An Observation Concerning… People Who Exercise.

“Now wait a minute, y’all; This dance ain’t for everybody, Only the sexy people.”
-Salt-n-Pepa, “Push It”

That title is a little on the vague side. I know many people exercise in many different ways. Some live at the gym, some take classes every day with little results, some are outdoorsy, some do yoga and Pilates, and some walk from the couch to the refrigerator and back a few times a night – remote or mouse clicking and phone poking have been found to cut a ton of calories. Don’t look that up; it’s not true.

I’m more of a traditionalist: I go to the gym each weekday for some basic lifting and cardio exercises, and then some outdoor activity on the weekends like soccer, volleyball, golf, or skiing (seasonal, duh). It’s a good balance, and yes, there was a time when I was obsessed, but I needed to lose weight and I did… and I’ve maintained it.

PERSON: What the hell do you know?
ME: I published a book on healthy living.
PERSON: So what? I’ve been working out for weeks now!
ME: Cool.
PERSON: That’s right, cool, why don’t you feel my abs?
ME: I don’t want to.
PERSON: Why not? They’re awesome!
ME: Because you’re really sweaty, like awkwardly sweaty, and you’re not an attractive girl, and though you’re abs are awesome, there’s still some good coverage so I couldn’t feel them anyway.
PERSON: You’re just jelly, bro.

I think there needs to be a revolution against the trendy Crossfit-like gyms that are still popping up all over – like weeds and breweries.

PERSON: Let’s go to Crossfit and then get a beer!
ME: I’m just going to get a beer.
PERSON: AHHHHHHH! I’m totally pumped!
ME: Cool.

Anyway, enough of that guy, he’s gone – he sprinted miles and through doors and walls to get to his session, probably kicked a baby somewhere along the way because it was moving too slow. I thought this obsession would fizzle out eventually after everyone ended up getting injured because they break their bodies down at an intense rate with very little recovery time. It was once a theory, then a fact, and now just an ignored statement. People are fixated, even when the workouts turn uber-stupid. I saw an instructor having his clients walk on rocks barefoot outside his converted-warehouse. What the hell is that going to do for anyone? Toughen their feet? Cause an infection? It’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot of dumb things (I look in the mirror every day). It’s not like we’re in Africa and the only way into the tribe is by walking over burning coals.

I think it’s come down to what are people actually trying to accomplish here? Not everyone can be in the Crossfit games or a Ninja Warrior. I’m not saying it’s not possible, I’m just saying it’s not worth it – literally. I don’t think anyone other than extreme exercise enthusiasts are actually impressed with people working out 16 hours a day and then showing off their abilities on daytime cable television or on a network like USA where the station is immediately switched once someone realizes their rerun of Law & Order: SVU or NCIS isn’t going to be on – all for a couple bucks. In addition, people who aren’t going to be participating in a bodybuilding competition need to stop training like they are. The only thing this is going to get you is some complaints and judgment because you’re hogging the mirror and weights or a lot of requests to help people move. People need to relax!

Listen, everyone can do whatever they want – I have likes that others won’t agree with as well – but I’m just suggesting that there needs to be a balance. You know the Canada Dry commercials with everyone exercising to the point where sweat is being flung all over the room and working so hard at the office that a paper cut or spilled coffee is bound to happen? No? Okay, maybe I watch too much TV, but that’s fine because the end of the commercial advises to relax harder.

I exercise and am outside a lot and I eat healthy, but I also relax and don’t eat healthy and drink beer and whiskey from time to time, and you know what, I still look and feel great. Find a balance, people, before you can’t do anything at all.

WBG

An Observation Concerning… The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals.

“There’s no compromise, No second prize.”
-Airbourne, “Rivalry”

I was born in Washington, DC and have devotedly supported the area’s professional sports franchises for the last few decades. I do lean more toward the Orioles because the Nationals weren’t around when I was born, and they just can’t enter my life like some arrogant stepfather. It’s a relationship that has taken time, but I already have a dad (I mean, team) in my life.

As a Capitals’ fan, I would like to congratulate the Pittsburgh Penguins.

