TOP OF THE TOWN – This Pandemic has woke up America in many ways. That is a good thing. People are scared, which also could be a good thing. I remember a long time ago a boxer, and I forgot who it was, said he was always scared when he walked into the boxing ring for a fight. He felt that was a good thing. It kept him on his toes and it didn’t allow him to take anything for granted. Whenever Mary and I go out, which is seldom, we are scared. We know one little mistake could be deadly. That is a good thing. So if this virus has made us be careful as a society that is a good thing. I feel bad for small businesses because most of them work on small margins and something like this can flip their business life upside down pretty quickly. But in the midst of this what is more important — a business or a life? I think we have woke up about how we can do business. We don’t need tall buildings for work. We can do most of our business from home, and I think society has discovered that because of the virus. We don’t need brick and mortar in a lot of cases (Heck you can order just about anything you need from Amazon and have it delivered). We have also woke to discover we need an effective national leadership. If we had it from the start we would not have lost the lives of thousands and the virus would likely be under control in our country, the economy would be back up and running well and frustrations and anger would be at low ebb. We have also come to terms and woke up finally with the inequality build into our system. Our Constitutional Republic was put together by whites for whites and that has continued on through our 244-year history. Blacks were told to take a back seat when it came to passing new laws, regulations and putting in place acceptable norms. In the two-plus centuries since, blacks, browns and Asians have built their own society’s that operate separately from the white majority. Powerful racists like Trump are trying to put the skids on the browning of America, which reportedly will put whites in the minority about the year 2040. I don’t think that will succeed, although Trump sure is trying hard. The good thing is BLM is a real solid movement that I hope can erase all the years of discrimination and make life a more peaceful and loving place. I think the majority of the white population has come to accept that is a good thing. One thing we haven’t woke up to yet is football. I have repeatedly written we can’t play football. The transfer of body fluids is so high in the game that one person with the virus could infect thousands pretty quickly. One major college football conference, the MAC, has already decided not to play this fall, and I applaud that. Will the rest of the world follow suit? They better. It’s utterly stupid to play the sport now. We also have woke up paying college athletes for their play. The opposition is still strong, which is understandable considering the billions that are at stake. Money, as we all figure out by the time we are young adults, is king. Money rules the world. So when you have uppity (I’m only using that word just to make this point) college athletes demanding they be compensated among other issues you know they have woke up. That is a good thing. Why should colleges get billions while in comparison those college athletes who risk their limbs to play football get a puny sum? Pay the man. Forget the word amateur. We passed that word a long time ago when our Dream Team waltzed to Olympic Gold in 1992…. I haven’t been watching NBA games (I seldom do. Instead I wait for the playoffs), but I heard Colin Cowherd say on his show Monday (Aug. 10) that the Portland Trail Blazers are the best No. 8 seed maybe in league history. Actually, the Blazers are half-game behind Memphis for the 8th spot with two games left, but Colin’s point is well taken. The Dame (Damian Lillard) scored 51 on Sunday against the 76ers to lead a victory and the Blazers have plenty of other weapons, including C.J. McCollum (22.4 points per game), Jusuf Nurkic (18.8), Hassan Whiteside (15.6) and Carmelo Anthony (15.4). Dame is averaging 29.3. Nurkic and Whiteside are 7-footers and Zach Collins, who plays a lot, is 6-11.  Whiteside averages 13.7 rebounds and Nurkic 10.5.  So watch out for the Blazers. They are on fire. … Fernando Tatis Jr. is a whirlwind of 21-year-old energy that is the face of the San Diego Padres and when the virus goes away and MLB returns to normalcy the face of baseball. The Padres shortstop is somebody you have to see to believe. Ken Griffey Jr. was one you needed to see when he broke in at 19 with the Seattle Mariners and Tatis is that kind of guy. This year, Tatis in 16 games into the pandemic is hitting .333 with eight home runs and 18 RBI. His homer totals lead baseball. His bat flips lead baseball. Ok, enough for today.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.