Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, headline: “Troops are writing for our right to obsess over Tiger Woods.”
“It bothers me greatly that Tiger Woods and his carrying on garners more press than what the troops are doing over here,” writes Chief Warrant Officer Chris Batt in an e-mail dispatch from Afghanistan. “Yes, we do feel forgotten over here. There is a saying among us that the United States isn’t at war; its military is.”
Batt, an Oviedo High and University of Florida grad, is a 29-year Army veteran who is currently serving in Afghanistan after two stints in Iraq. Isn’t there something sadly awry when a soldier serving in a distant land where 9/11 was planned now feels more like a distant memory where 9/11 is forgotten?
What’s it say about our country when, during the same time President Obama announced a massive troop surge in Afghanistan, we were more indignant about some rich golfer cheating on his bikini-model wife? What’s it tell you when we feel more sympathy for Tiger’s family than we do for the thousands of families who have lost husbands and fathers and sons and daughters fighting a hidden enemy half-a-world away?
“I feel sorry for Tiger’s wife, but her tragedy is a little less than those who have lost loved ones over here,” Batt writes.
And Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free Press weighs in on the Colts’ surrender of a perfect season. Excerpt:
It was sad and bad and wrong on a thousand levels. Sad because it was avoidable. Bad because it was deliberate. Wrong because it went against everything we teach about sports: that you try your hardest, that you give your all. The Colts did none of that. They reached a designated point in the game — third quarter, five-point lead — and then they pulled the battery pack. Yanked the tablecloth. Out came the stars. In came the subs.
And almost that fast, there went the game, the perfect season, and any reason to root for the Colts to win the Super Bowl.
. . . Winning is its own momentum. You don’t mess with it. You always go for it. It’s the same reason the bad teams — like the Lions — shouldn’t try to lose to get a better draft pick. That’s not sports.