Greetings from home in suburban Washington DC. The month-long road-trip vacation is over; there will be a trip report when I get around to writing it.
The final stop on our trip was an overnite in Chicago – built into the trip to assure that we could make a train connection in Chicago because the run from Portland to Chicago is notoriously late. Indeed, we would have missed our connection without the overnite stay. That happened to be the 48th anniversary of the day my long-suffering wife became my long-suffering wife. We dined at a restaurant where we had been with #1 son and his family many times when they lived in Chicago and in taking the Red Line to the restaurant we passed by Wrigley Field. I mention that because Garrison Keillor – normally not one of my favorite entertainers – offered an excellent alternative hypothesis to the futility of the Cubbies over the past 106 years:
“It’s the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field in Chicago, which was built in 1914 on the site of the old Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary. And right there is the key to the story of the Chicago Cubs. This team is the living embodiment of Lutheran theology, which if I need remind you is not about winning. It’s not about being No. 1. It is about taking the back seat and being of service to others.
“The Cubs have been of service to so many other teams. They have pulled other teams out of losing streaks. Batters who were in painful slumps have recovered their confidence against the Cubs.
“It’s a good Lutheran team you’ve got there on the North Side of Chicago.”
Cubs’ fans have tried myriad ways to exorcize the demons they believe afflict their team; perhaps – if Professor Keillor is correct – they should try something new. Perhaps the Cubs’ owner needs to go and nail a document of 95 Theses on the Bud Selig’s door. After all, none of the other exorcisms has worked…
Obviously, I have not seen nearly as many sporting events in the last month as I normally do nor have I followed the details of many sports “issues” as closely as I usually do. However, there is one area of sports coverage that I have seen more than enough of:
The future venue(s) where LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade will play basketball will become news when those four gentlemen make their decisions as to where they shall play. Until such time, all of the coverage/commentary on the subject is blatherrhea. There is a cure for such blatherrhea and that is to write about and talk about something else.
Enough already – until one or all of them makes their decision(s).
When I tune in to find the Dutch National Team playing in one of the World Cup games, I always do a double take. Their uniforms seem to me to be the same color as the ones worn by US prison inmates as they pick up trash on the median strips of Interstate highways. For a fleeting moment, I wonder if in fact I have tuned into a sports channel…
The final game of the World Cup Tournament will be this weekend and the outcome of the game should be of significant interest in – of all places – Vatican City and for anyone who thinks that God “takes sides” with regard to the outcome of athletic endeavors. Consider:
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI was born in Bavaria, Germany.
Pope Francis was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
These men probably agree on most theological items; they will likely disagree with most of the referee’s calls in the game on Sunday.
Scott Ostler of the SF Chronicle provided these two comments regarding the World Cup and about the suspension of Luis Suarez for biting an opponent:
“Fun fact: ‘Nil’ is short for Nilenschnitzelfritter, a German bagel made from sawdust and foot powder.”
“Now that Suarez is suspended, ESPN should hire him to provide biting commentary.”
I saw a report that Shane Battier retired from the NBA and that ESPN signed him on to do commentary on college basketball. Pairing him with Jay Bilas might make for some interesting commentary.
Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot had this comment a while back:
”Eastbound: The Big Ten is holding its 2017 men’s basketball tournament in Washington, D.C. You could say this is a failure of geography, but the league wants to raise its profile in the East now that Maryland and Rutgers are members. However, fans in traditional Big Ten states reportedly are not amused.”
Allow me to make an addition observation on that point:
Unless Maryland has a miraculously good season in the Big 10 that year and makes a run in the conference tournament, there WILL be beaucoup empty seats in the arena for the games. Bank on it…
Finally, Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times found this wonderful headline:
“At TheOnion.com: ‘Report: John Calipari offered Cavaliers $20 million to leave him alone.’ “
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………