Taking the Knee

This may be a controversial stance to take, but this taking a knee thing has gone too far. With healthcare being a mess, a broken government body in place, and a risk of potential nuclear war facing us, we are arguing about how people can peacefully protest. Part of me even fears (the conspiracy theorist in me) that this is the goal to distract us. To divide us. I’m actually just bored with the entire thing. Maybe even a little fearful. But football is the one thing I look forward to and I just want to watch it without people telling me how I’m supposed to feel about it.

I think it’s a dangerous slope to be on when we start telling people how to peacefully protest. Would you rather people riot in the streets, destroying property and potentially lives or some guys kneeling in protest? Personally, I say let them. I don’t agree with kneeling for the anthem but I’m not in the business of telling people how people should use their constitutional right to protest if they are doing so peacefully. This does not determine how I feel about them. They are just football players that are voicing their opinion. I won’t be told how to be felt by anyone, celebrity or otherwise. What they are doing just does not register on “things to care about” list. I know there is racial injustice. I know racism is alive and well. I also know that there is more to it than that right now and if this is how they want to address it, it is their constitutional right. You know, that thing people throw in your face to prove their point but ignore it when it doesn’t suit them.

In fact, before this madness started I even stated that Trump was going to inflame the situation. He did. Now the entire league seems in solidarity just because the guy that is supposed to lead us to greatness and uphold the constitution can’t filter his mouth or Tweets. He’s not leading us to greatness; he is trying to divide and conquer us. Spoiler alert: I was right and it’s working.

Did I have issues with Kaepernick doing it? Sure did. I don’t like the idea of celebrities dabbling in politics and I think that the nation anthem is a moment to silently respect and honor our country. That’s not why I think he shouldn’t be in the NFL. Even before all of this started, I thought he was an overrated quarterback that was way overpaid. Do I think that’s why he’s still unemployed? Absolutely, you can’t want the big millions and not be worth it. Plus, your girlfriend posting pictures that imply racism about a team that was potentially about to sign you to get a contract deal ripped up on you probably doesn’t help matters. If that story is 100% accurate, good luck on that NFL contract. Twitter seems to be the place to upset the masses and ruin careers. In other news, if you are a Patriots fan, feel free to protest their games. I have never been and I would really love to afford a seat for me and my family preferably without having an anxiety attack for being so high up at the stadium.

Then there is the whole Golden State Warrior thing. Brady didn’t go to the White House when Obama was in office. But Obama also didn’t say “well screw all of you then. I’ll just party by myself?” Can you imagine the outrage that would have occurred? There would be a riot. “That was so childish.” They would say. “Dictator Obama is squelching the masses and their freedom of speech. Impeach him!” If you are denying that would be the case, you are really too far off the logic meter to even reason with.

I digress. The point is matters are only going to get worse unless someone can finally get the president managed. People look to him as an example of how we should be. He is (should be) the biggest representative of our country, leading us to even more greatness with grace. Instead, all of this transpired in a single weekend of tweeting and not being able to keep his mouth closed. For all you people who argue that Obama caused this, I ask “But what has Trump done to fix it? What has he done to repair our country and help us come together?” Well, aside from potentially joining everyone together in distaste of his actions.

The constitution doesn’t say “You have the right to a peaceful protest, with the exception of the following: kneeling at the national anthem, protesting at science/women rallies, tweeting opinions about the president, in any peaceful way that really doesn’t hurt anyone, or in any way the president disapproves of.” I’m pretty sure it does say “You have the right to peacefully assemble and protest.” America was built on the right to stand up to oppression and stand for your rights and beliefs. The minute we deny these things, the minute we lose those principles that make America so great.

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It’s Opening Day

Today is opening day at Fenway Park. And as a fan of Boston teams, I can honestly say that I don’t care. Baseball is, in my opinion, one of the most boring sports to spectate. I don’t mind playing, in fact I rather enjoy playing the sport. But it is incredibly boring to sit and watch, it really is. Two of my brothers are attending the game, and I hope that they actually win because one of them has never been to a winning Sox game. In fact, I tried to convince him not to go, because opening day would be a terrible day to curse the team. I’m not a fan of the sport, but it doesn’t mean I don’t root for them when I do watch or want to see them lose.

This also means the start of little league season. I find little league much more tolerable, probably because I’m a biased proud mother of an awesome short stop. (No jokes here, he really does play short stop.) I think it’s more than that. Little leaguers are silly, unfocused, and you really have to laugh watching the games sometimes. However, they play with a lot more heart and grit than you see the pros and that makes it a fantastic thing to see. I can’t wait until practices start, so I can pretend to fit in with the other “baseball moms” and watch our little team hopefully kick the crap out of that snot-nosed team. You know that team, that one in all the television shows that bully the others. Yes, I will cross my fingers and hope they overpower them again, and every other time they face them. Because I like underdogs, and I hate arrogance.

So go on and cheer for your teams. I only hope for a dismal season like last year so maybe my boys can see a game this year for a cheap price with decent seats. Otherwise, I hope they make it into the playoffs and World Series because my son loves them and deserves not to wait 20 years for it. Or 80 like everyone else. And don’t be a pink hatter. If there’s anything I hate more than arrogance, general a-holery, and manipulative people, I hate ones that only stick around for the good. Liking a team doesn’t make you cool, sticking by your losing team does. And for the others like me that loathe this sport: that’s why they serve alcohol at the games. That, and to forget your team sucks.

