Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Dog Days


 

I hate to use this term because it seems awfully mean-spirited to dogs, but we have officially entered the “dog days of summer.” This is that mid-August through Labor Day time period when most people have already taken their vacations, and now there is nothing exciting to look forward to except soul-crushing humidity and back-to-school sales at Target. Even writing this blog is a chore, ‘Ok, what should I write about today…wait, I know, how about the scourge of ingrown toenails?”

What follows is a rambling, incoherent string of observations that have been on my mind recently:

My favorite game is in some serious trouble, sports fans. Sunday night, a Little League World Series game between teams from Philadelphia and Texas beat a Big League game between Atlanta and Oakland in the ratings. Yes, that’s right. Oakland, with the best record in baseball played the Atlanta Braves, another decent team on television and more Americans preferred to watch the 12 year olds play. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is…Little League baseball is AWESOME. The kids play with reckless abandon. They don’t stop to adjust their batting gloves after each pitch. They run the bases like their hair is on fire. When they get a hit or make a great catch their faces light up the screen with broad, unashamed glee. Their parents cry in the stands. In other words, they are having fun and they don’t care who knows it. Big league players look like they are at work. They play the game with unsurpassed skill, but take forever doing it, as if they are getting paid by the hour. The only expression on their faces is one of earnest determination, as if smiling were...er…frowned upon. There might not be any crying in baseball, but whatever happened to laughter, joy, and fun?

There are two professions where you are allowed to be constantly wrong without fear of losing your job: politicians and weathermen.

I have been playing Words with Friends now for the better part of three years. I have finally found a group of seven letters out of which no English word can be formed, at least I can’t think of one. U U Z R R R I. I share this with you to see if any of you are smarter than I am (very likely).
Johnny Manziel played in his second preseason game last night and he has already shot the bird to an opponent. It takes some quarterbacks years before they master the refined skill of bad sportsmanship. I can name a list of hundreds of NFL quarterbacks who played in the league for years before perfecting the ability to completely lose their composure on the field, and Manziel has it figured out in week two. This kid is gonna go places!