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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.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Locker Room Talk & etc

Wilt Chamberlain had intimate, consensual relationships with a huge number of women over his career as a NBA mega-super-star. Not once did he ever talk about them in the locker room; not once did he brag about groping them, claiming he could get away with it because he was a star. This wasn't locker room talk that you vomited up, President Elect donald rump, it was slime-ball talk that takes place in the gutter not in a sports locker room where athletes prepare to do battle against each other.

The Kings have got to learn how to sustain aggressive defense for longer than a quarter. Last night, during the fourth quarter the Sacramento Kings gave one of the best teams in the NBA, the LA Clippers, fits. On both sides of the court, they attacked. It is a truism in basketball that good defense is an attacking one. A defensive player should never wait to see what the man he's guarding is going to do, he must force him to do what he doesn't want to do.

I am still of the opinion that Kings' center, DeMarcus Cousins, needs an attitude transfusion, but I have to admit that he is one talented big man, the only bone-fide star the Kings have, and without him they'd have trouble winning a single game.

A question for the Kings to answer: why Papagianis and not Chriss in the first round?  Marquise Chriss is going to be a very effective 4, something the Kings (with apologies to Rudy Gay, who's really a 3) need desperately alongside Cousins.

More about the Kings. I'm worried about Willy Cauley-Stein. Has he improved at all over the summer? I don't see anything significant. What was he doing all summer? Where is the footwork? The post moves? And poor MacLemore, will he ever be anything but potential?

Thinking of the phrase, slowly but surely, I imagine my Golden State Warriors' carefully planned and sure-footed path to greatness. I suggest to all my readers that there indeed is a plan, not one that I first detected. However, over the last few games I've been noticing the variety of match-ups and lineups Coach Kerr and his staff have been employing. I love how Coach is bringing his younger players and reserves along, providing significant minutes, enabling them time to see themselves as contributing players, not just stocking stuffing for blowouts. The payoff will not be immediate, but it will be significant when the time comes. The Warriors' victory over the Celtics last night was a pleasure to watch. Even if Horford had played, the game belonged to the Dubs.

Dumb people say dumb things. For example Dwight Howard on his Flagrant Foul II for throwing an elbow at the head of Hornet's center Cody Zeller: "It wasn't like I was trying to hit him in the face, but my job is to protect my house - at all costs." HOOAH! Guess the face just got in the way of the elbow. During my career, I threw an elbow or two myself, so I know how it goes: you throw an elbow, there is a high percentage that it will make contact with the head - it's in the nature of elbows.
"I didn't mean to" is meaningless.

Thinking of an appropriate poem in the wake of this presidential election, I found one I wrote for my latest collection: Sweat: New and Selected Poems About Sports.

How I Became An American       by Tom Meschery

A few home run kicks at kickball,
in fourth grade, and I knew that's what
I needed to do to become an American:
kick farther, run faster, jump higher.
Then, it didn't matter if I spoke with
a Russian accent and my mother wore
 a babushka and my father could barely
speak English. I was no longer
an immigrant, I was an athlete.
I'd circle the  bases and be embraced
by my teammates as  citizen
of a county of many sports, although
I was years away from raising my hand
and repeating the oath of allegiance
that would bind me in ways
to the Untied States of America
that I would never fully understand.

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