Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sept. 23

I will be seeing the man who I love.... The man who uses the English language like NO other to evoke laughter and provoke...and poke.

here's an oldie but a goodie: (not the same in ink. far better to hear George make all the voices and the faces--all fey and delicate for the baseball bits and all growly and tough for the football. of course.)

Baseball is different from any other sport, very different. For instance, inmost sports you score points or goals; in baseball you score runs. In mostsports the ball, or object, is put in play by the offensive team; in baseballthe defensive team puts the ball in play, and only the defense is allowed totouch the ball. In fact, in baseball if an offensive player touches the ballintentionally, he's out; sometimes unintentionally, he's out.Also: in football,basketball, soccer, volleyball, and all sports played with a ball, you scorewith the ball and in baseball the ball prevents you from scoring.In most sportsthe team is run by a coach; in baseball the team is run by a manager. And onlyin baseball does the manager or coach wear the same clothing the players do. Ifyou'd ever seen John Madden in his Oakland Raiders uniform, you'd know thereason for this custom.Now, I've mentioned football. Baseball & football arethe two most popular spectator sports in America. And as such, it seems theyought to be able to tell us something about ourselves and our values.I enjoycomparing baseball and football:Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoralgame.Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.Baseball is playedon a diamond, in a park. The baseball park!Football is played on a gridiron, ina stadium, sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.Baseballbegins in the spring, the season of new life.Football begins in the fall, wheneverything's dying.In football you wear a helmet.In baseball you wear acap.Football is concerned with downs - what down is it?Baseball is concernedwith ups - who's up?In football you receive a penalty.In baseball you make anerror.In football the specialist comes in to kick.In baseball the specialistcomes in to relieve somebody.Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, pilingon, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness.Baseball has thesacrifice.Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, snow, sleet, hail,fog...In baseball, if it rains, we don't go out to play.Baseball has the seventhinning stretch.Football has the two minute warning.Baseball has no time limit:we don't know when it's gonna end - might have extra innings.Football is rigidlytimed, and it will end even if we've got to go to sudden death.In baseball,during the game, in the stands, there's kind of a picnic feeling; emotions mayrun high or low, but there's not too much unpleasantness.In football, during thegame in the stands, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you'recapable of taking the life of a fellow human being.And finally, the objectivesof the two games are completely different:In football the object is for thequarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerialassault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy inspite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes andlong bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerialassault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall ofthe enemy's defensive line.In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe!- I hope I'll be safe at home!

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