R.T. #1 - It seems to me that college football is forgetting two important Bowls: The Tinkle Bowl for the two teams with the best even records and The Hemorroids Awareness Bowl for the two teams with the best losing records.
R.T. #2 - My wife, Melanie and I were watching last night's NFL game between the Steelers and the Ravens. With a couple of minutes to go, Troy Polamalu tackled Flacco and stripped him of the ball, which led to a Steeler game-winning touchdown two plays later. "Have you ever seen a player tackle as fiercely as Polamalu?" I asked my wife who is a huge football fan. "And never anyone as gorgeous either," she quipped. Mel is a portrait painter and knows a thing or two about gorgeous.
R.T. #3 - Is it possible that professional sports in general are becoming more violent? Witness a question posed to me by a salesman promoting his brand of cookies at my local grocery store. I was wearing my Warriors' cap, so he might have thought I had some insight."Why are there so many more injuries in pro ball?" he asked. "There are always one or two key players out. It's not that way in college," he said. By his tone of voice, he sounded like one of those guys who believes all pro ball players are prima donnas and keep themselves out of games over the slightest owie. I've heard this question asked a lot these days. I'm not sure why so many fans are skeptical of player injuries. I'm not, although my old highschool coach Benny Neff of good old Lowell had an answer for all injuries,"spit on it." Here's what I told the salesman: In college only a select few on the team are pro material. The players who make it in the pros are the very best in their colleges. So only the fastest, toughest, strongest athletes make it in the pros. That's a lot of "bests" slamming into eachother on the field or on the court. I don't think my salesman bought my idea because there is a certain subconscious belief by many working men (especially in these economic times) that athletes who are paid such extroadinary amounts of money should simply suck it up, no matter what. They themselves would. I didn't buy the cookies.
Here's a poem about a sport that is the antithesis of violence.
The Curlers at Dusk by David Roderick
At first we look like nomads plodding
against wind, black-booted, fur-clad,
with forty pound stones changed
to our backs, but we have come to shoot
in the hack, to hurl stones
over a glistening ice bed at dusk.
As our quoits slide across ice, one by one,
and knock against others or spin alone,
we bellow songs of warmth and swig
from bladder-bags of cider and gin.
With brooms we whisk ice-dust
to guide each stone into the house:
that faint target we stained to the river
with the blood of a barren sow..
See us now, caught in the torchlit glow
as the final quoit curls from the hand
of a bowed silhouette in the distance,
that decisive stone gliding
across ice, our shadows yoked
in the low arc of the fading light.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.