There's Really Only One Team To Root For on Memorial Day
This Memorial Day weekend there will be 45 Major League Baseball games played. There will be several eager teams waiting for their next round of Stanley Cup hockey to commence and an NBA playoff game or two with final scores in which one team beat the other.
In the big picture, none of it truly matters.
We banter daily around the water coolers about the "battles" that we won, the fights that were fought on the hardwood, the rink and between the lines; knowing full well that battles aren't fought on the hardwood or at the rink. On the diamond or on the gridiron. Battles are fought on the battlefield only.
Blood isn't shed by guys in shoulder pads, cleats, or jock straps. Real blood is shed by a team with no pads at all.
The word battle is grossly misused as they flow from the lips of broadcasters and over zealous fanatics and should only be reserved for those skirmishes in which our men and women fight far from home, defending honor and displaying courage. The term 'battle' should not be abused when we speak of CC Sabathia buzzing one by the head of Pujols and the ensuing square dance that takes place between over enthusiastic boys.
A battle is a revered term we should sanctify when we speak of our troops upholding life and liberty as we know it.
We speak of "our team" as if we suited up ourselves and faced the opposing pitcher on the mound. "Our team" suits up every day to fight an enemy that it doesn't even know. To put their lives on the line so that we can sit back and watch Lebron take on Durant.
"Our team" only wishes that it could find the time to play ball in the backyard with a child they have yet to meet. They pray that they could sit around the dinner table and break bread with their mother and father. With their sisters and their brothers. To enjoy the family barbecue we are about to enjoy instead of sharing chow in a mess tent with their adopted brothers and sisters.
While we lie in bed watching the B's defeat the Penguins, "our team" wishes that they could simply be falling asleep next to their wives or husbands or their fiances. While we love our Yankees or our Sox, "our team" loves their country so much that they are willing to have shrapnel buzzing by their heads at a speed that would make a Jason Grilli offering look like a RA Dickey knuckler.
And "our team" doesn't wear red socks or pinstripes. They don't have a closet full of Cubbies t-shirts like you or I do. They have a wardrobe that is without diversity. Clothes that they put on each and every day that show their true colors. Red and white and blue.
So when you flip on the tube today and watch your baseball heroes wearing their patriotic red white and blue caps, think of the true heroes.
Not Brady, Gronk, and Hernandez, but Darren Dodge, USMC (my son-in-law), Ryan Moore, USMC, Elizabeth Drake, Air National Guard, Wounded Warrior Alicia Watkins, Robert Corran USMC-RIP, Varinka Barbini Ensminger Medical Service Corp Officer, United States National Guard, and Sven Doebler, Nuclear Electrician Chief Petty Officer at US Navy.
They are the heroes that truly went to battle today, yesterday, and the day before.
And they are truly the only team we should be rooting for. These men and women are the true patriots that should fill our hearts today and every day.
Todd Civin is a Senior writer for the Bleacher Report and owner of Civin Media Relations. He is the co-author of the book One Letter at a Time by Rick Hoyt and Destined to Run by Wes Harding.
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