The Star-News


The right of Spring

Sat, Apr 09 2011 12:00 PM Posted By: Carlos R. Davalos

With the Major League Baseball season in full swing I'm reminded that I don't much care for the sport. It's a slow game, punctuated with about as much excitement as looking for typos in the Sunday edition of the New York Times obituaries.

But the one nice thing I can say about America's pastime is: at least it's not golf.

Or tennis.

With those "sports," fans are expected to sit still and keep their traps shut.

At least at a ballgame you have the seventh-inning stretch, team mascots racing each other on the field and the time honored tradition of berating the umpire for making yet another ridiculous call. Hell, there's even a song about rooting for the home team.

In golf you have what, a golf clap? And in tennis the venues are so quiet that you can hear a 4'9" Serbian sprite grunting so hard you'd think she's passing a bowling ball.

Ppbbbffft to that.

There's a tepid controversy about what constitutes a sport. One of the criterion should include the ability to withstand distraction from outside the field of play.

I have more respect for a ball player as a sportsman than I do a golfer not only because of the amount of physical exertion they exhibit, but because of his ability to focus.

You tell me what's more impressive: A man standing at home plate facing down an opponent whose getting ready to chuck a 92 mph projectile at his head while another opponent squats behind him chattering away and 30,000 people are calling into question the batter's wife's fidelity or...

A man standing on a well manicured lawn getting ready to smack the stuffing out of a tiny dimpled ball that's held up off the ground by a wooden tee as even the wind stops whistling when golf marshals (hahahaha, golf marshals!) hold up signs that say "Quiet, please."

You know who needs that sort of concentration? A 5-year-old learning to spell cat. But even a 5-year-old doesn't need complete morgue-like silence after the fourth or fifth time she's learned her ABCs.

In this age of interactive mindfulness and spectator participation, it would benefit professional golfers and tennis players to remember that sports are supposed to be about fun. And part of that fun comes from allowing fans to be a part of the experience in little ways, like cheering for the home team and booing for the opposition.

After all, how else do you explain how baseball has survived all these years?


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