The Sporting Life
Throughout the course of this year long adventure into the insanity of the “Wu-flu”,we have had so many things taken away from us. Obviously, a lot of people like myself have lost our jobs. I have been among the very fortunate in that I have been able to tap into my retirement funds and with the help of all the “government cheese” been able to keep my house and stay afloat, while so many people have lost their homes and businesses, and sadly their lives.
We have all lost something during this last year. A lot of people were not able to attend funerals for departed loved ones, you couldn’t attend church, and then even when you were allowed to attend, you weren’t allowed to sing. Sporting events were out of the question. Our freedom of movement was severely restricted, never before in history has society attempted to quarantine healthy individuals. On and on it went, restriction after restriction was instituted to contain the spread, flatten the curve, protect us all from this deadly virus. We even had the mayor of Los Angeles telling people what kind of sand they could walk on!
Whether or not you agree with all of these is not the real point of this blog, I myself choose not to live in fear. I look at ALL evidence that is out there, well at least all that hasn’t been censored, thankfully. I was able to gather a lot of information before the big tech oligarchs decided that they know what’s best for me. I’ll take my chances with the knowledge that I have a better than 99% chance of surviving, so if I take reasonable precautions, stay healthy, eat right and exercise, I’ll be just fine, thank you!
One of the things that I miss the most is sports. Certainly, the loss of personal freedom tops the list, but I have always been a bit of a sports junkie. When the major sports leagues decided to shut down, I understood it was all part of the hysteria surrounding the virus, even though these are highly trained athletes in the prime of their lives. Then the leagues figured out a way to play the games, but by then, for me at least, it was too late, the damage had been done. I was done with major league sports.
Sports for me has always been a part of my life. Growing up, we skied in the winter, played little league baseball, in the spring. We had pickup games playing football and basketball, all of the normal stuff kids did growing up in the 60’s and 70’s. I was a huge 49ers fan, reveling in their Super Bowl wins, and devasted when they lost. I was ecstatic when the Golden State Warriors finally won a championship after going so long without one. My brother and I loved the Warriors, we’d listen to Bill King doing play by play on the radio of that Rick Barry, Nate Thurmund championship team, while playing Nerf basketball in our garage. I remember scoring some primo tickets for a game during the “Run TMC” era and we were able to meet Al Attles. My brother won an awesome authentic Warriors jacket, that, even though was too small for me, I proudly wore to work the day after they won that second title. I remember all those great Celtic Laker series in the eighties, with Bird and Johnson, Parish and Kareem, McHale and Worthy squaring off in epic games of shear will and determination. I was a big Raiders fan as well. I worked for a few months at a deli in Santa Rosa just down the street from where the Raiders used to train at the El Rancho Tropicana, where I was able to meet a lot of the players I watched on Sunday Afternoons. Matusak, Matt Millen, Raymond Chester and Cliff Branch to name but a few. My little league teams were able to go to Oakland A’s games in the 70’s, when they were winning championships with Vida Blue, Blue Moon Odom, Reggie Jackson, all those guys. Then, when the Giants FINALLY won that first world series, I was in sports heaven. It just didn’t get any better than that. The whole bay area was brought together by these teams, it didn’t matter what your skin color was, or what your political beliefs were, none of that crap mattered. It was the one of the few things where people who were totally different from each other, and under normal circumstances would never interact with each other, could come together as friends. Major league sports were a true melting pot for society and it was great.
