Saturday, August 23, 2014

Little League loyalties

In the red corner, sometimes known as the international bracket, we had South Korea squaring off against Japan. As an American, who was I supposed to root for? My country has staunchly defended both these nations against any foreign threats, including the deployment of our armed forces, for well over half a century. This has come at a cost of countless billions of dollars to American taxpayers.

What have they given us in return? Both have flooded my country with their exported automobiles at great damage to American manufacturers. In the meantime, they've slapped tariffs on American auto exports, making them all but unaffordable in their native lands. One -- do I really need to tell you which? -- has obliterated American television, camera, audio equipment, and other electronic gear producers over the decades.

Gee, thanks guys. Nothing like true allies, but excuse me if I don't get too worked up over cheering for your Little League teams.

Hyundai and Kia prevailed over Toyota and Honda.

In the blue corner, sometimes known as the American bracket, we had Team Illinois taking on Team Nevada. Again, being a native of neither state, who was I supposed to root for? Harry Reid's Las Vegas boys or Obama's homies? Not so good things happen fast in both Las Vegas and Chicago.

An example? Count a-thousand one, a-thousand two, a-thousand three. Some poor soul likely just went bankrupt and ruined his/her financial life at a casino. Conversely, count the same a-thousand three, and somebody likely got shot in Chicago. Bullets have a way of ruining lives too.

Though Nevada had earlier "mercied" Illinois in the tournament, turnabout is fair play. In the American finals, the Windys would get their revenge over the Neons. Yet that raises an interesting point.

Vegas cruised through the "winners" bracket undefeated. Chicago already had one loss, at the hands of Vegas, as mentioned above. So in a supposed double-elimination tournament -- as in two losses and you're out -- why was Nevada eliminated after suffering their first defeat? At that time, both teams had one loss. Shouldn't they have had to play a rubber match? Yours truly has played in many a softball tournament with the same format. Come the "finals", the survivor of the loser's bracket had to beat the survivor of the winner's bracket twice before being crowned champions. The "winners" had two games to win one. If that required a double-header, so be it. Been there, done that. So why is Little League different?

At any rate, now it's South Korea vs Chicago for all the marbles, and probably a few future dates with the pretty girls on both sides of the Pacific. Who to root for? Because I'm an American, it would seem obvious -- but not so fast. Never been much of a Chitown fan and, like Obama, I prefer to keep my options open.

Maybe I'll watch the Barclay's golf tournament instead. Or, better yet, fire up the bike and go for a ride. Weather's supposed to be nice, and I've been hearing about this joint with some killer stromboli on Sundays a couple counties away.

Here's wishing all the best to the Little Leaguers, regardless of who wins. I can catch that in the paper tomorrow, ESPN highlights, or on the Net. But like a typical man, my stomach overrules most other things -- including sports loyalties. And gourmet stromboli doesn't come around just every day -- ya know?

Decisions, decisions.....


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