Category Archives: Sports

The Umpire’s Hug

Few things are as exciting as the sights and sounds of a Major League baseball game.  The way you know by the smack of a ball that it’s heading out of the park.  The way out-of-shape millionaire athletes, who have mistaken spring training in Ft. Myers with spring break in Ft. Lauderdale, need an oxygen tank after running the bases.  It’s all good, although there is always room for improvement.

I can never understand what the umpire is saying. The words are “strike” and “ball.”   I think a few extra vowels get slipped in there.  Steee-riiike!  On the other hand, the guys who sell peanuts and beer can be heard screaming their wares for miles outside the park.  Either let these vendors ump the game, or have them translate the umpire’s babblings through the stands.  Peanuts!  Ice Cold Beer!  Strike 2!

Some of the umpire’s hand signals are also unclear. To signal the sign for “safe,” the umpire stretches his hands out in the opposite direction. That’s the same sign parents give to tell their kids “That’s enough!”  If the umpire would just give himself a hug, we would all feel safe and loved, including the player who made it to base.

Whoever thought of the idea to give men white uniforms to slide around in the dirt and mud?  Clearly not a mother.  The people who clean those uniforms have to be subjected to enough bleach fumes to drug an entire terrorist ring.  Either that or they would have to throw away the uniforms after each use, which would be a complete waste of money.  The obvious choice here would be brown uniforms, which would have the added benefit of camouflaging any tobacco juice stains. 

The catcher’s stance hurts my legs just watching him. I’ve had times when I’ve squatted down to weed for a while, and I practically needed medical assistance to straighten up again. Does the catcher really have to squat the whole time?  Can’t they just offer him a chair?  It’s not like he has to run around much.

The players drop so many balls, maybe they could switch to the Velcro gloves children use.  The outfielders have so much ground to cover that perhaps they should add a fourth player.  To avoid slamming into each other, give each player his designated area and then install invisible fences.  If someone tries to cross the line, he’ll know it. 

Everyone knows the game of baseball is way too long.  Even the DMV moves faster.

Here are some ideas to consider:

There’s nothing worse than enduring one foul ball after another, especially when they originally appear to be a home run.   The fans get emotionally invested, and then their blood pressure rises, increasing their need for medication and eventually inflating health care costs.  All hits should count; just get the fans involved in the play.  They do anyway, so this shouldn’t be a stretch.

This whole concept of “three strikes and you’re out” breeds an attitude of entitlement on and off the field.  Next thing you know, people everywhere are whining, “Just give me another chance!”   Players should swing once. If they miss, they can just go sit on the bench and calculate how many more millions they just earned.  

Extra innings can get a little arduous.  If they can’t stand leaving it at a tie, they should just flip a coin, because most people have a long drive home and have to get up for work the next morning.

A lot of time is spent waiting for the pitcher and catcher to get on the same page.  They have to come up with complicated and cleverly disguised signals so they can communicate in secret code. The rapid advancement of technology should make the pitcher/catcher signals obsolete.  Even texting would be faster than what they do now.

From pitcher:  fb (fast ball)

From catcher:  lol!

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Flying Monkeys on the Field

Professional athletes must be extremely grateful for their team mascots.  During moments of intense pressure, it must really inspire them to see a six-foot-tall fuzzy animal dancing on the sidelines.  Especially knowing that underneath the costume lurks a teenager who probably still sleeps with a nightlight on because he’s afraid of the dark.

Teams should aim to intimidate their rivals with more frightening mascots. Someone should choose Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street, or at least the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph.  Or imagine coming on to the field and seeing the Flying Monkeys from The Wizard of Oz.  That would send any team running to their mommies.  Mascots should not be something you would find at a petting zoo. 

Maybe the players themselves should try to look more intimidating.  I don’t understand why teams choose names that wouldn’t even intimidate a grandmother.  With all of the amazing animals out there, I’m still questioning the Anaheim Ducks.  It was better when they were the Mighty Ducks, because at least they sounded like the opposite of the Feeble Ducks.

Some other perplexing choices:

Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox.  Spelling issues aside, the major problem here is trying to frighten your opponent with hosiery.  The Red Sox have the slight edge here, giving the impression that they may make your team’s white uniforms turn pink.

New England Patriots.  We all love patriots, but they conjure up images of people like John Adams, a great man, but hardly a fearsome athlete.  When you play a team of Patriots, your major threat is having your tea thrown into the harbor.  The good news is that they were not named the Boston Baked Beans.

