meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2016-06-05

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.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Great Home Win and etc

First the Etc: Stephen Jackson was a knucklehead when he played in the NBA/Warriors et al, and it appears he is still a knucklehead, calling Leandro Barbosa a "sorry little dude." I'm certain the Leandro does not pay attention to stupid stuff like this,but I felt compelled to say something. Barbosa has more heart in his little finger than Stephen Jackson has in his entire body.

Now to the  Dubs. Wow! I have to confess that recently I called my teammate Nate The Great Thurmond worried about the  Warriors as they prepared to face the Cavs in the first game. "Tom," Nate said, "Not a problem. The Cavs can't beat the Warriors." We talked about it for a while, and I  came away as confident as Nate. Unlike OKC, the Cavs are predictable at all their positions. That doesn't mean that they're not dangerous. Any team with LeBron on it will not go down without a fight, but the top eight players on the team do not surprise (they others are not  used); it's like they and the coach sticks to a script, even Kyrie and LeBron's moves are predictable. And how the team as a whole runs their offense and plays defense is also predictable. On defense, for example, after the third pass, they lose focus. The fourth pass will usually get the Dubs a open look. In the last two wins, time and again, I saw the Cavs lose defensive focus after the third pass.

A quick note about last night's Kevin Love concussion. I watched the  replays carefully. Harrison came flying in over Love's back and his left elbow, from my perspective, struck Love above the right ear. It didn't look as if the blow could give a person a decent Tylenol headache, but it sure blacked out Love. The first thought that crossed my mind was, whoa, this  is the Finals of the NBA, hang in there, don't get eliminated from competition by the NBA Concussion Protocol. As sound as that policy is, you got to lie about how you feel. You are an essential part of the team. One blow to the head is not going to mean early onset dementia. Even if such a thing is possible, you risk it for the NBA Finals. You just do. With your shield or on it.

Sorry for that last comment, I lapsed into melodrama.

So go, Dubs. Bring the  NBA Championship home from Cleveland and prove Jim Barnett right.

Saw where Justin Gatlin, our hope for a gold medal in the 100 and 200 m in the Olympics, just won an exhibition race leading up to the big show in Brazil. Here's a Track poem.

Runner   by WH Auden

(From Commentary for a Film)

All visible, visibly
Moving things
Spin or swing,
One of the two,
Move as the limbs
Of a runner do,
To and fro,
Forward and back,
Or, as they swiftly
Carry him,
In orbit go
Round an endless track;
So, everywhere, every
Creature disporting
Itself according
To the  Law of its making,
In the rivals' dance
Of a balanced pair 
Or the right-dance
Round a common center
Delight the eye
By its symmetry
As it changes place,
Blessing the unchangeable
Absolute rest
Of the space they share.

The camera's eye
Does not lie,
But it cannot show
The life within,
The life of  a runner
Or yours or mine,
That race which is neither
Fast nor slow
For nothing can ever 
Happen twice,
That story which moves
Like music when
Begotten notes
New notes beget,
Making the flowing
Of time a growing,
Till what it could be
At last it is 
Where fate is Freedom,
Grace and surprise. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Too Many Superlatives

Reading the San Francisco Chronicle this morning, I cringed at the numerous superlatives being handed out by our sports scribes. Not that the Warriors don't deserve the praise. Praise to the high heavens wouldn't be enough, considering their comeback against the OKC Thunder, and the solid defeat they inflicted on the Cavs in the first game of the NBA Finals. Here's my problem. I'm of the opinion you keep the accolades under control and for goodness sake, do not diss the opponent in any way, shape or form. Believe me when I say the Warriors do not want to rattle the Cavs' cage; there is a beast pawing at the bars. What I'm suggesting here is tone it down folks until the final game and the winner, the Warriors, emerge. Then lay the tribute on, pave the way with accolades all the way to City Hall, each Warrior riding n his own chariot.

It is difficult for me to hear Shaun Livingston, Andre Igudala, Leandro Barbosa, and Festus Ezeli  described as bench players or second unit or second string; there's no bench or second or string in the way they perform and have performed last season and this season. They are not the B team as opposed to the A team. As a retired school teacher, I don't like those choices.These players are not reserves either, the word reminding me too much of the National Guard, not known for its efficiency. I've been thinking maybe the Gold and Silver teams, like how the iconic 19th century Russian poets, Pushkin and Lermontov are referred to - Pushkin, Gold like the sun; Lermontov, silver like the moon. My wife asks, "Am I crazy?" "How about Warrior colors? Blue team, Gold team? She's not impressed. "How about deputies, as in Sheriffs and Deputies?" Still unimpressed, she suggests the Facilitators, which reminds her of terminators, which is what they did against the Cavs in the first game. "Just in the game, Andre Igudala, one of the Warriors Facilitators." A bit of a mouthful, but it has cachet.

Send me your ideas.

A quick note about Coach Steve Kerr:  When oh when will the press stop referring to the assassination of his father in Lebanon by terrorists? I can't imagine Coach Kerr enjoys having to think about that dreadful moment in his life every time he picks up an article written about him. So give it a rest.

It's getting harder and harder finding sports poems. Here's one I discovered recently in a lovely book of poems about sports, called, Motion edited by Noah Blaustein.

Hook   by Floyd Skloot

My father limps on the leg that healed short.
His twice-broken right wrist, too weak to hold
a bowling ball palm up, is why he spins
a hook he cannot control. The ball rolls
slowly, as if limping while it wanders
from one gutter to the other and back.

We stand dead last in the Father and Son
League, not helped by my rocketing straight shots
that knock down nothing as often as they
knock down everything. He watches, giving
no advice. At thirteen, knowing there is
nothing for me to say either, I wait

for the ball's return so I can heft it
again and aim down the gleaming alley.