Biff America column: Curse of the bambino
July 16, 2015
"What sports team is Mike a fan of?"
My mate asked that question in reference to a post our friend, Michael, put on Facebook. Since this was last week, I assumed Ellie (and Mike) was referring to baseball. Mike's post was lamenting his teams' poor performance the night before. While not happy with the results, he applauded their efforts.
"Well" I answered, "I think he likes the Colorado Rockies, but I know he is also a huge fan of the New York Yankees. Pretty sure he is talking about the Yankees in that post."
Though I have spent most of my life in Colorado, I am still indifferent to our sports teams. My allegiances lie with the teams of my youth, the Boston Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics. And though having no TV and with limited coverage of my Boston teams here in Colorado, I've managed to maintain a profound love for the Boston Red Sox while clinging to a dislike for all things New York Yankees. I mean I really don't like the Yankees.
Of course I'm aware it is totally irrational to favor one collection of millionaires over another. And I also know that anger and negativity is both unhealthy and irrational but notwithstanding I do enjoy disliking the Yankees. Despite that, when I told my mate that Mike was a huge New York Yankee fan I did so with a neutral feeling as if I told her that he enjoyed the taste of kale (another thing I can't stand).
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Michael is good company. My feelings toward him cannot be swayed because he supports a sports team (or a vegetable) which I profoundly dislike. In fact I'll go so far to say that if I let Mike's love for the Yankee pinstripes changed the way I felt about him as a person I'd be an idiot. I'm often surprised why some folks have difficulty maintaining that neutrality politically.
I pause here because, I swear on my mother's grave, I am reluctant to type this next sentence. Though I'm not too concerned that I have burned any bridges with my Yankee-loving readers — with my next declaration I'm not so sure.
I'm a huge fan of Barack Obama. I believe he will go down in history as one of the best President's in our lifetime. I realize that just by typing those few words I have alienated close to half of the people who reads this column. I wouldn't be surprised if some thought me stupid for feeling as I do.
Now admittedly, it is very possible that I will be proven wrong in my assessment of O's place in history. But that said, it is undoubtedly ridiculous that anyone should have anything stronger than a cordial and neutral reaction to my support and fondness of our commander and chief. No one dislikes the New York Yankees more than I but some of my closest friends love that team.
Now granted our leaders affect our lives much more than our sports teams. But with our leaders we have recourse. Red Sox fans had to suffer for 86 years between World Series but we can vote out politicians every four years. Resenting someone for a particular political leaning is akin to disliking them for enjoying a particular food (kale) which gives you gas.
A MATTER OF PERSONAL VALUES
I think it is a matter of personal values. Many might dislike a particular politician for the same reason others support them. So, the same reason I'm an Obama fan is the reason others are not. God knows I'm not smart or pervasive enough to try to change anyone's opinion. There are not enough hours in the day and I want to go on a bike ride.
But I will say this.
We get the government we deserve. And by that I mean that most of us prefer to be affirmed rather than informed. We seek out news and opinion sources which tell us what we already believe. Just as we tend to believe the best of our sports heroes we will believe the worst that any nut case — on TV, radio, internet — tells us about our elected officials. Personally, I don't trust anyone who can't say anything positive about the other side. Let's take the last two presidents — W. Bush and Obama. Now as I mentioned above, I'm an Obama fan but I can easily come up with positive policies from the W. administration. Anyone who can't do the same for both Bush and Obama (or McConnell, Elizabeth Warren, etc.) is lazy, close minded or biased.
No leader, team or vegetable is loved by all. And I would go as far to say, when it comes to leaders, most are doing what they honestly feel is what is best for this nation. Now granted we don't all agree what that might be. When your 'go-to' emotion is anger it clouds your judgment and ruins your health. Speaking of ruining your health — I would also warn any who are still reading this to not stand behind me after I've eaten kale.
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on TV-8-Summit and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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