Ruminations on the crazy people we are, by a retired teacher/musician. Can't get the "requests" out of my system after years of barroom/lounge/restaurant/party gigs mining 100 years worth of the musical mother-lode.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Football at Home Plate

Okay, sports fans. Do we really have to leave our brains outside the stadium, arena, raceway, etc..

I used to hear people rail at the uncivilized macho Spanish/Mexicans who could sit and watch a bullfight, Ole Papa H notwithstanding. It seemed as though Western civility had passed judgement on bloodsport, and that was that. Today, however, in the same western culture, we have yet worse examples of bloodsport that the sports fan seems to be applauding loudly.We have the "beanball", sometimes ever so cleverly referred to as "chin music." We have the intentional foul in basketball, sometimes referred to as "necessary?", and sometimes dangerous, as was the case of the Temple/St. Joes event not too long ago. Now we also have the Tony Stewart syndrome in NASCAR, sometimes referred to as "bumping", and sometimes akin to attempted murder.

Historically, we are looking at practices that once were the exception, and are now commonplace.Actions that should call for removal of the perp bring only a reprimand or a brief punishment, or worse, no response at all.

When did it get this way? Who made it/allowed it to happen? I have watched and watched, and keep looking for where the responsibility lies. I see several sources. 1. coaches who teach their players to be totally air-headed, as
if that were the only way to play the game.
2. parents, who are co-conspirators in this training, full of
phrases like "no pain, no gain", and the like.
3. modern-day officials, who don't have the guts they were
born with, and won't call the game as it should be called.
They enjoy phrases like, "Let's just let the players settle
this on the field." The very reason for the officials' presence
is NOT to let the players settle it on the field.
4. The biggest perpetrator of all in this culture is the sports
media. They have glorified the bloodsport aspect of all
sports, I guess because it sells. In the process, they have
caused us to lose sight of what great contests sports can be.
The very same producers/directors who love to bring the
guys those long under-the-skirt shots of the college football
cheerleaders, are equally as adept at using their multi-
camera resources to replay the pass play over the middle
where some lanky tight end near lost his head after a "pop"
by the free safety.

As is true of much of American life today, the dangers of this culture are not as visible as the overt acts. The moral right worries about kids being exposed to unsound influences in film. Let them start a Crusade against the kind of violence their kids are being effectively taught by way of pro football, basketball, and baseball.Let those athletes who all too often reference "the Good Lord" ask the Good Lord how they should treat their fellow athletes. "Should I "pop" 'em, Lord," or "Lord, what would you think of my putting a little "chin music" on this home run hitter."

It's not funny. When my wife and I raised our kids, we had to keep explaining to them that they would have to see themselves as being a minority, in order to help them understand they were never to give in to this idiocy. Individuals CAN change this, however long the odds. It just needs someone to start.

End of Ruminations for Wednesday, 5.17.06

Today's musical oddity: a tune that was heard a great deal in the Depression Era thirties, was "Ain't We Got Fun," the premise of which was "we've got each other, so all is well." A line in that song said "......the rich get rich and the poor get poorer." Now isn't that something;. Things haven't changed much, have they?


At 9:22 AM, Blogger Larry Grogan said...

I concur, but I refuse to watch (or am unable to muster much interest in) most professional sports. Overall, one of the ugliest influences on modern culture.


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