Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reality Check

It's easy to forget how lucky we are to live in the United States.

I was reminded once again today after I read this story in the New York Times.

Cricket officials in India are moving the Indian Premier League games out of the country because of security problems. With national elections upcoming, the government said it cannot spare military forces to secure cricket matches. And after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November, the country is on high-alert.

Cricket in India is akin to football in the U.S. It is the national obsession. My wife saw it first hand when she visited India about a year ago. The season was about to start and the media hoard was in full swing. It was a national controversy when the teams brought cheerleaders to the pitch that did not adequately cover themselves. (They were dressed similar to American cheerleaders.)

Americans worry about security at sporting events. I have endured the pat-down to enter football games at Solider Field and Michigan Stadium. But can you imagine if President Bush last fall said all NFL games would be moved to Canada the first week of November because we needed to ensure voters were secure during the presidential election?

We all remember how important baseball and football became after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York. City residents under so much pressure from the mayhem and clean-up were able to cheer for the Mets, Yankees, Jets or Giants and forget about the chaos for a few hours.

Moving the cricket matches off shore is not fair to the millions of cricket fans in India. The actions, or potential actions, of a few, cause the many to suffer.

It gave me a moment of pause. Times may not be ideal now, but we're still pretty lucky here.