My issues with major league sports actually started before the pandemic. Now, before I go on any further, I have to say that I support wholeheartedly, and will defend wholeheartedly, the right of anyone to express their opinions. That is the whole purpose of this blog-site, to provide a forum for the free expression of ideas. That being said, whether they are sports stars or entertainment stars, there is obligation to assume the responsibility that comes along with fame. They have to realize the impact of their words and actions on people. When Colin Kaepernick decided to kneel during the national anthem, I was to say the least, disappointed by his actions. While he most certainly had the right to express his views, I felt it was wrong to do it on his employer’s time. If he wanted to express his opinions, he had more than enough money to buy airtime to voice his beliefs, especially if he teamed up with like thinking players. I let it slide and continued watching the N.F.L., but it changed me. I felt that they were using their platform to divide us, when sports had always been a such a uniting factor. You can speak your mind, no one ever said you can’t, no one ever censored Kaepernick. However, do it on your own time and on your own dime. You can say that he was blacklisted, and you are probably right. The N.F.L. has never been a league with the smartest, or unbigoted, or even non-hypocritical owners, and his victory after suing the N.F.L. proved that issue. Still, he stank on ice, once the league figured out that he was a one trick pony, he was done. Personally, and probably cynically, I think that he saw the writing on the wall and chose to be an activist, realizing that his football career was going down the drain, but that is just my opinion and not supported by any facts. You have a man who was raised by a white middle class family, telling us that he has been exploited and discriminated against because of his skin color. I think one thing people have to realize about a lot of major league professional athletes, especially in football and basketball, from the time they exhibit any talent at all, are scooped up by amateur organizations like the A.A.U. that provide for and pamper them. They are given an opportunity (if they choose to do so) for a FREE college education. For any of them to say that they have experienced what someone without all of that athletic talent, who grew up impoverished, is spurious at best. Look at Stephen Curry, his dad, Del Curry was a star in the N.B.A.. He grew up in a wealthy upper-class neighborhood. I remember seeing stories about Lebron James when he was thirteen years old, being courted by all the major colleges. Don’t tell me that these rich, pampered athletes have been discriminated against. Yes, a lot of them have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps out of poverty and these are incredible stories. But, because of the country they live in, and the freedoms they have, they have an opportunity that few others in the whole world have. If our country was systemically racist, then there would be no such opportunity, and it’s just because they can play A GAME! ONLY IN AMERICA! I think that is actually a pretty awesome thing. To denigrate that by calling America “systemically racist” is a slap in the face too all the rest of us who aren’t as physical gifted as they are. I know some of them will tell you that they get stopped by the police for no reason, other than the color of their skin. I am sure that this does, in fact happen. However, I also agree with Thomas Sowell and the late Walter Williams, that this isn’t because of racism, but it is more of a cultural issue. One that I will address in another blog. Suffice it to say that I think the idea that America is “systemically racist” is absurd, and I have plenty of information to back that up, as well as my thoughts on why that way of thinking is becoming so prevalent these days.
Next came Steve Kerr, the coach of the Warriors. When they were winning those championships, I would listen to him on sports radio. Thinking that he was a good guy, level headed, funny, a guy I would love to have a beer with. I disagreed with his stance on gun control, but I understood why he felt like he did after hearing about how his father died. I could respect his beliefs. Then I read a story where, while he was in China during a promotional tour with the team, he equated China to what was going on in the U.S., in regards to civil liberties and police brutality. My jaw dropped as I heard this. The C.C.P. in China is one of the most repressive totalitarian regimes EVER! They are committing GENOCIDE against the Uighur Muslims, the list of their atrocities is a long and sad one. If you want specifics, go to the Epoch Times or WION T.V. or N.T.D. news. Our main stream media won’t cover it because the companies that run the M.S.M. are either owned or in partnership with the C.C.P.. Universal/Comcast, for one has extensive ties to the Chinese government. I had to look at foreign sources of news or non-main stream sources to get the true story, but it’s out there, all you have to do is look. That was it for me and the N.B.A., I could not in good conscience watch or support anything or any person that took that stance. Then, Darryl Worley, the G.M. of the Houston Rockets, came out in support of the dissidents in Hong Kong, whose freedoms were being assailed by the C.C.P.. Wow! I thought this is refreshing considering the ties the N.B.A. has with China. LeBron James than comes out and says that Worley doesn’t understand what is really going on, and he needs to rethink his position. Oh! I get it now, Worley’s opinions might cost LeBron and the league serious money, after all he is teaming up with Disney and China to do that “Space Jam” movie, and the Association itself has extensive ties to China. The Freedom of the people in Hong Kong, or in China didn’t matter, only the billions of bucks to be made in a partnership with the Chinese government.
