward to hearing from you.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        I hope that one day is tomorrow, mate.

  10. Kisma says:

    Lol, these are great! Thanks for the wonderful read this morning Eli!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad you like them, Tiffy. I try to deliver the literary equivalent of a free breakfast at a Hampton Inn.

      1. Kisma says:

        This is waaaay better than any free breakfast at a hotel I have ventured into. 😉

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Even ones with Froot Loops and cheese danish, Tiffany?

      3. Kisma says:

        I’v never been in to turn down a cheese Danish, yum! Hopefully fresh ones!

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        It’s dairy and probably some other important food group, Tiff. It’s practically good for you.

  11. elleseesyou says:

    Hehe, I had to do a double-take at the tailgaiting one. Maybe bc I’m from the South, but I thought about football games and grilling out, not cars. Definitely the latter!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      You’re not the only one who got the tailgate stuff mixed up, Elle. For the record, I do love the southern idea of a tailgate. It’s almost God’s season, and by God’s season, I mean barbecue season, here in Carolina.

  12. LOL! No. 6 is hilarious. I’ve seen many big speakers in this part of the world too.(≧∇≦*)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Right? It feels like cooking a steak, then dropping it on the floor, and serving it on a plank of plywood.

  13. Rorybore says:

    And what about that “weiner” politician guy who keeps trying to live up to his name, despite getting constantly caught? Like dude… is it really that magnificent? Or all the people leaving hateful comments to his long suffering and oft publicly humiliated wife? (thank God she is finally leaving him though — ha – not so cocky now are you idiot?!)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Stern talkings to haven’t helped Anthony Weiner so far, Les. It’s not about the magnificence, I imagine. It’s a flavor of narcissism.

  14. mocadeaux says:

    Your list made me laugh and say “Hell, yes!” I hate that Kaepernick won’t stand but I defend his right to do so. And why is it that we can never come up with the perfect response to someone’s stupidity (the guy at the Lazy 5 Ranch) until after the fact?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Glad it had that effect, Mo. I wish more people could understand that we don’t have to agree with someone’s stance to respect their right to have it.

      I’m so used to the “Guess My Race?” game. I’m not really offended. Now, if he knocks my sandwich out of my hand … that’s fightable.

  15. stomperdad says:

    Thanks for including Kaepernick. I think he’s getting his causes confused.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Well, he definitely made his way onto the list, Eric. I can’t help but think a young man, if feeling so convicted, could act out in a more productive way.

  16. Lulu says:

    That’s a very inclusive list! I like your broad-mindedness. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I raked humanity with diversity in mind, Lu. If we spread the love, conversely, we must also spread the consternation.

  17. Vinny Idol says:

    I agree that there is a double standard with women’s athletes and men athletes. Men are rewarded for brashness and self centered behavior, while women are punished for it. However, hope solo needs to chill out for a bit, that domestic violence thing with her was enough. And I actually like her.

    As for your list; I think its funny, and I agree with a lot of it. #5 and #13 are the ones that always irritated me.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      We’ve come a long way to bridge the divide in gender in sports, but there’s much to do. Sure, Hope’s not perfect, but who among us is? I hope the time away will do her some good.

      Early Maroon 5 songs were decent, you know? There’s one he just sings “ooo oh oh … ooo oh oh … ooo oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh” for like 17 minutes. Waterboarding instead, please.

  18. Vinny Idol says:

    Yes, we do. I have alot of sisters,and they all play sports. So, this issue is a soft spot for me. I agree; I think hope needs a break. Yes, I loved” this love” or whatever its called, by maroon 5. HAHAHA; i thought i was the only one who hates todays pop warbles.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I feel sorry for my kids, Vinny. Their oldies stations are going to suck!

  19. Vinny Idol says:

    Definitely agree with that. Im only 28, but I sing my heart out to 70’s and 80’s songs more than todays current crap. My dad would always play classic rock for me as a kid.lol

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      My dad played an oldies program on Saturday nights – my sister and I grew up liking Paul Anka, The Lovin Spoonful and Chicago.

      1. Vinny Idol says:

        Your dad seems like a fun guy. My dad definitely is.lol

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Dads kind of rock, Vinny.

      3. Vinny Idol says:

        My dad an I had a lot of rough patches, but we’ve always gotten along. so, yes, I agree.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        Me too, with mine, Vinny.

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