Fireworks, Bozos, and Replays

The foresight of our fondling forefathers cannot be denied. Whatever day that was in 1776, they were gathered near the future home of the Phillies not just to boo the Brits but also to set forth for all time the standards of freedom that could be enjoyed by all of the white people of this great continent for as long as they were willing and able to fight for them.

Somehow they knew that future generations would endure so long as certain freedoms were obtained and held dear. Here today we celebrate the fact that these freedoms persist. We will cite just a few of them.
1.The freedom to barbecue. More specifically, the freedom to consume as many hot dogs as possible, and the freedom to decide that chicken wings are actually nutritional.
2.The freedom to blow things up and set things on fire. Sparklers are the gateway weapon but there is nothing like the sound and fury of exploding gunpowder to signify all that we stand for and it looks so cool in the night sky. Our dogs have to be made of stern stuff, just like the dogs of 1776.
3. I believe it was Thomas Jefferson himself, although perhaps it was Ben Franklin, who predicted that, in future days, the freedom loving people of these United States would find a way to exploit the dead and wounded of this, our most important war by selling vast amounts of Toyotas, Volkswagens, and Chevrolets plus mattresses on long weekends so as to increase our wealth and consequent ability to fight more wars. Some historians have noted that John Hancock envisioned Taco Bell as the bell in Philadelphia was cracking.

It is a reminder as well that France has always been our ally, which brings me to the World Cup. This has, for the most part, been the best and most competitive tournament we have witnessed in our twenty years of observing the Women’s World Cup. There have been more good teams with deeper rosters this year than in any previous tournament and it’s been unforgettable good fun. Whether it is Holland or the United States that prevails come Sunday, the winner will have definitely earned it. The only drawbacks have been a)the increased rough and tumble play and flopping that mimic the men’s game and b)the use of the video assistant referee, or VAR that halts play and makes everyone wait for too long for the attempt to “get it right”. A continuous flow of play has always set soccer apart from other whistle happy sports to the delight of fans and the consternation of television executives. Now we have to override the human element with robotic interference that doesn’t add anything but anguish and boredom. I’ll take a wrong call any day. I don’t know about the NFL because I don’t follow it, but replay review is totally ridiculous in basketball and has proven to be a farce that wastes time in major league baseball. Where are we headed with this? Umpires are threatened with extinction. We don’t get to see the veins in the necks of managers pop out as they argue bad calls with other human beings. Will our games be played by robots as well eventually? Have you seen Rollerball? One last futbol note: the difference between Donald Trump and Megan Rapinoe is that, for one, Rapinoe is actually good at what she does and, two, even with the expletives she actually means what she says.

The Elias Sports Bureau has reported that 1,142 home runs were struck in the MLB in the month of June. That breaks the previous record for a month by 7. That record was set in May. It’s kind of like global warming. Also, a year after strikeouts exceeded hits for the first time ever, whiffs are ahead again, 21.871 to 21,554. Kind of like bankruptcies. If you peruse the MLB highlights programs you will mostly see one ball after another leaving the yard. Home runs were once very exciting. That was because they were relatively rare. Teams that were otherwise lousy would employ a Hank Sauer or a Ralph Kiner or a Gus Zernial so that the home crowd could have something to hope for other than victory. Now we are once again being subjected to the brainwashing that the Home Run Derby (along with the hot dog eating contest) is an exciting thing to watch that we won’t want to miss. I think I’d rather have a colonoscopy. At least they drug you for that. How about a suicide squeeze tournament? Hitting the cut-off man competition? Did Henry Aaron flip his bat? It reminds me of a high school basketball game I once attended. The game was out of hand and I was headed for the facility when I heard a big roar from the crowd. I turned back to see what the fuss was about. Somebody had dunked–successfully! Now his team trailed by only 83-38. Twisted values. Thomas Jefferson would not have approved.

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