The Rev Jesse Jackson found it necessary to insert himself into the discussion of stripping the Chicago Little League team of its United States Championship. Jackson wondered aloud if this was about boundaries or if this was about race. Given what has been reported, it surely seems as if the adults in charge of that tournament team knowingly went outside the limits of their district to recruit players for the team in the tournament. One report said that one of the kids lived about 10 miles outside the boundaries of the district. There is no evidence that the kids on the team participated in the external recruiting but one does have to wonder how they never noticed that there were kids on the tournament team they had not seen during their normal Little League season.
Therefore, it is pretty clear to me that there was some skullduggery going on with regard to the roster. And so, I would like to respond to Rev Jackson’s wondering aloud about this being about boundaries and not race. To respond, allow me first to present some words by the Rev Martin Luther King, Jr. from the “I Have A Dream” speech:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
The adults in charge of that Little League team cheated. I do not think that cheating is a race issue but I do think it is a character issue. I choose to judge those people on the basis of their character as evidenced by their behavior. Sadly, those adult cheaters with character flaws all their own behaved in a way that caused a bunch of kids to lose something they obviously treasured.
Later today, Manchester United meets Preston North End in the FA Cup tournament in England. The Preston Lilywhites are a League One team from the Lancashire area and they have a rabid fan who lives in South Africa. This fan – named Michael Jackson – seemingly puts an exclamation point on the statement that the word “fan” is short for “fanatic”. According to reports, here is what Jackson said about finding a way for him to get from South Africa to Deepdale – where this game will take place:
He offered to sell a kidney for a chance to see the game.
He offered to ride a giraffe for a chance to see the game.
He said he would swim from South Africa to the River Ribble – that river flows through Preston in England for those who are not geography majors.
League One is two levels below the English Premier League where Manchester United competes but Preston is solidly in fourth place in League One where there are 24 teams. I presume that Michael Jackson – the Preston fan and not the entertainer – will find a way to watch this game in South Africa unless of course he is astride a giraffe and riding north toward Deepdale, England at kickoff time…
I knew this was going to happen and I was on the lookout to see which team would pick up on it first. However, Gregg Drinnan found it first and had this item in Keeping Score last weekend:
“Minor league baseball’s Akron Rubber Ducks will play host to Brian Williams’ Pants-on-Fire Night on April 27. You know you’ve made it when a baseball team is honouring you with a special night.”
The date for this promotion is important because April 27 is National Tell A Story Day. Here are some of the antics scheduled for that evening:
There will be an on-field variant on the game “Two Truths and a Lie”. This game will be called “Two Truths and a Brian Williams”.
Fans will have a chance to audition for the job of a TV news anchor between innings and the winning contestant – presumably by a vote of the folks in attendance – will have his audition tape sent to NBC.
A pair of pants will be set on fire on the field.
According to an official with the Rubber Ducks, they wanted to hold this event on “National Liars Day”. Unfortunately, National Tell A Lie Day is April 4 and that is before the start of the Ducks’ AA season in the Eastern League. I do believe, however, that a special ceremony for National Tell A Lie Day will be held in the US Capitol rotunda on that day…
Speaking of prevarication, here is a nightmare scenario for you to contemplate:
They have established a World Series of Liars Poker and you have made it through the field of thousands of entrants to the final table.
You are one of eight folks at the final table and your opponents are:
Two US Senators
One political campaign manager.
I doubt you stand a chance…
Finally, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald channeled Carnac the Magnificent recently:
“Answer: The 50-and-over Champions Tour event in Boca Raton ends Sunday.
“Question: And you thought watching golfers in their prime was dull!?”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………