Before all the holier-than-thou folks got upset about some folks kneeling during the National Anthem (No, i don’t like it, or even approve of it, but i spent 22 years defending their right to do that), i decided i wasn’t going to watch pro football except for the Chargers and the Titans.
This seems rather ridiculous because neither team had more than one or two players from the city they represented, but they were teams i had watched because i identified with their location, and in the Chargers case, identified with some of the players. When the Chargers left San Diego because the Spanos owners and the NFL wanted more money and with very few Titan games shown in the Southwest corner, i pretty much quit watching, not because of the pre-game controversy, but because the game has morphed from a sports event into money-making to the absurd point with an entertainment extravaganza complete with absolutely stupid replays and sideline, aka coaches, not coaching but running the game and because the NFL owners, management, coaches and players should be taking at least two-thirds of their income for “trickling down” to help folks in need or toward making this country better.
But that’s my rant. i also think the half-time entertainment is over the top and way, way over rated, and i don’t like smoke and mirrors and bangs and baubles and bobbing derrieres and half-dressed suggestive dancing — If i wanted that, i would go to a strip club in San Diego (one of the few things open in the Southwest corner) — and i sure as hell don’t like any sports events that have more commercials than playing time, regardless whether they are entertaining or not, which will not, will not have any influence on my purchasing the advertised product regardless of what the statistical marketeers have convinced the CEO of the company being advertised, and i don’t enjoy watching any sports event that lasts five to six hours as i have better things to do: hell, i could play a round of golf and still spend an hour or so on home projects unless i started writing a sentence like this and not being able to stop because i want to make ole Willie Faulkner proud.
But yesterday, i changed my mind. i do want to converse about the game with my son-in-law and a couple of Friday Morning Golfers with roots in Kansas who root for the Chiefs.
But the real reason i changed my mind was because of basketball.
Yesterday, the San Diego Union-Tribune ran a front-page story with a photo of a young man in a San Diego State Aztec basketball uniform. The headline read “Former SDSU basketball player named honorary game captain.” i was intrigued: a Southwest corner tie-in with a basketball twist.
i read the entire story, a rarity since i rarely read more than the headlines of the national, local, and business sections before critiquing the sports section as a short-lived sports editor should and ending my morning read with the comics section.
Mark Zeigler, the Aztec basketball beat writer for the U-T, wrote the story. Mark also writes stories on the Padres and Chargers, along with sports commentaries, and he has covered soccer in 16 Olympics and seven World Cups. In my opinion, he writes sports the way sports should be written.
This one is at the top in my book. i choked back tears several times. The “honorary captain” Trimaine Davis is a real hero, much more so than anyone who will be on that gridiron playing today.
This is a story that shows there is goodness, humanity, real sportsmanship in college athletics. It’s often difficult to find amongst all the stories about greed and physical prowess and money and self-centeredness and statistics.
It is also a story about Trimaine’s college coach, Steve Fisher. It makes me feel good i watch Aztec basketball. It even makes me feel better about a lot of college coaches with the hope they might, in some small way, emulate Fisher.
i won’t elaborate here as Mark Ziegler nailed it: https://enewspaper.sandiegouniontribune.com/desktop/sdut/default.aspx?&edid=6cf43dce-8f47-4d0e-b9e0-62628ca5840f
So, i’ll be watching the coin toss at the Super Bowl today. i’ll stay around and watch the game until my rear end gets sore from sitting or the game gets boring.
But i won’t be watching the half-time show.