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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 27, 2016

On Refereeing & etc

I was happy to read that the NBA stated that LeBron should have been assessed a T for hanging on the rim far longer than was needed to escape injury. It was clearly a taunt. As for the last non-call, that was crucial. Jefferson's foot struck KD's ankle, which caused him to fall. If KD had been able to get a shot off, the result of the game could have been different since he's been know to make long last second game-winning-shots before. Tyron Lue has a point; games should not be decided on the free throw line. However, in some cases, it has to be. Nature of the game, nature of competitive behavior. Jefferson would have been remiss had he not played as tough as he did against Durant, but tough is a risk you take as a defender.

The Warriors didn't lose the game because of the two non-calls. They blew a lead they should have been able to maintain. End of story, but not the end of the book. The final chapter in the plot between the Cavs and Dubs will be read come NBA Finals. That is unless the Toronto Raptors don't defeat the Cavs in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Generally, however, the NBA refs get it right. There's not a game harder to call than the lightening quick pro game of basketball. Compared to the NBA, refereeing in the NFL should be a great deal easier. But it doesn't seem to be.

Some of the calls, NFL refs have made and not made this season are downright mystifying. Since I don't know a lot about the nuances of football, I'll let someone better in the know to suggest where the NFL refs need to improve. As an amateur observer, I'll only speak to two less complicated issues.

One: NFL referees should be made full time paid employees of the NFL with benefits that includes a clause which allows NFL administrators to review each refs yearly performance. Poor performances could lead to dismissal. 

Two: Considering the more significant ref problems, what is the deal over players celebrating? Why is this stoking so much fire. As far as I can tell, most of it is showmanship and, for the most part, fun, performed usually by running backs and receivers. Occasionally, a defensive back or linebacker, after making a significant tackle or QB hit, will engage in a bit of chest beating. So what????

The NFL is not college where such antics would be and should be considered unsportsmen-like. It's the NFL, dude, and part of the world of entertainment. The solution is so easy, it's hardly worth mentioning. But I will anyway. A quick cha-cha, that's cool; you dance the waltz around the goal posts, you get a T, and a fine. And the fine has to be significant. Hit players in their pocketbooks, and you'll see all the over-the-top can-can end pronto.

In small doses, however, let the celebrations continue. Most of them are amusing. And heartfelt as in the case of Ezekiel Elliot who, after scoring, leaped into the Salvation Army tub and peeked out over the top to a cheering stadium. I'll bet donations to the Salvation Army increased. 

Another possibility is to assess points for the most inventive celebrations and at the end of the season hold an Academy Awards Ceremony for the top-ten best performances.      Only kidding.

I probably should have found a football poem, but couldn't resist this bowling poem. I'm pretty sure I've never offered a poem about bowling before, so the sport is overdue.

Hook   by Floyd Skloot

My father limps on the leg that healed short.
His twice-broken right wrist, too weak to hold
a bowling ball palm up, is why he spins
a hook he cannot control. The ball rolls
slowly, as if limping while it wanders
from one gutter to the other and back.

We stand dead last in the Father and Son
League, not helped by my rocketing straight shots
that knock down nothing as often as they 
knock down everything. he watches, giving
no advice. At thirteen, knowing there is 
nothing for me to say either. I wait

for the ball's return so I can heft it
again and aim down the gleaming alley.