I ran across a disturbing report yesterday from the ABC affiliate in Denver where the MLB all-Star Game will take place tonight. Police in Denver arrested 4 men who had registered in a Denver hotel proximal to Coor’s Field after a hotel maintenance employee reported seeing “dozens of weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside one of the rooms Friday night”. You can read the report from Channel 7 in Denver here.
The report says clearly that the conjunction of lots of weapons with ammo plus proximity to the All-Star Game venue plus the expected crowd of people led authorities to worry about a “Las Vegas-style shooting”. In the body of the report there are several other items that would make me more than a little concerned:
- All four men arrested had multiple charges filed against them. All four were charged with “investigation of possession of a weapon by a previous offender”. Not only were there elements similar to the “Las Vegas incident”, all of these me had previous records and were in possession of weapons, nonetheless.
- Two of the four men had warrants for their arrest from jurisdictions other than Denver – – and they were in possession of weapons, nonetheless.
- The FBI issued a statement saying that the Bureau was not aware of any threats to the All-Star Game and had no reason to believe these arrests had anything to do with the game other than the proximity. [Aside: I sure hope they were right on that point because if they had no reason to think there was a problem but there really was a plot to shoot up the crowd …]
Sports are entertainment for the fans who attend or watch the game(s) on TV. They are – and are intended to be – a release from “the administrivia of life”. When I hear about situations like the one in Las Vegas or this one here, I wonder to myself how humankind got to such a point…
After that sort of depressing or anger-inducing news, I feel a need to lighten things up a tad. There is one source to go to whenever you want a chuckle and/or an oddball view of the world; that would be TheOnion.com. Let me direct you to this “article” which will take you about 30 seconds to read under this headline:
‘We’re So Screwed,’ Says Detroit Lions Fan After Seeing They Got Matched Up Against Other Teams Again
At the end of the article, the fan is quoted as saying he looks forward to the BYE week this year.
Over at ESPN, the on-air talent seems to be hellbent on making statements that might be taken as racially biased. Clearly, that ought not to be the intent of the network or the on-air talent, but there has been an unusual amount of it presented to the public view recently. The most recent – – unless someone this morning has said something inflammatory – – came from Stephen A. Smith who opined that Shohei Ohtani was not and could not properly be the “face of MLB” because he chooses to speak through an interpreter. I have a question to pose based on Stephen A Smith’s remarks:
- More than a few people said similar things about the inappropriateness of players like Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays and Jackie Robinson being the “face of MLB”. When we confront that sort of thing today, we say it was “racially motivated” if we are being polite and “racist” if we choose to be less polite. So, just how are these comment about Ohtani not of the same stripe?
For the record, I have read elsewhere that Ohtani speaks English well but uses an interpreter because he does not want to misspeak in idiomatic English. I presume those reports are accurate but have no direct knowledge to the point. Oh, by the way, just how is the “face of MLB” determined? Is there a secret subcommittee of the Trilateral Commission that makes this determination?
The other current political correctness kerfuffle at ESPN – the one involving Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor – is kept smoldering by the continuing NBA Finals. Reports say that ESPN and Taylor are in contract negotiations and that Taylor is seeking a contract that would pay here something close to what the network pays Stephen A. Smith – – who is arguably the “face of ESPN” at the moment. Some folks have gone to the point of saying that either Nichols or Taylor will have to “leave town” when this is over and done with because the network cannot have both on staff. [Aside: How anyone might know this to be the case is never explicated.] Rather than become part of that struggle, may I please pose another question here as a way to look at all this from another perspective:
- Have you ever tuned in to ESPN specifically to see either Rachel Nichols or Maria Taylor do what it is that they do on the air?
For the record, I have not. There are other studio hosts/reporters I want to see but neither Nichols nor Taylor comes close to being on my list.
Finally, apropos of nothing, let me close today with an observation by columnist/satirist, Mike Royko:
“The Super Bowl unites us. It’s our substitute for war. It’s our one unifying element, more so than even the World Series.
“Baseball isn’t violent enough and the games are too long.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………