Are you kidding?

Buckle up! I have some ranting to do.
I’d apologize before I begin but what would be the point. Sometimes you just have to throw it out there; get it off your chest.
When I sat down to the read the Halifax paper last week. . . . Wait, let’s try that again with a serving of honesty. When I sat down to do the crossword puzzle in the Halifax paper last week, I came upon a column inside the sports section, bottom of the page, not very big, small headline.
In it was the news that the Toronto Blue Jays had signed catcher Russell Martin to a five-year contract worth—brace yourself—$82 million in U.S. dollars.
Aside of wanting to throw my chair through the patio door, I settled for a loudly-exclaimed, “You’ve got to be kidding!”
Granted, Mr. Martin is a Canadian and I like to see Canadians on the Blue Jays’ roster, but $82 million?
He’s not solving world hunger. He hasn’t promised to end homelessness in Toronto. He hasn’t convinced world leaders to work together at climate change.
He hasn’t done anything aside of a natural talent to catch balls and throw them accurately to second base with a quick thinking reaction time.
I do love baseball, but this may be the end of my career as a spectator. I can’t take it. I just can’t. What madness is this? The only ones who can afford seats without requiring oxygen are the corporate big wigs.
I’ve been whining about the earnings of professional athletes for years and though I shout “foul,” I can’t help myself when it comes to the likes of Roger Federer. I’ve quit watching golf, though it wasn’t an easy break, but I did it—spurred on by Phil Mickelson saying he’d have to rethink his spending in light of U.S. President Barack Obama’s health-care plan.
Give me a break. We all should have turned the television off after that gross misstatement.
Just like I quit drinking Diet Coke, I quit watching golf. It can be done. Lucky for me I love watching curling and those athletes aren’t galloping to the bank with their bags of winnings (so my honour is intact while I tune in).
People are losing their jobs, food bank usage is up, families are losing their homes and yet these sports contracts grow and grow and grow. Teachers are under incredible stress here in Canada to deliver a curriculum while trying to solve social issues and parenting problems and poverty and children arriving at school hungry and poorly-dressed.
It’s even worse in the U.S. where the education budget has been nearly stripped bare.
We have lost our way; the fog growing thicker with every passing year. All I can do is turn off the television and stop buying tickets.
The latter one is easy; I can’t afford a ticket to watch professional sports. I can watch varsity athletics at Acadia University, though.
That’s what I’ll do to get my sports fix—and I’ll continue to complain as loudly as I dare.
wendistewart@live.ca

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Are you kidding?

Dear editor:
Please allow me to take issue with the last two sentences in last week’s “Publisher’s Pen.”
I recall that this newspaper last year published a very derogatory cartoon of the new Pope within weeks after he was elected.
“Accurate and truthful?” You must be kidding.
The media today, be it TV, radio, or newspapers, feels it to be their duty to attack everything Christian, especially Catholic. Everything else may not be touched because of “minority rights.”
Signed,
Michael Zimmerman
Emo, Ont.