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Friday, March 24, 2017

Is there anything more pathetic than a guy who never outgrew his sport?

Right now I'm watching the heats of the men's NCAA swimming championships. Tonight I'll watch the finals. And tomorrow I'll probably do the same. This is after having watched all of the women's NCAA swimming championships last week.

It's a complete waste of time, of course. I'm doing absolutely nothing productive, and getting exactly nothing done. But, I still follow the sport closely enough to be curious as to how various swimmers do.

In a way, it's not all that different from following politics: I'm curious about who wins and who loses, how people acquit themselves, and what factors impinged. But while most people would find it incredibly boring to watch a bunch of swimmers go back and forth in a pool, to me, whether it takes a certain competitor 43.7 or 44.1 seconds to complete four lengths is the stuff of high drama.

(That's what I mean by pathetic.)

All of this means I'm no better than the slob you might find in a bar wearing the jersey of his favorite sports team and wanting to talk about how his favorite pro team is doing that year. I've never identified with that guy; but I'm sorta forced to admit, I am him.

For the sake of this blog I'll try to keep the conversation away from swimming and on topics you can identify with.


Smallberries Worldwide said...

I can identify with swimming. I go about three times a week. When I do I usually see my friend that is going to be 99 years old this year. He swims for about 45 min at least 4 times a week in a 25 meter pool. As far as I know that's all the exercise he does. He also drives himself to the gym in his 1976 porsche 911 that he bought new. He's an ex navy admiral and saw action in at least three wars. He's my inspiration when I dont feel like working out.

John Craig said...

Smallberries --
That's an impressive guy. He's now my inspiration too.

I'm guessing he's got a 25year-old girlfriend on the side.

Smallberries Worldwide said...

From our chats I know his wife is about 25 years younger than him. They were married in the 80s.. he hasn't mentioned any side action however. I'll bring it up obliquely next time and find out.

John Craig said...

Smallberries --
I was just kidding about the girlfriend. (He IS 99.) Impressive enough that he married his current wife when he was in his 60's.

Smallberries Worldwide said...

Yes I knew you were kidding. He'd probably take a swing at me if i brought that kind of thing up.

John Craig said...

Smallberries --
Okay, my fault for not realizing you were kidding. BTW, what is the derivation of your name?

Dave Moriarty said...

we love sports for many reasons - swimming is nice in that it is so "clean" . no umpire decisions no teammate error ( not counting relays ) and the clock is unrelenting. faster wins simple enough .

but where else can you see anybody going as fast as they possibly can against others going as fast as they possibly can. we don't see accountants balancing ledgers with a breakneck urgency. we don't see people tweeting. or selling and or teaching ( lets not bring up driving tho) as fast as they possibly can go. no wonder these swimmers are winded after a 100 in less than 1 minute

I am a baseball guy but i can appreciate the effort and dedication for the pool athletes.

and they have stories with progress and failures and comebacks- whats not to like!

John Craig said...

Dave --
I appreciate the vote of confidence, and I agree with you completely about why the sport is appealing. But I was trying to look at it from the outside, so to speak, from the point of view of people who aren't fans.

I"m sure you feel the same as I do about the slob I referred to in the post, who wears the jersey of his favorite team (and player) and wants to talk about his sport, and who has zero self-awareness about the ludicrousness of his passion. I suppose I was, in a roundabout way, using this post to try to create some distance between myself and that guy, even though, at a certain level, I AM him.

Dave Moriarty said...

yes i understand

we can choose our pursuits- some play a cello - some read- some do nothing- some smoke dope and eat doritos and on and on

we do things we perceive will give us some benefit even as other are doubtful as to the benefits

for me i plan to take a peek at the swimming tomorrow too ( it is too early to play baseball:)

Smallberries Worldwide said...

John - Just saw your comment. I originally heard the name smallberries in the movie "Buckaroo Banzai", there are a list of charachters, all with the first name John. One is John Smallberries. I thought it was funny sounding and just started using Smallberries Worldwide as a handle when I needed a company name when I didn't want to give my real one.

John Craig said...

Smallberries --
Aha, gotcha, thank you. I was thinking maybe you worked for a blueberry or cranberry company or something.

europeasant said...

John, John don't be so hard on yourself. You think you have it hard just look at the poor women who can't compete in the Ms Olympia contest anymore because itz been dropped.
There were various reasons given. One reason was this thing called "Man face".

No I didn't check with SNOPES.

On another note;

What did the 90 year olds do on their honeymoon"

They spent their honeymoon getting out of their car!

John Craig said...

Europeasant --
Wow, that really is pretty off-putting. And Romano didn't pull any punches, the contested because the women were gross. I'm reminded of the old time circus freaks, in particular the bearded ladies. The 'roided up female bodybuilders really belong in that category. It's so self-destructive, you have to wonder what's going through their heads. Some of them are lesbians, but some aren't, and how can the ones who aren't think they're going to attract men that way? Given that they're basically turning themselves into men.

Hard not to think it's somehow symptomatic of the overall sickness that's infected our society in the past few decades.