A lot of things happened this year that nobody saw coming.
The Chicago Cubs won the World Series.
All three City of Manteca high school football teams made the playoffs.
Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.
No, this isn’t going to delve into politics about whether I think he deserves the office that he’ll take in January.
But I will say this – it doesn’t do any good to burn police cars, block freeways or riot over the fact that the candidate that you wish won, didn’t.
On Wednesday night in Oakland two police cars were set ablaze, and several officers were sent to the hospital. Gunshots rang out in Seattle. And the perennially clogged 101 Freeway in Los Angeles was brought to a standstill by protesters who didn’t like the way the election went.
Oh, and apparently California is now looking to secede from the rest of the country and become a stand-alone nation. Wouldn’t it be ironic if The State of Jefferson – meaning the Northern California and Southern Oregon counties responsible for a large amount of water that’s shipped south – became the 50th state and cut everybody else off?
At the end of the day we’re all still Americans – we all still have to wake up in the morning, go to work, and then come to home to our families and our friends. I had several people in my life that supported a candidate different than mine – some ferociously – and while we didn’t, and like never will, see eye-to-eye on the issues that face the country, it didn’t break up any of our friendships.
I’ve been unfriended on Facebook by multiple people who didn’t like my opinion on things, and I had to sit back and watch people attack one another – not the candidate, or the issue, but one another – on a daily basis.
Hopefully now we can all come together to realize that as Americans we’ll always have more in common than we realize if we stop and pay attention to one another.
We’re all just trying to make it to the end of the day so we can lay our heads down on our pillow and know that we did the best we could.
Lets not ruin that with hatred.
They deserve a day
I was lucky enough to sit down and have a wonderful chat with 93-year-old Betty Neuman this week – who at the age of 21 joined the Marine Corps to help “free a man to fight.”
She was funny. She was kind. She was patriotic. She was cordial.
And she reminded me of my grandmother.
It’s been a few years now since Matilda Campbell passed away at 96-years-old. She would be 100 this month if she hadn’t succumb to a sudden illness, and she would have had the opportunity to meet and hold her great-grandchild – the fist in this line of Campbells – and it would have also been amazing to get her unique political take (she used to watch The Daily Show nightly) on the state of American democracy in the wake of this election.
But she also could have told me more about her time in the United States Army.
Much like Betty, my grandmother joined the service out of a sense of duty to her country – becoming a nurse and an eventual Army officer stationed on a liberty ship in the South Pacific.
That’s where she met her husband – my grandfather – so in a sense I wouldn’t be here typing this today if it weren’t for World War II.
While the idea of women joining the military doesn’t even warrant a second thought these days, at the time it was pretty groundbreaking and it’s amazing that after 93-years we still have people like Neuman who made a sacrifice for her country and able to share about it.
To all Veterans out there – enjoy today. You earned it, and we’re all forever grateful.
The picks of the prideful pack
Well, it’s official.
We have a tie.
After seven weeks of picking Valley Oak League high school football games and the NFL teams from the Bay Area, Mark Condit and I are tied atop the leader board.
Discussions about the Punt, Pass and Kick competition are underway, and very soon we will have a winner in this crazy little contest that we devised to make this season a little bit more interesting.
And while we were supposed to pick the winners of playoff games this week, since all three teams are playing on Thursday night – and I unexpectedly got sick – that isn’t going to happen for your reading pleasure this morning.
What I will say is that we’re all winners in this because Chris Teicheira’s name will forever be a part of East Union history, and I’ll get to find out whether I have the same athletic chops (I don’t) that I had of yesteryear when I showdown with Condit to determine who the winner is.
And then there’s the other thing that has been generating buzz on social media this week.
As many people know, Manteca High School is the No. 1 seed in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Division IV bracket, and that has created a bit of controversy after what happened last year when Sierra dropped into the Division IV bracket and made a run at a State Championship.
Basically there was the opinion from some in the Manteca camp that Sierra’s run at a state championship wasn’t valid because they dropped down a division in the playoffs. It was palpable, and something that the Sierra faction took personally.
Hopefully now this shows everybody that schools don’t have a choice in where they’re placed in a playoff bracket, and that past comments won’t affect the opinions of Manteca’s run through their bracket an route to their fourth Section championship of the Eric Reis era and a very good chance at bringing home a State title themselves.
If we can unify behind Donald Trump as President, surely we can unify as a city behind our prep sports teams.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.