New York Yankees.  Again, there is no threat here, just the fear of someone sticking a feather in your helmet and calling you “macaroni.”

Baltimore Orioles, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, etc. Birds twitter, chirp, and flitter. Do not choose an animal that can be devoured by a house cat.  Thank you, Baltimore Ravens, for choosing a fierce bird.  Anyone who has read Edgar Allan Poe can attest to the frightening image of the raven. If you have to use a bird, at least pick one that can peck your eye out.  Flesh-eating vultures would be another obvious choice.

Toronto Maple Leafs.  Are they trying to incite a fear of being dismembered by a leaf blower? 

Milwaukee Brewers.  If they would rather be out having a beer, they should just say so.

Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Reds.  Ohio needs a little help, but at least they didn’t pick Chartreuses. 

Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Penguins, Miami Dolphins.  Too cute and playful. 

Some teams have hidden meanings behind their names that actually make the choices more acceptable:

Green Bay Packers, named after a meat canning company.  Canned meat can be scary if it is past the expiration date.

Detroit Pistons.  Many people have had heart attacks after receiving their bill from the auto repair shop.

Denver Nuggets.  Have you ever seen the ingredients in Chicken McNuggets? Scary.

New York Mets.  A metropolis is extremely scary for a pedestrian trying to cross the street during rush hour.  My theory is that New York was trying to keep things simple by rhyming their teams.  Jets, Mets….

Los Angeles Angels and New Orleans Saints.  Last time I checked, angels and saints do not run around trash talking, tackling, and breaking people’s collarbones.  However, the major advantage these teams have is that their holy names could put the fear of God in the hearts of their enemies.  

The goal here is to choose things that scare you and give you nightmares.  The following teams are my Top 5 favorite picks for name choices:

Toronto Raptors

Jacksonville Jaguars

Carolina Panthers

San Jose Sharks

Ottawa Senators

History Altered by the NFL Time Machine

I can’t wait for the invention of the time machine like the one they use during football games.  It’s amazing how the final two minutes of a game can take two hours.  With that kind of stretching of the clock, we should be able to drastically slow down the aging process.

Life can be altered by the NFL Time Machine.  If you have dinner timed for halftime, your turkey can come out like string cheese.  Also, men do not pay attention to their surroundings when a football game is on.  You could tell them that terrorists just invaded the house, and they would keep focused on the game with a monosyllabic grunt which means, “That’s fine, as long as they don’t stand in front of the TV while the ball is in play.”

In fact, many significant events  in history may have been influenced by men keeping one eye on the game…

Adam and Eve:  Adam wasn’t really paying attention when Eve handed him the forbidden fruit, because he was watching the football game.  Of course he accepted when she offered a snack.  He was expecting nachos, however, and was in for a rude awakening when he tasted fruit and was suddenly booted out of Paradise.

Columbus:  The original journey of the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria took much longer than expected. Why do you think it took so long to find the New World?  The game they were watching went into overtime!  The so-called mutiny by the crew was really an argument over fantasy football teams.

The First Thanksgiving:  This holiday is in the fall because the Pilgrims wanted to watch the Thanksgiving football game. Squanto was actually a talented quarterback who helped the Pilgrims survive the first winter so they could learn how to suffer through watching football games in bone-chilling temperatures.  The first Thanksgiving meal was also a precursor to tailgating before a football game.

Paul Revere’s Ride:  During Paul’s midnight ride, he was really yelling “The red coats are playing!  The red coats are playing!” Apparently his favorite team wore red uniforms. The two lanterns in the Old North Church were really a secret signal for the upcoming Super Bowl. Even today, muskets are fired whenever the New England Patriots score a touchdown.  A tradition passed down from “the shot heard round the world” at the football game in Lexington Square.

Lincoln’s assassination:  Nobody wanted to admit it, but they were really watching a football game, not a play.  That’s why Lincoln was too riveted with the action to notice when Booth snuck up behind him. This is where the term “Quarterback Sneak” originated. Booth got away when he jumped down from the bleachers and yelled, “Too many men on the field!”  A time-out was called, and Booth escaped while officials reviewed the tape.

The Titanic:  What do you think the captain was watching when he slammed into the iceberg?  Uh huh; that’s right.  The game.

And the list goes on and on. Our history books have conveniently altered the events of history that have shaped this world.  I’m sure if we dig deep enough, we will find that these books were actually published by football commissioners.