Day 265: Pride

This is Day 265 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve and Day 25 of Ohio’s 21-day WuFlu Curfew.

Deb and I are ok today.

In a very strange year for sport, this morning central Ohio has something to celebrate — Columbus Crew SC soundly defeated Seattle Sounders FC last night to win the MLS Cup. The 3-0 (that’s “three-nil” in Euro-speak) victory came despite the Crew being without two star players, both starters, because they’d tested positive for WuFlu.

Since the game didn’t start ’til 8:30pm, it was played under a curfew “variance” granted by Ohio’s governor. (That’s called “pandering.”) There were only 1,500 people in the stands anyway.

Full disclosure — I don’t care about soccer. Other than enjoying a few World Cup games at Foxborough in ’94 (I had free tickets), I’ve never followed the sport at any level. Just not my thing.

But I’m a homer, and the Crew is a local team. This is a championship. A friend of mine, a like-minded Patriot who himself once played soccer at the college level, on Facebook last night added four more reasons to celebrate:

“Ohio team, Ohio owners, an Ohio player in the starting 11, and they all stood for the National Anthem and showed respect for our country…”

So say it with pride, Buckeyes: Columbus Crew SC, 2020 MLS Cup Champions.

Country music lost another legend yesterday — Charley Pride — with coronavirus. From the early ’70s I liked his style, always admiring his personal and artistic integrity, and there’s no overstating his impact on Country.

Naturally, the Internet has been flooded with salutes, every one of them deserved. What’s bothered me, however, is the direction taken by some of the tributes.

“It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19,” tweeted one of Pride’s fellow Country legends. “What a horrible, horrible virus.”

Excuse me? How the hell does his cause of death make it “even worse”? That’s nothing but parroting a narrative, and it’s world-class shameful.

Charley Pride appeared at the 2020 CMA Awards exactly a month before he died. He performed, he accepted a lifetime-achievement award and he gave a heartfelt speech. Reportedly he was diagnosed with coronavirus a couple of weeks after that.

You know what’s coming, right?

“If this was a result of the CMAs being indoors, we should all be outraged,” wrote one Country star. “Whether that was the place he got it or not, they endangered him and it easily could have been,” tweeted another.

Let’s think about that.

First of all, the CMA had all sorts of Pervasive Pandemic Protocols in place for their event. Look it up — the pandemic theater was excruciating, meticulous, thorough. It was inflicted on all in attendance, too, not just the now-deceased Charley Pride.

Second, if you watch the video of Pride performing “Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'” in November, you’ll see a frail 86-year-old who’d lost a lot more than his fastball. Sorry to be so blunt about that, but based on what we know about WuFlu, he was the poster boy for “medically vulnerable.”

Most important, Charley Pride was a born-free American. He was capable of assessing the risks of appearing at the CMAs and making his own choice. If that choice exposed him to a virus that contributed to his death — and it’s by no means certain that’s the case — then that’s on him and nobody else.

The man’s legacy deserves to be honored without distraction. That’s what I intend to do — Godspeed, Charley Pride.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

(Header image from August in Muskingum County.)