Monday Musings: I'm keeping my hat, thanks

(Josh Donaldson Twitter photo)

I don't get it.

I mean, I get it... but I just don't get it. The long held tradition of the hat trick - a hockey staple for decades and decades and decades, has made its way into the world of baseball. And that's not the part I don't get either, because it happens in Toronto, where every sporting event can somehow be related to the Leafs or the sport of hockey in one way or another. Hockey traditions are so embedded, they're bound to cross over. So, when Blue Jays' third baseman Josh Donaldson hit not one, not two, but three home runs in Sunday's sweep win over the Minnesota Twins, the hats came flying out of the stands.

That's the part I don't get and never really have. I mean, whenever I've gone to a game, I've never once worn a hat I didn't like. Didn't want. Didn't care for. A hat that I'd gladly discard. Chances are, whenever I go anywhere - to a ball game, hockey game, wedding or public shaming - I'm wearing a hat because, you know, I like that hat. I don't say "hey, I'm going out, let's wear this hat that I really hate. It's a piece of crap and I don't really care if I come home with it." No, if I go to a game, I'm wearing that hat because it's one of my favourite hats. So, I would never, ever throw that hat out onto the ice or the field or at the feet of someone in the town square stockade. Even if a guy hits three homers. Not enough beer in the stadium to make me lose my inhibitions so completely that I'm sacrificing the hat I love. That's my hat. It's an all-time great hat. Josh Donaldson already has a hat. Many hats. Makes a lot of money, too, so he can buy soooo many hats if he really needs them. Besides, I don't really think that when they gather up all those hats and put them in giant, clear garbage bags, that they're walking them over to Donaldson's locker (NOTE: Yes, they did walk them over to Donaldson's locker). Okay, I'm sure he doesn't flip those bags over his shoulder, take them home and put them in his specially designed trophy hat room.

Even if that were the case; No, sir. Josh Donaldson can't have my hat. Thanks for the homers. You have my admiration and standing applause. But not my hat. I like my hat. Keepin' it.

THE LITTLE THINGS

Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin got married over the weekend. Sidney Crosby will probably go out and get married twice this weekend.

The goalie who stole beer last week? Not a real goalie or he'd have paused to sweep the glass out of his way with that Sher-Wood. 

When the voice on my Google maps app says "you have arrived," I like to think she means it in the larger sense.

American swimmer Katie Ledecky threw out the first pitch at a Washington Nationals game last week. And made outfielder Bryce Harper hold all her medals while she did it.

(CSN Nationals Twitter)

Did you know that there's a National Waffle Day? Great, I love National Waffle day. Well, not love, exactly. In fact, I'm not so hot on it. I dislike it greatly. Hate it. No, wait. I kinda like it....

The CFL had a "Live Mic Broadcast" on Sunday, with the quarterbacks all wired for sound so we could hear all their play-calling. Which is great except I didn't understand what the hell they were talking about since it's all in code. But, I've written down a bunch of those words & aim to craft a short story based on them. Working title: "Carolina Gator Escape," or "Alamo Ruby and the Cookie Cookie."

By the way, "Carolina Gator Escape" is this week's suggested internet login password.

BUT SERIOUSLY

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has some deeply held feelings about what is happening in his country.

So much so that he has decided to take on the inevitable, supernova heat that comes with not standing for his country's national anthem before games. That's a big statement to make and one that he absolutely had to know would be met with extreme prejudice and a whole lot of hate.

He did it anyway. Hard not to admire that kind of guts, even if you disagree with his actions and even his stance. Taking on that kind of inevitable furious backlash takes a certain kind of intestinal fortitude, indeed.

His decision not to stand during the anthem, while not something I would personally choose as a means to make my own point, does not make him a traitor nor does it mean that he loves his country not. Nor does it mean he is out to embarrass or shame the military, despite the criticisms by some that that is exactly what he's doing.

He's clarified that point, quite clearly. We know exactly what Kaepernick is saying by taking a seat during the anthem. He wants improved social justice. We know this because he's made it clear what his intentions are; What his message is.

Colin Kaepernick (Associated Press)

A country's flag, and by extension its national anthem, while defended by its military when need be (and sometimes simply used as a symbol of superiority in imperialistic ventures) is not exclusively a mark of military sacrifice and valour. The flag is for all peoples of a country and ripples in the breeze for them too, every single citizen.

Kaepernick has made a memorable point and if his goal was to ignite an even deeper conversation about race relations in America he has likely accomplished that mission, at least in some circles, even in the midst of the distracting sideshow argument of whether he's a worthy American.

Having deep concerns about certain aspects of life in one's country does not make them a traitor, does not mean they do not love that country. It is not one or the other. That's just way too simplistic.

Kaepernick has not called for harm to come to his country. He has made a decision to symbolically call for improvements he feels are imperative.

It's understandable that many would find his strategy distasteful. Fair enough. To find it personally insulting, though, is to boil his intentions down so severely that any kind of nuance, any kind of detail, is lost.

Speaking one's mind should not ever come without the knowledge that it can be challenged. Challenge is obviously acceptable and even crucial. But it's a lot more helpful when it's done with an eye and an ear primed for detail, not closed to it.

Unfortunately, Colin Kaepernick's choice of action has both elevated his concerns and buried them like a quarterback succumbing to a zero blitz.