To mark the end of 2022, I was going to list all kinds of things that delighted the media and horrified the rest of us. But my wife asked me not to start the new year with a downer.
So, I’ll just mention a few and move on: President Biden is wrecking the country and destroying our savings. We have a disastrously open border. The GOP “red wave” flopped, narrowly flipping only the House.
Congress enacted the (Dis)Respect for Marriage Act and spent another $1.7 trillion of money that we don’t have. COVID-19 commissars are gearing up for a replay of 2020.
OK, enough. Now we can move on to sports, which are usually safe. Just don’t dwell too long on your favorite pro team going woke.
Baseball’s return is only weeks away. Major league pitchers and catchers report to spring training in mid-February. My dear friend, the late pro-life activist Michael Schwartz, called the time between the last out of the World Series to the first pitch of spring training “the Great Ellipsis.” He cared only about his beloved Philadelphia Phillies. Football’s Eagles? Not so much.
During the Ellipsis, baseball fans have to make do with politics, hockey, basketball, basket weaving and football, including college bowl games pitting the great and not-so-great.
On Dec. 16, bowl mania kicked off in, of all places, the Bahamas. You know, the semitropical islands in the Atlantic Ocean 110 miles east of Miami — football country.
Between bites of conch chowder and windsailing, the University of Alabama at Birmingham beat Miami of Ohio 24-20, and then went deep-sea fishing off Cuba. They haven’t been heard from since.
Other early bowls included the Dec. 17 Wasabi Fenway Bowl, where a hot Louisville team trounced Cincinnati 24-7 in front of the Red Sox’s Green Monster (the huge wall in left field).
Since then, approximately 1,000 more bowl games have been played, leading up to the College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 9 in SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
I’m still puzzled by the snack food Cheez-It’s outsized college football footprint. The Cheez-it Bowl on Thursday in Orlando pitted Oklahoma versus Florida State. The Cheez-It Citrus Bowl on Monday, also in Orlando, features LSU against Perdue. Sponsoring bowls is anything but cheesy. They must sell a lot of those addictive little crisps.
Rounding out the football picture is the Big Show, the National Football League. Once relegated to Sunday afternoons, the NFL now plays virtually every day of the week, according to America’s wives.
I would sympathize with the wives except that on Thanksgiving, the National Dog Show and a rerun of the Macy’s parade hogged the TV in the family room. I will say the food, the folks and the camaraderie were so wonderful that it hadn’t occurred to me until now that we had missed the Cowboys and Lions games.
For those of us in the Washington area, there have been some bright spots. The Washington Commanders are playing meaningful games deep into December. Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin scored his 802nd hockey goal, passing Hall of Famer Gordie Howe (801). Ovi is now taking aim at all-time great Wayne Gretzky’s lifetime record of 894 goals and has a good chance if he doesn’t get drafted into Vladimir Putin’s army.
Sports fans know all this, but I’m sharing it for non-fans who might actually still be reading this column.
Anyway, it’s time to say goodbye to 2022. It was a year that delighted most Democrats and stunned Republicans but included a growing rebellion against wokeness. Tom Cruise’s incredible patriotic blockbuster “Top Gun: Maverick” led all films and might even help reverse the military’s plunge in recruiting.
Despite deep flaws and divisions, our 246-year-old constitutional republic with its free market economy, First Amendment freedoms and what’s left of the rule of law is still the most amazing country on earth.
Plus, in only six weeks, pitchers and catchers will report, bringing an end to the Great Ellipsis.
Happy new year!
• Robert Knight is a columnist for The Washington Times. His new book, “Crooked: What Really Happened in the 2020 Election and How to Stop the Fraud” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, September 2022), is available at his website, roberthknight.com, and at djkm.org/crooked.