Team sports pride themselves on their uniformity. It’s how you tell one team from the other and it allows the players to bond within a certain sameness. Which, when you think about it, isn’t so different from what the Soviets attempted to do. Treat everyone the same, make them wear the same clothes and assume that this will create a sense of community out of thin air. How’d that work out?
Is it any surprise, then, that those who play organized team sports back here in the US chafe against these strictures? We grow up hearing about how unique we are and how we can do anything. Then we go out to play a game and we’re put in matching uniforms and tied into a system.
The worst offender by far is NFL football. Just try wearing an unauthorized pair of shoes or the wrong color socks and see what happens. It doesn’t matter for the superstars because their wallets can absorb it but imagine being one of these guys making the league minimum yet wanting to show his individuality. That’s going to cost you.
I guess that’s another reason why I like baseball. Sure, you still have to wear a uniform and you still have to play by the rules but there’s some leeway. You can wear stirrups or the long baseball pants. You can wear a different colored shoe. You can cover your batting helmet in pine tar to the point that the team logo is barely discernible.
It’s one more reason why baseball is America’s pastime and why it’s stuck around through three different centuries. It evolves and it allows the players to show their individuality within the confines of the game in a way that no other sport can. MLB is Kennedy to the NFL’s Kruschev. We all know who came out on top in that one. Well, except that whole assassination thing.
As a young boy growing up in the middling middle-class of US America, my dreams were aplenty.
In particular, I dreamed of a day when I would succeed as a professional baseball player. Wearing the mask behind the plate, I envisioned catching the called third strike to win the World Series… rushing to the mound, hugging my pitcher, shouting til I lost my voice.
So too did aspiring to be a great leader. Always the smooth talker with a penchant for spontaneous charm, I reckoned I had the skills to become a good politician.
Neither dream became reality; and poor old me had to settle for co-writing a hit baseball blog.
But that’s okay.
I mean, I still wish I could have lived out those Major League aspirations… but when it comes to politics, I couldn’t be happier that I eschewed it all the way. (Yeah, I just said ‘eschewed’. I like that word. Eschew. Say it with me. Eschew.) Because to be honest, politics is boring as hell. Oh sure, the Jack Kennedys and Bill Clintons and Ronald Reagans and Barack Obamas make it look flashy and fun and cool; but most of what goes on behind the political scene is as boring as Tommy Lasorda is fat.
Of course, you wouldn’t know it by watching this clip, which just happens to be the most exciting exchange on the senate floor since Strom Thurmond admitted he still owned slaves. Okay, he didn’t admit that, but he probably should have.
Will the Senator from Connecticut please continue…
Oh, sorry. You’re still reading? Cool.
So, what did we learn? Franken is an ^ss. McCain is old. Lieberman is confused.
Don’t hate me. ‘Cuz I’m right.
PS, Thanks so much for all the kind well wishes you sent me on my birthday. Much appreciated! Fist bumps all around!
There isn’t a whole lot to like about Massachusetts. The Patriots are cheaters and cocky loudmouths. The Red Sox and their fans have gone from being objects of pity to objects of disdain in the space of five years with their whiny crybaby antics. Even their success has now been called into the question with the slow leak of the Mitchell Report.
But if there’s one thing that Massachusetts does well, it’s politics. Deval Patrick’s gubernatorial candidacy in some ways presaged Barack Obama. And no less a conservative than Mitt Romney once led the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. However, there’s one name that stands above all the rest, even if destined to live on now only in myth.
During the night, the last great flame of the Kennedy family flickered out. Tiny cinders like Patrick Kennedy still dot the political landscape but they fade in comparison to what used to be a towering inferno of political ambition. At least Ted got to go more or less on his own terms, without suffering the same fate as his brothers. But his death is no less devastating, especially since Kennedy had long championed the health care reform that is slowly inching its way through the Congress.
Today people from both sides of the aisle, those who watch FOX news and those who rely on MSNBC, will pay their respects to “The Lion of the Senate” before returning to the partisan war of attrition that defines politics today. And despite all the excitement of divisional races and the upcoming publication of A Magical Mystery Tour (Part II) which will take us deep into the frightening recesses of Jeff’s brain, we here at RSBS also take a step back today to pay homage to Senator Edward Kennedy.