We're thankful for the circus catches and the timely hits...
We call them back in winter, when the season's done, and it's
A quiet pleasure to recall the grace of summer's days
As rife with baseball's blessings: agile, brilliant double plays,
And fastballs taken deep, and bunts layed gently down the line;
The images of baseball recollected are a fine
And welcome antidote for dreary, frozen times ahead.
So thanks for those, we say, for mem'ry is, i think it's said,
A blessing. And we're blessed as well by games for colder days...
By football, hockey, basketball; by quick and clever plays
By athletes whom we care about and teams that we support.
I won't apologize that I am thankful, then, for sport.
But in this time of giving thanks, I also might suggest
My thanks for games as something to divert us from the rest
Of what we see each day: the evidence that as a race
We haven't managed to progress from that depressing place
Where nations and religions must aspire to be the best,
The one God loves the most, the most courageous; and the rest
Must fall in line behind the chosen country or despair
That bombs will fall upon their lands until there's nothing there,
And leaders, ours included, feel compelled to charge to battle,
And preach the noble sacrifice above the saber's rattle.
It's said by some our games are merely substitutes for war.
I wish that it were true, for then the crowd's insistent roar
Would only echo in the coliseum, on the field,
And only teams would be compelled to fight or else to yield.
If games could work as substitutes, and war could be transcended,
Perhaps the greatest shame we've made could finally be ended,
And bullets would be only fastballs, bombs would be long passes,
And vengeance would be only batters knocked upon their asses.
So, thanks for games we love, for the diversion, and the ways
We find to think of better, brighter, much more peaceful days.
This program aired on November 29, 2003. The audio for this program is not available.