Faded Colors

by on Sep.04, 2009, under politics, sports

I’m going to start off with an analogy regarding birthdays.  As children, birthdays are absolutely great days – days of celebration of a milestone, days of cake and presents and family and friends.  Every child looks forward to celebrating birthdays – their own or even those of people to whom they are close.  But as we grow older what birthdays symbolize changes – they become reminders of our mortality and moments of introspection.  In some cases we may even opt out of celebrating all of them – a choice that may seem unfathomable to our younger selves.  Wow – that analogy went deeper than I expected.  The real topic I want to discuss for which I drew such an analogy is patriotism.

As I was watching the Eagles game the other night, I became aware that at one point in NFL history the Eagles and the Steelers had merged (a team-up informally known as the Steagles).  Upon looking up this event in history, I came to find that this corresponded to World War II and was due to many of the players volunteering to join the service and fight instead of stick around and play games.  Such patriotic actions also greatly impacted baseball – a much more prominently appreciated sport at the time.  And players who couldn’t serve for medical reasons were often looked down upon.  Yet today such uniform patriotism no longer seems prevalent and few are judged as being un-American for not wanting to serve in the armed forces – wartime or not.

Perhaps it was the questionable engagements of the 60’s and 70’s that lead us to our loss of innocence.  Maybe the war games of the 80’s made us more skeptical and cynical regarding our government’s military decision-making.  Surely the recent series of questionable maneuvers have subdued our appetite to join the fray.  But I have doubts that one or several changes in administration will wash away this new mentality.  I think that the American people may have grown up, and the zeal we once had to be all we could be may be, at least as a collective mindset, an experience that is permanently in our past.  We know that struggles will continue and we still have respect for our great nation, but we may never again look forward to taking on the evils of the world in the name of God and country.

This is not to say that American patriotism is dead, but rather that it has evolved.  Much like we grow past the cake and party favors we clung to as children, we are learning that loving our nation isn’t so black and white.  We can show our respect without being compelled to be on the front lines.

Perhaps I’m wrong – perhaps my own cynicism is too deep for me to see the forest through the trees.  Maybe a time WILL come when we, as a nation, will face a struggle that will compels us to a greater unified purpose.  But it isn’t where we are today … which seems perfectly fine to me – hell, I think it makes me love this country even more.

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Win Some, Lose Some

by on Oct.31, 2008, under career, sports

This week is a bittersweet week for me.  On Wednesday night, I went out to a bar with a bunch of colleagues to watch the Phillies win the World Series, which was awesome.  But the real reason for the outing was a farewell to the CTO and founder of our company as he was resigning and Thursday was his last day with the company.  So I find myself sitting here on Halloween, on the day of the celebration parade for the World Series win, on a day that I will be getting a catered lunch and get to leave early to take the kids trick-or-treating, in a rather ho-hum mood. (continue reading…)

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Go Phils! *click*

by on Oct.24, 2008, under sports

I’m sure that as long as professional sports have been played in our nation, there have been fair-weather fans.  Philadelphia tends to have more than most.  It doesn’t matter which sport it is or how well the team is doing, some portion of the crowd of fans is cheering when they win and sighing an expected sigh when they lose.  Philadelphia fans are tough – our teams are rarely “robbed”, if they fall behind or lose, we know where they screwed up.  And even if they seem to be on a streak, we all hold that safety net in our heads that if that streak fades, they probably had only been lucky anyway. (continue reading…)

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And the Gold Medal Goes to …

by on Aug.19, 2008, under sports, TV

NBC!  So yeah, I’ve been wrapped up in the Olympics pretty much since they started.  I have never been big into them – every time the summer Olympics come along I say how I like the winter sports better and vice versa when the winter games arive.  But from the spectacle that was the opening ceremony, through the weekend coverage of cool sports I didn’t even know were in the Olympics, to the great selection of prime-time sports (swimming, beach volleyball, etc.), it has all been gripping – too much so.  One of these nights I would like to get to bed before 2AM.  But what I’ve really been enjoying is the excitement that NBC is fostering in me for the fall television season. (continue reading…)

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by on Jul.23, 2008, under parenthood, sports

It is coming to my attention that my son (who is currently 21 months old) may be destined to have a knack for sports.  It seems that fate likes irony.  I was never your typical alpha male type – I never cared much for sports or cars or any of the more macho pursuits.  I’ve always been the quiet, nerdy type and I have no problem admitting it.  I have always been happy as such.  Similarly, my wife is not your typical girly girl.  She own 3 pairs of shoes and two of them are sneakers and hiking sandals.  So when faced with parenthood, we were both prepared to raise our children without prejudice or gender steering of any kind – we would always allow them to be who they want to be and try not to push them into any particular mold. (continue reading…)

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