I had a basketball coach in high school who once called me and another kid “two pieces of (bleep)” because he didn’t think we were cheering loud enough while on the bench. Obviously he became a high school coach because he loved kids. Either that or it was one of the terms of his parole.
Last night we went to a hockey game. Although professional hockey games feature an excellent display of eye-hand coordination and skating abilities, they also usually have the kind of brutality and physical contact that most parents hope to see at the end of a Disney On Ice show. After sitting through all of that singing and dancing, nothing would make most adults happier than seeing one of the animals get checked against the boards. Or, if instead of using magic to defeat the villain, what if the hero just beat him with a stick?
Football is considered a brutal, masculine sport. Thus it is a little odd that the referees signal penalties with brightly colored handkerchiefs. Given the violence of the sport, you’d think the referees would use flair guns or some sort of grenade. Instead they are armed only with accessories stolen from a girls gymnastics class.
It would be like hockey referees signaling penalties with handfuls of glitter. And although I don’t know much about Ultimate Fighting, I’m pretty sure that those officials don’t signal foul play with pom-poms or a small, colored purse. “It looks like the referee has taken out his magenta clutch.”
Actually, if football lived up to its hype, the referees would indicate penalties by throwing a severed head onto the field. Fans describe the sport as a battle of warriors, a modern day version of gladiator combat. It is a game of primal screams, bone-crunching tackles, … and officials with pretty scarves.
This weekend is the Kentucky Derby. Although, based on current trends in the selling of naming rights, it might now be called the Super Poligrip Denture Adhesive Derby. “Ladies and gentlemen, please direct your attention to the Chew With Confidence Winners Circle.”
The Derby is often called “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, mainly because it sounds better than “the most exciting two minutes with farm animals”. However, the horses involved are amazing athletes. For one thing, unlike a lot of professional ball players, I don’t think horses spend their off seasons in divorce proceedings.
The other night we had to stop the kids’ baseball games early because of lightening. “We were having a lot of fun . . . right up until that assistant coach exploded.” In movies like “The Natural”, lightening during baseball games can be really magical. In real life, lightening during baseball games is a potentially fatal science experiment. “While bolts of electricity were randomly striking the earth, we had Mikey walk out onto the field holding this metal bat.” Not that it couldn’t be educational. But it seems like there are better ways to learn about both the flow of current and the role of the Paramedics in society.
My wife and I are trying to get in shape. However, I worry that we misread the DVD packaging and accidentally bought an exorcism program. Some of the moves don’t seem oriented toward developing ab muscles as much as cleansing the body of evil spirits. It’s like someone replaced the exercise footage with clips from that Linda Blair movie. “OK, Honey. Now apparently I do push ups while you spray me with holy water.”
A travel article about weekend getaways pitched a location in Colorado for its great skiing and beer festival. “Hans Blinker won a silver medal in the Inebriated Downhill.” While I understand the allure of both events, I’m not sure anyone should attempt both in the same weekend or, depending on how much they drink, month. Most people aren’t terrifically stable on skis even when they haven’t had a beer. I’ve seen perfectly sober skiers steer themselves into a large tree. You could be a successful member of AA and still have the kind of wipe-out where you end up in an ambulance with two other skiers and a stunned moose.
Drinking beer in between runs is not going to improve your balance and agility. Its only benefit could be numbing you to the point where you really don’t feel it when the snowboard enters your colon. There is also the challenge of drinking and then trying to board a chairlift, which could be classified as either an extreme sport or assisted suicide. Drunk people have enough problems with inanimate objects let alone mobile furniture. “Just the site of the chair lurching forward caused Dave to throw up.”
A number of athletes have been growing long beards. As a result, many look like they live in a log cabin, one where all of the tools have some sort of blood stain on them. It is a look that was really only fashionable in 1970s horror films. You can put the guy in a sport jacket with a nice collared shirt, but he is still going to look like the reason those campers were never heard from again.
These are not nicely groomed beards. These are beards that suggest you might be plotting an act of domestic terrorism. I suppose the beards help to intimidate the other players . . . and anyone else not carrying a gun. Still, there must be a way to seem imposing on the court or the field, while off the court not looking like you just came from a police lineup.