Friday, July 11, 2014

Random Thoughts on Sports

Does that rhyme in anyone else's head?  Probably not, if you were born in a state where R's are pronounced.  My Long Island heritage has replaced the last four vowels with an aw sound.

I'm wondering what it sounds like in FAMBB's kitchen right now, as she tries this, over coffee, in a Boston dominated Oceanside twang.  I hope she's smiling as much as I am.
Is LeBron going back to Cleveland?  Inquiring home town fans yearn to know the answer.  TBG, a self-admitted fair weather follower of most professional teams, can't seem to resist a little bit of a smile when the talking heads review the reasons that the world's best basketball player will return to the Rust Belt.

His mom must have a vote.  His childhood friends, the ones who head the various arms of his business empire, are from Akron, too.  TBG tells me that someone said LeBron wants to raise his kids where his mom raised him.  Miami fans are unforgiving boors who booed and walked out of the last home game of the championship series well before the final whistle.  The Decision Debacle is the only mark on an otherwise unblemished professional career; perhaps LeBron wants to make amends and cauterize the wounds he left behind.

Personally, I really don't care. 
For some reason, perhaps age, perhaps ennui, perhaps the activity itself, I found myself sitting on the couch for 90 or 120+ minutes at a time, watching the FIFA World Cup.  Without commercials or lengthy pauses in the action, crocheting was out of the question. 

Little Cuter's big blanket (magazine is there for scale) is growing more slowly as the matches take up more of the hours in the day.  Like hockey, there is no looking away from the screen, hence there can be no repetitive knotting of yarn.
The Netherlands played and lost and TBG was obsessed with the connection between Dutch and Holland and Netherlands.  My smartphone to the rescue - but stop a moment and see if you can make a distinction before I repeat what a not-quite-exhaustive Internet search revealed.

The Netherlands is the main country of The Kingdom of The Netherlands, which includes three (quite lovely) Caribbean islands.  North and South Holland are two of the twelve provinces in The Netherlands.  Dutch is the name of the language, and is what the natives are called.

The Netherlands translates as The Low Country, but The Low Countries include Belgium and Luxembourg and the surrounding area. 

Now you know.
Watching most sporting events in this house means that I am reading or working a crossword puzzle and crocheting.  I can see the colors moving across the football field, I can watch the players run the basketball court, but I can't see the patterns unless I'm pointed their way.

After years of watching recreational and high school soccer games, though, I have a fairly decent understand of the game.... for someone who never played.  I can see the triangles as they race down the grass, I look for an off-sides call when someone strays too far downfield, I know when it will be a corner kick or if the goalie will grab it and toss it away. 

I'm not an expert, but I know what's going on.  That's more than I can say for myself on Sundays in the Fall.
Lindsay was the star mid-fielder on Little Cuter's youth soccer teams.  Everytime she headed the ball, her mother would sigh.  "There go another million brain cells," she'd say, behind rueful laughter. 

Lindsay's gone on to medical school and doing good deeds in the world but I think of her every time a perfectly coiffed futball player connects his forehead to an oncoming sphere.

Should the players wear protective headgear?  Will more protection mean more dangerous plays, as better helmets have lead to more lead-with-your-head tackles?  Watching players return to the pitch after head-to-head collisions, shaking their craniums from side to side, trying to clear the cobwebs which are blurring vision and clouding thoughts, I wonder as I watch.

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