With that being said, I don’t believe a Penguins’ fan would offer such a gesture if the Capitals were to ever win the Stanley Cup. I know a handful of Penguins fans – sadly, I’ve been to Pittsburgh more times than they have combined – and they just aren’t that type of person. There’s nothing wrong with that; it just makes it easier not to like the team or players.

Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just saying that because they’re rivals.
Me: Perhaps, but why?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just jealous.
Me: I’m asking you why we’re rivals?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Because we’re bad ass and you suck!
Me: Why won’t you actually answer the question?
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Woo! Go Penguins!

I’m coming to grips with the fact that it’s actually not a rivalry. A rivalry usually includes two teams or individuals that are evenly matched and equally decorated like the Celtics-Lakers in the 80’s or Federer-Nadal in the 21st Century. The Pittsburgh-Washington rivalry is completely one-sided and predictable. It’s similar to Ohio State and Michigan; a rivalry that has completely lost its luster because since 2001 the Wolverines have only one twice. Of course, they have a more storied history, but my point is that rivalries can become very bland and uninteresting.

Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: You’re just jealous.
Me: You already said that.
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Fine, you’re bitter.
Me: That’s the same thing.
Imaginary Penguins’ Fan: Woo! Go Penguins!
Me: Hmm…

I am bitter, I will admit it. However, Pittsburgh fans can’t say anything about it because they don’t know what it’s like. They’re spoiled brats when it comes to sports. Not in like an inherited classy New York way, or rags to riches Boston way, but more like a trailer trash wins the lottery kind of way (it’s a joke, not a stereotype, calm down, everybody). Let’s look at the Pittsburgh-Washington rivalry if it were between the two cities as a whole:

Super Bowls: Pittsburgh 6, Washington 3.
Stanley Cups: Pittsburgh 5, Washington 0.
World Series: Pittsburgh 5, Washington 0.
NBA Championships: Washington 1, Pittsburgh 0 (because they don’t have a basketball team).

16-4 overall. How pathetic. Rivalries aren’t supposed to be pathetic; they are supposed to move us, keep us enthralled, make us anxious, and make supporters from other teams tune into the matchup just because it’s an amazing unpredictable game. The Penguins-Capitals has become hardly that.

I always thought the window was closing for the Capitals the last few years, but I believe it’s now shut. The hope of just a shred of glory has drifted away; especially with the emergence of the Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs, and Sabres (you’ll see) in the East and the Predators and Oilers in the West. Las Vegas has once again given Washington high odds to win the Cup in 2018. Sadly, I wouldn’t take that bet. In my disgruntled eyes, the Golden Knights have just as good of a chance.

I will always support you, Capitals, but when the hell are you going to return the favor to the fan base? Forget about Pittsburgh and just rock the red.

WBG

An Observation Concerning… The 2017 NBA Finals.

“I’m free to bore my well-bought friends, And spend my cash until the end, ’cause I’m bored!”
-Iggy Pop, “I’m Bored”

SHOULD ABC CANCEL THE 2017 NBA FINALS?

What an absurd suggestion. Who would think of such madness? A lot more people than you would believe. One of the greatest things about sports is that it is unscripted and there are no re-runs – in this case, classic games do not count, and neither do soccer matches with a time difference, and don’t even try to argue the fact that because you saved a game on your DVR and watched it after it was over or watched it again counts. However, the NBA is the one league where power has become unbalanced and results are as predictable as taxes and old people complaining about something.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors are once again on an unentertaining collision course for the 2017 NBA Finals. This will be the third year in a row this matchup has taken place, and the seventh Finals appearance in row for LeBron James. If I watched a television program where the seasons and finales were always the same then I would get bored and soon the network would pull the show because ratings will drop. So what’s the difference here? This will sound awful coming from a sports fan, but I have failed to watch an entire NBA game this year – regular and postseason. With that being said, I already knew that the Cavs and Warriors would again meet in the Finals. No, I’m not psychic (even though that would be pretty cool) and yes, I’m aware that a fat lady hasn’t yet performed in the San Antonio Spurs’ and Boston Celtics’ respective locker rooms, but when the point differential in the first three Conference Finals games averages 17 points between squads, it’s a little unrealistic to think otherwise.

