Thursday, May 22, 2008

and now...The Spoht

When i was nine years old we moved out of Tulsa to a smallish but growing suburb. We lived almost 4 miles out of town, and about eight miles from downtown Tulsa, so we kinda had the best of both worlds...we could see for miles, but it wasn't that far to go get some groceries. Both my older brothers played various sports, and both were pretty dang good. Being 9 years behind the oldest and 7 years behind the older, to my eyes they were Olympian gods.

Big Bro worked his magic from a dirt mound at the center of a green diamond with a couple funk filled hook balls that caused more than a few batters to buckle in the box...and then when they were trying to control their jitters he would run the high heater in and it was all over but the cussin' as they made their way to the bench.

Biggest bro (not by birth order) was The Bonecrusher in that most worshipful of games...the Gridiron. Oh, don't worry, he never actually sent anyone to Ole Sawbones (well, that we know of), but i'm sure there were a few that probably should've gone. Our hometown mascot was the Rams, which was certainly appropos for him, cause the brotha could HIT! Unfortunately, there is a weakness of the wickets in our family, and an ankle injury kept him from pursuing anything further.

But when they played, there was the little grease monkey over in the stands announcing, "THAT is MY brother!" I held them somewhere in grandeur, slightly elevated above the earth.

Now, with that said... i felt i had some pretty big shoes to fill when it came to sports. Some things came pretty easily to me...some didn't. I couldn't stand (and still can't) basketball...i mean, i sucked. Shooting was not really the issue, i could shoot...i just couldn't dribble to save my life. I always thought i was too small for football, fast enough yes, but never thought i was durable enough...in retrospect, i should've been a reciever, i think i could've been pretty good...I watch guys like Wes Welker and i'm like...well, crap. With baseball, well, hitting was alot like dribbling. Fielding was not that big of a deal, catching and throwing, a couple things i was fairly proficient at. So i chose...soccer.

I started in third grade, played three enjoyable seasons and progressed nicely. I alternated between striker and halfback, i really had fun playing but in the 5th grade...thinking i was ready for baseball started that. I played one season, and that was it...for organized sports in general. I have always loved watching, and playing some. But, i just never really went back. I never understood why until later in life... i just never had that killer instinct. I always enjoyed playing and beating someone, but if i lost...feh...not that big of a deal, we can always play another and i'll bust you in the mouth then.

I remember Bill Parcells said one time, "Generally, if dog's are gonna bite, they'll bite when they're puppies." I never really had a bite. Oh, it shows up on occasion on the racquetball court, on the golf course, or my absolute favorite team sport to play now, volleyball (where i'm not nearly as good as i think i am). The brothers...they had the bite...i just barked alot...and still do.

But i do loves to watch me some sports. I'll blow through an entire weekend in the Fall with college football on Saturday starting with GameDay at 10 a.m. finishing with SportsCenter after Monday Night Football. I've been known to take in a triple header if the tv schedule falls just right, and the Little League World Series is PERFECT for that. I'll catch a hockey game now and again. No, the only hoops watched around here is in March...that's about it. Golf? Absolutely! Especially the Majors. Hockey? Yeah, on occasion. Nascar...well, this is about SPORTS not overhyped hobbies.

This past year at the behest of MamaLou's son, i've started watching Premier League Football (that's soccer to you and me). Yep, back to my roots so to speak. We have a mutual friend who is a Brit and i like to talk to him about his sports passion with some element of literacy. He always gives us a big eye roll(like the rest of the world) when we call it soccer..."Look mate...it's FOOTBOLL!" Right...sorry.

Yesterday, the Premier League had its Superbowl of sorts. Manchester United, who had basically dominated the league the entire season, played Chelsea for The Cup. I gotta say...if every game was like that, i would probably be a huge fan too. Not only did it go to OT (two 15 minute periods of non-sudden death (or Golden Goal as they would say) football, but then it went to a shootout, and from my hockey fan days, those are always fun.

It was a very exciting finish and came down to the absolute last shot, Chelsea had to make it...United's goalie waved his arms and nimbly bounced on his toes anticipating the opposing striker who stealthily approached the centered ball, the strikers leg swings, the goalie guesses wildly and leaps to his right, the ball rockets off the strikers foot and accelerates, the crowd crescendo's to the wash of a jet engine, the announcer screams...

"IT'S....!

4 comments:

Buck said...

Hey! I was a soccer player in grade school and junior high, too! But all that ended when my father returned from overseas to the US. There simply weren't ANY soccer teams in high school sports back in the late 50s ~ early 60s.

I'll watch the playoffs in just about any sport, even bassetball. But college football and (most especially!) hockey are my faves. But you knew that... ;-)

Bag Blog said...

My brothers are not big guys, but they are two of the most natural athletes I've ever seen. I had to keep up. Like you, basketball was not my thing, but I played softball (both fast & Slow pitch), volleyball and I was on the first girls soccer league in WF. I even played one season of flag football. All of this was through the Girls Club or YWCA. Title 9 came into being in 1972, but it took my high school several more years before they had any girl's sports and I graduated in 1976. I went to a big high school in Texas and they did NOT have girl's sports. I could have been a contender!

Course of Perfection said...

How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?... Yeah... Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would've been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.

Science Geek said...

Can't stand basketball?!