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Redux—Encounter with an NBA player at a San Antonio post office . . .

I first posted this item almost one year ago (June 28, 2009). In the eleven months it has been available it has garnered two votes of excellence and one comment. One of the votes was mine—yes, I vote for my own postings—any politician worth his salt votes for himself—and the other was my daughter’s vote. She also made the lone comment received by the posting. I am therefore offering the posting to visitors to Word Press by bringing it up from the darkness of earlier postings and into the bright light of  today. I believed then and I believe now that it should interest any fan of baseball, basketball and football, as well as those that enjoy reading good writing, a claim that I make without any tinge of humility.

Click here to read the original posting.

My redux is as follows:

Personal ethics demand that I offer a disclaimer before beginning this posting:

I am not a fan of professional sports.

I am not a fan of football, baseball, basketball, cricket, badminton, volleyball—beach or otherwise—nor am I a fan of golf, horse racing, dwarf tossing, cup stacking, thumb wrestling or arm pit smelling. During my existence on this earth (a goodly number of years and still counting) I have made only two contributions to the sports world. My first contribution was to the game of football (see below), and my second was to the game of baseball. I had a brief stint at age 13 with a Little League baseball team sponsored by an American Legion Post in Suitland, Maryland. My budding career as a shortstop crashed and burned when I broke my right leg while sliding in to home plate—a clean break in the tibia plus four cracks, two above and two below the break. I was in a toe-to-hip cast for several weeks, well past the end of the baseball season.

My first contribution to the world of sports was also in my thirteenth year. I participated in one—only one—high school football game played under lights in Kosciusko, a small town in north-central Mississippi (my team represented Durant, an even smaller town also located in north-central Mississippi). I was a slightly-built seventh-grader weighing less than 100 pounds, and I was a lineman.

Throughout that game I labored mightily to catch the guy carrying the football and was never successful—never even came close, perhaps because I rarely knew which player was carrying the football. My participation was mandatory, but believe me, I would have quit the game in the first quarter had a certain female student (of whom I was enraptured and for whom I pined) not been watching from the bleachers.

My performance and that of the team left our coach dissatisfied—nay, our performance left him disgusted. The game ended with our final score in single digits—zero. Our opponent’s score was in high—very high—double digits. I cannot recall the score—evidently I have either buried it in or forced it from my memories. The numbers may return in later years (it could happen), but I hope not.

The coach intensified our training by increasing the number and length of practice sessions, many of which were scheduled after the end of our school day. Shortly afterward my football career ended in a scrimmage session, essentially touch-football played without helmets or any other protection. The lineman opposing me was about twice my big, very strong and very rough, and after several bone-jarring encounters with him I suffered a broken finger when his left cheekbone and my right fist came together with enough force to break the little finger of my right hand. That contact also made it necessary that he lie down for a few minutes while the coach assessed the damage and tried to separate fact from fiction. Predictably, the coach decided that I was responsible for the accident, but it was really my opponent’s fault.

He shouldn’t have hit my fist with his face.

That ended a budding career in football—I was dropped from the team, but my disappointment was lessened by the black eye and huge lump displayed by my opponent—his good looks, or lack thereof, were severely distorted for several weeks. On the other hand (no pun intended), the metal splint I wore on my right-hand finger elicited numerous expressions of sympathy from other students, among them the girl on whom my enrapture and pining were centered. Sadly, all this was temporary—shortly after my rejection by the coach and my ejection from the team, I left that school and completed the school year in a different school, in a different town and in a different state.

But I digress—that was a rather lengthy disclaimer, but I’ll let it stand because I worked pretty hard on it, so on with the posting:

The San Antonio Spurs recently made a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, a trade which included Bruce Bowen. Cary Clack, in his column today ( June 28, 2009) in the S.A. LIFE section of the San Antonio Express-News, bemoaned the loss of that player to a rival team. I’m reasonably certain that the Spurs team, and the city, and its fans will recover from the loss, but my status as a non-sports fan in no way limits my understanding of the heartaches suffered by Bowen’s many admirers on learning of the Milwaukee trade.

Although I understand their heartaches, I cannot be numbered among those admirers. Bruce Bowen is the only professional basketball player I have ever encountered, and my memories of that encounter are not pleasant. Several years ago—yes, I’ve held this grudge for several years and I will continue holding it—I entered our neighborhood Post Office station on Henderson Pass in San Antonio and joined the waiting line directly behind Bruce Bowen.

