BREAKING SPORTS NEWS: I Ate Inside A Restaurant!


NOTE: Cam James is stepping in for Cheesy Bruin, who as reported yesterday, had a softball in his throat. Not kidding.

GUNNISON, CO – I ate INSIDE a restaurant. Yes. I ate inside a restaurant yesterday here in ‘ol Gunnison. After days of tenting, hiking, not showering and afternoon drinking I ate breakfast in a diner among other Coloradans. The burrito itself was a microcosm of hope. A one-pound tortilla-wrapped pill containing all that is good in the world. Smothered pork in a green chile lube to wash it down.


It was truly a religious experience to consume. Aside from the food itself, it was equally uplifting to hear the snippets of conversation about the upcoming cattle drives, fishing trips, and all other matters of rural Colorado. The Cook’s smile radiated under the glow of the heat lamp. The tchotchke signs lining the walls were a reminder that bad taste is always welcome over no taste at all. The sound of the coffee grinder was a concerto of life-not-recently-lived, reminding my wife and me that there is indeed progress and we will all be okay soon enough.

No… Not that Cook’s smile.

BUT THEN, all of this normally-nominal-nuance-turned-spiritual-outlet came crashing down when I turned on my phone. In the three days I was off the grid, my good friend in Denver was barricaded in his apartment due to violent protestors getting teargassed outside. The safety of my family in Minneapolis was immediately in question. L.A. looked like 1992. Then It hit me that I smelled like I haven’t showered in three days. While a shower could clean the physical filth off me it could not clean the stains recently imprinted upon me by the evils of society.

In the pandemic thousands lost their lives. Millions more, like my smiling cook, lost their ability to make a living. Those people made sacrifices, whether voluntary or involuntary, for the greater good. Even more lost through fear. Fear of death. Fear of loss. Fear of the unknown. Through that loss we became closer together as a society through Zoom calls, howling on porches, social distancing happy hours, etc. So why is it we can control our reactions to having lost something as opposed to having something taken?

The emotional response when someone or something is taken is such that you feel as if you need to take something to replace that which was taken. The catch is, there is nothing you can take that will fill that void. Furthermore, the action of taking is to have paid forward the pain by emptying another lowly vessel of something sacred.

I in no way can relate to being an African-American in our country. However, I can relate to having someone taken from me by police violence.

In March my best friend of twenty years was killed by police under extremely suspect circumstances. He is white. The officers have not been arrested. It has been two months and the result of the independent investigation has yet to be delivered. Did he do something wrong? Yes. Should he have been killed? No. Do I want justice for the officers involved? Yes. Will I get it? Likely not. Like so many others, he was taken from us. Not lost.

The things that I have felt in the last couple of months have made me want to take a lot of things. I know for a fact my hometown cops are corrupt. They have proven it through numerous high profile incidents wherein they have taken from the local community. Being a thousand miles away from my hometown made the inability to try and take something even more frustrating. The helplessness is something that I am still dealing with. That same distance is a blessing in that it prevented an immediate acute overreaction.

Knicks, Riots, Dennis Cook, St Louis Blues, Cam_James, Meet_The_Matts, Back Country Cafe

Rioting is an immediate acute overreaction. Rioting will not change our reality. It will only serve to take homes, jobs, and a sense of safety and innocence from people across this country. Those who have something taken during this time will only serve as the next empty vessel looking to take something themselves. That something could be a job, a home, a life, or most likely a favorable vote in conjunction with open-mindedness.

If you are finding yourself in such a place that you must take something, take time to help someone in need. Take a trip to where the is no cell service and take time for yourself. Take a class to learn a new skill that could benefit yourself or others in your community. Take a trip to your local burrito shop and savor every second of it, while over-tipping your service. Just don’t use social circumstance to take from others.

To fix our social failures, we need to come together in the streets and build each other up as if the Knicks had won the NBA title. Unlike the Knicks winning a championship, eliminating police brutality is a winnable fight. It starts with every one of us stopping the cycle of pain within ourselves, becoming more active in our communities, and advocating for change peacefully.

And with that I leave it to you. Feel free to comment below and come back tomorrow for someone Junoir Blaber, who will no doubt have some solid insight on current events.

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About the Author ()

Cam James hails from Missouri and is a down-the-line St. Louis fan: Rams, Cards, Blues... Thus his occasional "Ram Rules" column. He hates Kansas basketball, lives in Denver, been a wrestler, dabbled in Ultimate Fighting and plays hardball. Oh, and he's Opie Taylor white.

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