In her new book, The Family Dinner, Laurie David talks about the importance of families making a ritual of sitting down to dinner together, and how family dinners offer a great opportunity for meaningful discussions about the day's news. "Dinner," she says, "is as much about digestible conversation as it is about delicious food."
We couldn't agree more. So HuffPost has joined with Laurie to launch a new feature we're calling HuffPost Family Dinner Downloads. Every Friday afternoon, just in time for dinner, our editors highlight one of the most compelling news stories of the week -- stories that will spark a lively discussion among the whole family.
The family can gather around the laptop, smartphone, or iPad -- or just print out the post and pass it around the table. Each Dinner Download will end with a question or two that we hope will get everyone thinking and sharing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
* * *
Last Sunday, a coach for the New York Jets tripped a player for the Miami Dolphins in the middle of a play during the two teams' football game. The Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi deliberately stuck out his knee as Miami's Nolan Carroll was running up the field, causing him to tumble to the ground. There was nearly universal outcry at the coach's unsportsmanlike behavior, and, given that it was caught on film, the coach had no choice but to offer a full-throated apology for the action, saying "I made a mistake that showed a total lapse in judgment. My conduct was inexcusable and unsportsmanlike and does not reflect what this organization stands for." As punishment, the NFL suspended the coach for the rest of the season without pay, and fined him $25,000.
Why do you think there was such a large uproar over this incident? You've heard of 'sportsmanship' before -- how do you think this incident illustrates the importance of that concept? A common sports expression is, "winning isn't everything, it's the only thing" -- does that philosophy justify any action taken to win a competition? What does an action like this have in common with the epidemic of steroid use in baseball? What are some things that people do in other areas of life that you think are similar to the coach's behavior in this incident?