What's All This Then?

commentary on the passing parade

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

One thing about being a commentary blogger - or any other kind of blogger for that matter, is that after you’ve been at it for a couple of years - as I have - and after you’ve published a few hundred commentaries, without the benefit of an editor or an assistant, you’re liable to forget some of the topics you’ve covered and come back to them as though you were doing it for the first time.

Of course there are some prolific bloggers who post comments all day - but they are less likely to be commentaries devoted to specific topics. More like one liners and links to other sites

I do have archives, but don’t have the time or patience to check through all of them every time something I’m typing has a familiar ring to it, so instead I’ll just beg forgiveness if you spot something here that you’re sure you’ve read before. Chalk it up to advancing age. Mine, not yours.

I do remember listing words that I decreed should be banned back on April 24, 2003, when I’d just changed the title of this blog from If I Were King to What’s All This Then. They were;

Twenty Four Seven!!!!!


Please listen carefully as our menu has changed

God Bless America

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Cash Back!!!

Stuff Happens!!!

And I commented on the last two.

But I don’t remember if , in the intervening couple of years, I wrote anything about what I’d like to see happen to cyclists who pedal on our city streets - in my case, that would be Chicago and its suburbs - or about athletes who broadcast reporters corner to make post game comments. But even if I did, anything I may have said is worth repeating.

Usually, when I see a road accident that looks like it resulted in someone being injured, my reaction is one of sympathy for the injured party or parties. Unless one of the injured is a cyclist. I have reached a point where I not only have no sympathy for cyclists who become embroiled in traffic accidents - I’m often pulling for them to break their silly necks. My sympathy would be reserved for the unfortunate car driver who gets victimized by one of these crazed two wheel jockeys smashing into them

What is that happens to perfectly sane adults when they get on a bicycle and venture onto city streets? I’m being kind and assuming that most of them are sane. Do they suddenly assume that (a) they are immortal and (b) that the rule of law no longer applies to them? You know what I mean because you’ve seen them and cursed at them as often as I have.

To a cyclist, traffic lights are decorations to be observed or not as you wheel through intersections. The colors mean nothing to the two wheel jockeys. Neither does the shape of stop signs or the lettering that spells STOP. Assumptions a and b pertain as they speed past cars waiting patiently for their signal or their turn - and go barreling through intersections - often without looking to see if there is cross traffic approaching or actually in the intersection. If they get hit and thrown twenty feet into the air, I applaud - but feel sorry for the driver who hits them because he or she will have to pay a price of some kind, even though they are completely blameless.

But on the off chance that an officer of the law might be present and observes this crazed two wheel behavior and grabs the nut from his saddle perch, my solution would be the death penalty. Execution on the spot. No trial. No waiting years through endless appeals. One appeal only. To the drivers stuck in the intersection while the officer makes his collar. By a show of hands. Or maybe like the Romans did it for the gladiator battles in the ancient coliseum. A show of thumbs. Up or down.

Just off one of them in that fashion and I guarantee the problem would be solved for ever. And just to make sure that they understand that it could happen to them, put a new sign at every intersection. A great big picture of a human thumb. Turned down of course.

Let’s ban post game comments by athletes

I’m not advocating instant death sentences for athletes who exceedingly annoy, but I am advocating eight week reeducation camps for all radio and television sports producers, directors and reporters who are responsible for corralling a member of any sports to give a post game comment on the outcome of the event.

You’ve heard these people. You’ve heard them for so many years that they’ve become part of the background noise of life. You don’t necessarily listen to what they say but you’ve accepted the fact that they are part of any post game wrap up on radio and television and part of the sports news segment of radio and television newscasts.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they ever had anything to say other than one of the "two hundred and fifty standard post game clichés for inarticulate athletes." You know them when you hear them.

"I had my good stuff working today." "I didn’t have my good stuff working today." "We’ve just got to get more runs." "We’re taking it one game at a time" "We’re a better team than that." "We’ve got to quit making mistakes." "I, he, was in the zone today." "I just go out and give a hundred and ten percent." "We came to play today." "Turnovers killed us."

Actually, there are some books that list sports clichés - some with a lot more than my imaginary 250 post game clichés. Like this one. I don’t know if it includes clichés uttered by athletes, but it boasts 1,771 sports clichés culled from a list of more than 4,000!!

I don’t want to hurt the author’s sales, but why anyone would ever buy a book like this is beyond me. It’s bad enough to have to listen to them being spoken Reading them strikes me as being an exercise in masochism.

Then again, if you’re one who actually pays attention to anything an athlete says in a post game interview, you’re at least a closet masochist. And if I had my way, I would outlaw the broadcast dissemination of post game comments by athletes who were involved in the competition and restrict their use to dominatrices in the pursuit of their profession.