Monday, December 3, 2012

Who would have thought it...?

Those who know me know I don’t give a fig about most sports.

Football and baseball games, either in person or on TV, are just backdrops for socializing and eating with a large group of people – and my fascination for basketball waned once I no longer had a crush on the star of our high school team; in other words, a lifetime ago.

Golf seems like a pointless excuse to simply take a walk around a park. If you want to walk, just walk, for pete sake; you don’t have to whack a small ball and then go looking for it!
And, while I love the beauty and pageantry of figure skating, most of the music puts me to sleep before the first sow cow or triple toe leap (you can tell I've mastered the terminology, right?) – if I haven’t already given myself an ulcer worrying about whether the skater will crash brokenly in a heap - only to be pushed off the ice by the nearest Zamboni!!
So I was as surprised as anyone when the most interesting thing in the news this morning revolved around Bob Costas commentary during halftime of a football game. 

As I understand it, he basically paraphrased another sportswriter(Jason Whitlock) who wrote an opinion piece about the KC Chiefs decision to play on Sunday, barely one day after the suicide of a player on the team and the murder of his fiancee.
Here are excerpts of the column that Jason wrote:
  • Football is our God. Its exaggerated value in our society has never been more evident than Saturday morning in my adopted hometown. There’s just no way this game should be played.
  • I would argue that your rationalizations (about this decision) speak to how numb we are in this society to gun violence and murder. We’ve come to accept our insanity. We’d prefer to avoid seriously reflecting upon the absurdity of the prevailing notion that the second amendment somehow enhances our liberty rather than threatens it.
  • How many young people have to die senselessly? How many lives have to be ruined before we realize the right to bear arms doesn’t protect us from a government equipped with stealth bombers, predator drones, tanks and nuclear weapons?
  • Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.
  • *This is the message I wish Chiefs players, professional athletes and all of us would focus on Sunday and moving forward. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. But we won’t. We’ll watch Sunday’s game and comfort ourselves with the false belief we’re incapable of the wickedness that exploded inside Jovan Belcher Saturday morning.
Bob Costas, had the nerve to agree with him – which apparently pissed off a percentage of the football watching public.
But did you hear the cheer go up from all of us who work in an urban ER and know all too well how senseless - and tragic - all the deaths associated with gun violence are?
If all the 2nd Amendment nuts would like to enlist and actually be part of the "well regulated militia" the Constitution describes, maybe I'd pay more attention to their viewpoint. 
Until then, as far as I'm concerned,  they can shut up and sit down.
Never thought I’d say it – but, damn, those two sports guys are amazingly smart!

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