SPORTS, HISTORY AND WHY SOCCER IS REALLY “STOOPID”

(Editor’s note: this week’s post is dedicated to my newest fan, although I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know she’s a fan just yet, my buddy and co-worker at Publix, Ms. Sarah. Even though we all keep telling her what a crappy attitude she has, she’s really a good kid and hard worker, both in school and at the store. Happy summer, sweetie.)

As I mentioned in last week’s column, and have mentioned numerous times in the past here on the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog, your Cap’n (that would be me) is a major sports fan, which is not to be confused with ceiling, exhaust, circulating or radiator. I’m also a bit of a history buff, and find the origins of sports to be quite interesting.

(And just for the sake of saying it, “interesting” has to be one of the most boring, mundane and uninteresting words in the English language, much like “yarn” or “Congress”.)

Anyway, as a PSA for all my loyal readers (all several of you), I thought I would take a moment today and discuss the origins and inventors of the various major sports. (The creators of the board game “Clue” were going to name one of the suspects “Major Sports”, but upon further deflection, decided on “Colonel Mustard” instead, who of course not only outranked the Major but did it in the Conservatory with the Revolver.)

Since I’m an enormous baseball fan, I thought I would start with America’s Pastime. (Actually, I’m pretty sure America’s Pastime is sex, but back in 1916, boring, mundane and uninteresting Congress passed the Make Baseball America’s Official Pastime Since Sex Is Dirty, Messy and Disgusting and Makes Americans Sound Like Pervs Act, a bill that was introduced in the House by Congressman Twono Trump, a distant relative of our current President and alleged serial woman abuser, Donald “Tweety Bird” Trump. The legislation passed both houses by overwhelming votes.)

(Phone rings in the background)

Excuse me…

“Cap’n John…”

“Yes, First Mate.”

“I said what?”

“Oh, I hadn’t noticed. I’ll correct that right away. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.”

That was my First Mate Taffie Wetzel; she monitors my posts in real-time to assist me and to keep me from stepping on my crank too often. Apparently, the word I wanted above was “reflection”. (She’s a snot.)

Baseball was allegedly invented by a man named Abner Doubleday, WAY back in the late 1800s, and as the myth goes, this was done in the small upstate New York town of Cooperstown, which back in those days was about as for off the beaten path as you could get. Recently however, historical documents have come to light challenging Doubleday’s claim to fame, and in fact suggest that rules for and the general organization of the game were written by a man named Daniel “Doc” Adams back in 1857, and that the L.A. Dodgers immediately tanked that season and blew the World Series by being swept by the Effingham Mudbutts, 4 games to 0. And what I meant by saying that I’m “an enormous baseball fan” back there in Paragraph 5 was that I really enjoy baseball a lot…I didn’t mean that I’m enormous, I mean, I’m a little overweight but, well shit, never mind.

We know for sure, since it happened more recently, that American football, or “gridiron” football for the way that the batter, which is also a term used in baseball, is poured on the “iron” and then baked into pancakes with treads, thus greatly improving the player’s traction on the field, was invented back in the late 1800s by a Yale undergrad named Walter Camp. Mr. Camp had a brother named Caleb “Training” Camp who, in 1920, went on to become the head coach of the Rockdale Snorkels in the then newly formed National Football League, who immediately trounced the L.A. Dodgers in Super Bowl –LLLXXXIII, 85-0. The League was formed in just-as-far-off-the-beaten-path-as-Cooperstown-NY Canton OH, which besides being the home of the NFL Hall Of Fame, was also the home of our 25th President, William McKinley, who as far as anyone knows was not a serial abuser of women like some guys in the White House, as well as the site of the National First Ladies’ Library, another one of those ambiguous phrases like “an enormous baseball fan” that could mean it was the first library for ladies or was the First Lady’s Library, since McKinley was a married man, therefore having a First Lady, who could have had a library, I suppose.

(Phone rings in background)

Shit…excuse me again.

“Cap’n John…”

“Yes, First Mate Wetzel…”

“I’m sorry, I said what?”

