Tag Archives: sports

The All Star Game

This past Tuesday night, the American and National League All Star players met in Anaheim in the 81st annual mid-summer classic, won by the National league.

Next year’s All Star game is scheduled to be played in Phoenix, Arizona.

One of the major topics at this years All Star game is whether MLB should move the game from Arizona in protest of SB 1070*. There is already serious talk that Hispanic players may boycott the game if it is played in Phoenix. Nearly thirty percent of the players on major league rosters were born outside the US, primarily in South America and the Dominican Republic.

Sports, politics and race relations are headed for a home plate collision.

In 1993, the National Football League moved a scheduled Super Bowl game from Arizona because the State had failed to recognize Martin Luther Kind Day. The voters later changed direction and so honored Dr. King.

MLB is unlikely to follow a similar path. Whereas the NFL is a more dynamic organization, willing to make changes to improve the game, MLB is quite conservative in it’s approach. The Commissioner of MLB, Bub Selig, is not known for being a particularly decisive leader.

Many of the leading stars in baseball are of Hispanic origin. Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Cabrera, David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez are just a few All Stars at this year’s game.

Baseball is just now pulling it’s self out of the swamp that was the “steroid era.” For years, MLB turned a blind eye to performance enhancing drug use, and baseball received a black eye when it turned out that some of the game’s biggest stars were “juiced.”

Approximately sixty five percent of Americans support SB 1070. Would MLB risk alienating that much of the potential fan base to make a political statement?  What would be the response of MLB if Hispanic stars were to boycott the All Star Game?

(SB 1070 is the Arizona law that requires Law Enforcement to inquire about the immigration status of an individual if he or she is suspected of being an illegal alien.)

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under American Society, sports

“And he kicks the ball!!!!!!!!”

Okay, that’s not quite as good as “Brady back to pass, finds Moss in the end zone, touchdown!”

Dang, it’s not even as good as “Lidstrom, takes a pass from Datsyuk. He shoots, he scores!!!!!”

Sometimes, this is even better – “Couch needs to pick up this spare for the victory….”

Americans just haven’t warmed up to the rest of the world’s favorite spectator sport. There is a great possibility that 95 out of a 100 of us couldn’t even tell you how many players are on a side (eleven including  the goalkeeper) or how long a match is (two 45 minute halves.)

And what’s with the name? In the US, it is called “soccer” but most of the rest of the world calls it “football.” To complicate matters, the Australians call it football, but their national team is the “Socceroos.”

Aside from David Beckham, who’s married to Foot Spice or some such, most Americans couldn’t even name a single soccer player. Who do these guys play for:

Landon Donovan

Ronaldo Lima

Cristiano Ronaldo

Zinedine Zidane

Lucas Podolski

Ndamukong Suh

(Answers at the end of the column.)

So, have any of you watched any World Cup action yet, or have the vuvuzela horns kept you away?  For those of you that don’t know, the World Cup is the single largest sporting event in the world and the championship of soccer, featuring 32 national teams and is currently being held in South Africa.

Nelson Mandela was scheduled to attend, but did not after the death of his great-granddaughter in a car crash the night before the opening ceremonies. She was two days past her thirteenth birthday.

Apparently, soccer is just too boring for Americans. Truthfully, that is just too bad, also, since it is a beautiful game played by elite athletes.

Maybe, one day America will join the rest of the world in appreciation of “football.”

But, probably not.

William Stephenson Clark

(Donovan – USA, Lima – Brazil, Ronaldo – Portugal, Zidane – France,  Podolski – Germany.)

(Suh is the first round draft choice of the Detroit Lions, out of Nebraska. He is 6’4″ and 307# and is considered to be one of the best ever defensive ends coming out of college. His father, Michael Suh, played soccer for Cameroon before immigrating to the US.)


Filed under sports

It’s Tee Time!

Sports can thrill and inspire, but of late, sports can be equally frustrating and disgusting. Anymore, it seems you can follow sports stories in the gossip columns and police blotters as much as you can on the sports page.

Nominally, this column is about golf, but it is really about heart.

The US Open begins Thursday at the famed Pebble Beach course in Monterey, California. Being one of four major golf championships, the US Open will feature the best names in golf, Tiger, Phil, Padraig, Miguel and Vijay. Tom Watson will be there. So will Erik Compton.

A dozen golfers will tee off with a realistic expectation of contenting for the championship. Erik Compton is not one of those golfers. Actually, he will be extremely fortunate just to make the cut. He barely even made the field at Pebble Beach, having had to survive a 39 hole qualifier just to make it to his first major championship, but Erik Compton plays with a lot of heart.

In fact, he’s on his third one.

Erik Compton is a thirty year old journeyman golfer from Florida, married, with a 14 month old daughter. He received his first heart transplant when he was twelve, his own heart having failed due to cardiomyopathy. That heart began to fail in 2007 and Erik suffered a heart attack. In 2008, he received yet another heart transplant.

Erik Compton’s playing partners this weekend will include Jannine, the fifteen year old victim of a drunk driver, and Issac, a former student/athlete that fell victim to a hit and run driver.

There will be no storybook ending this weekend. Erik Compton will likely be just one more golfer that tries to follow his dream of winning a US Open championship. Come Sunday afternoon, it will Phil or Tiger or Miguel in the final pairing, pursuing the title and fame and fortune. Erik will probably be watching it on television in his motel room.

Erik Compton’s wife and daughter, along with his parents will join many fans in the gallery, watching him play Pebble Beach.

Also in the gallery, will be the parents of a young man named Issac.

(The thread photo is the Eighteenth hole at Pebble Beach.)

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under Life Lessons

Tuesday, 06/16/09, Public Square

What do you do for a hobby?  I paint rocks, I’ve painted hundreds of rocks.  There’s just no accounting for taste, or lack of (giggle).  It’s relaxing.  I give them away and so far no one has been brave enough to refuse.  😉  Left to right, a few examples of what I paint:  My sis works for ESPN / ABC Sports covering open wheel racing (Indy cars) so she got a rock car, a family of foxes all curled up fit the rock, these are my ‘pocket pals,’ and I try to have an assortment ready so every child who would enjoy one of these critters can leave with one (note the penny in the middle for perspective), and last is a koi pond — again the rock suited itself to what I painted.



Filed under The Public Square