meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: Elgin Baylor 12/5/2010

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, December 5, 2010

Elgin Baylor 12/5/2010

   Now that I'v committed to Blogging, subjects I never imagined seem to be flying at me from all directions. Today I was thinking about some of the great NBA stars I played with and against: Wilt, of course and the Big O and Jerry West, and the entire Boston Celtic team that still haunts my game-time memories. How good were they? That's the topic for another Blog - or two.
   I was reading through a book entitled Sport: Inside Out and came across a poem for Elgin Baylor. What a basketball player he was. Some say it's impossible to compare NBA eras, and I agree for the most part. But certain players transcend time, and Baylor is one of those players. (There are more, of course) With apologies to Michael and Kobe, Baylor could do it all long before they came on the scene. The man was impossible to guard, and I discovered that the best strategy was to foul him as often as possible, that way I could say with certainty from my seat on the bench, having fouled out, that Baylor did not score his thirty-plus point on me, only the first 10 or 12.
   As far as comparisons are possible, I'd like to remind readers that Baylor was barely 6'6" when he was performing his magic. While Russell, Chamberlain, The Big O, and West have been remembered as icons of our sport, I've never thought Baylor recieved the same attention, he so richly deserves. But all of us who had to guard him remember. Appropriately, my sports poem for the day is dedicated to Elgin.

The Poet Tries to Turn in His Jock   by   David Hilton

"The way I see it, is that when I step out on that court and feel
  inside that I can't make the plays, it'll be time to call it quits."
                                            - Elgin Baylor

Going up for the jump shot,
Giving the kid the head-fakes and all
'Til he's jocked right out the door of the gym
And I'm free at the top with the ball and my touch,
Lofting the arc off my fingtertips,
I feel my left calf turn to stone
And my ankle warp inward to form when I land
A neat right angle with my leg,
And I'm on the floor,
A pile of sweat and sick muscles,
Your're 29, getting fat,
Can't drive to your right anymore,
You can think of better things to do
On Saturday aftenoons than be a chump
For a bunch of sophomore third-stringers;
Join the Y, steam and martinis and muscletone.
But, shit,
the shot goes in.

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