By Joe Torosian —
“There are only two options regarding commitment; you’re either in or you’re out.”—Pat Riley
Why is everyone so uptight? We’re always majoring in the minor and minoring in the major.
Baseball is 162 games…And between you and me…I kind of like the 7-inning doubleheader. But there’s nothing to get uptight about. The goal when watching professional basketball is not to get excited and high-five a friend, but can you avoid a yawn?
NHL? Uh, what? I don’t even know what channel it’s on.
I believe we need fewer games to make the games we watch more interesting.
As I hit the 135 mark for NBA games watched this season, I can say it was only possible because of the Phoenix Suns. They play something close to the game I’m familiar with, and I can watch Mikal Bridges slash all day.
Am I uptight? Nah.
Sha’Carri Richardson got banned…Okay, whatever. If I cared about the Olympics, maybe I’d care…But I don’t. The Olympics, for me, died with the USSR, and now it’s all about the secular spirit, brotherhood of man crud…scoop of vanilla, scoop of chocolate, don’t waste my time.
In regards to Richardson, all I can say is if you compete internationally, then you must know that the Olympic Committee has always been hard-nosed, inconsistent, and unfair. So unless you’re killing pain (which “everyone” gives as the reason for partaking), lay off the hemp. I’m not going slam anyone if they are in legitimate pain.
If otherwise, then what she did was stupid. And that opinion doesn’t come from my faith or worldview. It comes from growing up around abusers of alcohol and drugs and seeing the outcomes that no one ever talks about when shouting, “Let’s eat, drink and be merry.”
Also, if you’re an Olympic-level athlete, use your noodle and assume a consequence like this is possible. You train, and train, and train…you manage your body, and then you’re going to risk it by Cheeching some Ganga?
I don’t get it.
Again…let her run, don’t let her run…I don’t care.
I’m a little more concerned about…Francisco Lindor.
Is there any way the starting shortstop for the FIRST PLACE New York Mets could begin to resemble the guy that was the starting shortstop for the Cleveland Indians?
Now that’s a real sports story, which brings me to my point.
I’m not going to lie…I was happy to see Patrick Beverly and the Clippers show some anger at being eliminated by the Suns. It was weak to push Chris Paul in the back, but the lack of competitiveness in sports grosses me out.
I’m not a big fan of everyone being friends on the court or field and shaking hands when it’s over. It smacks as if it’s a bit rigged and that the performers don’t care.
Church leagues were the worst at this. They set you up in a game against another church. The Nazarenes against the Baptists always had potential to be a doozy, but we were supposed to be good sports. When a bad call went against us we were supposed to say, “it’s all good brother. I love you.”
Cool, I got it.
Church softball and church basketball were “supposed” to be for recreation and bringing in folks who may not ordinarily feel comfortable going to church. It was a way of easing folks into the water.
But there was a clock and a scoreboard which meant there was going to be a winner and a loser. I didn’t want to be the loser, so I played to win. We all did.
A prayer before, a prayer after, and in between…? Well, let’s just say things happened in between.
I was 18 going on 19, and my church played Christ Church of Covina or Covina Christ Church…anyway, they wore these red jerseys with the abbreviation of “CCC” across their chest. They were missing the “P,” but they looked just like the Russians…plus, they were all old (mid-40’s) and ugly just like the Soviets were in those days.
I hated those guys! Yeah, I’d pray before and pray after…but in between? I hated those guys.
And I committed this cardinal sin playing against them. I was handling the ball at the top of the key against a 2-3 zone, and I calmly (cooly) changed direction by dribbling the ball between my legs. (Not an uncommon skill to attain when playing basketball seven days a week!)
And they verbally unload on me. This one guy, who looked like a Son of Dracul from central Romania, shouted, “Oh, that’s it hotshot! You think you’re some kind of hotshot!”
I could smell the stench of aging nicotine coming in waves off of his breath.
The rest of the game when they guarded me… “Come on, hotshot! Come on!”
If I had thought they were talking trash to throw me off, that would have been one thing. But they just didn’t like me because I was young, didn’t have a spare tire, had all my hair, and none of that hair was gray.
I hated those guys…and we beat them. We did the fake handshakes when it was over and prayed.
The point of this 300-word memory is that I wanted to win. I wanted to win because I didn’t like the team I was playing against. I didn’t care about being in first place or going to the playoffs. I just hated those guys.
Late in the game, I hit an outside shot that pretty much iced the affair, and going back down the court, I pointed a finger at Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and the CCC bench. Then I made like I was firing a gun at them and they all went to the brink of a stroke. So, yeah, I was a punk, but I hated them…and I wanted to beat them more than I wanted to win.
It’s competition. If they’re not playing for keeps—especially at a professional level—then what are they playing for?
So maybe Patrick Beverly didn’t do it in all appropriateness…but, man, it was refreshing to see somebody care. To see an athlete hacked about losing is like seeing an actor on the stage care about their performance.
I apologize for being so tardy on recent Fanviews… I’m in the middle of Camp Season, and I’m preparing and co-directing three different youth camps this summer. I’ll take your prayers for camp in lieu of prayers for Francisco Lindor’s OPS.
If you’d like to post a snarky remark on social media about my lack of production…Feel free to hit me… It’ll make me competitive and want to come after you 😉
P.S. If you’re still interested in church league stories…wait till I tell you about the One-Armed Bandit and the Saturday night the right-centerfielder and the right-fielder on the same team got into a fight (fisticuffs) on the field.
The Dude abides…
2 Corinthians 10:5
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
Be sure to read:
College Hoops Breakdown—by Riley Saxon
The Urena Express—by Steven Urena (MLB)