Yes, I recognized him. When a Spurs game is on television I watch because my wife mandates it. Either I watch the game in her company or I am banished to a much smaller screen in an unhospitable back room, far from our 50-inch flat-screen plasma high-definition television set.

Bummer.

But again I digress—on with the posting:

Bowen stepped out of the line to a side counter, apparently to complete some paperwork. In the interim before he finished, several people joined the line behind me. When he finished he turned, saw the line and started for the rear. He never looked directly at me as I stepped aside and motioned for him to return to his original place in the line. He obliged, still without eye contact, with no change in expression and without a word spoken, in thanks or otherwise.

My first impulse was to say aloud, “You’re welcome,” but I resisted the impulse. His attitude and his failure to acknowledge my courtesy was in conflict with the Express-News columnist who in today’s issue labeled him “one of the most popular players in San Antonio Spurs history.” The columnist also wrote that after the trade to Milwaukee, the first thing Bruce Bowen wrote on his blog was, “. . . THANK YOU SAN ANTONIO!”

This is pure conjecture, but I must acknowledge that it may be possible—a remote possibility, but still possible—that the NBA star has obliquely thanked me for holding his place in line at the post office by including it in his blanket expression of thanks to the city when he said on his blog, “THANK YOU SAN ANTONIO!”

Do ya think?

I’ll get back to you later with more details.

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Notes on a tiger and its stripes . . .

This posting will present my analysis of, and my comments on, the path that Tiger Wood has followed over the past few years, leaving behind a trail strewn with prostitutes, broken hearts and broken promises—if one can believe the prostitutes that claim their hearts have been broken.

I have my opinion regarding Tiger’s so-called sex addiction, his stint at a rehabilitation center, and his recent apology to his legions of admirers and to the rest of the world’s population, admirers as well as non-admirers—and in my opinion there are far more non-admirers than admirers. I do not believe his apology was sincere, and I don’t believe the sex addiction clinic will work any miracles, even though it is in the sovereign state of Mississippi.

Many of the non-admirers are envious, however, both for his dalliances with hookers and his ability to place a little ball, less than two inches in diameter, atop a large ball some twenty-five thousand miles in circumference and hit the little ball without touching the larger one. They admire his golfing skills, but they do not admire his lack of restraint in sexual matters.

I want to share my opinion with my viewers, limited in number though they may be, and in that endeavor I will invoke the words of some of the wisest men that ever lived. That will include conjuring up long-passed notables such as Henry David Thoreau, Omar Khayyam, Jimmy Carter, Red Foxx and Sir Walter Scott. Note that I have lined out Jimmy Carter, not only because he has not passed as of this writing, but because I do not believe he qualifies for membership in this group of thinkers—I will still quote him, regardless.

As for the remorse voiced by Tiger Wood, the greatest golfer in the world, one of the world’s most prolific seekers of sex for sale and the purchaser thereof—in my opinion the remorse rings hollow. Tiger is not sorry he committed an outstanding, perhaps record setting, string of indiscretions. He’s just sorry that his wife finally got fed up with them and with him, and announced her displeasure with the help of a #9 golf club. She would have to be blind and deaf with no knowledge of Braille to not have known that something was rotten in Denmark (with apologizes to Denmark).

If she did not know, or at least had strong suspicions that Tiger was, and is a serial philanderer, she would have to be the ultimate victim of ADD, the attention deficit disorder that has become so prevalent in recent years. In my opinion, she is not ADD.

I refuse to believe that legions of his admirers believe the story that his wife shattered the windows of his Cadillac Escalade in order to rescue and administer to his injuries, if any. I believe that she truly meant to minister to him, but not to care for any injuries he may have suffered in the crash. I believe she had it in her heart to inflict some deadly serious injuries on him, up to and including a death blow.

Tiger’s wife says she found Tiger inert, apparently unconscious after his vehicle took out a fire hydrant and smashed into a tree near his home. I believe that Tiger was simply and wisely playing possum, a feint that may have saved his life, or at least lessened the possibility of a death blow from the #9 iron.

This just in: GM has recalled all its Cadillac Escalades for demagnetization. The company has concluded that the vehicles are over-magnetized, as evidenced by the recent malfunction of Tiger Wood’s Cadillac SUV at his home—drawn by the magnetism in his Escalade, a metal golf club flew out a window of Tiger’s home and shattered the Escalade’s windows.

