A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Monday, July 23, 2012

Thomas Boswell - Great Baseball Writer


As a long suffering Washington sports fan, Thomas Boswell's daily pronouncements that the glory days have finally arrived in DC, inspire me want to broadcast my enthusiasm for great sports writing to disaffected readers like my 14 year old son. Joe has never had a reason to fall in love with the sports page of the Washington Post. After years of false hopes raised by shysters heralding DC's latest offseason acquisitions like Albert Haynesworth and Donovan McNabb, or Deion and Bruce before them, having only witnessing his dad screaming at the television on Sundays for his entire life, not celebrating victories with random people on the street, Joe would rather play Halo than watch sports, let alone feast his psyche upon a well written sports article.

The sports writing in DC, aside from Dave Sheinan masterpieces, or sometimes insights from the manic Mike Wise, has been lacking in inspiration for years. Dull! Dull! Dull! With the rise of our Washington Nationals, from last to first place, Thomas Boswell has begun to find his muse, and is now climbing into the rarefied air of, dare I say, Shirley Povich.

Young and old readers alike can study a great manager like Mike Rizzo, the anti-Vinnie Cerrato, thanks to daily reports coming out of Nationals park. Rizzo, we are learning, builds not according to an owner's arrogant whims, but according to the collaborative blue-collar brilliance of a first-class player development staff. No longer are DC sports fans watching because they are following a train wreck of a team built upon a foundation of prima donnas, yesterday's champions from other cities, who cynically arrived with the less than noble motivation of picking a naive fan boy's pocket.

Boswell is celebrating a youthful team's resilience, the forging of a team of character, the rise of a team of destiny. Recently, I watched one of Joe's baseball teams unravel, lose 33-0. Recently, I also watched as the Nationals blew a 9-0 lead, only to lose 11-10 to the Braves, which could have been the turning point in the season. The next night, John Lannan, last year's opening day starter, who couldn't crack this team's major league roster, arrived from Triple A Syracuse to save the day, only to be sent back down to Syracuse. The parallel: we can learn a great deal from losing in how to develop a winner. What matters is not the win or loss, but how we respond. Given the fall of Joe Paterno, little Joe might learn from our sports pages that winning isn't everything. From young heroes like Steve Lombardozzi, Joe can learn that the overlooked and undersized can make it to the major leagues, provided they have a big enough heart.

This morning, I dropped little Joe off at Bill Brown's Baseball camp at George Mason University. Surrounded by giants, Joe appeared to feel like a lost puppy, so I hung out for a while until he realized where to go. Tonight, little Joe will read the above Thomas Boswell article and write one reflection about his day's experience.

Had it not been for the Washington Post Sports page, I would never have become the reader or writer I am today. I fell in love with great sports writing at a young age. A true sports fan should never feel alone, especially when his team is winning. If we, as a society, care about whether our boys want to read, we need more inspired sports writers like Thomas Boswell. If we want our boys to open up and slap high fives with people they do not know, that's what celebrating a winning franchise is all about.