Since I'm back in Ohio and Stinky is vacationing in Montana, we must turn to our embedded reporter/columnist: Merlin the Wonder Dog for this post:
--August 18, 2010
Who says we don't respect our elders anymore?
Let's be honest here, I'm a dog, so a lot of this seems silly to me as an outside observer. Why are all you humans having a hullabaloo over a 40-something grown man playing a children's game. The cheers, the screams, the wall-to-wall media coverage, what gives? And why haven't you given me some food yet? But every once in a while, when an old dog rises to the occasion, we can't help but smile and cheer and become illogical puppies again.
"I mean, it's great, just so so great. He just...GOD...he makes me feel like I could do it myself" says Ron, his head shaking and his white hair shining in the light. "He deserves all the praise he gets and more!"
"I wanna be like him when I grow up!" said little Danny, a wide-smiling kid taking a break from Bieber fever to notice the brilliance of days gone by. "Only...maybe not so wrinkly!"
"Of course I'm happy, but don't you boys hit him too hard! He has a bad back!" said one of our local knitting champions.
Even out of towners know they're seeing something special
"Awesome. That's all there is to say about him, he's just awesome" says an unnamed grizzled southern farmer who had come to Minneapolis on business. "I don't follow sports much, but I mean, how can you not know about this guy! Pretty amazing stuff"
Ozzie from Chicago simply said: "Oh my jebus! You're a talking dog! What the *@#%&#^$!"
Despite the fact that yes, I am a talking, writing, dog, I think we can all agree (except Ozzie) that Jim Thome is the most important figure on the Minnesota sports scene. That his dedication and honesty can serve as a humble beacon after years of scandal and disrepute. That he is all that is good about sports.
Sports can inspire us (even the animals who force you to stop watching the game so we can go to the bathroom...though if you potty train us we can all stay inside...just saying). Sports can lift us up. It can show us what was old is new again, that perseverance pays off, and that even old dogs can learn new tricks.
*In other news, some guy...Farvruh...Favor...Favoray? Whatever, he's so inspired by Jim Thome that he will come and play for the local futbol team. So...I guess that's exciting.