Lyons: When news rains, it does pour

Often when summer arrives, there’s a seasonal slowdown in news. Seems like that changed in 17 seconds.

The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup somewhat sooner than many thought, and before a parade could get underway, the entire Chicago area got socked with as much as 6 inches of rain, causing commuter problems everywhere.

Before you could dry off, the U.S Supreme Court struck down a provision in the Defense of Marriage Act and cleared the way for gay marriage as a states-rights issue.

When it rains it pours, and this time, there might be rainbows afterward.

• I’d been watching most of the Stanley Cup Playoff games, like a domesticated sports fan –  at home. NHL fans know this is not a sport you can watch while doing other things.

When baseball is on, you can fold laundry, do your taxes, check work emails or perform many other tedious but necessary household tasks. Look away from a hockey game, and you could miss everything – 17 seconds from losing to winning it all comes to mind.

The regular season drill in our house was to DVR the game and somehow convince the children that sleep is something they require. My shift began after they’d been relegated to their respective benches.

But there’s something unholy about watching the playoffs on delay. So I’ve tried to watch while still responsible for two shorter individuals perplexed about why dad finds something on television more fascinating than them.

While my wife was away, I might have contributed to the expansion of their vocabulary in negative ways, particularly during Game 4.

A few days after her return, she hired a sitter so we could go out for Game 6 and watch like grown-ups at Finn McCool’s in Crystal Lake. Turned out to be a great move, and I’m lobbying NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to get her name on the Stanley Cup just below Sheldon Brookbank’s.

• Gay-rights advocates are celebrating Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling as a victory for gay marriage, which it certainly was. Some social conservatives and some religious organizations are decrying it as another example of the decaying of American morality.

Many of the rest of us are just tired of this being a fight and didn’t ask for any part of a Culture War. There are many cultures in this nation, and what this nation has tried to do with success and failure over centuries is accept them and treat them equally and respectfully whether we agree or disagree.

We are free to hold to religious convictions, and consenting adults should be free to marry under the law. Churches shouldn’t be forced to accept the government’s legal definition of marriage as religious doctrine nor should churches be allowed to impose their will on the majority of Americans.

Maybe Wednesday’s rulings signify a means to that end.

• For those of you who read my column a few weeks ago, I’m sad to say we lost my father-in-law, Jim McCandless, last week to his bout with lung cancer. We miss him dearly.

There isn’t time to thank all of the friends, family and strangers who sent encouraging messages, cards and phone calls with words of encouragement and promises of prayer. It was greatly appreciated and helpful to our family.

We’d like to think Jim is at peace piloting a boat in some celestial body heading for some beach somewhere.

• Kevin Lyons is news editor of the Northwest Herald. Reach him at 815-526-4505 or email him at Follow him on Twitter at @KevinLyonsNWH. 

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