The Day All The Sports Went Away
Also, the dumbest thing I think about dogs, and Facebook Ron
STICK TO SPORTS, COMMA, LACK OF
Soooooooooo… Any News Lately?
It’s hard to describe the last 48 hours or so as anything but seismic. No NBA. No March Madness, on either side. No MLS. No spring training. Not even golf, and that’s the most socially distant sport of them all. All in like two days.
You know what? Nothing makes sense right now. Life is not going to be fun. We’re going to spend the next month hypervigilating (new word alert) for a cough 20 feet behind us, while we’re wandering store aisles in want of hand sanitizer or toilet paper for some reason (what exactly do these people think “working from home” means?). And that’s for those of us who stay healthy—imagine when the very likely scenario of overwhelmed hospitals starts occurring here. It sucks now and it’ll probably take a miracle not to get much worse.
So, I get all that. And all of a sudden, there’s no sports to stick to, not for a long time. If it’ll help, I’ll still try telling jokes and sharing dogs. And if that won’t help you, well, you’ve probably already closed this email so it’s just the rest of us now.
How Deir You, Sir
Amid the onslaught of cancellations on Thursday, US Soccer Federation president Carlos Cordeiro resigned effective immediately. You can read more about the ongoing dispute here, but the upshot is that under his guidance, the USSF filed a 2,600 page brief opposing equal pay for the U.S. Women’s National Team that was so overt in its sexism that sponsors, including Budweiser, publicly disowned the statements.
Let’s put a fine point on it: TOO SEXIST FOR BUDWEISER. That’s like having flavors that are too out-of-bounds for Guy Fieri.
The good news for Mr. Cordeiro is that he now has a great deal of free time on his hands. I will humbly suggest that he start by going to his kitchen and making every member of the USWNT a sandwich.
STICK TO DOGS
This is the Dumbest Thing I Think
I am not a smart man. That should be well-known by now. Oh, I have a vocabulary. I know lots of arithmetic shortcuts* by heart. I know far, far too much trivia about geography. But I am deeply stupid.
*If you’re driving 75 mph, you’ll go 5 miles in 4 minutes. So if the highway sign says 35 miles, you only need to do 35/5 = 7, 7*4 = 28, and bam you should get there in 28 minutes. It’s also 4 miles in 3 minutes if you’re doing 80, but where I come from that’ll get you pulled over, and no thank you.
Case in point: here is one of my favorite dogs of all time, a Russian luxury sausage boi named Rolex.
There’s lots, LOTS to marvel at here, but the first thing I think, every single time, is…
…holy shit, that dog knows Russian.
In my deeply stupid brain, English is the default language for dogs. You should be able to walk up to any dog, anywhere in the world, and tell it “SIT” and it will. That’s the way dogs work.
Intellectually, I could put together about a thousand words about how dogs and their limited, relatively context-free vocabularies prove the malleability and arbitrary nature of language itself, that every dog really only learns the one language you teach it, and thus it’s potentially hundreds of millions of languages that could exist in the world at any given time by dog standards…………
…but really I just refuse to believe that any of them don’t know what “Good boy/girl” means.
Anyway, I strongly recommend following Rolex if you’re on IG for the dogs (as am I), but with a caveat: Rolex lives WAY better than you or I do. Be prepared to envy a stubby, tubby Muscovite corgi.
There are no studies out there that have definitively proven that people who share this newsletter with loved ones are not more likely to be rich, friendly and have naturally perfect hair. You basically owe it to yourself to try, right?
STICK TO FACEBOOK
FYI folks, my cousin Ron spends too much time on Facebook, and he’s been doing these reports recently for some group called “Patriot Eagle Facebook.” He asked me to put it in the newsletter, and I guess I owe him a favor and I don’t want things to be weird at the July 4th cookout.
Thanks for checking in, Ron.
STICK TO AFFIRMATIONS
Thanks for joining me today. We’ll always end on a kind word.
The intersection of coronavirus and sports came into plain sight when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, all 7’2” of him, made a point to touch each of the visiting press’ microphones just days prior to his own positive diagnosis—a test result that resulted in the suspension of the NBA regular season in short order. Doubtless you’ve seen that clip of him by now. Odds aren’t as great that you’ve seen his statement/apology since then.
It is terribly easy to pile scorn on Gobert in the wake of that, well, disastrously bad decision, good-intentioned as it might have been—remember that the NBA was primarily concerned with media members infecting the players, not vice versa. Regardless, Gobert deliberately flouted the safety guidelines, and here we are.
But we can acknowledge that Gobert was trying to be friendly and welcoming, and that he rightly feels a level of embarrassment, and that the incident will likely haunt him for decades to come.
And what we can do is offer him grace.
We can acknowledge that everybody, everybody in the world, makes mistakes. We can acknowledge that some mistakes have disastrous consequences, consequences that become out of our control before we even realize they’re happening, and that the severity of those consequences often has little relation to our intentions at the time.
We can understand that sometimes, people need less of a pointing finger, and more of a hand of support.
And maybe, just maybe, we can offer our own selves that grace and forgiveness too. We don’t love other people on the condition that they’re perfect. Let’s not demand it out of ourselves either.
Let’s take care out there.