With the fact that NBA teams will now be sporting companies on their jerseys next season to increase revenue via tacky advertising, I can only assume that the league is failing. Considering the current trends of resting superstars during primetime matchups and overloading two out of the 30 rosters with the best talent to guarantee victory, it’s definitely a program that has lost its luster. Dear Commissioner Silver, either fix the league, or take your broadcasts to Netflix so viewers can binge watch the boring predictability of what was once fantastic and competitive entertainment.

WBG

MAKING A DIFFERENCE BY PISSING EVERYONE OFF

“Get up, stand up, stand up for your right.”
-Bob Marley, “Get Up, Stand Up”

DISCLAIMER: Everyone is not questioning Colin Kaepernick’s right to freedom of speech or the ability to express himself.

Good, great, we got that out of the way. Please feel free to find another argument as you read along. We’re becoming a very closed-minded society though we boast the fact how we’re all free spirits and open to anything and a white hipster hanging out with a slightly-tanner hipster or reading an article about something different signifies being cultured. If one thing is one way, everything incorporated with that thing is exactly the same. Wait, that sentence doesn’t make sense (linguistically)? Exactly.

Colin Kaepernick, the flavor of the year (or two) until professional defensives and coordinators figured him out quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, publically decided to announce that he would not stand during the National Anthem due to his frustrations with the treatment of minorities in America, and followed through. That’s nice, what a swell guy. The thought is certainly there, and the issue remains strong as well, however, the way he approached it was in poor taste. I’m entitled to my opinion as well, remember? Of course not, it’s all about him and I’m wrong to think differently, and that’s exactly what he wants. The media feeds this attention-grabbing stunt; I even noticed last night on the NFL Network ticker that they were announcing hours before the start of the 49ers-Chargers preseason match that they would air the performance of the National Anthem. Who gives a shit? Seriously! Before that the act in question was the cartoon pig sporting a cop’s cap on the quarterback’s socks during practice; this over-analysis of silliness was completely blown out of proportion, forcing Colin to explain that he wore the socks during training camp and before he made his public stance (or sit I should say). If he never said anything to begin with then no would care, no one would even notice he was sitting during the National Anthem. This is a selfish act to gain publicity; he wants to make people believe that if he gets cut from the team that this is the only reason why.

Kaep

The National Football League is a business, perhaps the most business-like of any professional sport, and the reason he would be cut is because he is an overpaid and underachieving player who if wasn’t on the team could free up salary space for rookies, teammates, and free agents wanting to play football instead of preach about political injustices during the season, and was flirting with unemployment even before this unpatriotic exploit. On the other hand, sitting during the National Anthem certainly doesn’t help, not because he’s not allowed to express his opinions, but because it shows he’s not a good teammate and his agendas are more important than the success and progression of a franchise. He’s bigger than everyone essentially, but there’s a time and a place or another way to go about things. If I went to one of our customer’s locations and told them they weren’t allowed to gamble on our slot machines because I disagree with Vietnam even though I wasn’t alive during the time, know little about it, and just kind of think that war kind of sucks, then my boss would fire me because I am being detrimental towards my company’s reputation. Those would be the actions of someone with a closed and uninformed mind.

cartman

He’s a role model and it’s almost like he’s preaching anarchy to the youth who haven’t even been given the opportunity to understand why this country is a great place to live. It’s pathetic they’re growing up in this time of over-exposure and sensitivity. If you weren’t aware, Colin Kaepernick is adopted. He grew up comfortably and was given opportunities to succeed which he did, and you’re probably aware that he made millions of dollars in the NFL which defines success because becoming a professional athlete is one of the rarest career achievements in the world. Without the adoption system in place here in the states, without the lifestyle his parents provided for him, and without the luxuries that we as Americans take for granted then none of his success would have happened.

