Thursday, April 29, 2010

Put on some Pants

Well it seems my readers are not going to get inspired by the problems around the luggage carousel, so I'll move onto something perhaps more interesting. Girls softball and the shorts they wear. What's up with that?

I went to a game the other day and have seen several in the past. I've always thought the shorts were kind of silly for the girls to be wearing (or women for that matter) because they also have sliders that they pull up on their legs to cover the bare parts when they are sliding. Many of the players are effectively wearing shorts about the same way the hockey players are with the long socks and then sliders going right up the the short line. Why not just wear pants?

Now you might argue that shorts are more comfortable, but this is not the case for most of the season in these parts which is played in cool to near freezing temperatures. In the game I watched the other day it was raining and very chilly. The girls had about four heavy layers on top and shorts down below. Pure silliness. Nobody should be a slave to fashion. You need to keep toasty on the ball field.

Check out these girls. One team wears pants!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Luggage Trough

Picked my mother up from the airport the other day. Got to watch people in action around the luggage carousel. Interesting study in the human condition. The luggage came out on the left side of the U-shaped conveyor belt and then went back on the right. Before the arrival of the first bag the people gathered near but several feet back from the carousel.

However, once the luggage was traveling on the belt the crowd on the left side where I was moved closer and closer, so close they were actually hanging over the luggage to see up the belt to see if their bag was coming. I couldn't even see through the people let alone get in there to get Mom's suitcase. They were like pigs at the trough.

I decided I wasn't going to get in there and start elbowing people out of the way and Mom isn't known for her work in the corners either, so I figured I'd walk around to the other side of the U and see if there was any space to get near the belt on that side. Well when I got around to the right side the people over there were calmly standing about ten feet back from the belt waiting for their luggage to appear. It was an amazing contrast. Guess it's another example of the Type A and Type B people. In this case the B's had it right. Everyone could get see their luggage and easily get it once seen. The A's were like pigs at the trough fighting for the luggage and all just to gain about a 30 second advantage on the B's.

All this luggage talk harkens me back to my university days when I travelled for one season with the basketball team (not as a player, let me be clear on that). The team added a little spice to the drudgery of the luggage pick-up by each throwing in a quarter and the person whose luggage came out first got the pot. That's all I've got as far as luggage stories go.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Where Have You Gone Chuck Connors?

I saw a notice the other day for spring soccer. Don't ask me why but that really gets me riled up. All sports these days are poaching on each other's seasons. Whatever happened to staying put in your part of the calendar?

When I was a kid I played soccer in the winter and baseball in the summer. Other kids played hockey and lacrosse. Judging by the photo albums there was even more opportunity to be a multi-sport participant in my Dad's days. In his teenage years there are pictures of him on soccer, hockey, football, and lacrosse teams and I know he played rugby as well. Nowadays by the age of 12, sports are trying to get the kids to specialize. Spring soccer? Yuck. Hockey teams that play tournaments all summer? Stupid. I say let the kids play! Let them experience the variety and spice of sport.

If you think I'm overreacting then you probably haven't been near kid's sports in awhile. Keener parents are out there starting up "travel" teams in lots of different sports. These are like all-star teams that essentially barnstorm and look for tournaments to play in. No more just a bunch of kids from the neighbourhood playing kids from another neighbourhood.

I was reading recently in the 2007 edition of "The Best in American Sports Writing" that it has reached craziness south of the border. I'm not sure if the Canadian hockey community is taking it to this level, but here's what's happening in basketball and baseball circles in the U.S.

In basketball there are summer leagues and the teams are in some cases sponsored by the sneaker companies and the companies cover the expenses for the players and provide them with gear. Players as young as 12 are recruited to be on these teams in hopes that if they become the next Michael Jordan they will continue to wear the brand of shoes that sponsored them in their youth. There is a magazine in the United States that rates the top grade five basketball players in the country. Yeah that's right, grade five or as they like to say fifth grade.

In baseball there are travel teams that start at the age of eight. One team located in Florida won the national championship as 9, 10, and 11 year olds. The next year as 12 year olds they had a kid on the team who lived in Indiana and flew to wherever the team was playing their tournaments. There was another 12 year old kid who lived in Las Vegas, but spent the season playing for a variety of teams that recruited him to play with them in tournaments. He hoped on an airplane and played for teams from California, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Nevada in one season. The Indiana kid not only plays on the Florida team, but one in Indiana and averaged 120 games a year from the age of 8 to 12.

Ahhhh, to be a kid. Chuck Connors must be turning over in his grave.