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Identity is the key for us all

Silver State Post of Deer Lodge, Montana

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In English please

How do you identify yourself?

Do you see yourself as a Deer Lodgian? A Montanan, perhaps? Maybe as an American or a North American?

Do you identify yourself as straight, gay, bisexual or transgender?

There are many ways you can identify yourself - way too many to mention on this page, alone.

Whatever it is, the feeling towards a specific identity is strong.

A person in Texas or Alaska is likely to have a different identity to someone in New York or Massachusetts, for instance.

This notion also plays a huge part in sport, too.

Say you are Detroit born and raised and you love nothing more than seeing Matthew Stafford throwing a few touchdowns on a breezy Sunday afternoon at Ford Field. Granted you have lots of good men on the roster but one of those guys, Joique Bell is your favorite player.


Well, because he is a local lad. Born and raised in Benton Harbor, just a couple of hours away on Lake Michigan, he is living the dream, I assume, playing football for the team that played its home games a relatively short drive away on I-94 from his birth home.

Soccer in Europe, especially, mirrors this feeling.

I am a Manchester United fan, as many of you know. Although, I was not raised near the stadium, well 205 miles away to be precise, I like nothing more than seeing an English or Mancunian borne player turning out for the team I support.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, this is happening less and less. Not just in England but in France and in the USA, everywhere really.

Why? It is because of the pressures of the modern game?

Teams want instant success and are happy to throw money at it in the hope of earning it sooner rather than later.

Gone is that local flavor and in comes imports from different countries or different states. They are paid mammoth wages.

An example of this occurred a few weeks ago and it involved my favorite team.

In came a man called Radamel Falcao. Does that name ring a bell? Well, whether he does or not, he signed on-loan for the duration of the season and will be paid in excess of $337,0oo a week for the privilege. Yes, that is right, per WEEK!

To make way for Senor Falcao went a

Manchester United player called Danny Welbeck. He is not as prolific as his Columbian counterpart so was sold to make way for the loanee. He grew up supporting United and lived virtually on the stadium's doorstep. His departure was mourned by many, including this reporter.

Gone is that special link with the fans. Identity? What identity?

One team, though, which happens to be my second favorite is Athletic Bilbao in Spain. Identity is part and parcel of the squad. Rather than bowing down to pressure, this team only recruits players who were born or raised in the Euskal Herria region of Spain and France which encompasses Navarra, Basque Country and the Pays-Basque.

There is no greater philosophy of identity anywhere else in sport, anywhere across the world, in my opinion. The fans and the team are all united in the same cause. They share that same identity.

Identity is important. Identity is what we are.

This modern day world of greed and mass immigration is threatening this feeling to its very core but be strong and stand up for what you believe in.

Your football team may have tossed their identity away but that does not mean you have to throw yours in the trash, too.

Be proud, always, of what and who you are!

Copyright 2014 Silver State Post, Deer Lodge, Montana. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: September 24, 2014

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