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Bird Brown: Counting my eggs and hoping for some sports sweets this Easter | COMMENTARY

How many eggs can you put into an empty Easter Basket?

Only one. After that, it’s not empty anymore.

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For my Easter Sunday, I’m going to dig around my house to find my Basket O’Goodies that I’m hoping the Easter Bunny will leave behind on his journey to bring happiness to the lives of many kids and dentists around the world.

When the dogs and I finally use our tracking skills and locate the basket, my eye is drawn to the large purple egg shining with the glow that only landing a top-tier wide receiver in the NFL Draft on April 29 could bring. With Ronnie Stanley coming back the Ravens have the O-line, we the running backs, the tight ends, and some good receivers. What they need ― and what Lamar Jackson needs to get them to Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, and to remain competitive in years to come ― is a top-tier receiver at his disposal, like a DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, or D.K. Metcalf that can be his partner for the next several years.

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This year the Easter Bunny left me an extra special purple egg. This one, the one with a lot of extra shine to it, included the long-term contract that Eric DeCosta and Lamar worked out to keep him leading this band of brothers for the length of his career, leaving him a spot in Baltimore sports history with the likes of the Brooks and Frank, Johnny U, Wes Unseld, and the Iron Man.

The orange-and-black egg next to it brings a sense of new hope this summer. My brother-in-law’s nephew, Bruce Zimmerman, landed the third spot in the Orioles’ rotation so we will have some renewed interest to watch the boys of summer this year.

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been to the Yard and only sometimes find myself catching their games on MASN. At my writing of this column, the Orioles were sitting in first place in the AL East at 1-0. So, you’re saying there’s a chance.

I always looked forward to the red, white and blue egg that represented the U.S. men’s national soccer team, but after our last disappointing performance that kept us out of the Russia World Cup in 2018, it’s been a while since that egg showed up in my basket. Maybe this year’s colors are to show us of the greatness that is yet to come, with young Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, and Maryland’s own Zack Steffan leading a group of hungry, driven men’s soccer team to the Promised Land as we prepare for the next stage of qualifiers for 2022.

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We had a bit of a disappointing collapse in the Olympic qualifier, but the future looks bright under coach Gregg Berhalter’s direction.

My favorite egg ― the Green Egg ― seems to garner my attention more than any other, and this year was no different. But this year’s green egg has a little darker green tone, probably from the green that comes from being jealous of all of the other surrounding counties now completing their second wave of turf fields at their high schools and recreation facilities. Here we sit, a week in to spring, coming to the end of our Faux Fall 2020 sports season and heading into the spring, and we’re still at the mercy of Mother Nature.

Every weekend my club team travels out of the county (despite 95% of my team coming from Carroll County, even our home games have to be played an hour away to have access to turf fields) and we play on an equal playing field in multiple weather conditions without any damage to the field or any more injuries to the players. In fact, I know there are even schools from other counties that are now taking us off their schedules because we can’t offer turf options.

A turf field or four, placed strategically around the county, will allow Carroll County to compete with our neighboring counties for the quality of facilities we offer to our athletes and recreation programs. And with the budget surplus I’m hearing about, maybe there’s a little extra money laying around to put a turf field on EVERY high school in the county.

There’s a new one in my basket this year, that is blue in nature, maybe a little toward turquoise, representing the calm that hopefully will come to this country, to this community, to our schools, our jobs, our families, and our lives, with some semblance of normalcy that we should be returning to before long. We have been through and are about to survive the incredible stresses of fear, health concerns, lack of human interaction, loss of jobs, and in many cases, the loss of loved ones.

Since my favorite color is green, there’s room for another green egg in my basket, this one a lighter shade of green that represents hope.

Lady Bird Johnson once said, “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” Here’s hoping we get our shots, throw away our masks, fill our schools with kids and teachers, pack our stadiums with cheering fans, and rid our hearts of the hate and bitterness that has come with the stresses of a global pandemic and a psychotic political landscape.

And while you’re at it, maybe a turf field or seven.

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