“Yes, Ms. Wetzel, I’ll correct that right away. Thank you.”

Apparently I confused “waffle iron” with “gridiron” in the last paragraph…it’s called a gridiron because of the lines on the field. (You know that word that rhymes with “witch”? Yeah.)

Another Major Sport that is followed by many people here in America, as well as around the globe, is basketball, which was created by a guy named James Naismith back in 1891, using peach baskets and a “soccer-type” ball. Naismith was a physical education instructor and peach farmer, as well as being the founder of the basketball program at the University of Kansas, who annihilated the L.A. Dodgers in the Final Four Championship in 1911 by a score of 119-23. The game evolved from a collegiate sport to a professional one with the formation of the National Basketball Association in 1936, which only seventeen people in America had ever heard of prior to 1984, when the Chicago Bulls drafted a guy named Michael Jordan from the University of North Carolina, and the rest, as they say, is geography. (Jordan went on the become the Greatest Player Of All Time, won a bajillion titles, scored several gazillion points , won the MVP trophy 47 times and had a shoe named after him…anybody ever hear of Air LeBron? Yeah, I didn’t think so.)

Then there’s hockey, which was invented back in 1917 by a bunch of prize fighters from Canada, who had very few teeth, no brains, said “yah, hey dere” a lot and decided that staging prize fights while ice-skating simultaneously would be interesting (there’s that word again), proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that all Canadians are dweebs.

Another “sport”, using the term loosely, that has gotten a great deal of attention in this country in recent years is soccer, which is not to be confused with the word “succor”, which means “any game that has the players run back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth on a huge field for over an hour without anything happening is boring and stoopid”. No one knows when soccer was invented because no one with an IQ above that of a doorknob gives a crap. At least hockey is “interesting”.

(Phone rings in the background)

Shit…excuse me again.

“Cap’n John…”

“What is it, First Mate?”

“Thank you.” (I really don’t like that woman.)

According to my extremely irritating First Mate, the word “succor” actually means “to give assistance in time of need or distress; to help, aid or relieve.” Consider me corrected.

Modern tennis has evolved from a game called “paume”, which is French for “snot-wad”, and was played as far back as the 12th century BCE by cavemen using peach baskets and “soccer-type” balls on a covered indoor court, into the fast-paced, tirade-laced game it has become today. Sadly, the inventors of “tennis” didn’t have the good sense to put the freakin’ net AROUND the court rather than across the middle where’s its smack in the way…stoopid. “Real tennis” or royal tennis was much loved by kings and nobles, who would begin games by yelling the word “tenez”, which is Swahili for “You people REALLY elected Donald Trump President? Really?”. Today’s version of tennis is referred to as “lawn tennis”, since it is now played on a grass or clay court outdoors by players in skimpy outfits with crappy attitudes. (The players have crappy attitudes, not the outfits.)

(Phone rings in the background)

I’m going to kill her…

“Cap’n John…”

“YES, First Mate, what is it now?”

“Fine, I’ll correct those errors right away. But Ms. Wetzel, if you interrupt me again, I’ll have you thrown in the brig, drawn and halved and then force you to watch Major League Soccer (boy, THERE’S an oxymoron for you) for the next 48 hours non-stop.”

According to Ms. Know-It-All, the word “paume” means “palm” in French, since tennis was originally played bare-handed without rackets, plus it wasn’t played with “peach baskets and a soccer-type ball”, and the word “tenez” is French for “play”.

(Phone rings in the background)

“WHAT?!?”

“Fine.”

Excuse me, its “drawn and quartered”, not “drawn and halved”.

I’m gonna’ go watch the Dodgers…they’re playing a Little League team from the San Fernando Valley, which is the home of former Dodger great Fernando Valenzuela. They might be able to beat these guys…but don’t count on it.

Love and jockstraps,

Cap’n John

Post Script…(phone rings in the background several times…answering machine voice says to leave a message)…”Cap’n John, this is First Mate Wetzel again. Fernando Valenzuela was from Mexico, sir.”