meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2017-07-09

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, July 15, 2017

Is This Just a Little Nuts, or What?

Our country's sports leadership better not blast the former East Germany for measuring, weighing, and analyzing their babies for future athletic prowess too much, at the risk of sounding hypercritical. In today's sports page, I read about Neiko Primus, considered by our "measuerers" to be the best FOURTH grader basketball player in the United States. It scared me and saddened me. Such is the basketball world the AAU has created for today's youngsters. My grand daughter, 14 year old Carson Guite, plays on an AAU team out of Petaluma, CA. She's good and if she continues to work in high school, could very well get a scholarship to play in college, a result that would save her parents lots of money.

But the pressure for Neiko and other youthful phenoms looks very different from my granddaughter's. The financial nature of the AAU basketball subjects kids like Neiko to a great deal of pressure in their lives, pressure that no amount of good parenting will be able to completely eliminate. And for kids with parents with poor parenting skills, the results could be tragic. Greedy parents can do a lot of damage to their children by instilling in them unrealistic expectations of athletic greatness. The let down when it happens - and it mostly does - can be devastating. It is at an older age, how much more at a young age? Fourth grade? Is this insane or what?

The reality is there's not much this blogger can do except to voice his opinion to lighten up on the young age groups. Give them a chance to climb trees or play curb baseball or ride their bikes. When should organized practices and organized games begin? How about middle school? Will this ever happen? Not a chance. Why? Because there's too much money being made off our youngsters by the people who run AAU. Kid's mental and physical health vs money. Guess what wins? It's no contest.

In the spirit of simple play and fun, no pressure, let's stay young, here's an old rhyme

Come on In       Anonymous

Come on in,
The waters fine.
I'll give you
Till I count to nine.
If you're not 
In by then,
Guess I'll have to
Count to ten.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A Little More About the 2017 Summer League

The Bulls have a winner in Lauri Maarkanen. More physical than I originally believed. He could wind up being the next generations' Dirk Nowitski.

The Warriors did not overwhelm. I figured McCaw and Damian Jones would do well. Jabari Brown demonstrated he's got a chance, but he might be better off in Europe for a couple of years, then try again.

The Lakers Lonzo Ball did indeed make a triple double. But 5 of 13 and 1 of 5 from deep is not impressive, and will be the kid's undoing unless this is simply a case of nerves. Like I said before, from elbow to fingertips, his stroke is fine; it's that silly wind-up that's bothersome.

Since I'm not one of the old (very old) players who resents the $$$$$$$ these young men are making in the NBA today, I'll pass on Harden receiving $228 million. I must wonder, however, where in the calculations of worthiness in Houston does defense enter into the conversation.

The Knicks are only crazy bringing free agent Tim Hardaway Jr. for a dubious big bucks contract back to the Big Apple if they can't get rid of Carmelo. To me, Melo, is an albatross. Has been since he came out of Syracuse to torture George Karl in Denver. I hope the Rockets get him. It will be fascinating to see how D'Antoni figures out how to utilize Carmelo, Chris Paul and Harden to gether or separately while having anything close to the kind of defense required to go deep into the playoffs and/or win a championship.

The Kings have another winner in Justin Jackson. I loved his motor and bball IQ. Ah, you say, but these are only the Summer League games, and of course, you are right. But there's plenty of talent in Jackson to be extremely optimistic.

A quick note on baseball: Barry Bonds looking thrilled he's his plaque goes on the Giant's Wall of Fame. Cheaters sometimes win????

On the other side of the bay from Bonds, the A's were flourishing with Bill King behind the mic calling the games. It's not poetry, but here's a small reminder of my bearded friend, the best All-Around play by play man in sports. The following excerpt is from Holy Toledo: Lessons from Bill King Renaissance Man of the Mic by Ken Korrach, Wellstone Books. Fascinating reading.

"Defensive indifference, now the ball gets away behnd
the mound on a throwback! Coming home to score is
Jason Kendall! And on a freak play, the Athletics have
won the game and the series! You would not believe it!
That is one for the books! Holy Toledo!"