SPORTS & POLITICS

It seems American politics has become much like watching sporting events. Everyone play is the same; every pitch is the same; every dunk is the same; every hole is the same. Or if you’re watching car racing and the world go in circles, every lap is the same.

I no longer watch sports on TV or in person. [I’ll watch kids play sports because it’s fun. Most of them are out there for the fun.] Professional sports is bad entertainment and a horrible waste of time. I’ve seen games before, and today nothing seems new, better or improved. Going to the park is a rip-off – expensive seats, expensive parking with delays, slow play, expensive and poor concessions. And by going to the park the fan doesn’t avoid advertising, which allows big salaries and great profits but long, boring performances. There is no telling why a long-haired, unkempt, fat, unshaven slob takes as long as a minute between pitches unless he’s as slow and stupid as he looks. Hasn’t any pitcher watched Sandy Koufax in a 20 second delivery routine: Strike out. If batters took their time with Koufax, they could strike out slowly. In the 1963 World Series Koufax pitched the first game, struck out 15 Yankees and won a complete game. Reportedly, Yogi Berra said after the game, “How did he ever lose five [games]” [Koufax was 23-5 during the 1963 season.]

I watch pitchers today and wonder, how come he didn’t lose 15 [games]. Complete games are rare. PItchers are unprepared and pampered. Nothing is expected of them beyond six innings, when a bunch of relief pitchers with concocted names [titles] handle the remainder of the game. It is no wonder why many pitchers can’t get beyond four innings and allow no runs: Reduced expectations + reduced performance + reduced abilities = mediocrity. The New World Order protects the pitcher’s arm. 1963 when Koufax won 23, Warren Spahn was 23 -7 and 42 years old. Spahn weighed 170, was six feet tall and disciplined, unlike the hairy, disheveled, drooling, drug-cursed, mama’s goons pitching on the mound today.

The first point about sports today is, mediocrity is punctuated by advertising to make it palpable. There are readers who don’t believe it. Anyone who saw Wilt Chamberlain play, who saw the speed, maneuverability and strength, knows that if Walt were playing basketball using today’s rules, he’s score 100 points a game. If the strong men today got tough, Wilt would slam dunk them. 

What do we have in Washington DC: Executive, Legislature and Supreme Court: Mediocrity punctuated by cable TV favoring one group of Ordinaries or another. We expect no excellence in sports; why expect any extraordinary in government.

Has anyone listened to today’s sportscasters? Their speech is an insult to human beings, unintelligent and incoherent, and long exposure will reduce the IQ of any listener a point every month. Listeners learn the cliches, to replace intelligence, reason and cogency. Sportscasters use cliches as emotional nuggets which lack any bearing to what’s happening on the court, diamond, field, course or track. 

There are exceptions. Chick Hearn – “air ball,” “no harm, no foul,” ‘pop-corn machine.”  Hearn was absent from the radio for a while. Upon returning he used cliches which had originated with him. The reaction of listeners: Why doesn’t he say something original?

I wrote a screenplay about baseball announcers, and I’ll compliment myself: It is very funny. The research was torturous. I listened to baseball announcers for a season, and took down as much nonsense, stupidity and irrelevance as I could: About the pitcher looking at the catcher before tossing the ball: “He wants the next pitch to be a strike.” OR, “The score is Giants 4, Reds 2.” Immediately the announcer does the arithmetic: “The Giants have a two-run lead.” Because nobody bought this screenplay, I concluded, the whole country needs to stop taking itself so seriously and improve its sense of humor.

The problem with selling that screenplay was (1) Everyone in the hometown was mortally offended, once they realized the local favorites were being accurately targeted and fairly portrayed. (2) Everyone out of town believed the whole scenario improbable.

But sports fans and watchers are swamped in cliches. That’s all they hear and think about. They remember nothing else but, is the running back going left or right; is the quarterback going to pass? Frequently cliches are ironically nonsensical. Marv Albert, sports announcer and backbiter yelled, “Yes. Yes! YES!” when a basketball player made a basket, I assume.1/  Frequently, the cameraman missed the shot, and Marv was so overwhelmed with the thrill, that he didn’t mention the change of score. Or course, I’ve heard that exclamation from women under much different circumstances.  To me “Yes. Yes! YES!” is a confusing, meaningless cliche when referring to action on the basketball court, but Marv may have different experiences.

Cliche thinking, cliche uttering, cliches in the heart, Americans know nothing else; they remember nothing else. Should the Congress of the United States review all programs and pass a budget every year? Note, the last budget passed was in 2008. The Democrats want a Clean Continuing Resolution. The Republicans want to cut the budget, or what’s left of it. Cutting a clean continuing resolution sounds messy. What do Americans think? Consult the cliches. Another situation: Obamacare – Website Failure is just like a football team that has three downs and punts. It happens all the time. Considering the Administration has had three years to put it into place, Obama’s claims about creating high tech jobs doesn’t ring true.

Why do I feel “fourth down and 25 yards to go” are upon us in America. Peyton Manning is not at quarterback. Barack Obama has the ball, and everyone knows but is unwilling to tell him, “Barack, you can’t play no ball!” He knows it. His game has become golf, a one man effort against the elements, letting the President hide undesirable traits: impatience and a poor team play. How often does he call anyone? Democrats say, not too often.

Who are the announcers in the political arena? An example. An American was watching MSNBC and laughing. “I thought Chris Matthews was going to have a heart attack or a stroke.” Terrific! I thought. Just what America needs. Announcers having heart attacks and strokes on TV.

I next considered it might be a good idea. The 100 or so announcers on cable TV should all have heart attacks or strokes and be off the air a while. Reporting and news will be better.

Today there is no reason to watch cable TV and the announcers. There is no NEWS, just loads of talking from opinionated, dogmatic, overwrought, emotional clowns mugging to Americans. It is bad news and also bad entertainment. [For good entertainment watch the movie, Network, and as a game figure out who on cable TV best plays Peter Finch’s character. Who plays Sybil the Soothsayer. Guess who’s going to sponsor the new reality show, Revolution – not the Steven Spielberg knockoff.] Today, there are empty suits and straw women on cable TV aping one group or pleasing another.

 

I have nothing against Chris Matthews. I know he can’t be as irrational and wild as he acts. He has to have some sane moments. {Replace Chris Matthews’s name with the name of any other Cable TV person.}

What all these Cable guys and gals should know is, stick to the news and give it. If you slide into entertainment, you may end up naked, and Miley Cyrus will be your co-host. 

Where does this leave Americans? Most situations in politics and sports cannot be described, and for most fans, spectators and observers, they hear no reason, intellect or logic. There are cliches to explain the emotion of everything but leave people empty and discontent.

1/ Marv Albert was at the leading edge of the vampire craze. Today his actions may noteworthy and prescient rather than be proscribed by ancient laws.

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