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World on the brink
Sports seems so small right now
Good morning, all!
How I wish I could write that “I hope your week is off to a terrific start,” but world events make that salutation seem trite. The terrorist attack on Israel over the weekend has placed the world on the brink. We already have conflict in Ukraine, with the United States essentially fighting a proxy war against Russia. Now we have the Middle East, always an area of the world on edge, about to erupt into a full blown war. And make no mistake, the way this is all unfolding, it is going to result into more than Israel entering Gaza to wipe out Hamas. In fact, it already has, as Hezbollah, the terrorist group in Lebanon tries to attack Israel from the north. Reportedly, residents of southern Lebanon are fleeing north in fear of what is about to happen to their country.
If you subscribe to this newsletter, you know it is about sports. I did the general-issue genre back in the day on my afternoon-drive, radio talk show. I will refrain from offering my opinions on the geopolitical situation now, although I have my thoughts. But, I worry; worry about the innocent people in the line of fire, whether it is the Middle East, Europe or wherever there is conflict.
I was seven years old, when the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolded but I remember watching President John F. Kennedy on television and listening to reports emanating from our radio planted atop the refrigerator in our kitchen. I knew something was going on and understood it was serious. We even had fallout shelters in our schools and practiced “duck and cover.” I have read extensively about that crisis, when the world was on the brink, and what is unfolding now makes that crossroads-event look like two kids playing in a sandbox.
One of the reasons the Cuban Missile Crisis ended peacefully was JFK’s ability to understand the other side needed a way out to “save face” without the USA appearing to have lost its backbone. Whether it is the war in Ukraine or the Middle East, that is not the case this time, and that is why I worry. In 1962 we thought a nuclear holocaust was around the corner. Sixty-one years ago almost to the day, the world is in a far worse situation. Back then, President Kennedy was shrewd enough to find a way out for both sides. There does not seem to be a “way out” this time or a way to “save face,” nor does there appear to be a leader with the wisdom of the 35th President of the United States to find that “way out.” We could use a few leaders of his caliber now. Pray that one emerges so the world can take a step back from the brink.
The sports world proceeds…
Whether it was World War II, the Vietnam War or pick your conflict, the world of sports never stopped and so it is now. Here are some of my quick thoughts of what is making sports news:
Stories are emerging that Bill Belichick could be one of the first NFL coaches that is fired this season. I could be wrong, but I don’t see it. Yes, the New England Patriots are playing putrid football, but I have to believe owner Robert Kraft will permit Belichick to finish out this season and try to right the ship.
Good for the WNBA to expand to San Francisco and Portland. Before there was the WNBA, there was the ABL. Hartford had a team and I broadcast the games. Two of the franchises in the league were Portland and San Jose. Both clubs drew well and that was back in the late 1990s. Look for these franchises to succeed too.
Sports and war have always intersected and that is the case tonight, when Dean Kremer starts a must-win Game 3 for the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS at Texas. Kremer played for Team Israel in the WBC this spring. His parents live in Israel.
MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL have all issued statements condemning the terrorist attacks in Israel.
Former NFL player Julian Edelman, who is of Jewish heritage, wrote on Twitter: “Forget politics, forget money, forget land. This is hate. An ancient hate we’ve seen before.”
Remember when we thought the American League East was the best division in MLB? Well, the Yankees and Red Sox finished fourth and fifth in the division, and the remaining clubs are 0-6 in the playoffs. Tampa Bay and Toronto have gone home and the Orioles are 0-2, one loss away from elimination.
As the NHL prepares to drop the puck on another season, Forbes reports the New York Rangers are the league’s most valuable franchise at $2.2 billion. The Rangers last won the Stanley Cup in 1994.
That is going to do it for this week’s newsletter. Thank you for subscribing and pray that our world comes to its senses.