Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bring Rocker Back

I was at a friend's house recently and noticed he had a bunch of yellowed Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper clippings up on the wall commemorating various Atlanta Braves baseball wins. It reminded me of the glory days of the Braves franchise.

It reminded me of them, because its been so long I had nearly forgotten.

Of the 30 people who may eventually read this I'm going to assume about 27 of you know me, and the other 3 had googled "Brick Distributor", instead got me, and don't care. So, I won't bore you with a long-winded philosophical view on professional team sports, or at least televised professional team sports. I'll make it simple: I loathe them.

But you knew that already.

I'm ambivalent about golf. I generally respect it because it's generally one-on-one-combative. I can appreciate that, but I still don't want to watch you play it.

I loathe professional team sports mostly because of the people who come to my house and scream furiously at the television, drone endlessly on about the completely mindless, irrelevant, on-field exploits of their favorite team when there are perfectly alive deer and quail to be killed; or otherwise bore me with talk about who did what with which kind of ball.

I just dont care.

I would much rather watch T-ball, JV Football, Olympic fencing or Jai-Alai; than spend a second of my time on college football or professional baseball or, God forbid - the miserable Atlanta Falcons. Oh man. The Falcons. A good PitBull fight, if somewhat unethical, is still the most interesting sporting event an Atlanta Falcon has been involved in since the Dan Reeves era SuperBowl.

I'm serious. Professional sports have nothing on their lowly un-professional counterparts. In T-Ball a kid could throw up or cry at any moment. Parents might fight. A parent might cry (that's the best). The fat kid might hit one and you might get to see the fat kid run. It's all very exciting stuff.

Jai Alai kills people regularly, Olympic fencing is hand-to-hand combat, and even JV Football has its finer moments; you've strapped a heat-trapping vision-impairing plastic device to an already addled pre-teen's head and sent him out into the Georgia heat to repeatedly bash himself against his friends while his Dad stands by screaming encouragement.

That has "potential for hilarity" written all over it.

No matter how brave a face I drink on before marching myself down to a SuperBowl party: I just can't wrap my head around professional sports. How many different-shaped balls do you need to move around how many different types of fields before somebody finally stands up and says "AAAUGHH!!! Fine! FINE!!!! HAVE YOUR STUPID BALL GAME!! BUT DO IT RIDING ON AN ELEPHANT!!"

That's what I want to see. If you got 10 elephents out on a slightly larger basketball court and said "Gentlemen start your elephants!!"; I'd watch that all day long. You're talking about a "ball" game that could easily squash you. If I thought there was a fair chance I'd get to see Kobe Bryant killed by an elephant during a rebound attempt: I'd have season tickets - and I don't even hate Kobe Bryant.

I used to love playing with a ball, but I just don't love it anymore - why? Because I'm not 4yrs old. I also no longer play with baby rattles or use a teething ring. Playing with a ball is for children. As an adult I want to see something reminiscent of life-and-death struggle happening before me; or if not that: at least something non-repetitive. More importantly - I don't want to watch, I want to DO.

Perhaps in my case the problem is more deeply-rooted. My toys as a 4yr old were (literally) a Barlow pocketknife my Dad ground the edge and point off of; a Red Ryder BB gun, an assortment of cap pistols, a black rubber military training bayonet from that unfortunate Vietnam Conflict, and a red bownarrer with a quiver that you slung over your back like a tabby-cat-stalking Robin Hood. What in the world did I need ballgames for? I was the single most well-armed person in Decatur.

Nurture could be the culprit; I guess we'll never know.

I feel a bit guilty for harping on baseball. I don't hate it, really, and I geniuinely don't want to bash baseball in excess of anything else, but baseball players are just too "good." The only thing that changes is the score - there are only so many places to hit the ball and so many ways to throw it. I just need more action and variety than that; with hopefully a little bloodsport mixed in. Blindfold the pitcher, mix pitfalls and non-lethal concussion mines in down the baselines, arm the catcher with pepper spray - just mix it up for me.

I know some of you love your sports - especially Atlanta baseball. That's ok. I don't mind, but I know you better than you think. I have the secret you've all been waiting for that'll put Atlanta back on top for good - and it's not coaching or money.

Bring back John Rocker, hand him a pipe wrench, a bat, two cans of Skoal and a ball glove - and roll film.

I'll pop the popcorn.


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