Thursday, November 4, 2010

Speaking of Tiresome

If you’d been Pat Burrell, and you’d struck out 11 of the 13 times you’d gone to bat over the course of the four games in which you played, would you have felt right about jumping up and down jubilantly with your fellow San Francisco Giants on Monday night at the moment they won the World Series? I’m not at all sure I would; I’d have been worried that at any second one of my teammates would have snarled, “What the fudge [there’s more born-again sanctimony in baseball than in any other sport] are you doin’, Burrell?” But that’s just me — or, to be grammatical, I.

Spontaneous expressions of jubilation by victorious baseball teams always amuse me mightily, as they’re so un-spontaneous. Intent on demonstrating that they’re absolutely overcome by joy — in exactly the same way they’ve seen previous big game winners be overcome by joy — players jump up and down like poorly coordinated three-year-olds, or hurl themselves atop each other. If they were shown a group of florists, hairdressers, and interior decorators behaving identically on Christopher Street or in the Castro, the ballplayers would surely go apoplectic with revulsion. In a sport in which, after being struck by a 95 miles-per-hour fastball in the shoulder, you’re not allowed to rub it for fear of being seen as a drinker of pink tea, as Ty Cobb liked to put it, and in which players are expected to slobber and spit implacably even if they’ve never had a shred of chewing tobacco in their mouths, this cannot fail to be seen as pretty goddamned funny.

As an enthusiastic watcher of ESPN while I cook, I have now seen the LeBron James What Should I Do? Commercial 750,000 times — that is, even more than I have seen the one about how sexy former Eagle Scout and extremely Regular Guy Mike Rowe’s ass looks in his jeans, whose brand no one can force me to name. What should you do, you spectacularly tiresome egomaniac? Ask Nike to have a heart and take the commercial off the air.

Speaking of tiresome, have you noticed that football coaches and commentators don’t give their audience credit for being able to keep in mind what sport is being talked about? It isn’t just common in 2010 to hear a coach say, for instance, “We think we’ve got a very talented football team, and that we’re going to win us some football games,” which I suppose comes in handy for those who might have imagined they’re talking about lacrosse or synchronized swimming. But I won’t pretend it doesn’t get on my nerves as much as baseball managers and commentators seeming to feel compelled to insert the word “ball” as frequently as possible, as in, “We think we’ve got a very talented ball club this year, and that, if we can stay healthy, we’re going to win a few ball games.”

I’m reminded — and God knows it takes little to remind me — of my perennial dismay at the number of person-hours that are squandered in this Great Country of Ours each year on unnecessarily painting or otherwise including the word Now on signs proclaiming Now Open. As we discussed yesterday, it’s not possible to live through an election without noticing that a very large percentage of Americans are defiant nitwits, but how many of them do you suppose, if they passed a place of business with a sign out in front saying Open, would wonder to themselves, “I wonder if that means now, or as of [for instance!] next February 17?”

Bitch, bitch, bitch! It’s fun!

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