OPINION: Consider baseball Cardinals, Sunday beer, but not together

Here are some thoughts and opinions on various and sundry topics …
I followed with some interest the decision by the Tupelo City Council to allow alcohol sales on Sundays. The basic reasoning was that if the City Council changed the law to allow people buy alcohol on Sunday some merchants in Tupelo would make more money. There is no question money is important. We all have to have it to survive. But alcohol is not just any commodity. Not just another product for sale. There is a reason why people purchase alcohol. It is because it loosens then up and/or makes them become drunk and many people like loosening up and/or getting drunk. It helps them escape the troubles or boring routine of life. I see them lined up, especially at convenience stores on Friday and Saturday afternoons, with six pack after sick pack and case after case of beer. Go into any convenience store starting Friday about 3 p.m. and beer is probably 75 per cent of the sales. In a way, I feel sorry for these folks because it seems this is what they live for: drinking beer all weekend.
The dark side of alcohol consumption is not talked about often enough, and certainly not in the advertisements promoting alcohol consumption. Drunks fill our roads, especially on weekends, playing Russian roulette with the automobile. Go to a funeral of someone who has lost a loved one to a drunk driver, as I have, and you would vote to ban alcohol from the face of the Earth.
I am not one who believes the Bible forbids drinking alcohol. It does, however, call drunkenness a sin. But how many people do you know that drink beer for the taste? Most people drink beer for the buzz, or more. Take alcohol out of beer and see how much you sell.
Councilman Mike Bryan actually predicted a revenue decline for Tupelo because the city has lifted its ban. He said insurance rates will rise, car accidents will increase and the police department will need more officers due to the behavioral problems that inevitably go along with alcohol consumption.
I would have voted no to this idea of selling alcohol on Sunday. Those who drink have six days to go to the store and stock up. Do we really need to encourage anyone to drink any more than they already do? That is the message this vote sent to the public. It was a vote to make alcohol more readily available. Call me old school, but I like to think that if for only one day a week we can go back to Mayberry. Sunday should be a day we encourage time with God, time with family and a time to slow down and quieten down. And if it means some businesses won’t be making some extra money selling alcohol, then so be it.
I applaud city councilmen Bryan, Jonny Davis and Willie Jennings for saying that, sometimes, there are other considerations to a decision than just money.

The playoffs for Major League Baseball are just around the corner. For the many St. Louis Cardinals fans that reside in Northeast Mississippi anticipation is in the air. The redbirds have won the National League Central Division and have the pitching staff and players to make a run to yet another World Series. They have won 10 world championships, second only to the New York Yankees.
Speaking of the Cardinals, sports fans may be witness to the greatest baseball player in the history of the game. Obviously, I am talking about Albert Pujols. I was listening to one baseball analyst say that Pujols will win the triple crown for this decade. In other words, he will have more home runs, more RBIs and the highest batting average of any player in professional baseball from 2000 – 2010. That will be an accomplishment only attained by three other men in baseball history, the most well known Ted Williams in the 1940s.
There has been no hint of Albert using steroids. He has a tremendous work ethic and takes his responsibility as a role model very seriously. He is a devout Christian and a dedicated family man. He is almost too good to be true.
I have been a student of professional baseball for 40 of my 46 years. I know that I am prejudiced towards the Cardinals, but Pujols’ statistics thus far, both offensively and defensively, say that Pujols is among the greatest baseball players to ever live. In my opinion, the two greatest players in the history of baseball are Ted Williams and Willie Mays. But I predict by the time Pujols is finished, barring serious injury, he will be considered by many to be the very best to ever play.
In the meantime we baseball fans can enjoy watching him play.

Community Columnist Tim Wildmon writes a column every other week. He resides in Baldwyn. His e-mail address is twildmon@afa.net.

Tim Wildmon

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