Patrick D Ryall: Star Quarterback

So, as I have done in the past, I felt like looking myself up on the Google today. This site still doesn’t appear as the top result for me, but my Twitter feed does. So that’s good. But the important thing is that I found this: A website that seems to think I was a star quarterback because I used the term on my website one time. I am perfectly happy with that.

During my extensive football career, I backed many quarters, but I will always remember the big game. It was the Murphy’s Cup Playoff Bowl and we were down by nine runs in the ninth period. The point guard was in the penalty box for stealing a base, so we were down to five men and had to get the ball from the three point line to the net before the end of the inning or we’d be facing a dreaded seven-ten split. I was open, so the goalie threw me the ball. I zig-zagged my way across the court, avoiding tackles like I was a man of pure speed. The crowd was on their feet in anticipation, someone threw an octopus onto the ice but I dodged it. Finally, there I was, face to face with the opposing goalie. He was a big hunk of a man, a Samoan I think, at least a head taller than me, and probably twice as wide. I lined up my punt and kicked: The goalie dove for it, but it was high. It was good! GOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAL! The crowd roared! The cheerleaders did a cheer and Coach Bronson cried a single tear.

Clearly my life after that game has been a downhill spiral. Oh well. That’s how it goes.

Canadian Baseball Teams Can Be Less Racist

There’s this thing called baseball, for some reason. Anyway, for a long time we didn’t let black people play it with white people, until that changed. Some of that happened in Canada, so you better believe we have a Heritage Moment about Jackie Robinson. The Moment opens in a locker room of the Montreal Royals (but we don’t get to see any dongs) as team owner or manager or whatever he was, Mr. Rickey, introduces the team to Jackie, the first black man to play in whatever league of their little game they are in. Later (his first game, I guess?) Jackie is at bat, but the opposing pitcher hits him with the ball. Jackie’s teammates are upset by this, naturally, but so is the Canadian crowd (we sadly don’t get to see if the pitcher looks sheepishly at his feet while mumbling that he’s sorry). Before long (four innings, according to my research, is less than a week), the crowd is chanting Jackie’s name and Racism has to crawl back into its cave to strike another day.

First of all, I doubt that Jackie’s teammates first learned about Jackie one day when Mr. Rickey came along and said, “Hey, check out this new guy!” Probably it came up in conversation before that? I don’t know for sure, but it seems likely to me. Also, we all know that in the real world Mr. Rickey was played by Harrison Ford. The real problem highlighted in this piece though, see that sign behind Jackie saying “No Women or Children Allowed.” When are we going to let women and children into our sports team locker rooms? When will the we finally be together? Also, “No spitting”? Whatever, man.

Okay, anyway, it may have come across that I think baseball is ridiculous and pointless. That is correct. But Jackie Robinson’s story isn’t one about winning a baseball game, it’s about breaking down the arbitrary barriers that racism built up in society. If those barriers exist in some silly game, it is as important to break them there as anywhere. For that reason, I can actually care about Jackie Robinson’s story. How does the Moment do? Well, it’s a bit cheesy (Montreal Royal with Cheese?), but it tells the story clearly in the time allowed, and makes Canadians feel good about themselves by having the crowd support him. That’s what these are supposed to be for. Sadly, there’s no lines that are burned into my head (though I’d love to have Mr. Rickey’s introduction of Jackie down), and that is what PDR considers most important. Altogether, I suppose I’d have to give this Heritage Moment Four out of Six Pieces of PDR’s Reviewing System Cake.