From the moment the Wells Report was released, social media lit up – once again – over the scandal of under-inflated footballs appearing to be a common practice for New England Patriots football games. Call it Deflate-gate if you like. Detractors and Patriots slam the report, others are demanding Tom Brady’s head … or at least a season-long suspension.The story/scandal has provided fodder for a slew of coarse jokes and innuendo. Given three months for sifting through information that resulted in a 139-page report – which generally blames lower-level employees while stating the quarterback Brady was “generally aware of inappropriate activities.” Frankly, when I read a few of the text messages released online, it seemed more than likely to me that deflating footballs was standard operating practice and after the press ran with the story, obfuscation and cover-up followed. Continue Reading →
Call me old fashioned, but I don’t mind. I enjoyed those long-ago times when our family spent Saturday nights over a family dinner and then gathered around the television for a movie. In those days, it was often a Disney made-for-television movie with wholesome stories and fun the children were certain to enjoy. To this day, Double Switch and Not Quite Human are movies my grown children delightfully recall.
Nowadays, unless we go out for a movie (rare because we have Netflix, Hulu and multiple other options), Saturday nights are no longer movie nights. The children (for all practical purposes, anyway) are mostly gone and movies have lost a good bit of their luster (at least for me).
But Saturdays, when I am mentally ready to sit back, relax and enjoy a fun flick (whether drama or comedy), I’m the only one in the household with this mindset.
Not that the others don’t have their noses glued to a screen. Saturdays do mean something to them … but the day doesn’t translate to anything close to movie-time. Thanks to the wonders of ESPN and College Football Saturday, there’s no doubt sports will be airing on screens (televisions, computers, smartphones, iPads, etc.) throughout the house! In fact, with the addition of Thursday night and Friday night, Saturday – all day, in fact – we’ve transitioned into a weekly college football triple play! Continue Reading →
In Ecclesiastes 7:8, King of Israel and uber-wise man Solomon says: “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.”
I understand this snippet of wisdom. Oftentimes, I find I’m greatly relieved when a matter has ended … even if it was something I thoroughly enjoyed. (The latter consideration doesn’t apply when I’m talking FIFA World Cup.)
As to soccer, I’ve already provided (in a previous post) my thoughts on this recent celebration of the sport. I’m definitely not a fan. I don’t begrudge the rest of the world for their enthusiastic embrace of the sport. In fact, I’m greatly impressed by the stamina and athletic ability of the players. There’s no question they’re amazing athletes. Continue Reading →
It’s in my nature to be competitive, but this month-long FIFA World Cup Soccer extravaganza is stretching me way beyond my normal capacity! Honestly, is there anyone else who is as maxed out as I am? (Come on now … don’t be afraid to raise your hand.)Soccer was never a sport I played. Living in St. Louis where I grew up, our sport was baseball and the Cardinals were always our team. My brothers and I spent our summers out on a vacant field behind our house, and since this spot was an excellent gathering place for other kids in the neighborhood, we usually had a game of baseball going.
But soccer? There might have been a time in junior high school when the PE teacher mentioned soccer but little more, certainly not enough information for any of us to understand and enjoy the game. Whatever the teacher taught was obviously forgettable.
During my children’s early sports years, I think each of them played fall soccer at least one year. As a parent, I knew they needed to wear shin guards, the object was getting the ball in the net, and the children did a huge amount of running every game. (I think perhaps the running itself was enough to discourage them from future participation!)
I know there have been other World Cup Soccer tournaments over my lifetime, and I suppose I must have been living in a bubble not to have noticed them until now. Nevertheless, now that I’m aware of this quadrennial ritual, I’m amazed how many people are caught up in the events — and the number of others who feel like me (totally bored).
When my grandson and his best friend recently started talking soccer, they might as well have been conversing in a foreign language. (Grandson’s friend grew up in Indonesia where soccer obviously generates more interest and enthusiasm. At one time in his youth, Grandson played LaCrosse and has now learned more about soccer from his friend.)
As the cartoon above relates, I’m absolutely befuddled by the entire event. Here’s what I’ve learned so far. Instead of counting down, the time clock goes up! Sometimes, the end of the game is extended; I haven’t yet figured out why. Teams that lose don’t necessarily face elimination. The penalties, the yellow cards, the rules that govern … I’m not even close to grasping these finer points!
Like the cartoon dad above, I’m convinced baseball definitely makes more sense to me. And American football? Before I married my Beloved, I knew I’d be a football fan because he was; it was the best way to spend time with him, so I learned the game.
Perhaps if my Beloved had loved soccer, I’d know more about it today. I blame my ignorance entirely on him!
Update: When I posted this earlier today, I did so with the sonnet using an unacceptable mixed metaphor that a fellow-blogger kindly brought to my attention. The editor side of my brain knew using fumble in a poem about baseball was incorrect (error being the proper term), but my creative side ignored the critique! Feeling the uncomfortable residue of egg on my face, I’ve made the necessary change! (The words work hard, but sometimes the boss is stubbornly wrong!) My thanks to doobster418 at mindfuldigressions.com for his generous input!
With College Football in its final wind-down and a Super Bowl countdown bringing us less than 30 days till game day, some sports fans are already anxious for the start of spring training. Growing up in a baseball town (St. Louis), I enjoyed knowing something in my younger years about the Cardinals … much less as I got older and then left home. (That probably moves me into the not-really-a-fan category, doesn’t it?)
As a youngster, though, I played baseball almost everyday with my brothers … all summer long. My older brother is two years older, my younger brother eighteen months younger, and we spent lots of time together in those days. Yes, I was definitely a tomboy.
Because we played baseball together, I learned how to throw properly, I became a decent batter and an excellent fielder. I practiced frequently so as to avoid any legitimate criticisms that I “played like a girl.” Other boys in the neighborhood joined us on the back lot for games, but I don’t remember any other girl being in the company.
Unlike my brothers, my interest in baseball cards was nil. But I managed to absorb some of their talk about players on the Cardinals team, so I knew who the players were and what positions they played. The concept of batting averages and other intricacies were lost on me, but I knew enough about the best players to use their names in our back-lot games and sound reasonably well-informed … for a girl!
Occasionally, I’m a bit wistful for bygone days when it was the children who organized enough players to field opposing teams, arranged a place to play and proceeded with their games − completely apart from adult supervision. Films about sandlot baseball evoke my memories of pleasant days at play.
Today, thinking about the conclusion of another football season, I thought this sonnet would be an appropriate poem to share. I still enjoy “playing catch” but I do it differently than when I was a child.