“Hey Colin, thanks for not standing up during the National Anthem. I read about it in the newspaper I sleep under. It’s really helping. Sorry I have to run, but I’m going to go find some drainage to drink and wash up in. I bet you sleep so well in your mansion at night, and you know what, you deserve it because you’re such a great guy. Well, off to try and find some work. Maybe the 49ers are looking for a quarterback?”

DISCLAIMER: Colin Kaepernick donated $1 Mililion to charities supporting racial equality (after he got heat from this form of protest of course).

It’s a complete disrespect to a nation that really isn’t that bad in comparison to the rest of the world. It’s disrespectful, to you, me, the people who fought for this country, the people who have developed the United States into a powerhouse in a short amount of time, the people who have made progress in civil liberties while horrific injustices are still presently apparent in other countries, and the people who stand together singing America’s fight song. When that tune rings we’re all simply Americans; it doesn’t matter if you’re black, white, brown, red, yellow, a woman, a man, a child, a senile elder, gay, straight, transgender, legal, or illegal; if you’re here and you’re contributing then we are on an equal playing field. Don’t segregate to make people aware of segregation; we all know what’s going on, we’re already aware, and we’re disappointed and sickened at times, but we’ve come a long way and it could definitely be a lot worse.

Listen, a handful of police instances do not account for the millions of properly executed (bad word choice) arrests and detainments. The ratio is so askew there is really not even an argument if you actually think about it. So think outside the fucking box! Think of the past advancement and the future consequences, think of all the other officers who protect, serve, and do their job correctly, think of how safe you actually are. One person doesn’t represent an entire group, that’s the beauty of being such a unique population. If I were to think that way then because my brother-in-law is married to a half-Indonesian woman then that means everyone’s brother-in-law is married to a half-Indonesian woman. Well, that’s a bad example because I’m his brother-in-law and am also married to a half-Indonesian woman. How about this: every professional football player is a self-centered pretentious asshole. Sorry, Drew Brees, I don’t care what you did for the city of New Orleans, you must be a dick like Colin Kaepernick because you also play quarterback.

See how dumb and closed-minded that way of thinking is?

DISCLAIMER: Sarcasm aside, Drew Brees seems like he’s a pretty great guy.

Brees

WBG

Colin Kaepernick kneels during the national anthem after fans boo him

http://www.nola.com/superbowl/index.ssf/2010/02/super_bowl_mvp_drew_brees_ceme.html

100% of Media Disagrees with 90% of Polls

“Hail to the Redskins, Hail Victory, Braves on the Warpath, Fight for old D.C.!
-Barnee Breeskin, “Hail to the Redskins”

I am a Washington Redskins’ fan. I am White. I find it incredibly unnecessary to specify my ethnicity, but in a society where it’s almost a requirement to be race-sensitive in order to be heard then I figured I might as well. The recent poll proving that 90% of Native-Americans are not offended by Washington’s nickname was eye-opening (once again). However, what I believe to be more eye-opening is the fact that the media continues to make this a prominent issue when, like me, not one of the more vocal personalities seems to be Native-American. I will throw this out while I’m on that topic: why aren’t there any Native-American analysts on-air? I feel we’ve come to a point in society where that is a serious question, if not, then that’s another topic to be discussed. Annoying, isn’t it?

The main issue I have with this, amongst others, is that it seems people are telling Native-Americans how to think. They’re saying they should be offended by this racial slur. In essence, and contradictory to what most of these media members preach, they’re actually offending Native-Americans in that regard. Stop telling them what to think; especially considering 90% of them just said how they thought! I live in New Mexico, a state where the Native-American population is one of the highest in the nation, and I’ve never once heard the word “Redskin” spoken with racist intention; I’ve never heard it muttered unless it involved how the franchise performed over the weekend, or what their upcoming season will be like, or being sullied by the mouths of rival supporters (there are a lot of Cowboys’ fans in this region as well).

