, Newburyport, MA


November 2, 2013

Politics can learn a thing or two from sports

Big Freddy was humming something off key that sounded vaguely familiar when I joined him for morning coffee.

“Are you ailing?” I asked.

“I am humming take me out of the ball game,” Freddy said as he closed his morning newspaper.

“Everybody but you celebrating the Sox win? Did you bet on the wrong team” I asked.

“I don’t bet on baseball -- there are too many ways to lose,” Freddy said.

“Well, if you had bet on the Sox you would have won big time,”I said.

I hope you’re not going to tell me you don’t like baseball. It’s un-American not to like baseball.”

“No,” Freddy said. “I like all sports, win or lose, because they shape the characters of players, and remind the fans of what it takes to be a winner.”

“Talent and perseverance,” I said. “Keeping you head in the game until the last out,” I added.

“And plenty of money by the management,” Freddy said.

“Hope springs eternal, but what’s really involved as far as management is concerned is talent, derringer do, and money. You can’t get the one without the other, and, bottom lines, we need sports.

“They’re escape hatches for all kinds of troubles -- speaking of which the way the country is split up down and sideways on so many things we’d have a revolution without sports.

“How else would we be able to escape from whatever? You want evidence, look at the crowded stadiums.”

“Escaping?” I asked.

“Escaping,” Freddy said. “Sports are where you can let off steam for whatever’s bothering you, and there’s a lot of that going around all the time.

“There are the never say die fans for particular sports, players, or teams. But there are other kinds of fans for games played well, no matter who wins.”

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