In this hiatus between sports-we-usually-watch-on-tv, my boys have been in a funk. We attribute TBG's melancholia to the absence of a good game to anticipate. He's bereft, but not without resources. His remote-tv-component-device is close at hand, and he is ready to expand his horizons.
Regular readers know of his obsession with the Tour de France; the announcers say Bonjour, M'sieur Bill to him every morning. Who else is awake at 5am, watching the scenery and the cyclists' perfect form? I stumble out of bed, bleary eyed, and am implored to join him to watch castles and green hillsides and steep mountain peaks. He wants to share the moment. I, for whom the fifth space in the grocery store parking lot is a major challenge, am not in the mood for long distance athletes; I pay no attention to who is wearing which jersey and why. I appreciate the hunger in his soul for a sport to engage him, but a bike traffic jam is not my idea of entertainment.
I don't mind looking up from the comics or Dear Abby to see a pretty sight now and then. I have a fine view from the kitchen table; that's as close as I care to get to the sport.
Perhaps the clearest sign that it's too hot to be outdoors and there is nothing else on tv to watch is the fact that my husband spent a good part of the weekend watching the women's professional golf tour's US Open. It was held in Shinnecock, in the Hamptons, at the end of Long Island, and I had this picture to prove that I spent summers there as a child.
The course is on some of the most expensive real estate in America; as such, it winds back and around itself, making the most use of the least space. Sweltering in triple digit temperatures and a dry wind that does nothing to cool and everything to blow dry detritus into your hair, I was mesmerized by the ocean and the sand and the waves and the clouds. It wasn't hard for me to imagine myself tasting the salt on my skin.
The tournament was of interest to me because the winner is on a roll. This is her third major victory in a row; a feat not achieved since Babe Zaharias. 24 year old Inbee Park is a peaceful graduate of UNLV, a native of South Korea, and as cool as a cucumber, on the course and off. The announcer tried to get her to admit to a case of nerves, but she wasn't having any of it. She was calm out there ... which doesn't make for a great interview but which does put a smile on the face of a 60 something who can't imagine being called the world's best putter.
It didn't capture my attention for long, but it helped to pass some time while I cooled off from a morning with Amster and the boys. The races they swam in the pool this morning were more fun.
This afternoon, we watched Brasil defeat world champion Spain in the Confederations Cup. Up until today, I had never heard of the Confederations Cup. Big Cuter may have mentioned it, but I tune out soccer references, for the most part. That's silly, because I can follow a soccer match; Little Cuter played, Big Cuter refereed, and I watched for many, many years. I can admire the fancy footwork and the defensive player who backed up the goalie and saved a score. Still, professional and international soccer was never on my radar. Today, I watched all 94 minutes of the championship match, cheering for the yellow shirted Brazilians, hoping the home fans would be able to celebrate.
With riots in the streets, Brazil's president stayed away from the event, and, according to the announcers, the fans seemed to understand. Those announcers were cut from a different piece of cloth than those to whom I am accustomed to listening. "They're in a bit of a mess," spells it out exactly, but is so genteel that I had to smile. The Spaniards were, indeed, "hunting in packs" on defense.
I smiled a lot, especially when I realized that the Brazilians were named Fred and Oscar and Hulk. There was the usual amount of flopping and acting and complaining, but the game was quick and not too painful. When there's nothing else to watch, even soccer will capture my guy's attention.
And, it seems, mine, too.