By Dennis Minich
I will make no bones about it: I like to win. People come up with these comments “that they are playing for fun” or “winning and losing isn’t important.” Maybe for a few that is real, but deep down I think we all want to win, whatever it is we are doing. For example, if you have a hard day at work, it is in essence you didn’t win that day. When things go well and you solve all the problems and everything goes well, you tend to go home happy. You won.
Saturday, I competed in the Monopoly tournament, which is a fundraiser for the Jerry Tabb Memorial Scholarship program at the Cass Career Center. While I could proudly boast I finished second, I would simply be conceding I was simply the highest-finishing loser, kind of like the North Carolina men’s basketball team. I am happy with second place, but it’s not winning.
Of course, the real winner was the schol- arship program and it was fun to compete and help such a cause. Although the number of players were down, the games went on and it was fun for all, at least if you can consider playing Monopoly at 8 a.m. on a Saturday a form of entertainment. It is noteworthy the tournament two years ago was the last event locally before the quarantines kicked in. There was no tournament last year, but Saturday players were able to assemble mask-free and enjoy competing.
For me, this weekend was almost like a symbolic end of COVID. Friday night, Leslie and I attended a show at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. First off, I will note it was my first time in the facility and I was really taken with the acoustics, the music was phenomenal. But the evening was dampened somewhat by COVID restrictions, meaning we had to show proof of vaccination AND wear a mask. Ironically, that mandate ended April 4 (Monday) in Kansas City, but was still in effect on April 1 (Friday). I don’t know what difference three days made, but those were the rules.
But then we could put away the masks on Saturday with the Monopoly tourney that morning and the Just 4 Me Adult Prom Saturday night. It was great to see people mingle and have fun without all of the restrictions in place.
The change in attitude was also apparent watching the national basketball tournament. During the last weekend in March, fans in the different venues had to abide by varying rules to attend. Two of the venues appeared to have no restrictions, while the other two showed people, including cheerleaders and press row workers, still in masks. I guess it was all a product of what the local rules were.
In New Orleans at the Final Four this weekend, it was obvious there were no restrictions in place. There may have been some individuals who chose to mask up, but the players, coaches, cheerleaders, media and in all the crowd shots, everyone was demasked. So, while I am sure there are health officials still fearing the worst, there finally seems to be normalcy in most realms. And since April 4 is past, you can safely assemble in Kansas City without having to show your papers.
I won’t get too cocky, because COVID is still a reality in the world and we can never be sure when things could rapidly deteriorate again.
While I mentioned the basketball tournament, I along with many of my friends are quite happy this week, you might even say celebratory. Sadly, there are folks out there who don’t share in our jubilation. But I would proudly boast being a fan of the NCAA Division I national champions, the South Carolina Lady Gamecocks.
Losing hurts (ask the North Carolina men’s basketball team) which is why winning feels so much better. Winning is more fun than losing, so if you are playing for fun, you should be trying to win. That’s why I make no apologies for trying to win. It feels great to be a champion, so obviously next year, my sights are one first place at the Monopoly tournament.