The great pastime of America throughout the years has been sports. Americans have been ingenious in turning something simple into a sport for everyone to enjoy. I must say I have enjoyed my share of sports.
When younger, I was a baseball fan. I went to as many games as possible. The Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland was just a few minutes from my house so I could visit it often. I did not really care who won the game as long as it was a good game played, not to mention the hotdogs.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage accused me of going to ball games just to eat hotdogs. Whenever I would return from a ballgame the first question would be, not who won the game but, "How many hotdogs did you eat?"
If the truth was known, and you will not get it from me, many a hotdog sacrificed itself at a ballgame. After all, when you are watching a ballgame, who has time to keep track of how many hotdogs you are eating?
I did have a moment of anxiety once when my wife threatened to weigh me before the game and then weigh me after the game to see if I had eaten too many hotdogs. When she first mentioned it I laughed, but I noticed she was not laughing, which caused me some deep concern. Fortunately, for me it never got to that but came perilously close.
Nothing is more relaxing on a Saturday afternoon than sitting in a ballpark watching a ballgame in progress. Somehow, all the cares of the world seem to flutter away while watching the game.
It all ended for me one summer. I had come into the house from some chore and my wife greeted me by saying, "Do you know your ball team is on strike?"
I looked at her, laughed and said, "I know. They get three strikes and then they're out. That's the way they play the game." I winked at her and laughed good-naturedly. "Finally," I said to her, "you're coming to understand what the game is all about."
"No, you don't understand. Your team is on strike."
"I get you, and this Saturday I'm going to go and watch them strike again."
It took me a while but finally my wife got through the thickness of my skull and got me to understand the strike she was talking about was not the strike I was talking about. It is always nice when people are on the same page.
They were on strike for, you will never guess, more money. Up to that point, I thought the players played because they loved the game. Now, to find out that my heroes were primarily interested in money was disheartening. I have never been able to watch a game since with the same excitement I did before. Why can't we just have fun?