15 July 2008

On the Josh Hamilton and the Home Run Derby

Ok, so first let me say that Josh Hamilton is one of the best sports stories of my lifetime.  Going from 3 years out of baseball to leading the league in RBI's at the break in his first full season in the bigs is amazing.  It's great to see a guy recover from his addiction and get his life back on track.  Watching him destroy the competition in today's Home Run Derby* just added another chapter to his comeback story.  

As much as I enjoy his story, however, I hate watching him, especially in a format like the HRD.  Why?  Because it affords him the opportunity to speak to a wide audience.  The problem?  Every other word out of his mouth is 'jesus'.  It's not that I have any objection to him being a christian.  I don't even mind someone crossing themselves or pointing to the sky after a big play.  That's fine.  Really, it's not fair of me to dislike him for this, as his faith is his business, and it's not really Hamilton that bothers me.  The issue for me is that more and more I am noticing exactly how much the religious presence in this country has permeated our society.  Sports had (at least for me) long been a retreat from the constant bombardment of religion.  Now when I see Hamilton being interviewed, as he was about 18 times during the HRD today, I have to mute the volume, lest his delusions intrude further into my world.

*Ok, ok, so TECHNICALLY Justin Morneau won the derby.  Right.  Even though Hamilton out-homered him by more than a dozen.  And what exactly does that tell you about the way the HRD is formatted?  Morneau even said as much when he was being interviewed afterwards.  You think maybe it's time to rethink the format a little?

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