Monday, March 8, 2010

Sports Column

Regular readers recognize that I rarely write about sports.

I like sports, but I just don’t often write about it. I figure there’s plenty of sports writers out there -- approximately eleventy gazillion of them, by my tally – which is plenty enough to cover the sports scene.

I’m much more likely to write about obscure notions from the recesses of my mind. Like alliterations, for instance.

If this were one of my typical columns, I would have already pointed out that the first sentence contained quite the alliteration: regular, readers, recognize, rarely, write. How often do you see an alliteration like that?!!!

But this is not my typical column. This is my rare, almost never seen Sports Column. (Unless you count the Winter Olympics that I recently wrote about three weeks in a row… but I don’t count that because, you know, it’s the Winter Olympics, with curling, ice dancing and so forth).

This sports column is about real sports, American sports, the sports we all know and love – football, baseball, basketball, golf, and NASCAR – where they don’t have to repeat everything in French after they say it the first time… and where the opening and closing ceremonies are held in parking lots with tailgates open, like they should be.

Let’s start with football. Now there’s a real, American sport! I know its over for the year…ended about a month ago with the Super Bowl… but we never got a chance to discuss the most important parts of the game: the halftime show and the Super Bowl ads.

Here’s a quick quiz: two questions about the game, and two questions about the halftime show and the ads. Think fast, and see how quickly you can answer the questions…

First two questions: Who won the Super Bowl, and who was the MVP?

Second two questions: Who performed at halftime, and what was your favorite ad?

I’m guessing the answers came a lot quicker for the questions about the show and the ads than they did about the game.

For the record, “Who” did perform at halftime… and MY favorite ad was the Betty White spot.

Now on to baseball, our national pastime. It’s early March, so Opening Day is just weeks away. You can always tell when it’s getting close, because you start seeing reruns of all the baseball movies: Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, The Natural, The Bad News Bears, Angels in the Outfield, A League of Their Own, and, if you’re lucky, some of the real classics from back in a time when all the games were day games, a time before steroids, when the only way you saw a game was to go to the ball park. This week, I saw Bull Durham on, so it can’t be long. I love baseball. I’m a red-blooded American.

Basketball. It’s time for March Madness. Basketball is the sport which is actually culminating its season along now… except for the pro teams, which I don’t count, because it seems to me they play for about 16 months of the year anyway. But the countdown to the Final Four during March…. Now, there’s some exciting sports action. And, basketball, let us remember is a bonafide, American invention.

NASCAR. This is arguably not a “sport” at all in the sense that there’s no running, jumping, kicking, throwing, catching, tossing, hurling, diving, blocking, tackling, shooting, dribbling, boxing, wrestling, hitting, pushing, shoving, or tug-of-war – plus, they seem to be letting the girls compete with the guys these days – but we’re still counting it because, not only is it an American invention, but its also a Southern concoction, with its roots right here in the Carolinas. And, it don’t get much more exciting than watching the finish of a good, close race at Darlington. We’re a few weeks into the season, and, try as they may to turn it into a just another corporate-sponsor promotion marathon, it’s still a pretty good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Which bring us to golf. Another televised sport to watch, and another way to spend a Sunday afternoon…. IF you need a good, long peaceful nap!

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why millions of people sit in front of the TV and watch a round of golf. Could it get more boring?

Granted, I am personally the world’s fourth worst golfer, runner up only to one guy who’s missing several required body parts, another guy who plays with the aid of a seeing-eye dog, and a five year old girl who is actually still in kindergarten. I don’t even try any more… and the last time I did try, it was extremely dangerous for everyone standing anywhere near me.

Still, people watching golf on TV is one of civilization’s most bizarre and unexplainable phenomena, right up there with alien visitation, crop circles and the mysteries of the tomb of King Tut.

If people will sit in front of the tube for hours watching golf, then I think I have an idea for a great new sport that will thrill them: “The Ten-Feet in Ten-Years Slow-Motion Walk”. I don’t have the details worked out yet, but I’m envisioning another sport with the exact same action-packed adventure and thrill-a-minute excitement of golf.

Okay… that’s my sports column. I’ll probably go back now to writing about things I know more about, like “vegetable colors”, “dangling participles”, and “Fashion Tips for Octogenarians”… and leave the sports columns to the professionals.

And the world will be a better place.

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