meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2017-07-16

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, July 19, 2017

Awh, Tax Considerations for Millionaires

I am shocked, just shocked that NBA players have to pay such high taxes. Isn't there anything that the federal government can do about it? Millionaire are soooo taken advantage of by states.

What's that song: Do not cry for me Argentina. Well, don't cry for these star pro athletes who live in a country where tax shelters for the rich are as many as prairie dog holes in the desert.

But, let's get a little perspective on the situation. Let's look at a teacher's annual salary top scale after 30 years, which would be approximately $80,000. Even if that teacher was paid the top salary for all the years he or she taught (which, of course, he or she doesn't) that would amount to $2, 400,000. after being in the classroom trances for 30 years. Gordon Hayward, after those ridiculously high taxes will net $69.4 million after four years of being in the NBA trenches. My math maybe a tad off, but that looks to me like $2.4 mil a teacher makes over 30 years amounts to 3.5 % of what Hayward will make in 4 years.

With those kind of numbers staring them in the face, how can teachers complain that they are being underpaid?

I paid professional basketball in the NBA for ten years. It was fun. I worked my butt off as I know these present day athletes do, but I guarantee that one year of playing pro ball (as entertaining as it is) does not improve our society as much as a single day of a teacher teaching a classroom of 30 youngsters.

I'm not angry with the players, nor am I angry with the NBA league or team ownership. They are trying to put together the best entertainment product they can. The NBA has tons of money these days, and as far as I can tell is sharing equitably No gripes from me. I love the game.

However, what I don't like is some dumb-ass sports-writer writing a "woe is me" article, similar to the one I read in today's Sacramento Bee about the inequities of state by state taxation on pro athletes, as if the average citizen gives a crap about pro ball players having to pay high taxes. Like I give a rat's ass that Billionaires in the United States need tax breaks.

 Give me a break!

It's not a sports poem, but one I wrote about teaching, which is in my first collection Nothing You Lose Can Be Replaced.

The Suicide     by Tom Meschery

One teacher says she saw it coming
which drives he rest of us by lunch
crazy with guilt, remembering the old
ed. movie: Cipher in the Snow.

So we promise ourselves, next period
there'll be no ciphers. We'll even embrace
the wall-eyed one who lurks in the back
drawing obscenities on his desk.

Of course we don't, returning to decorum
with the bell, to Marilyn passing notes,
Harry's runny nose, Carrie's menstrual cramps,
essays overdue, forgotten texts.

In sixth period, one girl by the window starts
to weep, but when I ask was he her friend,
she shakes her head; she never knew him,
but thinks he was her brother's best friend's' cousin.

Suddenly the room is filled with students crying,
her tears having started a chain reaction,
the way one can't help humming a certain tune
or when frightened in the dark, whistling.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Not as Good as They Look and Not as Bad as They Look and etc

Although Lonzo Ball has had a fabulous Summer League, I'm still of the opinion because of his odd mechanics, he's going to have a lot of trouble trying to make his jump shots off the bounce. A Dennis Smith Jr's blush is off his rose. Unlike Ball, he doesn't trust his teammates as much as he should for a point guard, which leads me to ask if he's isn't a shooting guard.

A quick note about Lonzo:  Coaches of youngsters listen up? It's going to be your job to keep youngsters idolizing this rising star from modeling his weird shooting mechanics. Ball is an unusually talented player and might get away with it, but it will not serve other kids well. 

If I were the Lakers, I'd keep most of their Summer League starters, G League, wherever. Dallas might have a sleeper in China's MVP, Ding if they provide him with lots of instruction over the summer and minutes on the court.

Kings' 7'1" first round pick from last year, Papagiannis would benefit from the Pete Newell Big Man's Camp that has been resurrected by Cal Bear great Bill McClintock. The kids' footwork is lousy and he brings the ball down below his shoulders. There must be some film somewhere of Clyde Lee of the Warriors somewhere to show him.

I'm not sure about this, but I'm going to throw it up in the air and see if it sticks. This years of draft choices could be heralding a new NBA era. There are going to be a lot of star players making their bones beginning with the 2017/18 season. The Curry, Harden, Westbrook Durant era will be the Paul, Carmelo, James, era in 4 years and these new studs will be moving into their prime. 

Etc beings me to 36 year-old Roger Federer winning Wimbledon for his eighth and record breaking time.

Dell Martin, Rhodes scholar  and one time Stanford sprinter sent me this fabulous tennis sonnet.

Prothalamion    by Maxine Kumin

The far court opens for us all July.
Your arm, flung up like an easy sail bellying,
comes down on the serve in a blue piece of sky
barely within reach, and you following
tip forward on the smash. The sun sits still
on the hard white linen lip of the net. Five-love.
Salt runs behind my ears at thirty-all
At game I see the sweat that you're made of.
We improve each other, quickening so by noon
that the white game moves itself, the universe
contracted to the edge of the dividing line
you toe against, limbering for your service,
arm up, swiping the sun time after time,
and the square I live in, measured out with lime.