Thursday, May 5, 2016

96 Tears

No, this one is not going to be about ? and the Mysterians, of the titular "96 Tears." So if you are looking for that, then look somewhere else.

No this is a different 96 tears, for a whole different reason. This one is about football in England, It's what we in America call soccer, and it is a religion in England, not a sport. It's the reason why everyone knows the name of Leicester City.

Last week they overcame 5000-1 odds and won the Premier League cup for the first time. It's been called a "fairy tale," "miracle," and a whole lot of things that Cub fans will say if that day every comes to Chicago. It is, and was, truly an accomplishment.

What sort of got lost in all this coverage of Leicester City and their win, was Liverpool FC. On April 26, 2016, a jury found that 96 Liverpool fans, who died from a police caused crush, had been "unlawfully killed" and that the burden for this unlawful killing went right to the police doorstep.

What made it worse was when the disaster happened on April 15, 1989, the police, government, courts, and others in positions of power covered up the police actions, and continued to cover them up for over 25 years. They called the Liverpool fans drunken animals who killed each other, when it was clearly proven to not be true.

When I first heard about the incident in 1989, I just thought it smelled wrong for the dumbest reason imaginable. I still can't believe it was what jumped into my brain and is still one of the things I think of when I remember the disaster. What do I remember?

The Beatles.

Why? 

Because Ringo was born in Liverpool, England, and I knew that any place where that great man came from, could not do this to themselves. I knew they did not kill each other, urinate on the police, or were drunken idiots. I just knew it could not be true, because of Ringo. How stupid is that. I actually bet on peace and love.

So 27 years later I was right, and so were the survivors, and families of those who went to a soccer match that day and never came home. I cried for joy, and I cried for justice, when I heard that verdict. It made me realize that England is still great, because they prize truth and justice over everything else, and will continue to look for it, even when the result is disappointing and discouraging.

Just like we still do in this country, at least for the time being.