One look at my gravatar and that much can be deduced. Being in the middle of March Madness (the NCAA college men’s basketball tournament) and Opening Day for baseball just around the corner, this is one of the best seasons for sports. Many can wax poetic much better about these things than I can. I like to think I am a decent writer, but a poet I am not. Even though I can’t put them in majestic words, it is hard to beat the wonder of these things.
Baseball has always been my number one and is near and dear to my heart. The hope and excitement and beauty and warmth of opening day is unlike any other sport, even when you are a Phillies fan who’s team has had far more bad seasons than good.
There is just something special about a fresh start each year, even when all the prognosticators are dooming your team to another year of dreck. You just never know for sure what the season might bring, and one can always hope. From 1985 to 2000, the Phillies had losing seasons every year but one. Right in the middle of all that dreariness, they caught lightening in a bottle and made the 1993 World Series. It was the most fun I ever had cheering for the Phillies. It was so improbable and so unexpected and the team that perpetually got beat up was for once the victor.
Likewise, one of the appeals of March Madness is cheering for the underdog. My fondness for such was born in 1985 as a child. The Villanova University Wildcats from suburban Philadelphia perfectly played the role of David as they slayed the Giant of the Georgetown University Hoyas to win the national championship. It is so much fun to cheer for the little guy with scant notoriety as they match up against the big name programs who normally receive all the acclaim. It is even more enjoyable when they come out on top.
Some segments of the blogging world are like cheering for the underdog. While the big names with all the renown usually capture the spotlight of the traditional media, the stories of the underdogs sometimes can be found in the margins that are the bloggers.
The big difference between these two worlds is that while the underdogs in sports usually receive their beatings in games on the fields and courts of play, the underdogs in life often receive their beatings in the alley ways or behind closed doors in anything but an act of play. While the sports underdogs will suffer many losses and much disappointment, the losses and disappointment suffered by the underdog in real life are exponentially more painful, devastating, and life-altering. It can be afflictive even for those standing behind and supporting those underdogs in real life when learning of the blows already received and seeing the new ones as they come.
I have been writing here for a couple months now but I hardly consider myself a blogger, (even when I get accused of living in my parents’ basement and typing these things while in my underwear. ) 🙂
Yeah, I have been bloviating my thoughts about any such subject I feel like. Yeah, I don’t have to answer to any corporate bosses or sponsors or handlers. But I haven’t gotten into the down and dirty of getting the stories from the underdogs or disadvantaged. Stories about how they have been mistreated and/or abused by those more powerful than them. About how they have been taken advantage of and felt like they had little or no recourse to protect themselves or fight back. About how the rich and powerful abuse their positions of control and influence even when the underdog(s) are not as easily or directly personally identifiable.
I am not a reporter or investigative journalist and probably never will be. I have never felt the calling to do so. But we know that this blog has a history of digging into and reporting on the stories of the disadvantaged. Of reporting on the misdeeds of those who are in position to use power for their own gain and at the loss of others. In standing with and/or for the downtrodden and against the famous and powerful. Even when things can get messy and ugly and thoroughly unenjoyable. When the attacks can come from every which direction, sometimes even from the abused themselves. In real life, the consequences of supporting the underdog are often much different and far more painful than supporting the underdog in the sports world. But they can also be much more enriching in those occasional moments when the underdog experiences some glimmer of victory.
So we are grateful of the work that has gone on here for many years. There has been plenty of conflict and rarely is there a moment where all participants agree. This is not easy work. But I think I can speak for many of us, commenters and readers alike, that we are appreciative of the work that has taken place here. Of the heart for the little guy, the abused, the disadvantaged. Of the concern for healing and justice and righteousness. Of the contempt for the big guy. 🙂
We know dealing with all these things can take a toll. And these things are only added onto the much greater toll of the trials and tribulations of one’s own immediate life and those around them. It is no wonder that a break is sometimes needed. So Michael, rest up and get well. We’ll continue to pray for you and Trey and family and we’ll welcome you back when you’re ready because we know from plenty of past history, that until the Lord takes you first, the Phoenix can’t help but to rise again.