“Redskin” was a racial slur, there is no denying the fact, but is it now? Well, let me rephrase before people get in a huff, is it even used now? I will reiterate that New Mexico has the 4th largest Native-American population in America and I’ve never heard the word used as a slur. Of course, I am not everywhere at all times and cannot vouch for others, but I do know that their beautiful culture is respected and preserved here, my best friend in high school was Native-American, I have other acquaintances who are also tribe members, and most importantly I have been on Reservations and Pueblos, not the section where casinos and resorts rest, but the actual places people live, and I will say that the condition of part of their territory is the real issue. Their poverty, their health problems, their employment, their education is what should be of concern, not an ethnic insult that is frowned upon by people not even of the race, not even troubled with something that has now been proven to be of little concern to the people it’s directed towards. The media should be ashamed; if they truly cared about Native-Americans and aren’t trying to hide their personal agendas or gloat how great they are for caring about all cultures, then maybe they should take a look at issues that are truly affecting other races, not what will get them ratings because they are attempting to appease the trendy issues.

One more thing before I wrap this up, many Native-Americans in New Mexico cheer for the Washington Redskins. Do people ever consider that? [We’re] going to tell them how to think, and then [we’re] going to take away the football team they follow, forcing what is a relatively poor community into purchasing new merchandise because the name is more suitable for [us]. Gee, sounds like we really know what’s best for everyone. There are bigger things going on than what the media tells us is important.

I understand people have dealt with horrible things in the past, injustices that should have never happened, and some still do in select situations. I understand we drive, as we should, for everyone to be equal (at least I believe that to be the intention), as we should be. To take away one of the few arguments directed at this post: I am not a racist. I have Native-American friends, African-American friends, Hispanic friends, gay friends, lesbian friends, liberal friends, conservative friends, my stepmother and her sons are Jewish, and my wife is half-Indonesian and Muslim. I’m not saying that to boost my cultural status, all I’m saying is that I’m just a normal person who supports a normal football team that has been around longer than the last time “Redskin” was meant to negatively target someone (outside of fan frustration of course)*. Please feel free to shift my words around to make it seem that this was in poor taste instead of a plea to change the tone of the discussion. Whatever is easiest.

HTTR!

WBG

*Opinion of writer; based on 33 years of life experience and local knowledge of culture. I am not one to speak for the Native-American people, however. Here are a couple of sites if interested in learning about Native-American culture in New Mexico.

http://www.iad.state.nm.us/

http://www.nmvoices.org/archives/5834

SHOCKING REPORT: FANS GIDDY LIKE COLLEGE BOYS FOR REMAINDER OF LIFE

“You’re the best! Around! Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down.”
-Joe Esposito, “You’re The Best”

It has been a week. Are we okay now? Did the extraordinary finale of the NCAA Tournament finally settle in? The easy and manly answer is yes, but the reality is no. It will never settle in. Imagine if Gordon Hayward’s half-court heave went in during the 2010 title game instead of rolling off the rim? The hysteria would have been maddening for more than a lifetime! Has 1983 settled in? Of course not! If it had then you wouldn’t know off the bounce what that meant when I said (wrote) it. Okay, maybe you need a refresher, but the last time we as a nation, excuse the political tone of addressing, witnessed such an amazing feat as a buzzer-beater in a national championship match was when Lorenzo Charles dunked home the winning bucket as North Carolina State earned the monumental upset over the University of Houston and Phi Slama Jama here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I say,” here,” because that is where I currently reside and we will get into the relevance of that at the end (don’t skip ahead!).

Villanova didn’t just provide us with the rarest of heroics, the dream of every child in their respective imagination winning their respective sport and being adored for the rest of time, North Carolina also made the game unforgettable, and many thought we were going to be reminded of how boring a championship matchup can get before tip-off. However, it was different, but the madness was consistent throughout this year. Let’s recap since most stopped caring after Middle Tennessee State took down the mighty Spartans. We’ll start there and keep it short and sweet.

-MTSU vs.  MSU (and other upsets that ruined everything): Damn you, Blue Raiders! I was out $20 at that moment.

MTSU

-OVERTIMES: Not only multiple overtimes, but multiple multiple overtimes. Free basketball!

Little Rock

-BUZZER BEATERS: Amazing and plentiful.

