And so, as we sit in our recliners and sofas to watch and listen to the Presidential candidates and their party teammates, the 2020 election is being billed as a battle for the very existence of our democracy.
Heady stuff, indeed.
Politics elicits myriad lessons, along with the requisite arguments that accompany those lessons. Issues, personalities, money and party loyalties are among the factors involved in high-level politics.
But some of us get just as much thrill and intrigue from sports. Turn on the NBA playoffs and Major League Baseball and you’ll see just as many issues, personalities, money and team loyalties involved in the action.
At its simplest, sports provides us with entertainment — thrills, spills and chills.
On a deeper level, it produces epic tales of heroism, redemption, team dynamics and damage control.
Today’s hero is tomorrow’s loser, just as in politics. Conversely, an athlete or team that is written off can emerge from the ashes as a champion. Sports gives us stories that myths are made of. Babe Ruth calling his shot. Michael Jordan knocking down a jumper to beat Utah for the NBA title. Tom Brady bringing the Patriots from the brink of defeat to beat the Falcons in the Super Bowl.
In today’s political climate, Presidential elections can be ugly affairs. We try to get through it without getting to much residual mud on us. Sports has his own ugliness (sign stealing, brawls, labor strikes and concussions), but it’s a different type of dirt.
So as you all get (more than) your fill of politicking the next couple of months, be sure to throw in a ballgame or two. Baseball is halfway through it’s short season, the NBA is in the middle of its playoffs. Golf and tennis have some major tournaments coming up and the NFL will compete with the election for your mind and soul.
Better yet, once the smoky air clears up, get out and be your own athlete. Golf courses are making sure their sport is pandemic-safe. Our Pickleball gang strives to socially distance at the Brentlinger Park courts. Or you can run, bicycle or walk.
Anything that will get you out of the house, lessen your pandemic risk and give you some exercise and competition will be good for your body and spirit. Then shower up, grab a sandwich and a beverage and catch your favorite sport on the tube.
Trust me. The election campaign will still be there when you’re game is over.
Longtime Selma resident Ken Robison is a retired newspaper reporter, editor, columnist and photographer. “Selma Stories” runs regularly in The Enterprise.
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