I had an extra day off work last week and went down to the south county to shop. There, I met many old friends from the past and heard many tales of economic woes -- so many people out of work, homes being foreclosed on and no relief in sight. This is the new face of Blaine County and it's very sad. Smiles have faded and plans are day to day. I've had many great times with these folks in the past when the economy was vibrant and everybody had a job, many with two jobs. You didn't mind working so much then because then, we could really party. It's not that way now. Why has so much misfortune fallen on such wonderful people?
I sat down in a local coffee shop to read the paper, turned to the sports section and read: "After months of contentious bargaining, the National Football League and the the Players Union still have not come to terms over a series of issues, one of which is how to divide about nine billion dollars in annual revenue." On the next page, I read, "The National Basketball Association is getting ready for a possible lockout on July 1st. I threw the paper down, finished my tea and stormed out in disgust.
When I thought about the many locals I had run into that day and how they were struggling, the sports news made me sick. It occurred to me that these young multi-millionaire athletes have no concept of what is going on in their own country and don't get me started on the greedy owners of these franchises. Hello? Don't they know that we're all in the worst period of unemployment and economy we've ever been through since the Great Depression of the 1930s? They haven't got a clue!
I've got an idea. Why don't they give the nine billion dollars they're arguing about back to the fans -- the ones who support their favorite teams year after year? Maybe these gifted atletes and celebrities could live on a measly one million bucks a year apiece. How much money is enough? Every sports fan in the country should get a check from the professional sports organizations now. Then, we could save our homes and jobs and beloved valley and get back to the business of cheering them on. If they forget about the fans, we should forget about them. Instead of gawking at the TV and following these spoiled children all the time, we could get back to the business of having fun again - with one another... like in the old days in the Wood River Valley.
Nice talking to you.