When I was a kid, dear worst-reader, I played a few sports here and there. By the time I got to #Americant suburban hell high-school, at the encouragement of my sister, who knew that I wasn’t gonna be strong in academics (I am worstwriter), I decided to try my luck with sports. Playing sports, though, meant choices had to be made.
There are three seasons of sports in #Americant schools: fall, winter and spring. Prior to my first year in high-school, during open late summer try-outs, I was accepted to play football. After failing to be fast enough, strong or big enough, nor could I catch the leather egg shaped ball, an assistant coach saw me throw that ball. I was immediately told to report to the try-out area for quarterbacks. Within the first few weeks of the start of my first year of high-school, I was starting quarterback for the junior varsity team.
For the winter season I decided not to wrestle or play basketball. Although I tried wrestling, it wasn’t for me. Basketball? Na. Spring was a different story. For spring I was torn between baseball and tennis. I was leaning toward tennis but there was a hurdle. In baseball the only equipment you need to bring are the shoes or cleats. Same for football. Although it was frowned upon, I could use my football cleats on the baseball field (diamond). Tennis, on the other hand, required shoes and a racket. Now. There were loaner rackets but they were all old and rickety and scratched to hell. This was a time, the late 70s, when wood was still used to make tennis rackets. And then there are the shoes. Ok. I did have a second-hand tennis racket that a neighbour gave me, which is what I used on local tennis courts. But it wasn’t much better than the loan rackets from my school. You get the picture being worst-written here? I couldn’t afford the equipment. What could any low middle-class broken home kid do? #Nomatter
Long worst-story short, my mother pulled through and bought a new pair of Chucks (converse) for me but she said I’d have to play with my old racket and I’ve have to make the shoes last. Wow, I thought. At least I’m getting a new pair of shoes. The thing is, my style of serving on hard tennis courts, where I dragged the tip of my right foot all the time, meant that my shoes didn’t last very long. But guess what. My mom came through again. She found this really cheap jell like substance that I could add to my chucks so they wouldn’t wear down as fast. And that was that. Spring time meant tennis. Yeah. Thanks mom.
Do I regret choosing tennis over baseball? Sometimes. Maybe I could have made something of myself in baseball. But now that I’m older, looking back, I’m good with my choices. It all almost worked out. I mean. Being more than a high-school athlete was never in the cards for worst-moi. I don’t have the genetics for it or the mindset. But it did provide me with a touch of knowledge about how to judge the athletes in this world that do make it. When I watch a football game today, I can still feel the grass under old, raggedy cleats. I can still smell the air from night games. The sound of men crushing each other after making the perfect step in the direction to get that goofy ball to the end zone, rings loud. NFL players are wonders of the universe, dear worst-reader. Just like professional soccer players or olympic athletes and I know what they’ve all endured–because what I endured was only speck compared to them. That worst-said. I do not idealise professional athletes. Although I’m sure most of them have the genetics–or should I worst-say natural born athleticism–more than most don’t have the mindset. But hey! We all gotta make a living. So what the fcuk.
One of the greatest athletes of my youthful time in sports was Boris Becker. I called him Boom-Boom Becker. The thing is, my high-school tennis coach advised me to watch as much tennis as I could when I wasn’t practicing–or doing homework (yeah, right). He told me to watch player’s styles and the way they hold and dribble the ball before serving. Watch the way both feet leave the ground as they serve. Check out where they place their thumb on the racket during backhand swings. Watch how they move around the court, the foot work. And then he added, the most important thing of all when it comes to playing tennis: look at how they watch that ball. They have hawk eyes for that ball.
Boom Boom Becker is one of my favourite tennis players. I also liked John McEnroe but he had one of the weirdest serves in tennis history. For serving he would position himself at the outer most part of the baseline, right next to the singles court line. He then started this wave like motion with the ball and racket together, bending his knees deeper than anyone, and on his way up to meet the ball, he slapped it. Did his style make his placement in the service box effective? Sure enough. Boom Boom, on the other hand, had the coolest serve. He would place himself as most servers did, next to the baseline centre mark. He too would start a waving motion with the ball and racket as though calibrating the two. The way he would throw the ball in the air and then perfectly meet it at its apex… boom! His serves would rocket across the net as though Zeus himself was on his side. Didn’t he win his first Wimbledon at seventeen, the youngest ever, with an ace?
Athletes and mindset are a thing to wonder, dear worst-reader. Unfortunately, in these times, natural born athletes that want to make it bigger than big, have to find ways to numb the mindset. Professional bike racers do it to the hilt, hence they’re all doped to the hilt so as to endure the physical as well as mental pain. Olympic athletes? Don’t get me started. Remember, dear worst-reader, we’re living in times where entire nations are banned from Olympic competition because their own countries pass out the dope. And what about football players? Oh my. What a drug fest that must be these days with the amount of NFL games they have to play per season. Yeah. Better living through chemicals is all about turning off the mental so that the physical blast through the wilds of the universe with a record forty yard dash will curb the mindset of of of… But hey. We all gotta make a living. At least make a living while the game is on.
My better-half and I were chitchatting about Boom Boom the other night as he was being sentenced to jail in London for doing a whole bunch of stupid $hit with other peoples money. I asked my wife if she felt bad for him (she’s more German than I am). She kinda does but added that jail time seems a bit harsh. I told her I don’t feel bad for Boom Boom but I do question how he has to go to jail when so many other institutions, corporations, CEOs, bankers, all of ‘em, go Scott-free after ripping the world off. And that’s the ticket, ain’t it, dear worst-reader? The only time people go to jail for this $hit is when it involves other peoples money, especially the money of the bankers, corporations, institutions, etc.
Can’t wait to see how Boom Boom looks when he gets out.