Murch: It’s Saturday and the gov’t is still closed

It’s day five of the government shutdown, do you know where your Congressman is?

I hope you had a chance to see our Hope & Heroes supplement Thursday. I want to thank everyone who told their story about their battle with cancer. The reporters came back after each interview talking about how emotional the interview had been and how difficult it was to listen to the struggles the people went through.

I waited until after all the stories had been turned in before reading them, and that might have been a mistake. Reading all of them at the same time proved to be an emotional experience for me. I’m amazed at how these people have battled and continued their lives despite facing large obstacles. They truly are inspirational and provide hope for all us regardless of what we may be facing. If they can handle what they dealing with, then surely I can face anything I encounter. My struggles pale in comparison to theirs.

For the most part, everyday life hasn’t changed much for the majority of us during the government shutdown. However, there are plenty of people who have been affected by it.

If you want visual evidence, the easiest sight is the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary building. It sits there locked up with no one around. It normally is a pretty active place and there are always cars around. There are other agencies that have a more direct impact on residents’ lives, but most of those still are open to some degree. A big blue empty building with a closed sign in it is the most visible.

Here’s one thing that would help the two sides work out a deal and get the government running again – shut up and quit going in front of the cameras and complaining about the other side. And President Obama – quit making all these appearances to badmouth the GOP and get back to work.

Let’s stick everybody in a room with coffee and water, and food, and access to a restroom – and lock the door behind them. Then turn up the heat to 90 degrees and let them sit in there and work it out. I’m willing to bet the deal gets done before everyone is stuck looking at a sweaty, shirtless Harry Reid (now there’s a sight I’m sure no one wants).

Will the NFL exist in 20 years? While that might seem a bit rhetorical, I’m serious – will the NFL exist in 20 years?

The league has been under fire and sued over concussion-related issues. The game has changed and the violent hits, which are going to be a part of the game as long as the league is in existence, are being legislated by the league more and more. Many of the rules of the game have some fans complaining that it might as well be flag football.

The size of the players is reaching scary proportions where they could be considered human battering rams, and someone may eventually die after a hit. That is not hyperbole, it could happen to a small-ish wide receiver who gets hit by a 250-pound linebacker, who can run almost as fast as the receiver, on a crossing pattern and the receiver’s head snaps back hard enough …

While I would say the NFL will survive, I wouldn’t consider it a lock. I’ve talked to more and more fans who think it might disappear. My guess is the game won’t look anything like it does in 20 years, just evolve into something else. As for popularity, that will wane because all sports are cyclical. It’ll still be here. Besides, what’s a 6-5, 320 pound guy going to do for a living?

One of the great things about living in Northeast Michigan is the giving nature of the people. The fall of the year is filled with walks that raise money and awareness for a number of things. There are some that go on during other parts of the year, but the fall seems to have one going on every weekend in one community or another.

Today is The 7th annual Zonta Walks for Women Breast Cancer Walk/5K Run. An ocean of pink will be taking part, starting at Fletcher Street Brewing and is just another sign of how people get involved in our communities. It makes me proud to call Alpena home.