• November 24, 2020

HART: Sporting events are leading the reopening of America - Odessa American: Opinion Columnist

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HART: Sporting events are leading the reopening of America

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Posted: Sunday, June 28, 2020 1:30 am

Even with all the fear and loathing directed toward defeating Trump in five months, there is much to be optimistic about.

The good news is we have learned a lot about COVID-19 and how to live with it —not so much from healthcare bureaucrats or Governor Cuomo (the self-proclaimed experts), but from living, actual, real-time data. The press’s ability to manipulate us has waned and America is ready to get back to being America, in spite of the small risks.

It was nice to go out to a restaurant for dinner the other day. It was the first meal in four months that I had eaten with my pants on.

And it was a welcome sight to see golf and NASCAR, the two whitest sports ever, back on TV. Even without fans, this is a great first step. Leadership in reopening various sports is what it will take to get us back to normal. With sports gone, the “circuses” part of the “bread and circuses” politicians need to keep citizens at bay and not outraged about politics has been missing. They are afraid that, without sports to distract us, we might pay attention to their horrific handling of our tax dollars.

While not, in my view, a sport, NASCAR did open — but not without some controversy and politics infused. With their Southern roots, NASCAR fans often sported the Confederate flag. But now NASCAR has banned the Stars and Bars. However, Trump is leading in the polls in any state where you still can buy a Confederate flag shot glass in a gift shop.

Banning the Confederate flag was yet another attempt to poke blue collar Southerners in the eye. It was removed the way things should get removed, by reasoning of NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. He is African-American and named “Bubba.” At the Darlington S.C. race, he was the only NASCAR driver pulled over by cops during the race.

For sports like NASCAR to get going again, they have to pay some sort of penance to BLM. As any leftist will tell you, acting like you care is much more important than doing anything meaningful to effect real change. The NFL, which is 70% black, has to come up with some offering to the pious leaders of BLM. Maybe they should take down any school statues and exclude any player from the NFL who once played for the South in the Mobile, Alabama College All-Star Bowl game.

Most of us love sports because they provide an escape from the rancorous political world and from our day-to-day pressures. Now it seems we have to endure inane grandstanding from kneeling during the National Anthem and preachy athletes like LeBron James just to get to our favorite sports.

When golf cranked up, President Trump was briefly asked to commentate during the telecast of the match between the teams of Peyton Manning/Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson/Tom Brady at the Medalist Golf Course. It was a great made-for-TV event that started golf’s first steps back. What’s the difference between Donald Trump or Tiger Woods and Santa Claus? Santa stops after three Ho’s.

Chess would actually have worked on TV during the last few months under lockdown. The only problem with chess is that the white pawns always go first. That would have to change. All the black pawns are currently being used by the DNC to riot and help defeat Trump.

The first part of reopening is getting our public playgrounds and national parks opened up. It was good to see that the Great Smoky Mountain National Park is about to totally reopen, though the bears will not be showing up to work for another month. They are paid more money on unemployment so they will sit it out until that runs out.

And to finally get us back to normal, the entertainment business will need to get back to business. In the months ahead, the shutdown will have caused a scarcity of new shows that also quell the masses. There is a movie about Princess Diana called “Spencer” in the works. It will be about the grand wedding and then the implosion of Prince Charles’ marriage. Hot actors are battling for few roles. Kristen Stewart will play Lady Diana, and the part of Duchess Camilla should go to Leslie Jordan.

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