BRONX, NY – As the “Angry Ward Wednesdays” dwindle down to a precious few (more on this in a week or so), I’ll try to keep today’s offering short and to the point.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball. One of the oldest maxims in sports is, “keep your eye on the ball.” And I can’t help but think about it every time I hear another person railing against National Anthem protocol or which statues are or aren’t offensive. It’s amazing to me how easy it is to get people to chase shiny objects when bigger picture items like racial and social injustice, taking care of sick people, and being good to one another get lost in the shuffle. Also, why is it always the people who never served in the military a day in their lives and most likely have pounded beers through many a singing of the National Anthem, are the first to wrap themselves in the flag. Show me someone sporting a “Support Our Troops” magnet on the back of their SUV and/or invoking the name of former Arizona Cardinal Pat Tillman as an example of an NFL player who proved his patriotism by making the ultimate sacrifice, and nine times out of ten, I’ll show you someone whose troop support goes about as far as a free magnet and who never read a single word about Tillman from those who knew him best. Keep your eye on the ball, people.
The Warriors are Golden with Me. As a guy who’s pretty much based his entire sports-rooting life pulling for the underdog, I totally get why people have it out for the Golden State Warriors. From smug ownership to too many superstar players to just about everything Draymond Green does, there’s a lot of reasons to hate this team. But now that Donald Trump has told them that they are NOT invited to the White House, c’mon, you gotta love these guys a little bit. Even their sworn enemy, LeBron James, kinda likes them now. Go ahead, it feels good. By the way, I think Trump got his preemptive break-up idea from an old episode of Seinfeld, but I’m sure someone had to tell him about it.
This Week in Baseball. I attended my first baseball game of the season Monday afternoon. It was a 4:10 pm make-up game against the Braves, and fairly deserted. But my brother had gotten my daughter a membership in the Mets Kids Club as a Christmas present (which in retrospect seems like a gag gift) and this included getting her name up on the scoreboard. Better late than never! So, me, the wife, the kid, and Big Bro went out to Shea Shack and had a pretty good time. Although paying 25 smackers for parking for a beyond-meaningless game seemed cruel and unusual, as did the continued presence of ushers on the field level checking tickets despite the fact that no one was there. The Mets will never learn how to do things right, and that speaks to the bigger issue. This was the first summer in decades that I went to only one baseball game, it easily could have been ZERO. This from a guy not all that far removed from going to 10-15 games (Mets, Yanks, and other teams) a season. Apparently, you beat me down enough with high prices and a joyless experience and I get the message. Who knew? Football is well on its way to my doghouse, as well. I doubt things will change for the better, but will try to find solace in Columbia University Football, horse racing at Belmont, and other fun outdoor activities.
So much for keeping this thing short and to the point. Come back tomorrow for Eagles fan Buddy Diaz, who was clearly named after Buddy Ryan.