Crazy thoughts and earnest convictions as the propane fumes and saturated fats from a lazy, holiday weekend begin to overtake my bloodstream:

– It’s Memorial Day. To celebrate, pampered millionaires across our mostly free country will parade their artificially inflated bodies in day and night demonstrations of our beleaguered national pastime. I think of Ted Williams sitting out the prime of his career to serve the mother land. Switching gears to our most popular modern game, I think of Pat Tillman laying down millions of dollars and then his life in defense of freedom, and most of the media and his fan base having the nerve to ask why. And I’m reminded that most people my age and younger don’t know a damn thing about sacrifice.

– Speaking of pastimes and generation gaps, two of the top five stories on Saturday’s late night “SportsCenter” were a college lacrosse game and two grown men beating the bejeebers out of each other in a cage. I’d love to think the sports I grew up adoring will live long enough so I won’t have to get a real job in order to pursue something I enjoy. But there’s probably lower odds of me winning a $305 million lottery.

– Marvin Lewis used to command my respect as one of the NFL’s elite minds. Then he played the predictable race card when discussing why his Cincinnati Bengals were habitually arrested in the last calendar year. Oh, and then he chickened out and backpedaled. Not sure which is worse. Be wrong if you like, but at least be steadfast. Lewis should take a lesson from world champion Tony Dungy, a man of color and a leader of men who transcends racial divides.

– In the event that you didn’t know or almost cared, the best-of-seven championship series for the Stanley Cup begins tonight. My partner in crime and I get major mileage out of ripping the NHL’s now-you-see-us, now-you-don’t TV coverage, but seriously, why in the name of Cleon Daskalakis is the confrontation for the top prize in one of the alleged Big Four team sports on a fringe cable network? Because hockey has devolved into a fringe sport, that’s why. Gary Bettman and his gang couldn’t promote tooth decay.

– Now that Johnny Most is calling Paul Mokeski names from high above heaven’s courtside and Jerry Trupiano’s replacement on the Red Sox radio network tries to rise above the level of a public access play-by-play man, my favorite moment in New England sports broadcasting is any one-sided Sox game on NESN. Listening to Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo make fun of mascots and box seat holders’ hair weaves is more fun than watching Alex Rodriguez try to girly-slap the ball out of someone’s glove.

– High school baseball, softball and lacrosse playoffs begin later this week. Do yourself a favor. Skip work some afternoon, catch some rays and watch a game. Due to their need for daylight, spring athletes play in virtual anonymity. Surprise them. Even if your kid isn’t on the team.


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