meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2017-12-03

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.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Ball Dad

Okay, I know parenting shifts from one generation to another: stricter to more lenient, moderate to indulgent, or in the case of Spain, over-indulgent - parents trying to make up for the rigid over parenting mandatory during the Franco era.

So, how does one describe the parenting of LaVar Ball, testosterone dad of Laker's Lonzo Ball and DiAngelo Ball? Ball, the parent, is going to take his son, DiAngelo out of UCLA because the university decided to suspend the young varsity basketball player and his two team mates for two months because they shoplifted while on a basketball trip to China. The boys did not shoplift a couple of porno mags, they went after some very expensive eye wear. A two month suspension doesn't sound too great a consequence for them to suffer; they are only freshman and have three more years as basketball players at UCLA.

Therein, however, is the rub. Uber Dad probably is thinking that his Uber son is a One and Done, so the kid will lose some visibility this season.

It is not about education, let's be clear about that. UCLA did not withdraw the athletes' scholarships. The young men can attend classes, and receive (say it isn't so) some knowledge. Toward a (say it isn't so) a degree in four (say it isn't so) years.

LaVar Ball, I caution you, stop with the Uber-Dad business. It is not psychologically beneficial to your sons. They should not have their lives at their age micromanaged. DiAngelo must come to grips with the fact that there are consequences for bad behavior. Your behavior is going to come back some time in the future and bite you in the buttocks, and I suspect it will be your progeny that will be doing the biting. Sorry to say that, but life bears this out.

A quick note to vote in favor of an eight-team College Football Playoff as described by writer, Chuck Culpepper of the Washington Post this morning. It's syndicated so, the teams should be in a number of papers. The teams themselves will vary season by season, it's the format that matters, and the NCAA should get off their collective duffs and put this in place. It's a total win/win scenario all around.

Perhaps one of the more meaningful poems about sports I've ever read is the following:

The Jump Shooter   by Dennis Trudell

The way the ball
hung there
against the blue or purple

one night last week
across town
at the playground where

I had gone to spare
my wife
from the mood I'd swallowed

and saw in the dusk
a stranger
shooting baskets a few

years older maybe
and overweight a little

beer belly saw him
shooting there
and joined him didn't

ask or anything simply
went over 
picked off a rebound

and hooked it back up
while he
smiled I nodded and for 

ten minutes or so we
took turn
staking shots and the thin

is neither of us said
a word
and this fellow who's 

too heavy now and slow
to play 
for any team still had

the old touch seldom
ever missed
kept moving further out

and finally his t-shirt
a gray
and fuzzy blur I stood

under the rim could 
almost hear
a high school cheer

begin and fill a gym
while wooden
bleacher rocked he made

three in a row from
twenty feet
moved back two steps

faked out a patch 
of darkness
arched another one and 

the way the ball 
hung there 
against the blue or purple

then suddenly filled
the net
made me wave goodbye

breathe deeply and begin
to whistle
as I waled back home.