A year ago the southern edge of the Mediterranean lit up with a rainbow of revolutions. Tunisia, Libya and Egypt all rose up while even quiet countries like Morocco had to deal with protesters in the streets. A year later, with real elections taking place across the region, it seemed like things might have finally settled down. But after what happened in Egypt on Wednesday, maybe not so much.
Violence is a part of sports. Even baseball, which tends more toward craft than collision, has its share of physical play. I’m sure no one has quite forgotten the sickening crunch when Buster Posey went down last season. Despite the uproar after the play, though, few people would deny that it was fair. Unfortunate, yes, but fair.
The problem is that violence should stay on the field. Athletes understand the inherent risks in what they do. They’re also well compensated for it. But ending up in a coma in the hospital after a game because you were wearing the wrong jersey? That’s not a part of the game. Ending up in a morgue in Cairo because you support the wrong team? That’s not a part of the game. What’s worse is that it looks like politics may have played a major part in the Cairo catastrophe and that should definitely not be a part of the game.
I think I figured out how to get the Tigers into the World Series this year. Revolution!
Ok, so the point of the article may have been that protestors in North Africa are still searching for outlet for their suppression and oppression over the past three decades. But I took away something slightly different. Let me quote here: “So Egyptians, especially younger ones that make up the typical soccer
crowd, know what crowds can accomplish, and have been emboldened by
recent people-power successes.”
My point is, if it can work in Egypt, why not here? Sure, my call for a boycott of opening day may not have gained any traction but I think this new idea has more resiliency. After all, Detroit has all the necessary components. There’s high unemployment, disaffected youth and a generally corrupt government. Kwame Kilpatrick anyone? Why not take this unchanneled rage and use it for something positive? A pennant and World Series for the Tigers would do the city good.
Here’s how it works, if I understand the Egyptian scenario correctly. Your team is losing and you are unhappy. You and a couple thousand of your closest friends storm the field and demand that the Tigers be given the victory or you will continue to riot. In an effort to restore calm, the authorities (in this case the umpires) will have to choose between giving the Tigers the win or dealing with the caprices of the crowd. Should be a pretty simple decision. Really, it’s just one step removed from Jim Joyce’s admission of guilt following the Armando Galarraga almost perfect game. Imagine if the crowd had stormed the field and demanded right then and there that he reconsider. Problem solved.
Mind you, I’m not inciting violence. I don’t want to see those colorful tigers at the entrance to Comerica Park uprooted nor do I want to see the seats turned into projectiles. But if we’ve learned one thing from Egypt and Tunisia, it’s that people have power when they rise up as one. Detroit, you know what to do.
And so in this Podcast brought to you by Lifestyles…
The proverbial (and literal) gloves come off in this verbal masquerade of utter ridiculousness and yes, injuries do occur (though mostly to Johanna and, since they are mental in nature, hardly noticed). Among the topics of conversation one will find: Jeff’s wandering Forever 21 eyes, Zack Greinke’s ribs, the difference between a half and a full nelson, Cameroonian baseball, Bud Selig-bashing take 47 and much, much more… all to make you smile, laugh and play!
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*Special thanks to our PodMaster Keith Carmack. Keith is all over the interwebz killin’ it. You should definitely check out his crew and their subsequently hilarious podcast at Undercard Films. And keep your eye out for what’s next. Dude’s makin’ a movie!
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Recorded Saturday, March 12, 2011
February 11th was not a joyful day for everyone in Egypt. Sure, the protesters in Tahriir Square appeared jubilant on the TV but the dark side of the celebration became clear a couple days later when news outlets began covering the sexual assault of CBS News correspondent, Lara Logan. Instead of celebrating the overthrow of Mubarak’s oppressive regime, some of the people gathered that night wielded one of the greatest tools known to oppressors everywhere: rape.
Sadly, it’s not just in chaotic Middle Eastern countries or war-torn African countries that rape has become a tool. Even here in the US where rape has become politicized, it serves as a tool for various agendas. If the current Congress has its way, it will become even harder to define and that much more difficult to punish. I’ll let Kristen Schaal help me clarify here:
Yep, the way we’re going, it won’t actually be rape unless you explicitly state that you’re raping someone during the act.
However, this is good news for some people. For instance, Ben Roethlisberger. No longer will he have to worry about getting young ladies drunk and then forcing himself on them in the bathroom of a bar. According to Congress, this isn’t really rape. Or, as Ms. Schaal explained, it’s merely rape-ish. I think both Roethlisberger and the Congress might have a hard time explaining that one to Ms. Logan, though.
“I express a commitment to carry on and protect the constitution and the
people, and transfer power to whomever is elected next September in free
and transparent elections.”
–Hosni Mubarak, 10 February 2011
“I will not seek a new term.”
–Zine El Abadine Ben Ali, 13 January 2011
“God willing, on Dec. 31, 2012, you’ll be saying goodbye to me.”
–Bud Selig, 29 November 2009
“For the present I ask you to await as
calmly as you can the events of the next few days. As
long as war has not begun, there is always hope that it
may be prevented, and you know that I am going to work
for peace to the last moment.”
–Neville Chamberlain, 27 September 1938
“We’ve put up with the shenanigans this long… another year or two won’t kill us.”
–Jeffery Lung, 18 February 2011
Am I saying that Mr. Lung is a modern day Neville Chamberlain and that his policy of appeasement towards the gruesome excesses of Commissioner Selig lead inexorably to a modern day “Blitz”? I leave that for history to decide. All I can do is point out that allowing Selig to hold his Opening Day without protest is tantamount to allowing Germany to annex Czechoslovakia in 1938 without a word of disagreement. Will we wait until Selig marches into Poland before we finally stand up?
Ben Ali and Mubarak also made empty promises that they would step down as their terms ended. However, their citizens called their bluffs and both men find themselves exiled to places where hopefully they can do no harm. As citizens of Major League Baseball, we owe it to ourselves and each other to do no less. The revolution begins 31 March 2011. Selig must go!
If Pujols went to the Cubs would there be protesters in St. Louis as there have been in Cairo?
Confessions of a She-Fan
While I am quite certain the baseball gods would never conjure up such a foul situation as Albert Pujols dressed in sCrUBBIE blue pinstripes, I cannot say as much for the public. Deep down, I think we humans tend to envision the worst, to see where our minds might take us after glimpsing death and destruction, because we’re a curious (and mischievous species) hellbent on imagining every scenario possible, even the ones that are completely ludicrous.
But that hasn’t stopped me from having nightmares about it.
Because, as Roger Clemens taught us many moons ago, anything is possible when you’re nasty enough.
Now I don’t think Albert is being nasty in this case. No, not at all. But as long as he doesn’t have a new contract, we’re all going to be speculating what uniform he might be wearing next year. The MLBlogosphere is full of talk, the tweets are all a buzzin’… and Phil Rogers of the Tribune has his finger stuck on the “vomit inducing dribble” button on his keyboard.
Oh well. Not everyone can form a clear, independent thought.
No matter what uni my man-crush Albert will be donning in 2012, I am preparing for the worst.
I’m preparing for the worst by taking a trip.
A trip to…
Take it away, Lauras…
And yes, Jane, you can bet the rioting will be much like we’ve seen in Cairo… only, fatter. And more beer.
Hate me ‘cuz you can, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
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