Thursday, September 14, 2017

Brief and Random Thoughts on Sports

TBG watched about 10 minutes of Monday Night Football this week.  My campaign to minimize the intrusion of football in my life is gaining ground.  On the other hand, while I was visiting FlapJilly, he and Big Cuter spent much of the weekend dissecting the actions of overgrown men running into and away from one another.  They've been betting against the spread since the kid was in elementary school; they have years of records to prove it.  I suppose it's too deep a bond to sever.... at least, for now.
TBG's having another hometown moment, with the Cleveland Indians now proud possessors of the American League's longest winning streak.  The Tribe has won 21 in a row and ESPN is all Cleve-town all the time.

It's nice to see my guy smiling.
Thinking about the Indians reminds me of my Marin friend, a self-described scary black man several decades my junior.  Talking with Dana Carvey (yes, I'm name dropping ... and I'm smiling as I'm doing it!  He was just one of the guys.  Oh, I did love living in Marin.) one afternoon in front of the gym where we all trained.

The news was filled with outrage over the Redskins' ownership's refusal to consider a name change.  Someone in the group asked me if I'd like a team named The Hebes, then asked my friend how he'd feel about cheering for The Aunt Jemimas.  Without skipping a beat, his reply was (and still is) perfect:
I don't know.  Are they winning?
FlapJilly is playing soccer at pre-school.  The program comes to them, one morning a week.  She has an orange jersey, of which she is quite proud.

Monday was the first session.  They learned to kick and to shuffle side to side and they ran very very fast.  In the email the coach will send to the parents each week there was also The Word of The Week.  This week's word was Respect.  Respect for each other, for the coach, and for the game.

I'm going to like hearing about this..... I'm going to like it a lot.
My favorite sport these days is American Ninja Warrior, the timed obstacle course that favors the quick and the brave, the strong and the flexible, small people and tall people and men and women, all of whom compete on the same course, with no accommodations.  It's fast and fun and weirdly inclusive; we find ourselves moving in sync with the athletes as they fly and run and leap and fling themselves from pillar to post.  It's exhilarating to watch.

You need agility, grip strength, focus and tenacity.  It's only dangerous if you miss the objective and fall 18' into a pool of water, or swing on a rope into a heavily padded landing area.   The fans are up close and personal in bleachers paralleling the course, and they wave signs and wear matching t-shirts and cheer.

There is lots of cheering in Ninja Warrior, from the stands and the competitors, too.  They all want to win, and they all want to watch someone win.  They admire and gasp and applaud, marveling and despairing as we do, taking real pleasure in everyone's accomplishments.

It's everything wonderful about sports.


  1. My little guy's pre-school also had a soccer group come weekly. He tried it once and didn't want any part of it. He's not into team sports. That's probably why he likes Tae Kwon Do so much. He's actually very good at that and I'm glad he found something he enjoys. He's two belts away from a black-belt.

    I've given-up on football. It's hard for me to support a sport where men are suffering from concussions. Having had a concussion, it's not something I wish on anyone else--especially multiple concussions. It took me a year to get well from my concussion. It was awful. Always being dizzy and not being able to keep my balance.

    Hope all is well with you

    Sending hugs.

    Megan xxx

    1. Mr. 14 also eschewed team sports in favor of the kwon do. It's more fitting to his character. A long as they are moving, I don't care how. Congrats to Riley on his progress!


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