Jean and I were among the several thousand country music fans that jammed the Bloomsburg Fair venue for the final night performance of the legendary county band ‘Alabama.’ On this crisp early autumn night the show provided a wonderful opportunity to clap, sing along, and enjoy one of country music’s most celebrated groups. During the
Jean and I were among the several thousand country music fans that jammed the Bloomsburg Fair venue for the final night performance of the legendary county band ‘Alabama.’ On this crisp early autumn night the show provided a wonderful opportunity to clap, sing along, and enjoy one of country music’s most celebrated groups. During the show, the band played one of their new Christmas album releases and proudly announced that they would be playing Las Vegas during the upcoming holiday season.
On the ride home, we shared great conversation about what we had just been a part of and how uplifting country shows usually are. We hit the sack after midnight completely unaware of what was happening at another country concert about that very moment on that dreadful night in Las Vegas. In the time that has passed, the utter contempt for human life, the tragic loss of life, and the life-changing injuries inflicted on so many innocent country concert goers has one searching for answers that will most likely never be found.
Entertainment is a first cousin to sports. In their purest form they both provide opportunities for folks to gather, socialize, and temporarily escape the responsibilities, pressures and concerns that accompany everyday lives. To us, it’s important that the teams and players we root for do well, but if they don’t, hopefully, that ‘bummed out feeling’ won’t linger. There’s always tomorrow and another game on the horizon.
As a youngster my Dad vaccinated me with the sports interest needle. As an only child, sports were like a friend that was always at the ready. I lived in my own world, complete with a tablet & dice made up baseball league, and one of those old reel-to-reel tape recorders into which I broadcast imaginary play-by-play. As the years passed, and miles separated Dad and I, it was always correspondence and conversation filled with sports that linked us firmly together.
I have no idea as to what goes on in the sports lives of fathers and their children today, but knowing I’m risking sounding like ‘an old timer’ those conversations just can’t be the same. The joy of a team’s win or an individual’s accomplishment today takes a back seat to the many ills that fill the sports pages and broadcasts. Who said what, or did what to whom, now classifies as ‘sports news’ rather than who won or lost or played the game well.
There is a military background in our family including many of us who have proudly worn the uniform. An uncle paid the ultimate sacrifice trying to make sure you and I can enjoy the freedom rights we have in this country. What that means to you and what that means to me may differ, just as we may differ on what teams we root for on the playing field. But the playing field is for sports, not protests and the current climate is taking the enjoyment out of sports for many.
It’s long been joked about by many athletes and commentators that the NFL stands for the ‘No Fun League’. The reference directed at the league’s rulings regarding how the players are to act and dress on the field. Corporately it’s referred to as ‘protecting the shield.’ If you own a business, you should have the right to operate as you see fit (providing you are doing so in accordance with existing laws). But how you choose to operate may reflect how potential customers view your service or product.
Other than the Williamsport Crosscutters, there is no other professional or big-time collegiate sports program operating in Lycoming County. But we are blessed with a bevy of youth sports and high school programs that we cheer for and enjoy. Here’s hoping that those who administer and coach our local athletes and young people will do so in a manner that makes sports truly enjoyable for all involved.
Speaking of the Crosscutters, our congratulations go out to Gabe Sinicropi, the Cutters Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations on his selection as the NewYork-Penn League Male Executive of the Year. The 2017 season marked Sinicropi’s 25th full-time in Minor League Baseball and 30th overall. He was also honored with the same award by the NY-Penn League in 2011.
Sinicropi has been a featured presenter and emcee at numerous Minor League Baseball Promotional Seminars and his volunteer service has touched many charitable local organizations. Since 1998, he has volunteered as a Public Address Announcer for the Little League World Series.
Earlier this month, Little League Baseball mourned the passing of Dr. Creighton J. Hale. Dr. Hale joined the organization in 1955 as the Director of Search and was instrumental in the development of numerous sports safety equipment including the batting helmet. He served as President and CEO from 1973-1994 and remained a member of the Board of Directors until 2014.
He was a central figure in the lives of so many people who rallied to the cause of the Little League program and certainly a leading pioneer in making the game he loved safe for those millions of youngsters who played and enjoyed its benefits.
And finally, a Happy October 18th birthday to my wife, Jean. She has been a great teammate and an unquestioned MVP!
- January 16, 2019