"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." - Henry David Thoreau

Friday, July 9, 2010

..."Dizzy Dean."

I swear, if I hear another story about LeBron James going to Miami, I am going to slam dunk my skull into the nearest granite kitchen countertop.

I mean, really? The media is treating this like it's some Big Damn Deal. Is it? I have no idea. The only televised sport I despise more than pro basketball is...is...well, COLLEGE basketball! I'd rather be strapped to a metal lawn chair in 100 degree heat while forced to watch 24 straight hours of the Trinity Broadcasting Network than be subjected to 10 minutes of any NBA contest. Honestly, when the outcome of 90% of these games is decided in the last two minutes, what's the point? What does it say about a sport whose only two requirements to play are to be freakishly tall and have a giant attitude problem to match?

As you may have already surmised, I am not the world's biggest sports enthusiast to begin with. This probably stems from the fact that, as a child, I had the athletic ability of a boiled shrimp. I was short, uncoordinated and withdrawn. I was the kid who was always picked last when it was time to choose teams in gym class. I'm sure if there had been a kid in my class in a wheelchair with asthma and an eyepatch, he would've still been picked before me. I dreaded the thought of any balls, be it base, basket, dodge or soccer, coming anywhere near me. This must also explain my irrational fear of soap bubbles and gay nightclubs.

Not exactly the stuff of sports legend in the making here! I was never under any pressure to be good, though. My dad showed little interest in sports when I was a kid, so I was never pushed in that area, thank God. Actually, my mom was the sports fan. She loved her Phillies and Eagles (or 'Iggles,' if you're from the area). She loved to watch the games on tv and, in the case of the Phils, at venerable old Veterans Stadium (which no longer exists, for good or ill, depending on your memories of the place).

Our family had season tickets for Phillies home games on the weekends. My mom would take me and I'd be more interested in the soft pretzles and hot dogs than the game itself. The only real memories I have of those games are A) Squinting at the scoreboard trying to read the scores, which led to my first pair of glasses at the age of ten and B) almost being killed by a foul ball hit by St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder George Hendrick. Despite my sloth-like reflexes, I was able to barely dodge that missile and it broke the kneecap of the poor woman sitting behind me. GO TEAM!

My opinion of sports did change for the better after the Phillies won the World Series back in 1980. Now, that was a great time to be a Philadelphian! Granted, it was pretty much the only great time to be a Philadelphian, but I digress. Now, I live in the Boston area where they eat, drink (especially drink) and sleep sports 24/7. Of course, they also have great teams like the Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics (oh, and it's supposd to be pronounced 'KEL-tix,' you illiterate townies!).

Maybe I'm lucky because I never grew up with dreams of attaining glory as a professional sports player that went bitterly unfulfilled. Nah. I have plenty of other dreams that went bitterly unfulfilled. But, we'll save that for another time.

If you'll excuse me, I gotta go play catch with my daughter. She's got a wicked good slider. For a four year-old.

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