Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sit down and be counted

Jim Thorpe, the greatest American athlete ever, was born on this day in 1888.

I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who loves sports hates common sense.” – H. L. Mencken.

   “What’s your interest in football?” Sully, slumped in a chair after dinner (turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, okra, fruit salad, rolls, and then dessert), was working on his second six-pack.

   “What’s my interest in it?” Jack didn’t drink, as it turned out; he sat on the sofa with his legs crossed, hands cradling the mug of coffee in his lap.
   “Did you play football?”
   “No. I just always liked it.”
   “I don’t know. I just have.”
   Sully had a theory that Americans’ lust for this idiotic game was explained by their shrinking attention span. Six seconds of actual play, sandwiched in between interminable stretches of players standing around while a crew of crazed announcers—were they on steroids, too?—told viewers what they’d just seen and what they were just about to see, was the perfect diversion, or religion in many cases.  --  Chapter 36, The Misforgotten.

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