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Murph: In an age of bad news, I’ve got some optimism for you

© Jack Gruber via Imag | 2020 Jun 18

And now for something completely different: optimism?

I know, I know. Everywhere you look, bad news. We’re currently moving backwards as a nation in terms of COVID-19 containment. The 4th of July will feature no fireworks, unless you count the rogues setting them off every night in your neighborhood.

And every time I log on, I see another deranged American staging a sit-in at a local Costco over their “constitutional rights” being violated because of a mask mandate. Someone forgot to tell these patriots about seat belts. Or stopping at red lights.

Heck, even the great American Jeff Spicoli, when faced with a “No shirt, no shoes, no dice” edict from Judge Reinhold’s Brad Hamilton, grasped the greater good and threw his surf tee shirt back on. After all, when pressed with the ultimatum, Spicoli acknowledged that Hamilton is “the full hot orator.”

If only Americans in 2020 had the good sense of a Spicoli.

So I am here to change the narrative on your gloomy 4th of July “no cookout, no friends, no dice” weekend.

Because . . . optimism!

The turn of the calendar to the summer month of July means that IF everyone is careful, IF everyone behaves like a non-knucklehead, IF protocols are followed, this may be the month we get not one, not two, but *three* American sports back in your life.

As a man who has been broadcasting sports radio from his kitchen table since March 19, let me tell ya: we could use three American sports back in your life.

We start with the pop of the glove and the crack of the bat (shout out Nick Turturro, for you M&M diehards) Friday at Oracle Park, and — get this — BASEBALL GAMES POSSIBLE ON JULY 23.

We move to the 49ers, who are due to report to Santa Clara for training camp on July 28. I know, I know, the idea of tackle football in the era of CoronaVirus seems just short of preposterous, but still — optimism, right?

And before the month ends, on July 30, we get the newly toned Zion Williamson (see those Twitter pics of the sculpted 19-year-old? Holy weight room, Batman) vs. the Utah Jazz, and then asterisk-title-chasing LeBron James and the Lakers against Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers.

You know what all that means?

That means that you and me, sports fans, the same people who have spent the last 3.5 months subsisting on the scraps of a UFC Saturday night, a few drives ripped by Bryson DeChambeau on the PGA Tour and some overnight Korean baseball — it means we may finally eat a full meal of sports in this month of July.

I told you: optimism!

(By the way, if you followed our Power Hour last week, you know DeChambeau drives weren’t the only thing being ripped on the PGA Tour. Hat tip to Ian Poulter, for doing the “honorable thing”, in his words, and copping to the boom-mic flatulence that rocked the Cooler of Content.)

Enough of this stale-bread-and-water diet. We need a meal of baseball, basketball and football, like proper Americans.

And speaking of meals, what better way to signal the optimism than the news that the Nathan’s Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest *will* go down on Saturday? Granted, no crowd to urge on the caloric-intake combatants. There will be Plexiglass and social distancing. But San Jose’s own Joey Chestnut is shooting for 75 hot dogs in one sitting, and if that doesn’t stir you to put some John Philip Sousa on your Sonos this weekend, I can’t help you.

I’m offering you optimism. I had to dig deep to do it. So please, shout back through your mask: Yes! I believe!

Now, back to worrying about the general state of our planet . . .


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