meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2016-01-03

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.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

Richard Sherman is mistaken. He may indeed see concussions for free every Sunday, but that doesn't mean the movie shouldn't be seen by all football players, especially NFL ones. It's not about the injury, Richard, it's about the years and years of COVER-UP. It's what powerful people can get away with. Yesterday, I watched The Big Short, and walked out of the theater wondering why the hell aren't a bunch of mortgage bankers serving time in prison. 8 million people lost their jobs; 6 million people lost their houses, and the bankers are doing it all over again creating new and speculative financial instruments to make themselves wildly rich, while duping the public. Perhaps not as dramatic, but every bit as venal, as the mortgage bankers, the NFL owners and league administrators remain out of jail  Withholding information about the serious life threatening danger of head trauma has to be prosecutable. Okay, the NFL is working their butts off now, but only NOW that the publicity has forced them to; otherwise, you can bet your bibby that nothing would have been done, and the status quo, vis-a-vis concussions, would have remained in tact. Richard, your Stanford education should have prepared you to be a thinking man. Concussion is a thinking movie.

More should be written about the great University of Tennessee' women's basketball coach Pat Summit and her heroic battle with dementia. Find out more, go on line, write her, let her know that this battle is easily as important as any she went through as a coach. Hers is a life of amazing courage.

Isn't it ironic that Alex Smith keeps chugging on, playing excellent football for the Chiefs, and Colin Kapernick who replaced him is now wobbling on the cusps of obsolescence.  Sorry Kap, teetering you might be, but I'm hoping that you don't fall off and that in 2016 you find your game with another team.

The Dubs squeaked one past a pesky Denver Nuggets last night, managing it without four key players, so more power to them. I continue to be amazed by the performance of Draymond Green, a power forward at 6'6" while playing every other position on the floor. Noticeable to me was Draymond starting the offense last night at the top of the key. Won't be long before he's Curry's back-up point guard. Only kidding. I love Shaun Livingston, definitely a candidate for the Sixth Man award, although he'll have to compete with Andre Igudala for the honor.

Kudos to Carson Palmer. What fortitude to do what he's done, to fight back from obscurity and injuries to lead a formidable Arizona Cardinals to a possible Super Bowl championship.

Baring injury, how many yards will Christian McCafferey rack up before he leaves Stanford for the NFL? On another Pac12 note, if the Ducks hadn't lost their quarterback Vernon Adams Jr to injury, would the Ducks have been in the Rose Bowl instead of the Cardinals? I wouldn't be surprised if Vernon Adams doesn't wind up in the NFL one of these days.

Here's hoping in 2016 that the NBA will grant an NBA franchise to Seattle to bring back a team that was so cruelly and deceptively torn from them. Here's hoping the NBA rescinds that ridiculous rule that you can't foul a bad free-throw shooter in the last two minutes of a game. Here's kudos to the NBA for having the courage to stand up against gun violence. Now, how about being specific - against all guns except those used for hunting? The Splash Brothers making a pitch to the public to conserve water is a wonderful public service. Right on, fellows!

Recent death of my old teammate Joe Barry made me think back to that marvelous team we had at Saint Mary's College in 1959 that went to the Elite 8 and lost to an equally fabulous California Bears team. Joe and Bobby Dold made up our back-court, and might have been the slowest and most effective back-court in the entire country.  As I look back on games, I recall how frustrated guards looked trying to steal the ball away from either Joe or Bobby. Go into that Good Night, Joe with the same tricky maneuvers and you're sure to make heaven's team.

I don't think I'll ever encourage my grandsons to play football, but knowing its dangers, I still enjoying watching the game, a kind of hypocrisy, I grant you. Here's a lovely old poem about quarterbacking, I dedicate to all the great NFL quarterbacks. Yeah you, Joe Kapp.

The Passer   by George Abbe

Dropping back with the ball ripe in my palm,
grained and firm as the flesh of a living charm,
I taper and coil myself down, raise arm to fake,
running a little, seeing my targets emerge
like quail above a wheat field's golden lake.

In boyhood I saw my mother knit my warmth
with needles that were straight. I learned to feel
the passage of the bullet through the bore,
its veins of flight between my heart and deer
whose terror took the pulse of my hot will.

I learned how wild geese slice arcs from hanging pear
of autumn noon; how the thought of love cleaves home,
and fists, with fury's ray, can lay a weakness bare,
and instinct's eye can mine fist under foam.

So as I run and weigh, measure and test,
the light kindles on helmets, the angry leap;
but secretly, coolly, as though stretching a hand to his chest,
I lay the ball in the arms of my planing end,
as true as metal, as deftly as surgeon's wrist.