I confess. I didn't watch any of the women's world cup soccer matches.

It seemed a foregone conclusion that the American team would win and I neither like nor understand soccer. And now that it's over, I'm glad I didn't.

With all the rancor and vitriol that abounds now, I sure don't need to hear another group's pent up "rage" over their pet cause aired publicly. Equal pay for athletes! Sounds good right?

Ask the boys who are spending their summer up the road at Marion, playing baseball almost every night and enduring long bus rides, if not driving themselves, while living with local families about equal pay. Sometimes a small slice of a very large pie is a lot better than a large piece of a very small pie. As much as our younger generations want it to be, life isn't fair. Never has been and never will be. Not here, "not nowhere."

This whole thing reminded me of the Olympics and to be honest, I don't watch the Olympics anymore either. It gets a little jingoistic when the chants start and it seems to me that the Olympic athletes who garner most of the attention have led somewhat sheltered lives wherein they compete endlessly while Mom and Dad work two jobs to pay the bills or they have plenty of funding already and can afford to chauffeur Junior all over the world.

As far as the politics of this situation go, honestly, Mr. Trump isn't the first person to occupy the White House with a less than stellar personal reputation. Then to hear Ms. Rapinoe's now famous quote about not going to the " White House" and her subsequent acceptance of Chuck Schumer's invitation to appear on Capitol Hill is just a little too much for me.

I don't need anymore "celebrities" telling me how to think. Contrast the "over the top" antics of this group, specifically just a portion of them, to the behavior of some of the real pioneers of sports such as Larry Doby and Jackie Robinson and maybe you can understand my disregard of the soccer team. Hey they've won it four times and that's great -- it's unprecedented. But according to some "internet" sources, they played a group of 14 and 15 year old boys from the Dallas area as a warm-up a while back and lost to them.

Meaningful? Not really but it adds a little perspective. I wish we could go back to the days when sports were sports, not whetstones to grind your political axe upon.

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On a lighter note, one of the Southern Illinois Miners just caught a big break and was signed to a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Double A affiliate in the Southern League, the Chattanooga Lookouts. Bryant Jesus Flete is an infielder who began the year at Marion and is now at Chattanooga. Fellow Red Leg Tanner Roark also did a short stint at Marion before making the Bigs with the Washington Nationals. Roark was a Wilmington, Illinois native and a student at the University of Illinois.

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The All Star has come and gone and for the umpteenth time in a row, the American League won. This year's game didn't resemble last year's slugfest but the National League held true to form in striking out 16 times. Over half of the N.L. outs came via the strikeout. Mercy!

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