I will now invoke the words of Jimmy Carter, a former president of the United States, as told in an interview that appeared in Playboy magazine. The ex-president from Georgia said something on the order of:

Although I have never transgressed, I have lusted in my heart.

Carter is an honest man—not the brightest card in the deck, but honest.

And now for a quote, one that I have badly corrupted, from Sir Walter Scott’s, The Lay of the Last Minstrel (the italicized and bolded words are not Sir Walter’s—they are mine):

Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land! Hot dang, I’d like to have some of that!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand! Las Vegas.
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentrated all in self, A
Living, shall forfeit fair renown, perfect
And, doubly dying, shall go down description
To the vile dust from whence he sprung, of
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung. Tiger!

The point I am making, however crude and obtuse, is that no man has ever lived—at least no manly man—that did not lust—perhaps with little more than a twinge of lust, but lust nevertheless—in his heart at the sight of a beautiful woman, whether in magazines, in the movies or on the street, whether fully clothed, scantily clad or nude, whether in a gentleman’s club or pictured in enticing positions in many of our nation’s magazines for men. And in my opinion no man will ever live and not have the same thought in those situations, namely, Hot dang, I’d like to have some of that!

Tiger can be likened to a tomcat, and we are all aware of a tomcat’s activities, mostly nocturnal but no tomcat has ever waited for the cover of darkness if the conquest is available in daylight. And trust me, once a tomcat’s proclivities and his routine are established, nothing will ever change him short of death. His routine will continue even if he is relieved of his ability to sire offspring or even to minister to members of the opposite gender, or the same gender should he be so inclined.

Nope, it will not keep a tomcat at home nights even if he is subjected to a surgical process, the very thought of which causes nightmares for the male of the human species, and probably for every tomcat. Be advised, however, that the tomcat will still make his rounds every night. The only difference is that following the surgery he goes out as a consultant.

Now let’s bring Red Foxx into the discussion: Red Foxx, when he was accused of being a dirty old man replied,Yes, I”m a dirty old man, and I’m gonna stay a dirty old man until I’m a dead old man!

‘Nuff said, Tiger?

A leopard can’t change its spots, nor can a tiger change its stripes. Those spots and stripes will be with those animals as long as they live. No amount of money spent at a sexual addiction treatment center will change Tiger Wood, and no amount of new births, a process offered by the Buddhist religion he professes, will change him. The urge will always be there, and the best thing he can do is accept its presence and control it.

He shouldn’t waste time trying to extinguish something that burns with a flame so bright and hot that it cannot be extinguished—its flame can only be dampened by the use of free will. It’s his flame and it will stay with him. It will still be with him when he departs for that ultimate golf tournament, the one hosted by Saint Peter and the angels—or the one hosted by Lucifer and his minions, whichever is the case.

Had Tiger come to me for advice before staging his return to the media’s bright lights, I would have advised him to decline the opportunity, no matter how well staged—and it was staged, with nary a question permitted. My expert advice for him would have been—and still is—just five words:

Shut up and play golf!

And now to support that sage advice, a quote from Khayyam’s Rubaiyat:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Tiger should pay heed to Omar’s words—he cannot change one iota of the past, so he should shut up and play golf!

An important footnote: I have oft’ quoted and will continue to quote an author that I admire above all others—even above Bill O’Reilly! In Thoreau’s  Walden, or Life in the Woods, one of the most important works in the history of this country and the world, Henry David Thoreau says:

I should not talk so much about myself if there were anybody else whom I knew as well. Unfortunately, I am confined to this theme by the narrowness of my experience.

‘Nuff said?

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2010 in Humor, marriage, Travel, Writing

 

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Encounter with an NBA player at a San Antonio post office . . .

Personal ethics demand that I offer a disclaimer before beginning this posting:

I am not a fan of professional sports.

I am not a fan of football, baseball, basketball, cricket, badminton, volleyball—beach or otherwise—nor am I a fan of golf, horse racing, dwarf tossing, cup-stacking, thumb-wrestling or arm-pit smelling. During my existence on this earth (a goodly number of years and still counting) I have made only two contributions to the sports world. My first contribution was to the game of football (see below), and my second was to the game of baseball. I had a brief stint at age 13 with a Little League baseball team sponsored by an American Legion Post in Maryland. My budding career as a shortstop crashed and burned when I broke my right leg while sliding in to home plate—a clean break in the tibia plus four cracks, two above and two below the break. I was in a toe-to-hip cast for several weeks, well past the end of the baseball season.