NIU

-THOMAS WALKUP: People this hipster-looking shouldn’t be this unstoppable (or ripped).

Walkup

-SYRACUSE: Not a 10-seed no matter what you say; it’s Syracuse! Give Boeheim one game, you’re in trouble, but three times against the same opponent isn’t as charming.

Richardson

-VILLANOVA vs. UNC: Oh wait, we’re already talking about that.

Paige

We needed this game. We needed reminders of Michael Jordan’s classic jumper for the title in 1982 and Villanova’s 1985 championship run. Well, maybe not Georgetown fans (a.k.a. a majority of my family). Marcus Paige’s three to tie was an incredible feat of athleticism and focus, switching the momentum and making almost everyone believe the Tar Heels had forced overtime and would dominate during the extra minutes. Then the perfect play, the perfect decision, the perfect execution, and the most perfect of all endings happened.

Nova

Was it unexpected? Maybe, but maybe not. I have a Kansas friend who complained about how bad the Jayhawks played against Villanova. I know another Big 12 supporter who couldn’t believe how poorly Oklahoma played in their Final Four matchup with the Wildcats. Now, and if internet reporting is true, and without really any research, I saw a headline that there was a petition  created by sore UNC alumni and supporters to overturn the results of the final due to poor officiating. Please! Excuses. Why can’t the defeated just admit that Villanova was the best team in the tournament? Even as a 2-seed they had little confidence from bracket experts. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, fool me three times then you probably got something going here and credit is due where deserved.

The truth is that the Wildcats may have saved college basketball as a sport. The tournament was turning into a business: expanding the brackets, making sure the road is easy for the most marketable of teams (don’t research that), disbanding the Big East for bigger conferences (though I believe since that has happened Louisville, Connecticut, and now Villanova have proved it was a dumb idea), and using football stadiums to sell tickets for obscene prices for views where binoculars are required (another expense) instead of having games within the charm of a college arena like “The Pit” in 1983 (told you I would mention it). Do we really have to bring up the gambling aspect? We don’t, but we will. It is a money-making/-losing time of the year where everyone slacks off at work (guilty), people flip coins (guilty), base predictions off team colors or the ferocity of mascots and refer to it as valid reasoning, and attempt to earn bragging rights over family members and peers. It’s serious stuff; I thought I cursed Villanova decades ago when I put my faith in them and then they ruined my life (at the time, who cares what year; it was the primary reason why I never decided to pick them again). There is nothing wrong with that because it brings attention to the sport even for a month, but when Kris Jenkins’ shot went through the net, we all offered a communal cheer (except UNC supporters probably) and were reminded of how special the sport is and there is always the possibility of a brand new shining moment. We may have just witnessed the greatest college basketball game in history, so if it still hasn’t settled in, it’s okay.

WBG

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaab/2016/03/18/middle-tennessee-state-mtsu-stuns-michigan-state-ncaa-tournament/81996734/

http://www.foxsports.com/college-basketball/story/ncaa-tournament-march-madness-little-rock-upset-purdue-secret-snack-031816

http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2016/03/19/jesperson%E2%80%99s-prayer-ends-longhorns%E2%80%99-hopes-of-long-tournament-run

http://www.newsweek.com/thomas-walkup-and-spirit-march-madness-notre-dame-sam-f-austin-sfu-439174

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/college/final-bound-syracuse-upsets-virginia-68-62-article-1.2579537

http://ftw.usatoday.com/2016/04/marcus-paige-tying-shot-north-carolina-villanova

https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/kris-jenkinss-buzzer-beater-for-villanova-changed-his-life-forever/2016/04/08/3f91ddc2-fceb-11e5-9140-e61d062438bb_story.html

WHAT NO ONE SAW SHOWED SO MUCH

“Hate the mind, regrets are better left unspoken, For all we know, this void will grow.”
-Seether, “Rise Above This”

The American public has become accustomed to getting what they want, and this hurts us as much as it hurts a spoiled country club teenager; sadly, no matter the class or status, many groups have adopted this mindset. This country may not be ideal in our minds at times, and many people have it worse off than others, but it’s definitely one of the better places to live in the world, yet we don’t see that, and we’re all guilty of this. Hell, I even complain how hard life is if I stop at every red light, adding five minutes to my commute. That’s not a real problem in comparison to the rest of the world. There a people being treated unfairly and dying by the hundreds in places; just take a look at the tragedy happening in Nepal, but I’m upset that I wasn’t as early to my destination as I wanted to be.

