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My wishes for the wonderful world of sports, and perhaps beyond

It’s the time of year where the golf season is winding down and the bowling season is cranking up. That’s my signal to switch to my bowling column. Before I do, though, I would like to expound on some other sports and give you my wishes for various things.

Fall golf is fun. The courses are beautiful with the leaves changing colors. The only problem is finding your golf ball in the fallen leaves. I realize that if you keep the ball in the fairway, the leaf rule will not have to be applied.

I wish I could keep the ball in the fairway.

Twenty years ago I looked forward to this time of year because it allowed me to do both sports in the same day. Eighteen holes of golf would be followed by three games of bowling. Now, at my advanced age, I’m more than content to just get through a round of golf and get home for a nap. Bowling and golf on the same day is just not going to happen.

I wish I was 20 years younger.

High school sports in the fall include volleyball, football, golf and cross country. Tiffin hosts one of the biggest cross country carnivals in the country. I love to go over to Hedges-Boyer Park to watch the competition, though this year I was unable to attend. Invariably the spirit of sportsmanship will be on display as runners help each other when needed.

This year a couple of runners from the Toledo area made headlines for stopping to help a runner who had fallen. A Lakota runner was recognized by the school board for a similar act though in a different meet.

I wish I had been at the Carnival to watch that kind of behavior.

Major League Baseball is in the midst of its playoffs. My team, the Cleveland Indians, won 22 straight games late in the season to set a record and gain home field advantage throughout the American League portion of the postseason.

They then proved that the regular season really doesn’t matter. In a scene eerily similar to last year’s World Series, the Tribe won the first two games of the best-of-five division series only to lose three straight to the New York Yankees.

The Indians didn’t look like the same team the last three games, but that’s baseball. My wish is that instead of looking for whom to blame, Indians fans should give some credit to the Yankees. And yes, it did hurt me to say that!

Talk about a great regular season … Martin Truex Jr. drove his Furniture Row Toyota to four victories this year. He has won twice more since NASCAR’s version of the playoffs has started and is guaranteed to be in the final eight. A solid performance in the third segment will give him a shot at earning his first championship at Homestead.

Truex is my favorite driver in no small part because Old Fort grad Austin Frankart plays a major role in building his race cars that have been so competitive all season long. Austin and his dad Jon as well as me and my daughter Ashley used to go to NASCAR races at Michigan International Speedway when the kids were growing up. He always dreamed of finding a job in NASCAR and his dream has come true. Great job Austin!

I wish I could be in Homestead to watch if Truex brings home that championship.

In a normal year the NFL’s top story would likely be the resurgence of the Los Angeles Rams, or the pitiful start of the New York Giants. Anything besides being reminded of the continued futility of the Cleveland Browns …

Perhaps the water cooler talk would involve the number of season ending injuries that have taken place. Just last weekend Odell Beckham Jr. and J.J. Watt were added to the list.

But this season, the talk centers around events that take place prior to the game. That would be players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. Started last year by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick — a move that has seemingly brought an end to his playing career — it has continued with other players this season and to say it has created a bit of an uproar would be an understatement.

Instead of getting involved in the debate on this topic — and yes, I do have some opinions — I would like to share a story I saw on Facebook. At a time when adults seem to be at odds with each other, perhaps we could learn something from the two boys in this story.

A video was posted of two children who appeared to be, perhaps, second graders. One of the boys was white and the other black. The white boy had just gotten his haircut. It was buzzed very short, just like his friend. The boys were obviously very excited.

The white boys’ mother asked him why they were so excited. The boy replied that they couldn’t wait to go to school the next day. “And why is that?” she asked.

The boy rubbed the top of his head and said “we want to see if our teacher can tell us apart!”

My most fervent wish is that someday all people in this country will share the innocence of these two children.

Al Stephenson is the golf columnist at The Advertiser-Tribune.com

Read his blog at:

www.advertiser-tribune.com

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