Why We Cheer for Team USA
Like Our Lives Are At Stake

By Jim Berlin

I’m only a casual hockey fan but during Saturday’s Olympic OT shootout between Russia and the USA, I suspect my screams at the TV could actually be heard in Sochi.

We’re all involved to some degree, enthusiastically cheering on the red, white and blue even in Olympic sports as foreign to us as Slovakia – curling, skeleton, luge, halfpipe.

What’s got us so worked up?

The answer isn’t as straightforward as: We’re Americans, they aren’t; hip-hip-hooray and grab for the gold. It goes much deeper and further back than that.

The intense emotional bonds that tie us to “our team” are a primitive vestige of harder times in human survival. Safety back then was in numbers and loyalty – our family, our village, our tribe, our territory. The amateur and professional athletes who bear the banner of our school, city, state – our country – aren’t just playing games. They’re battling the barbarians at the gate.

When our team takes to the court or field, at any level of competition, ancient genes in our system from hundreds and thousands of years

 ago start sparking and lighting up, waving swords and battle axes, tightening down their helmets.

This is why men, the principle warriors down through the eons, also make up the bulk of sports fans. They’re still fighting the old wars, still battling the barbarians at the gate. It’s also why the less evolved among us – like the soccer “hooligans” of Europe – resort to actual and sometimes deadly violence against opposing fans.

Go USA? Absolutely. But we have to remind ourselves…it’s no longer life and death.

Toothpaste Bombs Just the Tip
of Terrorists’ Air Travel Threat

 By Jim Berlin

Homeland Security’s warning that terrorists may attempt to board Russian-bound planes with explosives disguised as toothpaste could lead to an eventual ban on the product for all commercial travelers – even in checked luggage.

While that will add another level of inconvenience to flying, radical Islam’s research and development labs have reportedly created other plastic explosives that promise even more disruption…

“They’ve come up with a substance that closely resembles common earwax,” a Homeland Security official told me. “And if that weren’t bad enough, they may have another explosive that looks just like nose debris.”

“Nose debris?”

“Buggers,” he said.

“But how much of that stuff could a terrorist pack into his ears or nose?” I asked.

“He wouldn’t need much,” the official said. “If he gets a window seat, and presses his big

Middle-Eastern ear or schnozzola hard against the glass – then detonates – it would be bye-bye birdie.”

“What can we do about this?” I asked.

“We’re currently training hundreds of TSA officers to look into everyone’s nostrils and ear canals,” he said. “It will slow the lines down a little, but if travelers just come to the airport 12 hours before their flights everything will run smoothly.”

“It’s a small price to pay for security,” I said.