I say that I outgrew the Super Bowl. And the World Series, salve Stanley Cup, and…. You get the picture. I don’t mean that as a putdown to those who haven’t outgr….I mean those who are still avid sports fans. I just can’t think of a better way to explain it. For myself, that is. I used to enjoy some of that. A singer songwriter needs to be current to relate to a broad range of people. And what is repetitiously current bores me. ‘Tis a problem.
I played some team sports in my youth. Football was my favorite. Being well under six feet, and having the eye-hand coordination of a cave snake, basketball was never more than something my friends were into. A lot of polite cheering from me.
Baseball? Besides the aforementioned lack of skill, baseball offered too much time to daydream. A person can get hurt that way. Line drives, fast pitches and trance-like behavior is not a good mix.
I was really fast, though and was a sprinter for a while. Two things turned me away from that activity. My legs, although rather muscular, did not grow much after eighth grade and also, I hated running. I switched to pole vault for a spell as I didn’t have to run very far. I liked that moment of flight, but the need for gas money helped me choose after school jobs.
Football was such fun, smashing into people and many short bursts of action. Then size became an issue and my interest waned.
In college, there was only a Basketball team. It was number three in the NCAA one year. Exciting up to a point but I became very disenchanted when it became obvious that the school’s priorities were not at all toward academics. Unless you counted rote memorization as academics. Another skill I have not nurtured.
I think I may have written a column in the college paper calling sports “right wing theater.” I was a snooty little pseudo intellectual. I would never write that sort of thing now. Some disclosure is only fair here though. I don’t mix my political beliefs or lack of religious beliefs with friendship or business. I have friends and associates of many persuasions. If I’m with these folks, I love them and don’t care what they believe. As long as they don’t try to get me to believe it. And since they are close to me, they don’t do that sort of thing.
Cliches Rain Like Cats and Dogs
I ignore sports these days. And Television. Did I mention television? A lot of song writing gurus encourage those of us in this biz to watch TV and movies no matter how mindless and crappy. They say it keeps you topical. I say it keeps you typical. I prefer atypical.
Most people spend lots of time in front of a TV. Watching sports, reality games, sitcoms, disturbing faux news shows and whatever else the arbiters of entertainment have decided we really really want. Hard to get anybody’s attention without paying attention to this fact myself.
I try to keep my lyrics free of cliches. But I’m not up on the most current cliches and have ignorantly written some catchy phrase I heard not knowing it originated in some sitcom, rap song or tractor anthem. Embarrassing when that happens. I need to run my lyrics through a cliche cleansing device. Bet I can find one on the internets, huh? There are 13.8 million articles listed in Google under “eliminating cliches.” Why then, do they still plague our language? Inspires me to write a lyric with nothing but cliches called, “Doing What’s Easy.”
How I Watch the Super Bowl
My oldest and dearest friends from New York surprised me while I was playing my Saturday gig. Just dropped in unannounced. Touchingly amazing! So we hastily planned to get together Sunday and of course we wound up watching the, uhh, Super Bowl. Turned out to be pretty entertaining. I started writing down all the cliches I heard but got finger fatigue. The play by play is, understandably, made up of nothing but phrases they have used over and over for years. Though intensely boring, how many ways can you describe the same stuff? The same stuff always happens. And today, I see the same comments are being made as after the last 45 years.
If repetitious language was outlawed, I’ve concluded, it would be a very a quiet and print free world. I think that’s called being blissed out in meditation. I spend an hour a day trying to get to that state. But I keep hearing the play by play in my head. Just wish there was a half time show.