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What my musings are all about...

Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.

The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.

The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Warrior's New Arena

In response to Monte Poole's article on Thursday May 24, 2012, in the Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, and Sacramento Bee, "In the NBA, it's not location, location, location,"  I wrote the following response and sent it to the sport's editor of the Oakland Tribune, for whom Poole works.

No one believes and certainly not the Warrior's administration that a new arena will "magically" provide a winning team. Such an assertion is silly. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, the new owners of the Golden State Warriors, simply see an opportunity to create a state of the art structure to house the winning team they are trying diligently to assemble (witness the gutsy trade of Monte Elis.) They have that right. They have no hidden agendas. From the start, the new owners have been completely transparent about their goals.

When I played for the Warriors, our jerseys read San Francisco. When Franklin Mieuli, the owner, changed the name to Golden State and moved to Oakland, there was little hue and cry over the move. San Francisco, peninsula, and Marin County Warrior fans jumped in their cars and drove to the East Bay to support their team. (The Trip has become easier these days with BART.) I'm certain Warrior fans from the East Bay will show the same good sense and loyalty. (Bart Travels west as well as east.) We are all the Golden State Warriors.

For more on the subject go to my blog: Meschery's Musings of Sport, Literature, and


Here's the MORE:

I wanted to keep my letter to the editor respectful, so I didn't respond to Poole's use of the word "superficial image" when talking about San Francisco. There's nothing superficial about my home town. We grew up there, went to elementary schools and high schools there, rode on its Muni. buses, and played in the city's streets and gyms. As for the "world class restaurants" in San Francisco Poole refers to, as if that is one of the reasons the new owners are making the move to San Francisco, sure, there are great restaurants in my city, but how many basketball fans will be going to those gourmet restaurants prior to a game? Come on, Poole! It's pizza and dogs before hoops. As for "profiteering off new gear," the owners have already stated they're not changing the name of the team.

I'm surprised by all the whining going on. This is not at all like the Sonics leaving for OKC or the 49ers leaving their fans behind for San Jose. Or the poor Sacramento Kings fans who will probably lose their team to some city. If it's Seattle, let's hear it for irony.

Another writer, Marcus Thompson II's, recently wrote that the Oakland fans have been "jilted". As in,
at the alter? Not sure the metaphor works, dude. Oracle Arena and the Warriors have had a 46 year old marriage. And that's where the extended metaphor should end.

Thompson's lame whine that it was the way the owners announced their intention to move to San Francisco and not the move itself that was wrong doesn't wash. Joe Lacob and Peter Guber put together a splendid coming out party with the Bay Bridge in the background, the bridge as a reminder that all the communities of the Bay Area are connected, such a connection that most people in the Bay Area historically understand.

Let's get real. Oakland had no problem when Franklin Mieuli moved the San Francisco Warriors to Oakland's new state of the art Oracle Arena. Well, maybe they whined a little, but in the end they got in their cars and drove to Oakland to support their team.

While this talk of a new arena is swirling about us, the war in Afghanistan is still going on and baseball season continues its journey to October.

Baseball    by Linda Pastan

When you tried to tell me
baseball was a metaphor

for life: the long, dusty travail
around the bases, for instance,

to try to go home again;
the Sacrifice for which you win

approval but not applause;
the way the light closes down

in the last days of the season -
I didn't believe you.

It's just a way of passing
the time, I said.

And you said: that's it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grumpy Old English Teacher

I've been told that professional athletes can't help it if they speak the English language improperly; it's the way they've been raised. Because I was an English teacher for twenty-one years, this drives me crazy. So, at the risk of sounding elitist, I suggest that the vast majority of people no matter their culture, race, or economic condition can learn, if they want to, the rules for basic English grammar. They can learn that double negatives such as a recent quote by LeBron James, "I'm no monster; this ain't no horror movie. I'm not trying to scare nobody," is a double negative and flat wrong. So is "Me and coach have been together for nine years..." as spoken recently by D Wade improper grammar. It should be coach and I. James and Wade are athletic super models for a ton of youth and constantly on radio and television. James has recently sponsored a wonderful t.v. ad promoting school attendance, which I vigorously applaud, but he could walk his talk more by putting in a little time studying English. It is really not that hard, I promise.

Track and Field doesn't get nearly as much publicity as the "Big Three" sports. So, bravo to the University of Oregon's Women's Track Team for winning the Pac 12 title and to all other winning track and field programs. The Summer Olympics are coming. Your brief time to shine is almost here. Perhaps the interminably long NBA season will be over by then, while the interminably long baseball season continues on, followed by the interminably long football season.

What ever happened to the first round of the NBA Chmpionship being a five game series? Ah, I forgot about the interminably long need for more $.

Pole Vaulter   by  David Allan Evans

The approach to the bar
is everything

unless I have counted
my steps     hit my markers
feel up to it     I refuse
to follow through
I am committed to beginnings
or to nothing

planting the pole
at runway's end
jolts me to my task
out of sprinting
I take off     kicking in
and up    my whole weight
trying the frailty
of fiberglass

never forcing myself
trusting it is right
to be taken to the end
of tension    poised for
the powerful thrust to
fly me beyond expectation

near the peak
I roll my thighs inward
arch my back    clearing
as much of the bar as I can
(know the best jump
can be cancelled
by a careless elbow)

and open my hands.