Friday, September 21, 2012


The weight of my replica orange and blue jersey held me there on the couch as I watched the Denver Broncos muddle their way to a Monday Night Football loss. Most notable for me on this night was the replacement of Hank "Just To The Right Of Ted Nugent" Williams Junior with Charlie Daniels. While it got me to wondering about Mister Daniels' politics, I spent the rest of the night considering my other affiliations. Just down the road from the school where I teach, the local baseball franchise is engaged in a life-or-death struggle with a spot in the playoffs. I care about that. I'll wear a green and yellow shirt if that helps. Contrastingly, however, I don't have room in my closet for a silver and black anything that would connect me to the professional football club that shares, for the time being, that same field.
And it's not just sports that define my sartorial splendor. I was asked by my union to wear red to show solidarity with my fellow teachers in Chicago during their recent strike. Ironically, it was my various sports allegiances that keep my wardrobe essentially free of the color red. It also helped me resolve my ambivalence about my Second City union brothers and sisters who turned up their collective noses at a sixteen percent raise. While I appreciate the concerns raised about extended school days and evaluation processes, I know that there are a number of us here in Oakland who would jump at the median salary of $76,000 a year, plus sixteen percent.
In the meantime, perhaps my strongest argument against red was growing up in the heart of Buffalo Country, where we were routinely assailed by the scarlet and crimson waves of Nebraska and Oklahoma fans who made the trip to Boulder each year to rub our noses in our football mediocrity. Then one day, the silver and gold rose up and became a national champion*. That was more than twenty years ago. Since then, things haven't been all that glorious at Folsom Field. Last weekend, the University of Colorado lost to the Fresno State Bulldogs by a score of sixty-nine to fourteen. This came hard on the heels of two previous losses and an e-mail plea from the Buffalo's athletic director for contributions that would go toward eventually expanding and rebuilding the stadium which had only recently had luxury boxes stapled to it just a few years ago.
All of this made me tired, and so I went to bed and dreamed in black and white.

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