First the Browns, then the Bengals, and then the debates. There was nothing about Sunday worth remembering, or watching, until Jared Hoying came to bat for the last time this season. Finally, a reason to smile!
I’m gonna’ confess, but I don’t have to…you already know it…that Sunday was a miserable day for sports television, or television in general for that matter.
Look, I’m an early riser even on Sundays. I like my first cup of home-made Starbucks about 6 am, check website metrics immediately upon pouring. I read overnight emails. On this Sunday I spent a little reflective time in the book of Romans, chapter 7:15, to be exact. And then I moved on to the Sunday news shows. That’s where it started.
The doom and gloom of the networks bashing Donald Trump, who doesn’t need any help. He does a pretty good job of it by himself.
The irony of the Clinton ads promising that’s she’s always approved this message…as if we’ve forgotten.
Political ads by both parties that are so deceiving and self-serving they’re insulting to watch. If Rob Portman is the last bastion of hope for Ohio…why isn’t HE running for president?
By 10:30 the deluge of over-analyzation for NFL football sets in. How I long for Cris Carter suddenly, given Charles Woodson (who should not wear crevats) and Randy Moss as replacements. I’ve been “Mossed” for the last time.
I’m not a Browns fan, but I am a traditionalist. I know more about the history of the Browns than those who presently bleed the Kool-Aid. I can cite you Bob Gain (UK), Bill Glass (Baylor), Vince Costello (Ohio U.) and Ray Renfro (North Texas). Along with the Bears, the Packers, the Giants and a couple of others, for years the Browns wore the most iconic uniforms in professional football. But the new “beer league” look and all that orange simply leaves me cold. And besides that, they can’t play.
I was interested in seeing the Bengals and Dallas, not so much of for interest in the Bengals, but more for the evolution of Ezekiel Elliott as a professional running back. O-H! He didn’t disappoint. He crushed the Bengals single-handedly. Ok, he got some help, but 15 carries, 134 yards and two touchdowns was pretty impressive.
And then the debates. My wife asked…”Are you going to watch?”
“I’d rather write…work on next week’s high school football,” was my answer. But it was on downstairs and you couldn’t escape hearing the hypocrisy that comes from a lack of truth, character, and hope for our nation based on the choice between candidates. It’s depressing. I didn’t listen. I didn’t have to; I knew what was being said. I didn’t feel “great” over what Trump said…and I didn’t feel unified over Hillary’s promise to work to bring us all together. No one in 2,016 years has been able to do that. But she says she can?
I kept flipping over to the ALDS game between Texas and Toronto, and lo and behold…there was Jared Hoying pinch-hitting for Nomar Mazara in the top of the ninth. I brightened. There was some hope, some good news, and proof that good things still do happen to good people who work hard, believe in their dream, and are patient in their own hope.
They flashed his season stats across the board, along with his bio. How cool was that? Jared Hoying – Ft. Loramie, Ohio – 27 years of age – .217 for the season, but that didn’t matter. How many people from Shelby County have ever played in the ALDS, let alone scored a run as he did in Friday’s game in Texas?
The guy pitching for Toronto (Roberto Osuna) was throwing gas…I mean hard! And on top of that he got the benefit of what looked like a doubtful called second strike. Up 1-2 in the count, Osuna went for the jugular and threw a nasty breaking pitch down and in. Jared committed…and struck out. And an inning later, he stood and watching in right field as the Rangers infield imploded, allowing the winning run to score and end their season.
But hey…for that one moment, that one bright spot for the area in a day of Browns, Bengals, Trump and Hillary, I went to sleep last night not thinking about how bad it is…but how good it can be if you really believe, have hope, and follow your dream.
I owe Jared Hoying. A Bud Light when I see you this fall, buddy.