My first contribution to the world of sports was also in my thirteenth year. I participated in one—only one—high school football game played under lights in Kosciusko, a small town in north-central Mississippi (my team represented Durant, an even smaller town also located in north-central Mississippi). I was a slightly-built seventh-grader weighing less than 100 pounds, and I was a lineman.

Throughout that game I labored mightily to catch the guy carrying the football and was never successful—never even came close, perhaps because I rarely knew which player was carrying the football. My participation was mandatory, but believe me, I would have quit the game in the first quarter had a certain female student (of whom I was enraptured and for whom I pined) not been watching from the bleachers.

My performance and that of the team left our coach dissatisfied—nay, our performance left him disgusted. The game ended with our final score in single digits—zero. Our opponent’s score was in high—very high—double digits. I cannot recall the score—evidently I have either buried it in or forced it from my memories. The numbers may return in later years (it could happen), but I hope not.

The coach intensified our training by increasing the number and length of practice sessions, many of which were scheduled after the end of our school day. Shortly afterward my football career ended in a scrimmage session, essentially touch-football played without helmets or any other protection. The lineman opposing me was about twice my big, very strong and very rough, and after several bone-jarring encounters with him I suffered a broken finger when his left cheekbone and my right fist came together with enough force to break the little finger of my right hand. That contact also made it necessary that he lie down for a few minutes while the coach assessed the damage and tried to separate fact from fiction. Predictably, the coach decided that I was responsible for the accident, but it was really my opponent’s fault.

He shouldn’t have hit my fist with his face.

That ended a budding career in football—I was dropped from the team, but my disappointment was lessened by the black eye and huge lump displayed by my opponent—his good looks, or lack thereof, were severely distorted for several weeks. On the other hand (no pun intended), the metal splint I wore on my right-hand finger elicited numerous expressions of sympathy from other students, among them the girl on whom my enrapture and pining were centered. Sadly, all this was temporary—shortly after my rejection by the coach and my ejection from the team, I left that school and completed the school year in a different school, in a different town and in a different state.

But I digress—that was a rather lengthy disclaimer, but I’ll let it stand because I worked pretty hard on it, so on with the posting:

The San Antonio Spurs recently made a trade with the Milwaukee Bucks, a trade which included Bruce Bowen. Cary Clack, in his column today ( June 28, 2009) in the S.A. LIFE section of the San Antonio Express-News, bemoaned the loss of that player to a rival team. I’m reasonably certain that the Spurs team, and the city, and its fans will recover from the loss, but my status as a non-sports fan in no way limits my understanding of the heartaches suffered by Bowen’s many admirers on learning of the Milwaukee trade.

Although I understand their heartaches, I cannot be numbered among those admirers. Bruce Bowen is the only professional basketball player I have ever encountered, and my memories of that encounter are not pleasant. Several years ago—yes, I’ve held this grudge for several years and I will continue holding it—I entered our neighborhood Post Office station on Henderson Pass in San Antonio and joined the waiting line directly behind Bruce Bowen.

Yes, I recognized him. When a Spurs game is on television I watch because my wife mandates it. Either I watch the game in her company or I am banished to a much smaller screen in an unhospitable back room, far from our 50-inch flat-screen plasma high-definition television set.

Bummer.

But again I digress—on with the posting:

Bowen stepped out of the line to a side counter, apparently to complete some paperwork. In the interim before he finished, several people joined the line behind me. When he finished he turned, saw the line and started for the rear. He never looked directly at me as I stepped aside and motioned for him to return to his original place in the line. He obliged, still without eye contact, with no change in expression and without a word spoken, in thanks or otherwise.

My first impulse was to say aloud, “You’re welcome,” but I resisted the impulse. His attitude and his failure to acknowledge my courtesy was in conflict with the Express-News columnist who in today’s issue labeled him “one of the most popular players in San Antonio Spurs history.” The columnist also wrote that after the trade to Milwaukee, the first thing Bruce Bowen wrote on his blog was, “. . . THANK YOU SAN ANTONIO!”

This is pure conjecture, but I must acknowledge that it may be possible—a remote possibility, but still possible—that the NBA star has obliquely thanked me for holding his place in line at the post office by including it in his blanket expression of thanks to the city when he said on his blog, “THANK YOU SAN ANTONIO!”

Do ya think?

I’ll get back to you later with more details.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 28, 2009 in Humor, news sources, newspapers, sports

 

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