One thing this whole national insanity over the viral gift from China has taught me is that I do not need sports in my life. That new reality was really brought home to me last night as Major League Baseball opened its abbreviated, 60-game season. Or at least it’s supposed to last for 60 games – we’ll see if Anthony Fauci can’t kill that, too.
Don’t think Fauci and his fellow Democrats and their corrupt toadies in the news media won’t do everything they can to do that: Their entire goal here is to make you and every other American absolutely miserable going into Election Day, November 3. Having you miserable and desperate for change, any change, is the only way they can hope to get their isolated, increasingly senile nominee over the finish line.
I’ve been a rabid sports fan all my life, since my Daddy, who was himself a fine football player and athlete, taught me to love the Texas Longhorns and the Dallas Cowboys when I was about 5 years old. My first clear football memory is of watching the Longhorns beat Roger Staubach and Navy in the 1964 Cotton Bowl to secure the national championship for that season. That Staubach then went on to lead the Cowboys to two Super Bowl victories is one of those little synchronicities of my life.
My Dad was a high school football official for 30 years – until a heart condition forced him to the sidelines for good – and for a few years in my young adulthood I tried my hand at following in his footsteps. But I wasn’t much good at it because I would get too absorbed in watching the action to focus on my assignment. I was too much of a fan of football to officiate the game.
Growing up in Beeville, Texas, I was one of three Los Angeles Dodgers fans in a town of 13,000 Houston Astros fans. The Texas Rangers hadn’t been born yet, and nobody in South Texas cares about the Rangers to this day anyway. But I became a Dodgers fan when Dad and a friend took me to see the Astrodome one Saturday when the Dodgers were in town. We sat right behind the Dodgers’ dugout as Sandy Koufax tossed a masterpiece that night, and I was hooked forever.
In high school and college, I’d watch any sporting event I could find, either live or on TV. I was such a sports freak I’d even watch ice hockey in the grainy broadcasts on 19″ screens of the day, in which you couldn’t even see the puck and only had a vague idea of what was actually taking place. But hey, it was sports, and who cared, right? Right.
For the last 20 years or so of my life, the years have had three seasons: College football, which lasts from September 1 through the first week in January; obsessing about college football from January through the end of March; Baseball season, which starts April 1 and runs in my life through the end of August, when College football season starts all over again. I’d tune in to watch the baseball playoffs and World Series in October, but only at times when there was no college football to obsess about.
My fandom for the NFL began to wane a few years ago with the idolization of Colin Kaepernick, a spoiled, mediocre football player who suddenly decided America is a terrible place once he’d lost his staring QB job with the San Francisco 49ers. The absolute politicization about every aspect of the game that has followed has completely ended any affinity I have for the game of pro football now. I haven’t spent a moment of my life worrying about the Dallas Cowboys this off-season.
What I realized yesterday is that the same is true of Major League Baseball and even college football. Oh, I checked the score of the Dodgers/Giants game this morning, but in years past I wouldn’t have needed to do that because I’d have been up until midnight watching every pitch of the game. Last night, I went to bed before it started, so I missed the spectacle of every player and coach kneeling prior to the national anthem. During the anthem, Mookie Betts, a guy who had just signed a 12-year contract worth $360 million, and a few other players remained kneeling.
Over the last four months, I’ve been perfectly content without sports in my life. For one thing, it’s left me more time to write, so I’m suddenly a more productive person. Go figure. I’ve also been spending much more time with my darling wife, which is an enduring blessing.
I no longer need sports in my life. And if I’ve reached that realization about myself, I can only imagine that millions of other formerly-rabid sports fans have arrived there as well.
Mookie should be glad he signed his life-altering deal – made possible by the fact that he lives in the greatest nation ever conceived by mankind – when he did, because the money machine that made that payout possible is probably about to take a very big hit.
That is all.
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