Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The view from the cheap seats

Since so much of my comments here are observational, I thought today's title to be appropriate.  I also considered something else, but realized that journalist David Brinkley beat me to it as the title of one of his memoirs:  "Everyone is entitled to my opinion."

True, true.

OK, first, let's touch on sports.  This is one of my favorite times of the year, as the baseball season is winding down to reveal who will play in the post-season (and confirms what I've known for months, that my Cincinnati Reds will not be playing any meaningful games from here on out), and both the college and professional football seasons are getting underway.  Great time of year to be a sports fan.

Not so great, though, if you're a fan of high-quality professional football, as most of the games that I've watched have involved some pretty sloppy play.  This is undoubtedly owing to the NFL lockout that prevented teams from having "off-season" workouts, mini-camps and abbreviated training camp.  I've come to understand that much of what happens in football is not the result of raw talent or ability, but rather extensive practice and repetition.  And the pros didn't get that.  To be sure, some teams looked pretty sharp offensively (Green Bay, New Orleans and New England come to mind) but others looked like a couple more weeks of practice might have helped.

And then there's college football.  The "experts" were significantly wrong about Notre Dame, as the Irish have now lost two games.  The latest was a massive collapse in the fourth quarter at Michigan last Saturday evening, making Notre Dame 0-2.  I'm sure the Irish faithful aren't happy at all about this.

Kentucky is 2-0, and not because they played so well in either of their games.  But a win is a win, so they say, and Kentucky fans will take it, although they'll not be too thrilled with how things look down the road if things don't improve.

So let's now turn to politics.  Have you watched any of the Republican debates so far?  Looks like the mission of most of the candidates is to tear down the front-runner, Texas Governor Rick Perry (who looks like an odd cross between George W. Bush and a televangelist).  They're forgetting that they will have to run against a somewhat unpopular, but still incumbent, President Obama, so they're probably wasting their ammunition on the wrong opponent.

Speaking of President Obama, it was nice to see him show some fire last week in his address to Congress concerning his jobs bill.  We haven't seen that fire since he was a candidate for his current office, and it's long overdue.  I think he is unfairly criticized for his willingness to compromise and cooperate, but since the conciliatory method isn't working, time to try something else.

Finally, I won't say that I enjoyed the coverage of the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01, but I watched some of the programming and felt that everything was done very appropriately.  I was and am fortunate that I did not lose anyone on that day, nor have I lost a loved once since in our numerous military deployments around the world.  But I cannot help but feel that the people left behind by those lost on 9/11 have a very different sense of grief and sadness than those who have lost military personnel or others serving in a civilian capacity in a war zone since.  Regardless, it's important to remember them all.

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