A guy died here. Not just any guy, but a black guy. On April 12, 2015, Freddie Gray was arrested for the 19th time, but the charges were miniscule at best, like many of his previous crimes, and didn’t merit taking a person into custody in the fashion that he was. However, if Gray had just not run away “unprovoked” (not my words) then there would be no suspicion to act upon. After a violent struggle, and an apparent stop just to “beat” (also not my words) the suspect, the officers failed to buckle Gray into his van seat, and ignored his “cries” (again, not my words) for help during their multiple stops. By the time the transport arrived at the station, Gray had no pulse and had suffered injuries to his spine and neck; he eventually passed away on April 19th, 2015. Six officers have been charged with the murder of Freddie Gray: Brian W. Rice, Edward M. Nero, Garrett E. Miller, Caesar R. Goodson Jr., William G. Porter, Alicia D. White (Peralta, 2015).

Because of these actions, riots throughout the community began, and the government was forced to issue a curfew; just like that spoiled country-club teenager being grounded. Now, I’m more of a middle-of-the-road type of person: if I agree with something it’s because I believe in the cause, not because I was told to think that way. For example, I believe Freddie Gray was wrongfully treated, but I also don’t think we have the full truth of what happened outside of biased opinions, not to mention the only ones who actually know the truth aren’t helping (one is deceased). I also believe that instigating riots to prove a point is stupid, pathetic, and forces us to take a step backwards instead of forward, and to think this is all happening on assumption (cops and community) and mixed stories of how the injuries honestly occurred.

My views are a perfect mix; like peanut butter and jelly. However, there’s always someone who doesn’t like peanut butter and someone who doesn’t like jelly (for some weird reason). Apart, they’re completely different, but when put together everything is just right. In this case, the liberal and conservative medias are respectively (with little respect) working together to wrong the right. CNN instigated the riots by their supportive (though cleverly disguised) wording and Fox News fueled the cause with their constant barrage of insults. Not many are talking about this though:

O's Empty stadium newsela com
Photo courtesy of newsela.com

That is the sight of emptiness; the sight of a community torn apart. You can see the destruction of the city and the emotional breakdowns of the public as the media constantly fills the airwaves with videos, but nothing is more disturbing than seeing nothing at all. This is the first time in history that a MLB game has been played in an empty stadium. At least the players made light of the situation as Caleb Joseph signed air autographs and acknowledged non-existent cheers as he made his trek to the bullpen before the first pitch, and Chris Davis tossed a ball into the stands for some lucky fan who could have been there. In addition to the eerie emptiness on home soil, the Orioles then had to play a home series in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sure, they were batting second, and sure, they took two of three games over the weekend, but that wasn’t home.

Baseball has played in an important role during some of the more tragic events that have taken place in America, and we’re not talking about ‘Disco Demolition’ night during a 1979 White Sox game which only proved that rock n’ rollers are a tad on the wild side.

disco demolition night historyrat com
Photo courtesy of historyrat.com

We’re talking about 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings.

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The Baltimore riots don’t necessarily compare to 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombings (why do all these things happen in the AL East?), but it shows us something else, and not that the White Sox were indirectly involved in a riot again. A sporting event is the one place where everyone in the community is on the same page; except of course the road warriors who traveled to see their team, or the transplants who moved to the city, but still root for their hometown squad. It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight; it doesn’t matter if your Muslim or Christian; it matters if the team that represents your city wins. The cheers are in unison, the city is alive, and everyone is getting along; that is beautiful. To take that away is selfish and ugly. The community will rise above this.

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Peralta, E. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/05/01/403629104/baltimore-protests-what-we-know-about-the-freddie-gray-arrest on May 6, 2015