meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2016-11-20

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.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mark Cuban Got It Right

Loud and clear, in my book Mark Cuban is a stud. Here's what he recently said about our President-Elect donald rump: "The President-Elect is a present and immediate danger to our country."

Cuban is not a stud in the eyes of NBA referees, and he's been a thorn in the side of NBA officials and there have been times watching him on TV that I've thought he was clearly over the top, but I'm going to give him a Meschery pass for all future shenanigans. Go for it, Mark. Raise some hell for the good of our country.

Sorry to see Omri Casspi relegated to the deep bench in Sacramento. I can understand Coach Jaegor's position; he prefers a grit and grind offense and Omri needs to be in a team that plays uptempo. But on the defensive end, Casspi could be a big plus. Even so, for Casspi to be effective, he need reasonable minutes, which he'll never get on this season's Kings. Maybe back in Houston with D'Antoni. Maybe in LA. The Clips could use defense and another three-point-shooter.

Watched the Warriors dismantle the Pacers. Granted the Pacers were missing their star Paul George, but it wouldn't have mattered in the end. The Warriors are coming into their own. It's becoming increasingly noticeable that the Dubs are going to be extremely deep, and Coach Kerr, to his credit, is giving reserves lots of minutes to grow their confidence. This will not be an eight man rotation.

The following poem is from a collection I'm working on written in the manner of the ancient Asian poets. All the poems will be about sports. This form of poetry is called a Lu-Shih, a four-line poem that was a favorite of two of the greatest Chinese poets, Tu-Fu and Li-Po.

Sky Hooks    by Tom Meschery

His body high in the air
His hand cradling the ball, letting it fly
Waiting for it to fall from the sky,
Looking up, holding my breath. 

Monday, November 21, 2016

A Retired English Teacher's Lament & etc

I know, I know, so many of our NBA players leave college early, some after their freshman year, but they all went to high school, so there's no reason to make the following Russell Westbrook grammatical errors:

"We just wasn't ready. Just wasn't ready tonight, starting with myself. . . I could have did  a lot of things better, man. . . " You could have started by paying attention in your English class, Russell.

Should you be embarrassed? I think so. You are a model for other young men. If Russell talks like that, hey, that's cool. You are not the only professional athlete who hasn't the slightest idea about English grammar and usage, so consider yourself one of a number of failed English students playing professional sports.

Should we blame your failure on our public school system to teach you? Probably. But that doesn't mean, later, on your own, you can learn to speak correctly, if not for yourself, for little boys and girls that call themselves your fans. The Thunder is paying you plenty of money. Go back to school during the off season. Hire a tutor. I'm available, and my fees are reasonable.

Etc: If the Kings can play defense as aggressively as they did last night against a very strong team like the Toronto Raptors, they will no longer be disrespected around the league. Nothing excites an ex NBA player who built his career on defense, more than to see players flying around the court, swiping at passes and dribbles, closing out strong, making steals, blocking off the borders, working their butts off. Congratulations to Coach Jaeger and his staff for emphasizing this part of the game.

In these troubled times we need poetry to enrich our souls. This poem seems perfect to me. I read the following section and felt better.

Running   by Richard Wilbur

1. 1933
   (North Caldwell, New Jersey)

What were we playing? Was it prisoner's base?
I ran with whacking keds
Down the cart-road past Rickard's place,
And where it dropped beside the tractor-sheds

Leapt out into the air above a blurred
Terrain, through jolted light,
Took two hard lopes, and at the third
Spanked off a hummock-side exactly right,

And made the turn, and with delighted strain
Sprinted across the flat
By the bull-pen, and up the lane,
Thinking of happiness, I think of that.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Trump Blues

Since the election, I've been in an unrelenting depressive state. Never in my worst nightmares could I have imagined donald trump winning the presidency of the United States. I thought we were a better people. I saw us becoming more multicultural, not less, more racially embracing, not less, more inclusive, not less; more compassionate. There were so many signs during the last eight years I took for the truth: our television shows and movies were increasingly becoming biracial. Advertising were beginning to use biracial couples to sell products. Everywhere I looked on the streets where I lived, white people and people of color were living as neighbors, marrying each other, bearing proud biracial children. There were still serious racial problems, sure, but we would fix them. I would have bet every cent I had that donald trump could not have won more than a few southern states, that the rest of the electorate would reject him as, simply, not in step with the expanding bi-racialism of the United States. Was I ever wrong.

In regard to trump and the NBA, it is clear to me that any NBA owner who voted for the donald is no better than Donald Sterling, the racist.

And to those of you who placed the sign in front of a school recently that read: Trump Nation; Whites Only, let me ask you this question: On that day that you yearn for so much when America becomes all white and all Christian, who will be left to hate? Who else? People like you, poor uneducated white haters. In your Trump Nation, you will become the neglected and reviled minority.

It is time to send as much good karma Colin Kaepernick's way. We need for him to become a successful quarterback in the NFL because the greater his success, the great his protest will resonate throughout the country. In the next four years, we're going to need a lot more Kaepernicks, not for the sake of the 49eers, but for the sake of America.

Athletes   by Walker Gibson

The groggy fighter on his knees
Sways up at nine, postpones the count;
The jockey, forty-to-one shot, sees
Them all go by, yet whips his mount;
The losing pitcher, arm gone lame,
Still drops that last one in, a strike -
So you and I play a stubborn game,
Disaster prodding us alike.
So you and I, ignoring odds,
Tug caps, clutch ropes, and flail our whips,
Make sacrifices to the gods,
Breed children and build battleships.
Though ours is not an athlete's doom,
Nor death like any locker room                         * The word locker in the original was
                                                                               shower. I changed it to the more
                                                                               modern term.