Like a kid who pauses halfway up a tree and is surprised to see how far away the ground has gone it’s disconcerting, and 50 years later a little comical, to see childhood memories as bit players in the broader dramas of receding History. Though I’ve never been 61 years old before, I’m assuming these feelings of vertigo and bemusement are perennial and widespread among kids who survive long enough to feel them. [Read more…]
It’s the dog days of summer but it’s Spring Training all year round in San Diego as the Padres sort through their stock of minor leaguers to see who might still be around in a few years when they hope to be competitive. That means losing a lot. Watching a good amount of losing baseball requires a different lens and an appreciation for the small things inside and outside the game.
Recent efforts to increase the speed of the game are a reflection of the fear that America’s historic pastime is too slow for our constantly-plugged-in culture. We are always running, and it is not. Still, baseball is the perfect summer game because, at base, it’s timeless, lazy. There are lots of empty spaces, best felt at the lower tech, minor league parks, but still there everywhere else if you can tear your eyes away from the big screen.
Having some sense of the fact that watching baseball means occupying a seat in a larger tradition or history also helps—knowing what came before, the role the game has played in our culture. What has been lost and where the ghosts of baseball past still haunt us—the remains of old parks in Catalina, Hana, and other out of the way places where the big leaguers used to train or play. [Read more…]
The World at Play and the US isn’t there. Ah, gee..
Saudi Arabia and Russia are kicking it off, opening the games, June 14. How humorously ironic, our arch-« enemies » from the past-present, not that anyone in the US cares, because we are building The Wall and we aren’t in The Games. I bet that Russia wins the opening match. I’ll be watching. It is decidedly agreed by the soccer powers that the hosting country (Russia 2018) will make it to the semi-finals, at least. That’s the least one can do for the hosting country, n’est-ce pas?
Like we boycotted the Russian Olympic Games of 197whatever…because they were warring with Afganistan, god bless them, the English tried it and failed, we tried it and failed…too bad Afganistan doesn’t develop their soccer league, they would champion! And even though the Russians are hacking our computers and influencing our politics, according to the press who are quoting The Initials (NSA, CIA, FBI..), we still, or perhaps because of, didn’t make the playoffs.
Is that the fault of Trump? I thought they liked him? well, God bless America, my home sweet home. Better luck in four years. [Read more…]
Baseball is back, and, as I do every year—no matter how bad the Padres are—I enjoy re-immersing myself in the game. And, as opposed to our president who argues in this ridiculous interview that talent comes strictly from innate ability and is made manifest on the Social Darwinist proving ground of sport, I know that it’s all about focus and work. Perhaps the most important thing of all is failure that leads to more focus and work and honing one’s craft.
You alone with the thing itself.
On the diamond this cliché holds true: even the best players fail most of the time, sometimes quite badly. You strike out, commit an error, miss a sign, fail to hit the right spot with your pitch. [Read more…]
By John Stump
The Board of Trustees is beginning the processes for preparation and funding of the upcoming Fiscal year 2018-19 Budget. I am requesting that your deliberations include a report of the revenues and expenses associated with promoting and subsidizing the injury and brain concussion prone NFL Style Football, as an academic sport at City of San Diego schools.
I request that the Board request a report which identifies all of the expenses associated with football, including but not limited to coaching, uniforms, facilities, workers compensation claims, and claims associated with students’ and the public’s participation in this sport. Analysis must consider both costs and revenues to determine the benefits of any budget item. [Read more…]
On Sunday, I should have been watching football, but wasn’t. The Chargers leaving San Diego, the reports of brain damage to players, the banality of network coverage, and –above all–the racism has ruined what used to be one of my favorite pastimes.
Mid-afternoon on the first regular weekend day of play, I realized I just didn’t care anymore. I didn’t go to ESPN to check the scores. I didn’t watch any of the recaps on the evening news. And the few mentions I saw on social media had no impact.
My malaise concerning the NFL didn’t happen overnight. Back in the day, I worked at a sports bar in Washington DC. It didn’t matter who was playing, we were always packed on game days. Drinking was part of the fun. So was gambling–mostly through pools, though one of the bartenders was married to a bookie and I assumed he got some action.
Now things are different for me. The greed at the top is so blatant it’s no longer possible for a reasonably aware human to believe in ‘their’ team. [Read more…]
The San Diego Chargers are headed to Los Angeles. Halleluja!
“After much deliberation, I have made the decision to relocate the Chargers to Los Angeles,” team owner Dean Spanos wrote in a press release and letter to season ticket holders. “Today we turn the page and begin an exciting new era as the Los Angeles Chargers.”
The slightly less than 44% of the voters who supported the team’s plan for a downtown stadium in the last election combined with the ‘only’ $375 million final offer involving monies from the County, the City and San Diego State University for some future venue were certainly factors in the decision to move. [Read more…]
These are extraordinary times, and for a passionate progressive like myself, it’s hard to look away from the Basket of Deplorables being assembled to run the country’s executive branch.
But for today we need to discuss something both local and deplorable. Another hair-brained idea to build a downtown stadium for the San Diego Chargers is making the rounds, coming out of a Wednesday sit-down between Mayor Kevin Faulconer and team owners Dean Spanos.
After getting his ass handed to him at the ballot box in 2016 (56% voted No on a stadium measure requiring two-thirds approval), Spanos is counting on a future court ruling lowering the threshold to a simple majority, and on Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s desire to have the Los Angeles market all to himself. [Read more…]
By Lawrence A. Herzog
One of the disturbing trends in this turbulent season of national electoral politics was the explosion of uncertainty about information and truth in reporting. The talking points and tweets often wandered so far from actual facts, they left behind an exhausted citizenry. We are still recovering.
This “post-fact” world has brought the nation to an odd juncture. Fake news stories, Internet hacking, and websites that pump out false information remain a point of contention.
Has this “post-fact” epidemic trickled down to our local elections? [Read more…]
By Nat Krieger
One hundred and eight years without a (I’m not superstitious, but one must respect local taboos) you know. This heritage has left Cubs fans the clearest eyed realists around. You never have to remind a Cubs fan that life is harsh and bloody, and beauty fleeting…“do tell, how about the collapse in ’69? Now that was a team, but Durocher played those guys into the ground…” And Cubs fans have little doubt what ball club life was playing for when Macbeth called it “a walking shadow, a poor player…” And what Cubs fan can forget the sound and fury over a muffed foul pop fly that signifies very little compared to the double play botched by a guy paid plenty to turn them….in short, there is no justice. [Read more…]
There are two items on the ballot for City of San Diego voters related in some fashion to the construction of a place for the local NFL franchise to play.
Measure C, backed by the San Diego Chargers ownership, is an effort to get a stadium/convention center built. The group’s committee is a cash machine, taking in tens of thousands of dollars (nearly) daily, all from the same source.
Measure D is primarily backed by interests with investments in nearby properties, namely the Moores family. For monetary reasons, it’s just about dead in the water. D is on the ballot, but the money spigot was turned off May 3. [Read more…]