Monday, April 19, 2010

Remember Our Team As They Play A Real Game Today

Yesterday there were 16 Major League Baseball games played. There were another eight hockey games and four NBA games with final scores in which one team beat the other.

In the big picture, none of it truly matters.

We banter daily about the "Battles" that we won.

Battles aren't fought on the hardwood or at the rink. On the diamond or on the gridiron. Battles are fought on the battlefield only.

Blood isn't shed by guys in shoulder pads. Blood is shed by a team with no pads at all.

The word battle should be reserved for those skirmishes in which our men and women fight far from home, defending honor and displaying courage. The term battle should not be abused when we speak of Josh Beckett buzzing one by the head of Bobby Abreu and the ensuing square dance that took place between overzealous boys.

A battle is a revered term we should sanctify when we speak of our troops upholding life and liberty as we know it.

We speak of "Our Team" as if we suited up ourselves and faced the opposing pitcher on the mound. "Our Team" suits up every day to fight an enemy that it doesn't even know. To put their lives on the line so that we can sit back and watch LeBron take on Kobe.

"Our Team" wishes that it could find the time to play ball in the backyard with a child they haven't yet met. They pray that they could sit around the dinner table and break bread with their mother and father. With their sisters and their brothers.

While we lie in bed watching the Bruins defeat the Canadiens, "Our Team" wishes that they could simply be falling asleep next to their wives or husbands or their fiances. While we love our Yankees or our Sox, "Our Team" loves their country so much that they are willing to have shrapnel buzzing by their heads at a speed that would make a Randy Johnson offering look like a Wakefield knuckler.

And "Our Team" doesn't wear Red Sox or pinstripes. They don't have a closet full of Cubbies t-shirts like you or me. They have a wardrobe that is without diversity. Clothes that they put on each and every day that show their true colors. Red and white and blue.

And while 26,000 men and women are running today's historic Boston Marathon to the cheers and admiration of millions from Hopkinton to Boston, a number far greater are also running life's marathon to the cheers of no one.

So when you flip on the tube today. Patriots Day in Massachusetts, think of the true patriots.

Not Brady, Moss, and Welker, but PFC. Darren Dodge, USMC (my daughter Erika's boy friend), Gary Coran, USMC, Cpl. Lee Haywood, USMC, Robert Corran USMC-RIP, Kevin Messmer, 10th Mountain Cavalry, and Captain Jennifer Harris, USMC-RIP.

They are the heroes that truly went to battle yesterday and the day before.

And they are truly the only team we should be rooting for. These men and women are the true patriots that should fill our hearts today.

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