Monday, July 30, 2007

Finally a good Sports moment

In what has been a horrible time for sports, what with the whole Mike Vick thing (and I hate hate hate how the NAACP is now making this seem about race by organizing a support Vick rally; I'm pretty sure they didn't show such restraint in the Lacrosse Case), the rampant doping at the Tour de France,the NBA betting scandal, He Who Will Not Be Named about to break the home run record Skip Prosser dying and (it has just been reported) Bill Walsh passing away from Leukemia all around it has been probably the worst period that I can remember, (though luckily not as bad as Slate writes, it always could be.)
But in the midst of all that was a really good place at Cooperstown where Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr. were enshrined in the Hall of Fame. I know its been said to death (and ESPN's camera certainly played along, with repeated showings of a sign reading Classiest Class) but they were two humble and selfless and seemingly pure gentlemen who played the game the right way. I could never like Tony as much as I should have because he did play his whole career for a division rival but there's no way you could hate him as a person, he was so quiet and unassuming and just did his job. But he has started along the Kirby Puckett route of being very fat and square after they retire. Hopefully he can work on getting healthier.
And then there is Cal who is like a God to me (with amazing deep blue eyes) and along with Griffey the only non Dodgers I consider among my favorite players. I remember watching his 2131st straight game and when they rebroadcast it yesterday I still got goosebumps when they unveiled the sign. He was just so steady and (maybe a little too) iconic but he's who you would want your kid to idolize.(and when I was in AmeriCorps in Perry Point, right across the river from his hometown of Aberdeen his museum which was preety damn cool even to cynical me.) And they both made such great speeches about doing the right thing and the responsibility of being a role model are really what they great ones and the Hall of Fame should be about. And when Cal started crying talking about his wife, of course I started to tear up, of course I cry at the drop of a hat where for guys they can only acceptable cry over sports and I guess their wives.
It was a great day. But the only thing that cast a strange note was sitting right behind Cal's family was John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston and when Cal started to cry to his wife, right over her shoulder you could see Travolta wearing some stupid sailor hat and blubbering. what was up with that?
But no matter; Congratulations once again gentlemen.

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