Ocean City Today

Our misdirected national concerns

Sep 28, 2017



Printed 09/29/2017


Protests in the NFL have people swearing off teams, season tickets and the game itself. If that’s not bad enough, now we discover that big-time college basketball is awash in bribe money, fraud and collusion with private industry to cash in on kids.

Sure, other problems of some significance face the country, but when there’s trouble in sports, well, that’s worth paying attention to, by golly.

After all, how can the threat of an attack on U.S. soil by North Korea compare with the firing of Louisville basketball Coach Rick Pitino on corruption charges? Louisville is a top-10 team, after all, and in the powerful Atlantic Coast Conference, no less.

Meanwhile, in pro sports, we’re aghast at this taking-a-knee business by members of most, if not all, teams during the playing of the national anthem.

It’s disgraceful, disrespectful and unpatriotic, and sends the message to youth that it’s OK to be un-American.

Obviously, this deserves our attention, because it’s an assault on our national well-being, unlike, for instance, increasing opioid abuse, which in 2015 involved 12.5 million people and killed 33,000, most of whom — and maybe all — weren’t on television.

Of course, the nation also saw Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria devastate American cities and territories at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, which is nothing compared to the cost of beer and chips during the Super Bowl, or the extended play of March Madness. They’re still struggling in Houston, incidentally, but that happened so long ago.

In the meantime, health care reform failed twice, tax reform has no chance, immigration reform has no papers, Congress is irreparably fractured and we’re being lectured on patriotism by a group of elected federal officials, 82 percent of whom never served one day in military service to their country.

So, yes, we ought to be concerned about what’s going on in our corner of the world, but we should reserve that concern for things that truly matter, as opposed to our armchair alignments on game day.

In that respect, it’s like we’re upset about the cable bill while the TV set is on fire.



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