It’s about Eric Beletz

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I first met Eric when he was 4 years of age.  I fell in love with him at first sight.  It sounds odd I know.  Falling in love with your kid at first sight?  The funny thing is that I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t fall in love with Eric at first sight.  What makes him even more amazing is that these same people never stop loving him.  I know I never have.
When Eric was in the first grade, his teacher called me in for an impromptu parent/teacher conference.  We had not one, but two teachers and the school vice principal in the room when we walked in for the conference.  Everyone seemed pretty serious so I worried that Eric had done something terrible. 
“Eric has been taking stickers out of my drawer without permission and putting them in his book,” his teacher told us. 
Apparently, the teacher was giving students stickers when the students did something well as a reward.  At the end of each week, the students with the most stickers would redeem their stickers for some type of a reward like a stuffed animal or a game.  It seems that Eric figured out another way to obtain stickers.  For nine weeks straight, Eric was coming in first or second with the most stickers.
“Well, this is stealing and we can’t have this!  I’ll see to this that Eric understands this and that he returns the ill gotten prizes” I told them all.
“Oh no!  Please don’t!  We love Eric!  Eric is wonderful!  He can keep them!” they all said.  I didn’t understand them.  I scratched my head.  “We just wanted to let you know.”
And there it is.  People love Eric.  I love Eric.  Eric has never done anything wrong.  Never.
We moved to Lawrence, Kansas when Eric was 7 years old.  He came home the very first day with a picture of a bird he had drawn and in the background was an American flag. 
“What is that?” I asked.  He put his hands on his hips, shook his head and looked at me looking pretty disgusted at me on his face.
“Gosh Dad, don’t you know?  It’s a Jayhawk and they live in KUSA like we do!”  Ever since that day, the hands on the hips, shaking of the head and the disgusted look on his face has always worked for him when it came to something he wants from me.  Five Roy Williams Basketball Camps, a Danny Manning Basketball Camp and who knows what else.  I’ve never really kept track. 
He has always loved the University of Kansas and the Jayhawks.  It turns out that they have an awesome basketball team.  He loves the Jayhawks so much that he fell in love with one and they gave me a granddaughter and she is a Jayhawk too.  What is so funny is that I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t fall in love with her at first sight either.  I know I did. 
But it’s not about me.


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It’s about #ResistHate

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Cheering for the New England Patriots again?  Are you a big fan of the Boston Celtics?  Don’t you just love the Red Sox?  Well, I’m not, I’m not, and I don’t.  But maybe it’s because I am not from the area or maybe it’s because I’m ” a Bum!”

“Get outta heyah you bum!!!” they’d say in a local tavern or from the bleachers.

One thing they’d almost never do at a sporting event is to say they wished me hurt or dead because of who I was cheering for at a game. Not so true in politics these days.  And in some cases, in our modern day culture, hate speech has begun to spring up in our homes, our schools, at local sporting events and at sporting events on the screen.  Now people voice their rage with hate speak about my political beliefs or who or what I supported on the ballot in all of these places.   OMG, it has even made its way into our churches, our synagogues and in our mosques.

Maybe it’s because I’m a Cubs Fan.  We have been very patient.  We waited how many years before we won the World Series?  For me, it was my entire life.  But we didn’t go hating anybody because we couldn’t get our ring.  Okay, some of us hated Steve Bartmann.  But we got over it in one winter and we were back at it when Spring Training came around.  Steve who?

If we were struggling in the standings we changed Skippers.  From Joey Amalfitano to Dusty Baker to Ryne Sandberg to Lou Pinella, when we weren’t winning, we would change managers.  When we struggle in this country, we change our leadership too.  Instead of playing nine innings, Congress and the President campaign every two, four or six years and if we aren’t happy with the job they are doing, we replace them.  There is a democratic process and we all play by the same rules.

I’ve asked my friends what they thought and some of them told me it’s because people consider political issues to be extremely personal.  Some of my friends told me that my comparing sports to politics is extremely shallow.  It is a metaphor with no home in America.  “Politics is serious business and sports is not!!” they say in almost a feverish pitch.

I think some of my friends need to push the “reset” button.  You know, it’s not the enthusiasm or intensity in their belief system that I take exception too.  It’s the character assassination they carry with them when they choose to wade in to the political waters that worries me every time somebody disagrees with them.  I believe this is what makes politics personal.

But then, it’s not about me, is it?






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