Today, I want to ask some questions spurred by a number of recent incidents, most notably the Ohio State loss at Wisconsin last weekend.

While this post does contain some content about football, it is not a football post.

Here’s what it is about...
*note - all you’s, we’s, they’s, & such are intended to be non-specific except where otherwise designated.

Why do we have to hate each other just because we are different?

Why do we have to show scorn for others who are not in our party, not on our team, not of the same sexual orientation, not fans of the same team, not our race, not our age, not our demographic in general?

What the hell is wrong with us?

If my team loses to another team, why are you, (folks in Michigan) laughing at our misery?

If we have a rivalry, why do you wish, (folks from both Ohio and Michigan) that the other team loses every single game including the one against your team?

Having been both a Wolverine and a Buckeye I can honestly say I think shirts that say “Ann Arbor is a whore.” or “F*** Michigan” are incredibly funny during rivalry week. But I wonder, (folks in Ohio) why those shirts were on sale during the Indiana game?

No, it is not the week before!

The 2006 game that matched undefeated teams for the first time in forever was one of the best I’ve ever watched. I can’t imagine it would have been remotely the same if one or the other of the two teams had losing records or had not won even one game.

Bo and Woody were friends for 51 weeks out of the year folks. Woody was Bo’s mentor. Heck, Bo coached at Ohio State before he went to Michigan. Jim Tressel himself called Bo a Buckeye when Bo passed away.

You’re gonna argue with “The Vest?”

I found myself a few weeks ago spouting that Sparty, (Michigan State) is evil because that’s what we said when I lived in Michigan. But, the more I thought about it... Well, I really like Mark Dantonio, (MSU head coach) and Le’Veon Bell, (MSU running back) is from Reynoldsburg, Ohio and they’re really just a bunch of kids playing a game.


Get some perspective Jimmer!

I root for my team. You root for your’s. We don’t have to root against each other.

If I express a point of view in the comments section of the newspaper that differs from yours why does that make me a flaming idiot? or an ignorant dolt? or “fill in your insult of choice here?”

Why would you hate me because of who I choose to share my life with? Does my sexual orientation really matter to you?

Are all teenagers idiots? Are all old people grumpy? Are all rich people elitists? Are all poor people lazy? Are all “West-Siders” criminals? What about “Detroiters?”

Get the picture?


We heard the sirens during the band booster meeting we were attending. We went to bed fairly certain that once again kids in our community were facing tragedy. We woke this morning to find that was indeed the case, to learn their names, and to know a man had lost his life in the accident.

Netter and the girls usually leave about an  hour before I do in the mornings. They always come in and kiss me goodbye. We tell each other “love you, have a good day, see you later,” and such and then I fall back to sleep grateful I still have that hour or so.

Today that didn’t happen. I could tell as Netter leaned down to kiss me that something was amiss, something was different. So, I asked  her.

“Nothing,” she said: “Well not nothing um, the kids that were in the accident. Well, we know who it was.”

I sat up a little and asked who and she told me their names. I didn’t know any of them personally. One of their parents were friends of friends. I’d done some computer work for them. Dad had played in Golf for Joy one year. Mom and I are Facebook friends. Acquaintances. Still, I could feel it in my gut.

Netter assured me she had talked with the girls and they were okay. We said goodbye with extra emphasis on the “see you later,” (because I believe that makes it so) and I lay back down in bed.

I didn’t fall back asleep this time though. I got up to call Mulligan to help comfort me, and darned if that dog wasn’t standing outside the door waiting for me to let him in. His sensitivity still amazes me. I’ve no idea how he does it.

Mulligan and I laid in bed snuggling, and I dozed a bit, but mostly I just thought of those boys and the accident, of the multitude of things I have done behind the wheel of a car in my lifetime that could have landed me in  jail, or the hospital, or yes, even the morgue, and how many times presently that  I am afraid of driving, afraid I’ve used up all my chances.

I thought about K, who is in the process of taking driving lessons, but not very eager to finish her in car session, and how I might be okay with that... Now.

I thought about D who declared recently that she never wanted to drive and Netter who waited until she was 25 to get her license, and how that might not be such a bad idea for the girls.

Then I rolled over, picked up my phone and read a text I received from our friends of the friends telling me about the boy in the hospital, knowing I would want to know.

I got ready and came to work and went online to read the articles, and watch the slide show and the video about the accident, and unfortunately began reading the comments after those articles.

Apparently only a few of those folks were ever teenagers who ever did anything wrong, and didn’t understand that a car is essentially a 2 - 3 thousand pound missile just waiting to go off. I know I didn’t. I thought I was invincible. But the adults in the comments section have apparently always been sensible, and well mostly judgmental and yes, it pisses me off.

So I stopped reading those comments and checked on the status of our young friend who is still in the hospital and sat down to write, mostly because it helps me collect my thoughts and find calm.

There were mistakes made in judgment. There was at least one child who will have to live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life. There was the  tragic loss of a young father, only 31 and there was once again, the unfair, unexplainable, and seemingly random happening that makes us ask “why?”

Nobody really has any good answers. All we can do is make this a lesson, and remind ourselves that each second, each minute, each hour, every day, and every year is not to be taken for granted.

Throw up a prayer, look up, sideways, around, whatever you do to send good mojo and thoughts to the young men involved, to the family of the man whose life is gone, to all involved, and all affected...

That they may find peace. 


Yesterday Netter and I joined some friends to help them celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. It was quite an occasion with many friends and relatives joining in, poems and songs, stories and even a prayer or two. If I’m lucky, we will get to celebrate 50 years one day too. (Netter and I have been married for 20 years last June.)

Now when I say some friends I should mention that these were really Netter’s friends which is why I’m telling this story. Netter grew up with these folks and their kids. The fact is I had only met one or two members of the family and then only in passing.

On the way home Netter and I had this conversation.

Netter: Thank you for coming today.

Me: Why are you thanking me? Why wouldn’t I have come?
Netter: Well, I know you didn’t know these folks. You said you have a lot you wanted to do today while you were off. I just want to thank you for taking the time.
Me: Honey, something that is being lost, well really within our generation is “doing the right thing.” Yes, I don’t know these folks. Yes, I have a lot I’d like to work on, but here’s the thing... This was important to you. I could tell how excited you were to see these folks and help them celebrate. I could tell how much they mean to you by listening to you tell stories from your childhood and beyond. I could even tell how important it was to you that I dress up a little bit, but thanks for letting me wear shorts. Anyway, if it’s that important to you, then it’s that important to me. It’s just the right thing to do.

Now, I’m not patting myself on the back for all this. I didn’t really do this on purpose so to speak. The truth is I don’t know what I would have done if Netter had said ahead of time that I could stay home. I do have a lot to do. I’ve got a list a mile long and a goal I’d like to reach for managing my time better. I’m quickly losing patience with myself at that goal gets delayed.

But that didn’t matter yesterday.

I think I did the right thing. I wish more folks would do the right thing more often. I fear that’s getting lost and I’m not sure we will get it back.

What do  you think?