This mornings' sports page produced a number of interesting articles and subjects. I was fascinated to read about the Olympic starts of different countries, like Ning Zetao the Chinese 100 meter freestyle swimmer, who according to Chinese press is a heartthrob among Chinese women because he's so "handsome." Also glad to read that Steven Adams' (OKC Thunder) sister, Valerie Adams (2 time Gold medalist) has recovered from injury and is out to win a gold in the shot-put. An Chang-rim, a Japanese citizen of Korean parents is competing in Judo for Korea, which has endeared him to the Korean people. Understanding the tragic history of these two countries, makes this move by him significant and newsworthy. My favorite was reading that Sir Mark Todd, gold medalist in equestrian will be competing at age 60. Go Sir Todd, we seniors are with you all the way.
A very disturbing piece of news for this writer was the announcement that because of the publicity surrounding the Zika virus, polluted water, and political unrest in Brazil "Advertisers are exceptionally bullish on these games." Like F--king hyenas is my thinking. It is the absolute brazenness of the ad industry that they have no qualms about admitting taking advantage of illness to sell space to the companies they represent. And fie on the companies who go along with it. It is a moral and ethical disgrace. And they should heap ashes on theirs heads. Or, better yet, let me do the heaping.
Okay, I ADMIT to a prejudice against television commercials. It's getting to a point I can hardly watch golf or football any more because of the plethora of commercial time that interrupts the flow and commentary of the games. Although I'm not a huge fan of soccer, the saving grace watching soccer is they play without timeouts except at half, thus limiting commercials.
It's too bad Mark Gasul is not playing for Spain. With him on the Spanish team, our Americans would have been challenged by Spain. As it is now, I don't see any other country beating U.S.A. Hope I'm not jinxing them.
Great interest to see if Usain Bolt can defending his 100 and 200 meter strangle hold on gold. And what will Michael Phelps do?
On to NFL: Ken Stabler, The Snake, made it into the Hall of Fame, posthumously, but well deserved. Snake and I were contemporaries in our separate sports. It was an era when sports among a great many professional athletes was never allowed to interfere with "the post game rock & roll." It was a time before "Big $" drove the pros to take themselves so obnoxiously seriously. Not that the athletes of that time didn't take their sport seriously. They did and their greatness speaks for them. The Snake and players like him, of which there were many, me included, loved the camaraderie of the post game celebration. Okay, so we didn't pay as much attention to our physical condition as we should have, but I wouldn't, and I daresay Snake wouldn't either, have missed out on hoisting a few in exchange for better looking abs. Congrats, Snake. You're upstairs rubbing elbows with the Saints.
Women's basketball: Elena Delle Donne came out of the closet. Who cares any more? Perhaps a bunch off rigid religionists and bigots. Why am I commenting? Because it seems strange to me that when women athletes come out, there doesn't seem to be any huge uproar in the locker room or about the locker room, but if a male athlete comes out, whoa, all sorts of anxiety surfaces. Enough said.
Back to the Olympics. I suspect the opening ceremony is going to be one big Samba. I'll be watching and dancing. My son, Matthew, spent a semester in college in Brazil and came back a huge fan of Brazilian music and dance - the martial arts dance, the Capoeira in particular. Let's hope all the athletes of all countries compete safely and return illness free with their victories.
Here's a prose poem I wrote about the Olympics.
Olympics 2012 by Tom Meschery
I'm watching women's beach volleyball
and trying to tell myself it's not about the bikinis.
My wife is grousing about wanting to watch
dressage on another channel, a sport in which
all the riders are not only fully clothed
but wear formal riding attire, with top hats
and sit elegantly astide their horses.
How can that compare, I say, to Kerri leaping
for the ball in the sand for the save?
Who're you kidding, my wife asks.
I don't see you smiling that way when you're watching
the guys play. The truth needs to be acknowledged,
but I remain sullen, unable to accept I have not
changed much since I was a teen lying on the sand,
rubbing myself with oil, watching all the girls
go by, the sun turning us golden.
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.