meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2011-05-22

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, May 28, 2011


After watching Lionel Messi of Barcelona play this afternoon against Manchester United and score two goals I could become a born again soccer fan. As an I-need-to-see-more-scoring American sports fan that sounds close to unpatriotic. But what a sight the little fellow was weaving through his Man U opponents, the ball seemingly clinging to his feet unwilling to part with him until he order it to go and then with such speed and accuracy into the net. A long time ago I saw the great Pele play and marveled. I never thought I'd see a soccer player that talented again. In between Pele and Messi, surely there have been a number of fantastic players, but since I'm not a consistent observer of the game, I am only partially aware of them.

If Messi hasn't converted me, he has made me more of a fan of the world game than I have been. I know when Barcelona is playing I will be tuned in. Does this make a convert? Not quite yet. I still believe soccer needs to figure out a way for teams to score. A couple of goals more per game I don't think is asking for too much.

Soccer doesn't really need the United States to be hooked on soccer, but if it ever does, watch out NFL.

Wimbley Field in London where Champions Finals was held holds 80,000 fans and it was filled to capacity.

In poetry there is something that's called a "found" poem, writing that is not meant to be a poem but comes close to poetry. Here is some inspired comments by Ray Hudson a British soccer commentator as he watched Lionel Messi.

"Neither With Net nor Trident"
The genius, the genius of
In our modern-day life
  He doesn't know
What he's going to do
   So how the hell
  Do the defenders
You cannot contain him
        With a net
        Or a trident
   He's got pace
  He's got pace
He's got vision
   And he's got
 Finishing power
        His cup
  Runneth over...
  Magnificent Messi
       Wild man
He doth bestride the Earth
      Like a Colossus.

Is there one American sports' commentator on radio and television who comes close to such eloquence, such passion? Can you imagine Marv Albert watching LeBron James and quoting from Julius Caesar?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Open Forum: On Lance Armstrong, Chronicle Wed. May 25, 2011

Dave Zirin argues that trying to identify athletes who gain an advantage through doping is a waste of the government's money and time. Given the state of our economy, not to mention myriads of far more serious criminal activities left unattended to, such an argument might sound logical. Wouldn't they be better dealt with, he asks, by their own sports' federations?

The answer might be yes, if indeed those sports federations had ever been serious about stopping doping. Prior to the government coming on the scene, those so called self governing federations took little notice of the drugs in their sports. Without the government stepping in, one could legitimately ask would any of the All -Star cheaters, such as Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, etc, been sanctioned? I doubt it. More than likely today, they would all be receiving their accolades, playing in celebrity golf tournaments, and writing their Hall of Fame induction speeches.

If you agree with me, that leaves only the government to act as an independent entity with enough clout to expose said cheaters - all cheaters, including the iconic Lance Armstrong if indeed it is proven he used blood boosters, blood transfusion, and testosterone shots, to gain an advantage over his opponents who, by the way, might very well have been doping themselves.

Frankly, I don't give a damn how much money Lance Armstrong raised for Cancer. I'm an athlete and I have cancer. Like Bob Lypsyte and other cancer survivors, I am grateful for Armstrong's effort to raise money for cancer research. It's the least he could have done after the medical profession saved his life and his career. Now, the best that he can do is tell the truth and take his consequences. Redemption without confession is meaningless.

Cheaters should be banned from their sports for life. It is the best way to discourage future cheaters and preserve the integrity of sports. All their awards should be returned. Their names should be struck from any record book. And, if they lied to the grand jury, they should, like any citizen, go to jail. Period, bottom line, end of tawdry story.

Was there anything better than riding your bike when you were a youngster, bending over those handlebars, pumping like crazy, wind in your hair? Here's a haiku about a riding a bike in a city.

My Bike

The wind behind me
Water bottle is my friend
Watch that taxi door