Dave Paxton

Often times in writing, in TV and movies and in conversation, rain (particularly in excess) has negative connotations.

Don’t rain on my parade.

In every life a little rain must fall.

After the rain comes the sun.

Stuff like that.

Except that after nearly two years of receiving sub par rain and a month from mid-July to mid-August where we didn’t receive any rain at all, there was nothing more beautiful than the three or four storms Southern Iowa has been blessed with in the past week.

Tuesday night it was raining so hard, my satellite television was out and I sat listening to the rain. Then I heard my yellow lab trying to eat his way through the door and got up and let him in our mud room. He loves rain. He hates thunder and lightning.

I had to leave for a church meeting, but returned two hours later in a drenching rain. I fell asleep to the sound of heavy rainfall. It was better than any concert.

There is actually a 1960’s folk song I really like and few probably remember. The lyrics go like this.

Baby, the rain must fall.

Baby the wind must blow.

Wherever my heart leads me,

Baby I must go. Baby I must go.

That sentiment is a whole lot better than what you hear from metro weather forecasters who somehow think the rain should never fall because it might interrupt somebody’s golf game.

Speaking of golf, Tiger Woods, who is still patiently trying to find his way back to the top of the PGA world, was for some insane reason, pinned down by a half dozen reporters about his relationship with President Trump following a weekend tournament. The questions were all leading, wanting him to say (as any good black man should) that he hated Trump and would never play with him again.

Say what you will about Tiger’s marital infidelities and his problems with prescription drugs, he has always been careful about criticizing anybody. It has given him incredible brand viability, even through the dark period of hookers and divorce.

Truth be told, Tiger Woods and Donald Trump are long time friends and golfing buddies. Tiger, who happily played with then President Obama, wouldn’t knife the President in the back.

“No matter who’s in the office, you may like or dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office,” he said. “He’s the president of the United States. You have to respect the office.” Which is perfectly consistent with how he treated previous presidents. He eventually ended the press conference with, “Guys I’ve just played 72 holes of golf and I’m tired and hungry.”

He is being sliced and diced on ESPN, most notably by Stephen A. Smith (a nitwit black commentator) who said Tiger Woods is not really black (Tiger’s dad is black, his mother Asian). I didn’t hear the same sentiment from Smith about President Obama whose mother is white and father was African.

Max Kellerman, a white guy sitting next to Smith on the ESPN set, was like most progressives who can’t hide their hatred of the President, speaking in total hysteria. He said Woods’ comment was a “thoughtless statement dressed up as a thoughtful statement.”

What?

Tiger Woods didn’t say anything (good or bad) about anyone and because of that he is being branded an Uncle Tom, is having his family origin questioned and is being accused of thoughtlessness.

Here’s a thought. ESPN used to be a platform for sharing sports news. It’s what they used to do best. In fact, when they broach subjects outside their wheelhouse, whether political or otherwise, they typically fall on their faces, basically because they can’t hide their left wing bias. A few years ago Hall of Fame pitcher, Curt Schilling, who was hired by ESPN as a baseball commentator was asked and answered a question about his views on homosexuality.

Schilling is a conservative Christian and answered with a biblical perspective. He was immediately fired by ESPN. The intolerance of ESPN in terms of thought process outside their narrow, left wing view is breathtaking and it is why the network has had to layoff hundreds of employees as their viewership shrinks.

Which is why I appreciate coaches like Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. Like Tiger Woods, Coach Ferentz has carefully crafted his approach to the media, based on who he believes he is—that being the coach of the Iowa football team. I have no idea if he is Democrat or Republican. He and his wife, Mary, are generous people, especially in terms of supporting causes like Coaches Against Cancer, but he understands that his fan base is made up of football fans who vote both Red and Blue.

Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell is made up of the same measured, thoughtful approach to things outside football, although Campbell is more open about his Christian faith. I have a feeling, however, that he may be challenged down the road by some ESPN crank because he is mixed race and isn’t on the front lines of political discourse.

What people like Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and a number of ESPN pundits, who worship at the feet of NFL National Anthem protesters, is that sports in America is best used as a great unifer of people.

When Chariton and Albia high school football fans gather Friday at Ironman Stadium in Albia, the only division will be who is wearing red and who is wearing blue and the meaning of those colors won’t have anything to do in how a person votes, or whether he is black or white, Latino or Asian.

I watched a public television documentary on John McCain between heavy rain outages after returning from a church board meeting. No one, not even Donald Trump, has the right to question his patriotism and heroism following his capture in Vietnam.

However, the great irony of the mutual hatred between McCain and Trump (this according to the PBS documentary) is that McCain basically set into motion everything it took to elect Donald Trump as President.

He was a proud Republican maverick who poked his finger in the eye of establishment Republicans, then needed their help and even more, the help of non-establishment, work-a-day members of the GOP in his attempt to beat Barack Obama. So he named Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin, darling of the more conservative side of the Republican party, as his running mate and she unleashed the power of the Tea Party, the evangelical community, Blue Collar Democrats and libertarians who would ultimately elect Donald Trump to the presidency.

Go figure.

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