“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain.
There is absolutely nothing to fear about tomorrow …for God is already there.”
The following story is so far the only time that I have chosen to tell a story exactly as I heard it from Bone Daddy rather than put that undeniable Chiweenie touch that I was blessed with the talent to do. Read other stories and you’ll see that talent exhibited. I have chosen the original Sportsphile to tell this story….for I wouldn’t change a thing…..because Bone Daddy says it well enough….so the following is in his words.
The universe of sports in the United States has become interwoven into the very fiber of a huge cross section of so many Americans with so many different cultural backgrounds. From athletes and participants, to parents and families of participants, to fans, to owners / operators of sports facilities, to advertisers, to sponsors, to all the support businesses that service the sporting arenas and venues across America sport in the USA has evolved into a special kind of therapy for a fast paced high stress immediate gratification nation.
The fields and arenas where sporting events are played in America, since back in the day in 1956 when I first started collecting Yankee baseball cards, these venues have become almost like a “therapist’s couch” for a significant majority of folks in this country. Whether the fan goes to the event live or watches it on TV, the event always provides numerous opportunities to vigorously verbalize each individual observer’s thoughts and opinions regarding what transpired during the time frames of any and all sporting events.
These opportunities to respond vocally to the plays on the field allows each fan the opportunity and ability to yell and scream at the top of their lungs over a good play, a stupid decision, an incredible expression of athleticism or a bad call by a coach, manager, umpire or referee. And typically by the time any and all sporting events have come to their conclusion, each athlete, coach, fan or event servant who played, observed or supported that sporting event, has for the most part been drained of the better part of all of their pent-up aggressions, emotions, anger, anxieties and energies, all of which had been expressed and left behind by the time the game had ended. By the time each person involved in a sporting event starts to head home at the end of the event, almost everyone has left most of their pent-up frustrations, stress and anxieties behind.
Any way you cut the pie, actively participating in any sporting event is so much better than going home after a demanding and stressful day of work, yelling and screaming at anyone in the way, or even worse, taking it out on the kids or the little lady or maybe drop kicking the dog, by taking out all of the pent up frustrations of the day on the ones they love rather than leaving all that baggage at the sporting event.
By the way…even when you HUMANS have enough restraint to not do something abusive to the family members like that….there are many of you who will kick the dog….OUCH !!! So going out to the ballpark and yelling for your team…..that my HUMAN friend is what we dogs tend to think is really good HUMAN therapy. Guess what!?! It costs much less than clinical therapy….and it’s a heck of a lot more fun. Therefore, from a dog’s perspective….BD is dead on in his assessment that “The universe of sports has become America’s therapy couch”, but what if what sports has become in America is “its legal narcotic”…..cuz the HUMAN fans in this country have become seemingly addicted to sports. To add to what Bone Daddy said above and in commemoration of yesterday’s MLB’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies….which we both watched intently in its entirety. This is an annual event that we both enjoy, even listening to the acceptance speeches every year. It has motivated me to provide all you baseball fans out there by my decision to feature some of my favorite baseball cards of Members of the MLB Hall of Fame that BD has in his collection. If these cards provide a catalyst for you to take a jaunt down memory lane….and you enjoy looking at them again….just remember BD has many more pieces of memorabilia of Hall of Fame like autographed pictures, baseballs, cards etc….as each story has more and more items of pieces to see. From this Sportsphile dog’s perspective as a person who loves baseball… this is awesome stuff but for me, I prefer the Wall of Fame to the Hall of Fame. The Wall of Fame that I am talking about is located in the basement of the University of Texas Rec Center. The Wall of Fame is a commemorative walk down memory lane of the UT Rec Sports Department displaying pictures of every All University Intramural Champions from the first year of Intramural Champions to the present. It is a place where Los Tres Hermanos (BD’s and his brothers Little W and Runt) pictures show up on numerous University Championships on teams in numerous sports throughout their college career from 1963 to 1972….but that is another story for another time.
I remember BD’s passionate oration on this day of Induction into the MLB HOF regarding the value of sports in American society. He suddenly stood up and cheered at the TV when the winner of the J G Taylor Spinks Award presented for meritorious service in print baseball coverage….. Bill Conlan…..when he called for MLB “to get Pete Rose off main street and get him into the Hall where he belongs”. Conlan has been covering sports at the Philadelphia Daily News for the past 50 years….and he touched a real nerve with virtually every Sportsphile that I know….when he commented that “Rose might very well be a cheater and a liar, but never on the diamond…and achievement on the diamond is what the Hall of Fame is all about”
Bone Daddy is in complete agreement with Conlan’s assessment and call….for as much as BD hated Pete Rose and the Big Red Machine (and the Phillies)…..and as much as BD recognizes the stains on Rose’s career and personal life….it can never take away from what he did on the field. When the game has been around for well over a 120 years for the ALL TIME HITS LEADER to not be in the Hall of Fame just isn’t right. In his speech….Conlan also touched on another theme that BD expounds on regularly regarding how interwoven sports is in the American society….as BD calls sports America’s therapist…with the ballparks, arenas and stadiums being America’s therapist couch….as Conlan called sports America’s legal narcotic….and said that America is addicted.