Fast forward to the whole B.L.M. movement that erupted in the summer. Okay, before we get to far, of course black lives matter. I can’t believe that it has to be said that ALL lives matter. B.L.M. as an organization however, stands for things that are un-American, anarchy, Marxism, the abolition of the traditional western nuclear family, all of which I found on their website before they purged it due to unfavorable publicity. When the riots happened over the death of George Floyd, and Jacob Blake being shot 7 times by police, I was stunned by the apparent actions of the police. I was appalled even though I knew these were isolated incidents that were being tried in the media before all the facts were in. Drew Brees, whose charity work in New Orleans after the hurricane Katrina made him a source of pride and inspiration for that city, was targeted for saying that all lives matter, and had his spine removed by the cancel culture. When I saw a picture of him with Jacob Blakes name on his helmet, I was thoroughly disgusted. Blake is an accused RAPIST whose girlfriend had to have a restraining order put on him, he resisted arrest and video showed him reaching for a knife! (By the way, has anybody seen the Chris Rock video “How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked By The Police”? It’s really funny, but it also makes a great point, cooperating with the police and obeying the law are pretty good methods for not getting hurt or killed for resisting arrest, which, by the way, camera footage shows both of those individuals doing!) Yet, the media made heroes and martyrs out of both of them. It was too much. I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy and basic bullshit coming out of the N.F.L. Soon all the other leagues, professional and collegiate fell in lockstep with the B.L.M., cancel culture mob, and it was at that moment that I was done with all of them. I was being called a racist by people, just because of the color of my skin! Wait a minute! Isn’t that the very definition of racism? I know one thing for sure, I’m not alone in my way of thinking, as the television ratings for all major sports have plummeted.
The problem is that I am still a sports junkie. What am I going to do to get my sports fix? I admit, I did watch most of the college football championship. I thought it was both funny and sad when they showed the crowd in a half-filled stadium, with cardboard cut-outs of fans in the stands, and noise being pumped in. I started listening in to sports radio for news of my once favorite teams, but instead of rooting for their success, I rooted for their failures, loving the fact that they were losing bucket loads of money. Karma is a bitch, right?
Still, where was I going to satisfy my sports jonesing? Well back in 2008 I started doing some martial arts, Kung-Fu mainly. I’ve always been a boxing fan, but after all the scandals of the 90’s and just the basic lack of real talent out there, with a few exceptions, I sort of let it slide out of mind. Then on a whim, I started watching videos of past fights, the first one being the Hagler/Hearns three round fight back in the 80’s. If you want to see some action, that is the ultimate, in those three rounds there is more action that in most twelve round fights today. I watched reruns of the two Alvarez/Golovko fights, and while they weren’t too bad, they were nothing in comparison to the Leonard/Hagler, and Leonard/Hearns fights. The 80’s were the golden age of welterweights, and middleweights, with Hagler, Hearns, Leonard and Durant providing amazing spectacles of great boxing. Even though I know the outcome of these fights, it doesn’t matter, I look at the strategies and how they fight, how they punch, studying these great fighters so that I might incorporate some of their tactics and ideas into my own martial arts studies.
I still will watch the occasional Nascar race, once a Ford guy, always a Ford guy, but that is on mainly as a filler as I do something else. I came to the realization that sports are no longer such an important thing to me, and I feel that there are a lot of people who feel the same way. That is truly sad, because what was once something that brought people from all walks of life together, has degenerated into divisiveness, dividing us even more than we already are. Will the major sports leagues do something about it? Only if they lose enough money I suppose. I gleefully read all the reports of tanking ratings and lost revenue, but I don’t see any of them changing anytime soon. The cancel culture has become too powerful for them to ignore. Big media drives their decisions, after all they are the ones shelling out billions of bucks, so that the superstar athletes can get their multi-million dollar contracts, and big media has embraced, wholeheartedly, the whole insane cancel culture ideals. I know that in the grand scheme of things, losing sports doesn’t rank very high in comparison to all of the really important things that have been taken away from us. It’s just symptomatic of our decline into divisiveness, and isolationism, where we are being encouraged to just stay at home, don’t socialize, don’t unite. Humans are social creatures however, and I think in the end, just as Jeff Goldblum’s character in the first Jurassic Park movie said, “nature finds a way”. I believe nature and humanity, will lead us back to sanity. As always…. ROCK ON Y’ALL!