- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Tradition thrives.

WRC-TV reporter Mark Segraves, whose dad was a colleague of mine back in my early days, broke a heck of a story this week.

The Lerner family, the owners of the Washington Nationals, want to build a $300 million retractable roof for Nationals Park.

Cool, you baseball lovers, say?

Yeah, but they don’t want to pay for it.

They want D.C. stakeholders to foot the bill.

The reaction from the mayor was expected. He “started laughing,” according to one source, while another said it would be “cost prohibitive” and “butt ugly.”

Not funny.

It doesn’t matter what a retractable roof would look like, and it doesn’t matter how little or how much it would cost.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray and taxpayers nationwide who help foot the bills of the nation’s capital should send a resounding message: Hell no 300 million times.

What gall.

We followed tradition and built the Nats a stadium, and the team’s owners should be telling us “thank you” 700 million times.

Instead, they’re proving they’re not grateful at all.

In other sports news, today’s the day. Today’s the day Washington Redskins fans have to watch our arch rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, play for bragging rights to lead the division.

Dallas playing on Thanksgiving Day is a tradition. Sometime between the meal prayers and the sweet potato pie, and other goodies and libations, many Redskins diehards will begin the transition to the Dark Side.

I cannot be counted among that group, because the only time I ever root for the Cowboys is when they are in the Super Bowl and I want our division to claim the big one.

So despite the NFL tradition of the Cowboys playing on Thanksgiving, there will be no cheering for Dallas.

No go, Tony Romo, no go!

Besides, there is more to Thanksgiving Day than gobble, gobble and football.

Like many of you, our family had a few health scares this year, and when we did, we put petty gripes and annoyances aside to collectively send up prayers.

We sent up prayers for Uncle Reg in Pittsburgh, who turned 100, and we sent up prayers for Ronnie, my ex who was hospitalized in recent months for three separate serious illnesses.

We prayed for the newborns in the family, relatives we haven’t seen in long stretches of time and for relatives who remain unemployed since the recession.

We pray today for lost souls, people who struggle, sometimes with themselves, just trying to make it through another 24 hours.

We pray because we believe, and because we believe we give thanks.

We’re thankful for a human race that often rapes and pillages Mother Nature’s bounty, and we give thanks for the young minds, bodies and spirits who will be expected to bolster its future sustenance.

That Hanukkah and Thanksgiving Day actual coincide this year is comforting, as both focus on giving thanks and lighting the way for rededication.

We give thanks for life, love, peace, health, joy and the hands and hearts that light the way.

The lights didn’t shine as brightly this season for the ‘Skins, but we’ve been down this road many times since Dan Snyder bought the team in 1999.

And while losing seasons seemingly have become the tradition since then, there’s always next year.

So, dear readers, gobble, gobble.

All things in moderation — except prayer and thanks.

Deborah Simmons can be reached at [email protected]



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