Regardless of which description is more accurate….as American history has been written over time….sports has provided a safe haven for “junkies needing their fix” and “patients needing their therapy”….and America’s dependency on those needs grows as each year passes. This simple fact translates today into the reality that “very average players get paid way above average wages which is totally unworthy of their skills”…..thus creating another example where wealth is more often than not dictated by timing rather than by skill.
BD is so adamant about how the whole of the United States of America is affected by their submersion into the world of sports….dictated by the trappings of what money and greed do to affect the purist of all HUMAN endeavors….playing sports together. And to my opinion, BD seems to have a really good grasp of how important and valuable the universe of sport is to not only the ole Red, White and Blue….but to every culture in the world….while at the same time having a fear of what the “money grabbers” are doing to the whole universe for which a Sportsphile lives in daily anticipation of. How about these for “Dog Simple vs. HUMAN Complicated” examples? To the subject of whether Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Famer….Dog Simple response is absolutely!!! I am talking 100% of all dogs would say absolutely cuz every game the player played on the field in his MLB career was played within the rules of the game. However, the HUMAN Complicated response is still predominately the same some 20 years later….convoluted and confused with many HUMANS on both sides of the fence having drawn lines in the dirt that they swear they will never cross. So who knows how long, if ever, this issue will be resolved. Can you say Complicated??!!
Terry Cashman, the songwriter of “Talking Baseball”, with Willie, Mickey and the Duke being the most famous and successful baseball song ever written, that is besides “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”, was recognized by the MLB Hall of Fame for his song that he wrote and recorded many times over. In his acceptance speech, he told the story of growing up in New York City in a family that loved music and baseball. He related that he has recorded the song over again some 32 times over the past 33 years since he first recorded the song, continually updating players, ballparks and recognizable baseball names and icons mentioned throughout the songs verses. Cashman went on to say that he had performed the song on stages all over the world, which went way beyond anything he had ever conceived when he wrote the song, and now he was being recognized for his contribution to baseball at the 2011 Hall of Fame. He then said “None of this would have ever happened if three (3) great centerfielders Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Duke Snyder had not played in New York for 7 years when he was growing up”. So….here’s too “Willie, Mickey and the Duke”, and a big thanks to Mr. Cashman for writing the song.
Dave Van Horne was the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Baseball Broadcasting Excellence Award….started his speech by saying “The game of baseball is MAGIC”. It is place where the players play the hardest game in the world and make it look easy”. Now this was from a man who had seen 11 no hitters, 3 perfect games, Willie Mays 3000th base hit, Steve Carlton’s 4000 strikeout and Nolan Ryan’s breaking of the all time strikeout record. Needless to say, he has seen some SERIOUS MAGIC. It is easy to understand why Van Horne has his belief that the game of baseball is MAGIC….but when you’ve seen as many sports events and competitions as I’ve seen….I’d have to expand his statement to say that SPORT IS MAGIC.
Robert Hemond, winner of the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award was awarded this honor based on his seven (7) decades of contributions in MLB….from batboy to general manager. Hemond began his speech by reflecting back to the days when he was a young boy who had quit school to become the full time batboy for the New York Giants….to which he was asked by his mother in French (being a 1st generation immigrant in America)….“Where is this baseball game going to lead you?”….to which he answered while pounding his baseball glove….”I don’t know, I just love the game”. Hemond concluded his speech by saying “Well Ma, this is where it led, to the Hall of Fame”.
Man, is that awesome stuff of what? So, for all of us dogs who live with HUMANS who either need their regular “sports fix” or “sports therapy” in order to understand a little better each time that I relate stories like this one above….which all came about as a result of sitting beside BD during the 2011 MLB Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The way I see it….if you HUMANS didn’t have sports to vent your frustrations at each day….you would probably come home and kick the dog for something as simple and normal as licking their privates (a God Dog blessing you HUMANS have no idea about). So, all I can say to all ya’ll HUMANS….especially the ones who have dogs….is to “keep on keepin on”….cuz I for one want you to go get your daily injection of sports and/or spend time every day in sports therapy….ridding yourself of those pent-up frustrations that you need to get rid of…or while delving into your need to alter your state of mind with the legal narcotic at the end of the day….cuz without sports and dogs it seems to me that HUMANS in general would be….to use a HUMAN phrase that you can all relate to….”Up the creek without a paddle”.