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I was wondering about the origin of that term, playing the heel.
I see the wrestling component, and maybe it is an original term for that.
But it certainly brought to mind Jacob's name in the Old Testament. Jacob/James means "He takes by the heel, or he cheats" which became an idiom for a trickster or deception. He was grabbing his brother's heel when he was born, and his life of deception (stealing the inheritance) earned him that moniker.
And certainly it appears in Genesis 3 when the promised Messiah will be stuck in the heel by the deceiver, but then crush his head with that heel. In any case, you don't want to be associated with the heel, even Achilles will tell you that.
I think (like with your follow up about Tony Dungy), people need to realize that they can be as upstanding as possible, but people will call you the most horrible of things if you believe the Bible. So don't think not playing the heel itself will lead to a peaceful life.
Being the heel means saying what most of us are thinking but are too polite to say in many cases. A leftist can be a heel all the time and get away with it but a conservative cannot usually. So your 16 minute read condensed.
I want so often to say things and with my wife, for sure I get into trouble for saying them at times, and it would be nice to get credit for things I never said that I wanted so badly to say. To your point about it working sometimes and citing everyones "lovable little fur ball" Rush Limbaugh, gosh I miss him. I have no talk radio I can listen to anymore for more than about 20 minutes. He was one of a kind!
Random thought--Is this why "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" has been a standard in American literature? You could find a lot of other First Great Awakening literature, even by Jonathan Edwards. Are they letting Christianity play the heel from the beginning?
Turning 38 this June, sheesh that Coda hit hard.
I am reminded of your comments on how social media can lure people like Jordan Peterson into defining themselves by the reactions they get, leading them to go more and more over-the-top, etc.
Likewise, public online figures think they need to produce instant commentary on current events, even when prudence would dictate waiting until more facts have been produced, e.g. in a criminal investigation.
We need to engage in meta-thinking, e.g. What effect does the internet age have on me? What effect does the 24-hour news cycle have on me?