Once again, a sporting event becomes magnified in the aftermath of calamity.
Once again, the performance of young athletes takes on meaning beyond the score.
Once again, the cheers are preceded by tears.
The Saturday night football game in Sam Boyd Stadium between the SDSU Aztecs and the UNLV Rebels is reminiscent of the Yankees’ first home game after 9/11 or Virginia Tech’s first home game following a campus mass shooting.
The pressure is on to honor the dead, celebrate the living.
In a rose-worthy gesture, San Diego sent a 100-yard American flag to grieving Las Vegas thanks to the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl.
This is one of those rare national occasions when legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice’s famous line -- “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game” -- rings absolutely true.
Here in North County, local roses and raspberries seem somewhat less significant in the scheme of things.
A rose — the Peerless Point Man award — to former Poway Mayor Don Higginson for agreeing to put his honorable name on a federal lawsuit disputing the constitutionality of the 2001 California Voting Rights Act.
Over and over, this well-meaning legislation has been perverted to force cities to adopt district elections when there’s no evidence of ongoing racial discrimination or even that district elections will remedy past or current discrimination.
Poway is just the latest city to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into district elections under the threat of a lawsuit from a freebooting Malibu attorney who’s exploiting the CVRA to force district elections.
To the rescue comes the the Project on Fair Representation, a nonprofit with conservative donors that has a record of success filing state and federal cases against a whole range of legislated minority and racial preferences.
By the way, this shouldn’t be a partisan issue.
Even if you believe that minorities are unfairly underrepresented in government, district elections are not the rational remedy in all cases.
There’s no way, for example, that Poway with a spread-out 15 percent Latino minority population can gerrymander districts that will favor Latino candidates.
This lawsuit may take years to wind through the courts, but Higginson has done his city proud by lending his name to a long overdue challenge of an absurd status quo.
A sweet little raspberry — the Loco Logo? award — to the brand-masters of San Marcos for dreaming up the city’s first branding logo and reminding us that everything is in the eye of the beholder.
Granted, taking pot shots at a $26,000 civic emblem is easy sport.
As it happens, San Marcos has an old seal, which is a sort of logo stand-in, but it’s a bit of a mess.
The seal, created in 1963 and updated in 2012, is a visual hodgepodge that includes a hillside whitewash “P” for Palomar College, campus buildings including a dome that looks like the top half of a basketball, plus San Marcos Creek running into campus buildings flanked by trees. The title: Valley of Discovery. (A counterpoint to Escondido’s Hidden Valley?)
With the seal is now relegated to official documents. The brand-new logo, a san-serif spelling out of “SAN MARCOS,” is brightened by what I gather is a “compass rose” set into the “O,” reportedly the map symbol that is meant to suggest discovery. (The subtitle is “Discover Life’s Possibilities.)
I showed the logo to a colleague and asked her what she saw inside the O.
She shrugged her shoulders.
A marijuana leaf? I suggested as a joke.
If this is the “new face” of San Marcos, it’s a better, cleaner face than the old seal.
Fortunately, cities aren’t judged on their symbols but their substance.
If San Marcos makes good on creating a Downtown Creek District, if it remains a growing and desirable bedroom community, the city will be headed in the right direction with or without a compass in its logo.
A thorny rose — the Calculating Hearts award — to the Oceanside City Council for voting 4-0 to grant Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood another medical leave through Nov. 1.
In a scene right out of a Fellini film, the mayor arrived in a wheelchair and did not speak except to say “thank you” in a voice that was difficult to understand.
Fortunately, Wood was not forced to participate in an ensuing regular meeting to “earn” more time to recover. O’side was spared that spectacle.
No, the council, no matter how much it might have wanted to thank Wood for his service and let him go, realized it was being judged on its heart, not its minds.
Public sentiment no doubt favored granting the popular Wood his request for an extension beyond what the law allows. (He hasn’t served as mayor since May when he had the last of several strokes.)
Though Machiavellian subplots are discussed in whispers — how will the next mayor be chosen, appointment or special election, and who will he/she be? — the council felt the pressure to appear compassionate.
However, if a still-recovering Wood comes back to the council and requests another extension, expect an ice-cold response.
Wood is a good man who is setting a high, if not desperate, bar for his recovery.
You hope he clears it in fine style, but you also worry that he’s putting his life priorities in the wrong place.