Sunday, July 17, 2011

Why don't they run?

I bike a lot and play a lot of tennis. Not as much as back in the day but still I get out there and grind it out.

Several years back when I belonged to the Sidwell Friends tennis club I was playing a match while the school's baseball team was playing a game. After my match I moseyed over to have a watch and a girl came up to me and asked, in some foreign accent I couldn't place, "why don't they run?".

You see, she had been watching this thing and couldn't figure out what the hell was going on. The pitcher throws to the catcher, the catcher throws to the pitcher. Every so often that guy standing there will swing a stick and sometimes, though not often, he'll make one of those other 7 people out there move while he makes a dash down the line.

This goes on awhile and on occasion a whole lot of commotion will come from the stands as there is a brief bit of activity but no sooner than you think you've got a bead on something when suddenly they're all standing around again.

Then out of nowhere they'll all go running off the field while the other team goes running on the field and take up the exact same positions and the pitcher starts throwing to the catcher and...

So she just couldn't figure out why there were all standing about.

Then there's football, where large men stand around an awful lot of the time and explode into a brief bit of groping and whatnot and then gather around a circle and discuss the entire affair only to start it up again. And there appears to be teams of gropers as some are on the field for extended periods while others only appear briefly.

I was thinking about this because some tool named Michael Smith over at ESPN seems to think that cars plowing into professional bikers is amusing (hit and runs are always amusing! really. every. time.) but these two sports are treated with serious thought and analyses. He is apparently some kind of football expert so I'm assuming he knows all about this groping stuff.

Anyway, he and another ESPN tool by the name of Tony Kornheiser seem to have some thing against people who ride bikes, like it's some kind of child's play or something whereas with the real sports there is cause for endless discussion.

Of course we don't expect these tools to be athletes so they have no idea what it takes to ride in the Tour de France or even to commute year round in all kinds of weather. I doubt that either of them can manage being out of the reconditioned air long enough to find out.

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