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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.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Edition: Knuckleheads Club

As of today I'lll begin posting as part of my regular blog commentary on stupid stuff in sports and life entitled The Knuckleheads Club. (notice plural, not singular). This will not be a regular feature of my blog, but one that will appear from time to time as the mood strikes me.

Knuckleheads Club Post #1: I read in the Sacramento Bee this morning that community colleges in the area will restrict repetition of recreational courses. Here's the quote from the Bee: "In the wake of recessionary budget cuts, the new rule is designed to shift resources away from courses such as tennis and painting in order to free up funds for more basic academic classes." What Knucklehead linked "painting" (we're talking art classes) with tennis? My wife, Melanie, taught art for years at Sacramento City College, and I can assure you that "art" is NOT recreational, but the hardest of disciplines. That's not to denigrate tennis. Learning how to play a sport is difficult and requires a lot of energy and time. But, it is, nonetheless, sport, and not academic by nature. The powers that be will do what they have to do to deal with budget cuts, but let's not bunch art, sculpture, music, and poetry with tennis, badminton, volleyball, and swimming. We're talking apples and oranges here, and some knuckehead numbers crunchers don't know the difference.
Why is it that the Knuckleheads always consider right brain activity such as art (and sport) less important to human growth than left brain courses, such as math and science?

I'm intrigued by the new trend in baseball and football to create standing room only areas in outfields and in the high cheap seat sections of stadiums where people can watch the action on the field either directly or on a large tv screen while eating, drinking, and shoomozing with friends. Sports thus turns into a social club not a sporting event. In one stadium, people are given the choice of buying season tickets for the standing room only section. As this way of being part of the sport scene increases in popularity, I predict tickets prices for standing room will increase as management realizes its bottom line potential. As this trend continues, are sports bars doomed to extinction?

By the way, don't you think at some point some boozer will eventually take a header over a railing as he or she leans over for a better view?

I can't say that I'm exactly against this standing room only strategy. I've always thought the cheap seats value at any sporting event is a huge rip, vis-a-vis any chance of truly watching and enjoying the play on the field or court being that the players, from that distance and height, look like Lilliputians. (There are very few seats in a modern arena or stadium that are better than my easy chair in front of my 48 inch tv screen. And my seat is virtually free.)

Do you know that in Rome, the vast majority of spectators stood. Only the emperor and a few dignitaries had the privilege of seats. Besides, why would anyone want to sit down and miss a Christian being torn to shreds by a lion?

Just a brief comment on the 2012 NBA championship. I do not believe that the Heat and the Thunder represent a new trend in professional basketball, ie: small ball. Granted big, slow footed centers will not cut it in today's game, but an active shot blocking center will always make the difference between excellence and greatness. The 2012 Heat were marginally great. Keep in mind as a standard the Lakers with Jabbar and Wilt; Portland with Walton, and the 76er's with Malone, Boston with Russell. Those were excellent teams.

Congratulations to Serena Williams wining Wimbledon. Terrific physical and emotional comeback. Let's hear it for comebacks! This is a lovely tennis poem by Frank Higgins

Tennis in the City
      for Arthur Ashe

He could help us out
selling papers or sacking groceries
but that's what I did growing up.
Every day he's in the alley
knocking the ball against the building.
Whomp    take that     Forest Hills
whomp    whomp    take that    Wimbledon
whomp      whomp       whomp
all         day      long,
the wife tells me so.
Says she watches him from the window
when the bossman has her clean 'em,
says she doesn't know about that boy.
But I know about that boy
and i know this ball's worn
and I know this racket's gonna split
no matter how much tape you put on,
so tonight after super
we're going for new ones, son.
And I want you to start staying
in that alley an hour longer, hear?

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