meta name=”robots” content=”index, follow” Meschery's Musings of Sports, Literature, and Life Meschery's Musings on Sports, Literature and Life: 2018-02-11

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, February 17, 2018

Thank You, Television Executives and Advertiser.

I want to thank the TV and Ad execs for allowing some space between commercials for Olympic events coverage. I also want to congratulate them for adding the split screen to allow even more time for selling their products.  However, don't you think devoting the larger of the screens to product sales is a little excessive, that maybe, just maybe, some of us out in TV land might accuse you of being greedy. Say it isn't so.

Hurrah for Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors for stating the truth about our non-existent gun laws. Congress, listen up, drop Trump's Great Wall of Foolishness, that will keep nobody out and mire us even further in irreversible national debt. Do what's right, and pass laws that outlaw automatic weapons of any kind. Stand up to the NRA for once in your cowardly lives.

Now to sports, unless defeating Republican senators and congressmen in November can be called a sport. I kinda like that idea.

Now back to sports, really: Got to give a lot of love to the aerial skiers. Unbelievable athletic moves and courage. Just a reminder, remember when we thought such antics on skis and on skate boards were just hippie passing fads? Men and women boarders and skiers in baggy trousers, making weird signs with their hands, hip hop invading the sanctity of winter sports. Well they invaded, evolved, and proved they're not a passing fad. Good on them!

NBA Saturday Night: Lot's of fine messages about brother and sisterhood, inclusiveness, free speech, fairness. NBA is no doubt the most progressive of our professional sports leagues. Commissioners Stern and Silver had it right from the start. Bravo to you two men. And bravo to the players who stand tall in the face of White House fascism.

Booker and Thompson in finals of 3 point shooting contest seemed inevitable. Congrats to Booker.
I thought that Larry Nance Jr honoring his All Star dad by imitating the dunks he used to win the dunk contest back in his day was, well, honorable.I also thought Donavan Mitchell, going retro with uniforms and 360 degree Vince Carter dunk was also an honorable way of honoring past players.
Congrats to Nance for winning, but, it my mind, it was a photo-finish.

Wish I had space or inclination to comment on more of the Olympic sports, but I have other things to do and miles and miles to go before I sleep. However, before I nod off, I suggest people should watch Merit Bjoergan in the Biathlon. She has a chance of surpassing the 13 medal record of fellow Norwegian, Ole Elnar Bjoerndalen and become the King of Biathlon, or should I say, the Queen? If you don't know what Biatholon is, look it up, it's a grueling test of physical stamina and mental control.

Oh, and lest I forget, the ski jumpers were magnificent. If they spread out any lower, they'll be below their skis.

Oh, and lest I forget, lots of luck to Erin Jackson, the first African-American woman to compete in speed skating. Take that Fox News!

Oh, and lest I forget, is there any doubt that Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham is a racist? 

In honor of speed skating, I offer this poem I wrote that is in my collection: Sweat: New and Selected Poems About Sports

Short Track Speed Skating

Like second hands,
the skaters spin around the ice
in a crouch, arms swinging
back and forth, like pendulums
until two break away:
One silver, one gold

So close to each other.
No truer alchemy exists than this:
with one frozen circle left,
metal to metal, they kiss,
setting off sparks, and fall,
as all lovers must who dare 
to be so intimate, so fast. 

Olympics and etc

I guarantee you our highly mentally disturbed president is not enchanted with the Olympics, you know, like, ah, man, how do I deal with these different colored athletes competing together, sharing lives together, embracing, honoring each other? I can hear his little weeny brain asking: You mean they actually respect each other? How can Trump possibly understand, coming from a lily-white, closeted environment of the super rich, and how absolutely color blind the world of sports is today? Probably, he wasn't watching the Olympics anyway, having embraced the recent statement of Fox News' Exec VP, John Moody, that there are just too many gays, coloreds, etc in the Olympics. By the way, how come Fox News hasn't fired that bigot and racist? Oh, yeah, I forgot, it's Fox "Klan" News.

Speaking of non-whites, did anyone see the performance of  Japan's Yazuru Hanyu's flawless and exquisite short program and his Gold winning performance on the ice last night? What an athlete! Both nights Winnie the Poohs by the hundreds sailed down from the stands onto the ice as he took his bows. And this young man's performance took nothing away from the three skaters who followed him onto the rink, his fellow Japanese teammate, Shona Ono (Silver) and the marvelously elegant Spaniard, Javier Fernandez (Bronze). All of them were Baryshnikovs on ice.

Sorry to see Mikela not make it to the podium in the slalom, but she won a courageous Gold the day before in the giant slalom. Let's hear it for the redhead Shawn White. What an athlete. As a team sports guy, I've always been impressed by the focus of individual sports athletes. On a team you always have your teammates to motivate you during the game. The skiers, the luge riders, the snowboarders, the cross country skiers, the jumpers, once the event starts, they're on their own. Individual sports are lonely sports that require amazing will power and the kind of physical and mental meditation of a Zen master. 

Lindsey Vonn gave it her best shot in the Super G but no medal. But in my mind she gets a medal for heroic comeback. Heroic comeback award also to Nathan Chin, who's short program mistakes were painful to watch, but his long program performance showed he'd be back in four years for another attempt at the podium.

Got to love the courage of our Warrior coach, Steve Kerr to stand up to the NRA. When will our politicians ever have the courage of Lindsey Vonn, and legislate into law a truthful and effective gun law? Perhaps  we should all pray for one. Praying and grieving seems to be all they are capable of doing for these poor slaughtered children.

I love how the poet connects the grace of swooping swallows to ice skaters in the following poem:

The Skaters    by John Gould Fletcher

Black Swallows swooping or gliding
In a flurry of entangled loops and curves;
The skaters skim over the frozen river,
And he grinding click of their skates
as they impinge upon the surface
Is like the brushing together of thin
Wing-tips of silver upon the surface