Inside the Life of Boston Fans

Prior to last night’s disaster of a game (looking at you Pats), a sportscaster said “with the Patriots first Super Bowl win with Brady started a trend of Boston teams being very successful and winning championships.” It’s true, our children are spoiled as the Boston teams we have now have an expectation to win because they have consistently won. Since then, we’ve had the pleasure to see all our sports teams succeed. Not sure about our soccer team or if they even exist, I don’t really care. Our children didn’t grow up with the sort of heartache that generations before us have.

Once in college, I had a bizarre and elderly history professor. He could’ve written much of the history companion book that came with our text book from living the history and not just studying it. He was an absurd man, but I remember a few things he distinctly said. One was a discussion of “don’t feel sorry for the slaves, they sold themselves into that mess. Feel sorry for the prejudice the Irish had to suffer in America, am I right?” ::looks at me, the only non-minority in the class:: That was awkward. But to the point, he also said at the beginning of the semester, while handing out the syllabus “Every year, I promise that if the Red Sox win the World Series, everyone will get an “A” on their final. I’m sad to say I can get away with saying this because they have never and probably will never win while I’m still alive.” The joke was on him, that was the year that the Red Sox came back from a 3-0 series in the playoffs to make it to the championship game and win the World Series for the first time since 1918.

Since that point, Boston has jumped up to be one of the most championship wins behind only New York. (If my research is accurate, I’m by no means a sports stats person.) Now when our teams have terrible seasons like last year’s baseball season with the Sox, our children are starting to truly understand what we went through as Boston fans growing up. To be so close to the Super Bowl only to fail so miserably in the conference championship or even making it to the Super Bowl and choking. They truly understand the morning after, where you want to hang your head lower or make yourself feel better by saying “well we made it further than most.” Or like me, watch Honey Boo Boo afterwards to make myself feel better because how can you not feel better by making fun of them. Well a nicer person than I probably wouldn’t, but seriously have you seen that show?

We’re spoiled sports fans in Boston with all the luck we’ve had this decade with wins across the important sports. But it’s really time for the morning after where we realize that we’re no “pink hatters” and we’ve lasted this long with our teams failing and supporting them through heartbreaking losses, why would we stop now? We don’t want to ruin the biggest thing we have going for us: us Boston fans are the most fiercely loyal fans in sports. If we can make it through Missin’ Sisson and every failed year with the Red Sox, we can survive anything.

And Then, He Went Down

Children are just like us: no matter what, there’s a risk to everything they do. We want them to go out with friends, but I don’t know any parent that doesn’t worry when their child isn’t in their sight. Anything can happen and if something did, we’d second guess our decision to let them be free. The truth of the matter is we can’t bubble wrap them as much as we’d love to. All we can do is protect them in the best way we’re capable of, and hope that fate or whatever you believe in follow suit.

Case in point: putting your child in a sport. Organized sports are an incredible thing for our children. It teaches them sportsmanship and discipline. They get a ton of exercise, and they get to befriend people outside of their little circle at school. I fully support those youth organizations that help our children both physically and mentally. I would dare to argue that putting a child in some sort of organization that teaches discipline and sportsmanship helps that child grow up with team building skills. After all, they do enforce that there is no I in team. For the record and on a side note, I do hate that expression but the song is good.

The downfall of sports is the risk of injury. My son plays baseball, and does well at it. Of course everything has a risk, but the risk always seems higher when your child is just as graceful as you are. And if you’re as impossibly clumsy as I am, you spend more time worrying than you probably should. Every bruise he gets from pretending he’s a goal tender with line drives, I wonder if I should’ve signed him up for a chess team for 9 year-olds. He hits himself clumsily with his bat, and you really second guess this.  He enjoys it though, and it’s something he’d love to continue on with. As much as we fear harm, sometimes we just have to take a deep breath and support them. It could be worse, he could want to be a skateboarder or an X-Game BMX star. On Saturday his team had a game against their bitter rivals, and yes I’m just as in awe that a little league team has bitter rivals that young. His first up at bat was successful, he drove the ball and took the base. The next up at bat he did make it on base, but it was a lot less successful. The batter before him gets hit in the leg, he shakes the leg and takes his base. My son takes the plate, and he’s ready and determined to smack this ball in the outfield. The ball, it had other plans. The pitcher pitches and before my son could react, there he was on the ground. The ball went straight to his head.

As a parent on the sidelines, you don’t have time to react. If we had blinked, we would’ve missed this entirely. We didn’t blink though, and as soon as he went down, he stood up and gave us a thumbs up while running to first base. He was fine, and he was fine because we spent a few extra dollars on a well padded and sturdy helmet. Even though we can’t be there every second, we can still give them the tools to be safe. The bat he uses is second-hand, his batting and catching gloves are the same he’s had since he’s started. This year, we decided with kid’s pitch we’d rather be safe than sorry and bought extra protection for him. That moment, I was thankful we had. I was also thankful we’re crazy parents to know the signs of concussions or head injury. I’m also not ashamed to admit I didn’t sleep that night and constantly checked on him while he was sleeping. Sports are a great activity for your children, but the better thing you can do is to make sure they are well protected because you never know what could happen.