While watching the Baseball Playoffs in October, I got to thinking about sports, and some of the games that are played and enjoyed around the world and shown on ESPN here in the Philippines.
In one of my articles I foolishly made a prediction about the outcome of the Baseball World Series. And now that I’ve overcome my embarrassment, I thought that now would be a good time to reflect on sports around the world.
First would have to be Soccer. 3/4ths of the Planet play it. Countries have gone to war over it. Yet 90% of Americans have no use for the game, the reason is quite simple. No American would watch over three hours of a sport, and it ends up nil- nil or nothing to nothing.
Finish the damn game, play until somebody wins. I watched a Soccer game in Thailand, being played by elephants; now I understood why they didn’t use their hands.
Second Cricket, now they will play for days until the match is over. The problem is although the United States was once part of the British Empire, The Brits never explained the game to us. We don’t know what they are doing or even how it’s scored. But I’ve watched it played and enjoyed it, I just had no idea what they were doing.
Third Rugby, or by its other name “Eloquent Violence”, great looking shirts, and a very exciting game to watch, but I wouldn’t want to play. I only have one problem with the game; it’s where they put their hands when in a scrum.
Fourth Australian Rules football, they don’t need any stinkin’ protection like those overpaid members of the U.S.’s NFL do. I love watching them play; but again I don’t want to play.
Fifth Basketball, love the game, but I only watch the last ten minutes, as all before that, is the same back and forth, get the lead lose the lead up until the end. The last 10 minutes is where it’s all decided.
Sixth Hockey; or by its other name, “Dentistry gone bad.” I grew up playing Hockey in New England, and I love the game. Did you know when I was a kid a Hockey game could end in a tie? They changed that dumb rule fast. I went to a fight and a Hockey game broke out. (I had to use that old joke, so let me slide.)
Seventh NFL Football, not my favorite sport, I’ll explain why; It takes over three hours to play a 60 minute game. They make a play for two minutes and spend the next ten minutes talking about it. And in High School all the players were bullies, and dated the really good looking girls.
The Baseball team had no cheerleaders; I sure did waste my time. If anyone knows the slightest thing about me is that I’m nuts about Baseball, to me it is a game of strategy and skill, one does not have to be of any particular size or height to be the best player. It’s played during warm summer days, when that cold beer tastes the best. The Hot Dogs are wonderful, Funnel Cake is just great (Albeit not so much with beer), and Philly Cheese Steaks really hit the spot. The month of October, here in the Philippines ESPN broadcasts every minute of the Division series, Championship Series, and of course the “World Series”. I once had a guy in a pub in Scotland, ask, “Why do you Yanks call it the World Series? Europe’s not in it”. I smiled and pointed out that Canada was part of it, and they count very much. The pure excitement of the game, Game 6 NLCS, during the third inning, the pitcher for the Giants, hit Chase Utley on the back with the ball, Utley heads to first base, the ball falls and Utley caught it and tossed it back to the mound. Words were spoken, both benches cleared and poured on to the field, shouting and shoving. My wife turned to me and said, “Mahal, (Tagalog usage) it’s sad to see that many millionaires fighting.” Ah, Baseball, you gotta’ love it. That is unless; you’re from New York City, then maybe not so much.
So that’s my take on sports, and I know you all tend to agree with me, come on admit it, you do! The World Series last month kept me home and glued to the tube. It was being played as my wife and family were at the Graveyard and I had to miss that because of Baseball, believe me that broke my heart. The Red Sox will start spring training in Florida in three or four months, the boys of summer will be back for a new season, The New York Yankees will have signed up every player from last year that helped beat them, and all will be well in Mudville, maybe the mighty Casey won’t strike out.