UBMC

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It’s no secret that I am a sports fan.  Some of my favorite kid memories are going to Runyon Field with my Dad and his buddies to watch the AA Pueblo Dodgers (The Brooklyn Dodger’s farm team).  It is for that reason I despise the Yankees and put them in the category with the Patriots, Lakers, and Red Wings—Evil Empires.  By the time I was four I knew all the basic rules of baseball ⚾️.   I grew up cheering for very young a Maury Wills and John Roseboro.  I still smell the cigar smoke 💨 and beer🍺, and the taste of peanuts and Crackerjacks.  I started playing team sports at age eight.

As a Pueblo kid you had to have out of state teams to cheer, for as we had no pro sports teams.  My teams were: The Greenbay Packers, because Boyd Dowler (a former CU BUFF) played tight end for them.  Of course the Dodgers were my favorite, and the Philadelphia 76ers because they had Wilt ‘The Stilt’.   When the Broncos came to Colorado in 1960 I went to their first game ever.  I have never waivered in my loyalty to them even in this age of free agency, where you cheer more for uniforms than players.  I have the tattoo to prove it.

I picked Dan up downtown and helped him load his suitcase.  He was back in Denver for a long weekend.  He is from Baltimore and his girlfriend was flying in soon to see Colorado, she has never been west of Ohio.  We had a very long ride out to Aurora.  We talked of DC, and why Denver is such a great place to live.  He lived here for a few years but had to move back to DC for work. 

Near the end of the ride I asked him where he went to college. He said, “UMBC” with a big grin on his face.  I replied “Two weeks ago I would not have had a clue about what or where that is, but after the  ‘greatest upset in college basketball history’ I the privilege of driving a “Retriever” fan.  For those of you who have been in Antarctica 🇦🇶 the last two weeks in the first  round of March Madness, The University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMBC) Retrievers, a #16 seed, beat the University of Virginia Cavaliers in round one of the NCAA Men’s basketball 🏀 tournament.  I might add they won by 20 points.  Dan was in fan heaven.  “Nobody will ever ask me again if UMBC is a hardware store”.   

In a ride that soon followed I took a young woman who went to the University of Syracuse.   She was lamenting their loss last night to Duke.  I told her about the UMBC fan that had occupied her seat yesterday.  She said “Who knew who they were, now they are darlings of college basketball”.

To take a giant leap in a very different direction, UMBC took down Virginia, David took down Goliath, and today millions of youth are loading up their sling shots and taking aim at the death grip the NRA has on our politics. They are standing up to gun violence. It’s only a matter of time that the Philistines will fall.  Not at the point of a gun but at the ballot box.  I am a gun owner and I know that no one needs or has the right to an assault rifle.  Only a coward would make that case.  So in this moment on, from my blog perch, I am calling out the supporters of domestic terrorism called the NRA, and your political lackeys.   It’s time to ban assault rifles and all the accompanying magazines etc that go with it.  The 2nd Amendment never intended this and your lies and money won’t change that.

After a ball tournament there are winners and losers.  In the arena of guns there are only losers.

Onward and Upward,

Mark

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