Tom Danehy: A divider, not a uniter

It's been nearly a year since one of the bitterest, most fractious elections in American history, and if anything, we're more divided than ever. For example, there's that deep division between those who now think it was wrong for us to invade Iraq and those who have thought that all along. (Newcomers to a certain point of clarity always resent those who were prematurely aware.)

Political divisions along party lines remain sharp, and we're now even seeing intra-party problems. The GOP is split over George W. Bush's nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. And Democrats are torn over the installation of bombastic blowhard Howard Dean as their chairman.

While some issues might cause multiple factions to emerge, for the most part, Americans tend to split into two distinct camps. For example, there are:

Those who think that the designated hitter is an OK idea and those who actually respect the game of baseball.

Those who think that changing the term "suicide bomber" to "homicide bomber" is somehow politically neutral and gives the viewer more information rather than less, and those of us who jealously guard our IQ points by avoiding Fox "News" at all costs.

Those who think the UA football team is getting better and those who have seen the team play.

Those who think that Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader who, at most recent count, was facing three felony charges in connection with a political money-laundering scheme, was just being a good Republican and those who think he's the ultimate Republican.

Beatles or Stones? I see kids wearing Beatles shirts these days, and I have to laugh. I think it's no contest. The Stones, who are on tour, have a killer new CD out with everything from Robert Johnson-style blues to stinging political commentary to earthy R&B on it, while The Beatles broke up 35 years ago over a no-talent scuz whose "singing" sounds like someone is torturing a cat.

Those who think that Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat, pompous, lying drug addict who would be in jail if he were an average citizen and those who know he's lost some weight.

Those viewers of Lost who think that the show's title refers to the survivors of the plane crash and those who think it refers to the viewers who are trying to follow the "plot."

Those who think that the governor of Louisiana did a good job in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and those who are not actually Gov. Blanco herself.

Those Honda or Nissan drivers who take a small delight in watching Hummer buttholes spend a $100 to fill the tanks of those gas-guzzling monstrosities and ... well, sometimes there aren't two sides.

Raiders fans and high school graduates.

People who talk on cell phones while driving, and people who don't deserve to get ear cancer.

Those who paid money to see the dreadful remake of The Longest Yard and those who had seen the original and were smart enough to recognize a perfect movie when they saw one.

People on a football field who wear gloves and real football players. People who know that there is nothing better in the world for catching a thrown football than bare human fingertips, and an entire generation of people who grew up soft, pampered and weak, and don't want to ruin their manicures or something.

I'll change political parties--heck, I'll develop a distaste for fried chicken!--before I come to understand why anybody who plays a tough guy's game would wear gloves, not to mention why they're even allowed. If gloves give somebody a better grip on the ball, they should be illegal; and if they don't, they're just a fashion statement.

My son, Alexander, coaches a middle school flag football team, and I'm his unpaid, overworked assistant. Last week, a boy on the other team showed up wearing gloves. In a middle school flag football game!! Naturally, I ridiculed the kid mercilessly, as I would any would-be athlete who attempts to set himself apart from his teammates, not through his actions or hustle, but through his accoutrements.

I told Kyle, who was playing defense for our team, that if Glove Boy caught even one pass, I'd kill him (Kyle) and, two months later, sell his rotting carcass to that new Kuru restaurant that's opening up in the foothills. (I didn't want to go too negative since Kyle's only in the seventh grade.)

We lost the game, but Glove Boy went zero-for-the-day. Kyle's the man! For a brief instant, the world was in balance.

I'm thinking of coaching a high school football team next year, and if I do, my first rule, even ahead of you must wear your jock inside your pants, will be: No Gloves.

Finally, and most importantly, there are those who know (and hate the fact) that Michael Jordan illegally pushed off on Bryon Russell in order to get off the winning shot against the Utah Jazz and those who know it and just won't admit it.

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