Softball should be a priority for State’s efforts

Date Published: 
January 31, 2014

I’ve come to the stark realization that there are two things that find me, no matter where I happen to be in life, or what I happen to be doing at any given moment.

The first is my friend, Rodney. No matter where I have moved to over the years, where I have worked or what far corner of the world he currently inhabits, Rodney always manages to track me down when he needs me, whether I have given him my new information or not. He’s like a bad penny, or an overly-talkative ouija board. There’s simply no getting rid of the guy.

The second entity that always finds its way to me is the press release. Be it a statement from the President of the United States of America, or an announcement for a bake sale at a local church, information finds its way to me, especially with the ease of smartphones and instant-contact any place I might be at, during any time frame.

Now, I hope that doesn’t come off as a complaint, because that’s precisely what it isn’t. I like knowing what’s going on, and feeling like I get a sneak peek at what people are up to before the rest of the world does. When I go on vacations and hand control of the news side of the paper and my email to our news editor, M. Patricia Titus, I feel a little lost without the constant barrage of information. It’s become my “Dark Passenger,” to steal a phrase from Showtime’s “Dexter.”

Of course, there are the obligatory releases promoting the virtues of the Idaho State Fair or book publishers promoting a new piece of non-fiction that shines a light on the real cockroach problem of the 20th Century, but a good share of the releases we receive are pretty pertinent and demand our attention so we can begin sharing that information with our readers. Admittedly, some are a bit dry, and others a bit self-aggrandizing by the author, but some just steal my attention immediately with a simple headline.

As an example, I present this one, forwarded to me by a member of the Delaware House of Representatives on Tuesday:

“Bill would make bicycling official state sport”

House Bill 235 would come on the tails of the League of American Bicyclists rating Delaware as the fifth-most bike-friendly state, according to the release.

“Cycling is a fast-growing sport for Delawareans young and old, as well as a great way to get active and be healthier,” said State Rep. Valerie Longhurst, co-sponsor of the bill, along with Sen. Nicole Poore. “And there’s no better way to see the beautiful scenery and landmarks our state has to offer than from the seat of your bike.”

For starters, I truly admire that Longhurst and others are seeking to promote the bicycling possibilities of Delaware. In our own little community, we have seen the popularity of local bicycling events grow over recent years, and there really is no better way to enjoy all the natural splendor around us than by being outdoors in its most basic form. Also, we are a nation that has collectively blown our diet over the years, and part of me fears that any sea-level rise we might be seeing is actually due to our group weight pushing down the earth below our feet, and promoting the benefits of bicycling only helps us.

That being said ...

I could go on and on regarding the merits of calling bicycling a “sport.” Oh, it is without question a strenuous exercise, and competitions add a race element to it, but I consider bicycling more of an activity than a sport. Is it something we should promote more in Delaware? Yes. Absolutely. Is it a sport? Not so much, in my narrow mind.

I do have an alternative choice as the state’s official sport, however. Just hear me out for a second. I promise I have some stuff to back me up here.

I’m thinking softball.

Delaware softball has long been competitive on a national stage. Traveling teams have fared well in major tournaments, high school players from around Delaware consistently get scholarships to colleges of all shapes and sizes, and Roxana now hosts, not one, but two, World Series events in August.

By throwing its support behind the World Series tournaments and youth softball programs throughout Delaware, the State can firmly stamp our little corner of the world as Softball Paradise.

I realize that more people actively bicycle in the state than play softball, and I fully recognize that the various bicycling events throughout Delaware have a real financial impact on the State. That being said, the State can still throw its support behind bicycling in Delaware without making it the official state sport, and can show true dedication to the efforts of those behind the World Series events with a strong proclamation.