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.”

NORTH, SOUTH AND OPINION

I have received torrents and rivers of letters and emails recently, wondering why I haven’t written anything for the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog since back on the 24th of February (okay, I got two, but compared to none, that’s a torrent), concerned that I might be incapacitated in some way and asking when, oh when, Cap’n John, will you return?

In reverse order…well, I guess my return date is today, 3/15, the infamous Ides of March, on the 2062th anniversary of the assassination of Julius Caesar by a bunch of Roman Senators who were not only upset with his handling of several important issues of the time, including immigration, taxes and sword control, but Caesar’s numerous alleged liaisons with large-breasted women of ill repute as well. (FYI, your Cap’n is a big fan of large-breasted women of ill repute.)

As far as being incapacitated, thank you for your concern, but no, I’m fine, as well as can be expected for someone whose mother dressed him funny when he was a kid.

Lastly, I just got lazy. (Hey, it happens.)

I saw this headline this morning on the ‘Net…”O.J. criticizes Kaepernick over anthem protest”. So apparently even disgraced athletes who are convicted felons think Colin Kaepernick’s ill-advised kneeling during the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner prior to NFL football games was a rancid crock of yak butter. (And thank you to author Christopher Moore for that great description.)

I’m sure all those folks who also didn’t like or agree with Mr. Kaepernick’s actions are greatly heartened at O.J.’s support.

It’s been my experience in life that opinions are a lot like assholes…everybody has one and a lot of them stink. But this is ‘Murica, and the First Amendment of our hallowed Constitution grants the nation’s citizens the right to pop-off with their opinions, any time they like, about anything they want to pop-off about. The Constitution was ratified in 1787 and Americans haven’t shut the fuck up since then.

I see (and like most people, I suspect, occasionally respond to) opinion polls about everything these days, on the Internet, in my daily newspaper, in the mail, even being conducted by individuals in shopping malls, all of them asking “hey, what do you think about…”, presupposing the process of thought, a chancy supposition at best in many cases.

So I thought that, hell, I can be a band-wagon jumper, why not come up with my OWN opinion poll and foist it upon my unsuspecting readers and make it about things I really want to know?

Okay, unsuspecting readers, here we go…

1) ”Pool noodles” would be…

[]             a) a great name for a rock band;

[]             b) a great name for amphibious pasta;

[]             c) the “real” reason J. Caesar was killed or;

[]             d) none of all of the above.

2) Cellular phones are…

[]             a) a blight on humanity;

[]             b) a blight on humanity;

[]             c) a blight on humanity or;

[]             d) all of the above twice.

3) President Donald Trump…

[]             a) is doing a great job…not;

[]             b) is the Devil Incarnate;

[]             c) is an unprincipled horse’s ass;

[]             d) as a President would make a fine truck-driver or;

[]             e) all of the above three times.

4) Satanism is the perfect religion…if you screw up, when you die, you go to Heaven.

                []             a) true

                []             b) false

                []             c) orchestra section, third row, seats 56 and 57.

5) The 115th Congress…

                []             a) is doing a great job…not;

                []             b) is a bunch of unprincipled horse’s asses;

                []             c) should be beaten repeatedly or;

                []             d) if you answered “yes” on Question “a” (line 54) then proceed to section “L” (line 56.53) and repeat as needed, but only if you have checked off box “h3” (line 666, subsection “25.nd%”) then refigure your tax after completing Form A888999555 (line 2, paragraph 2.5) and recalculating your framitz deduction fiscally with addendums.

6) Re my campaign for President in 2020, if I made singer Toni Tennille my candidate for Vice-President, I could campaign as “The Cap’n and Tennille”; is this…

                []             a) a great idea;

                []             b) something that smells like a fish left in a hot car for three days;

                []             c) a really dumb idea or;

                []             d) pool noodles.

7) The Grammys…

                []             a) are a complete bore;

                []             b) are a total and complete bore;

                []             c) are totally irrelevant and a total and complete bore or:

                []             d) stupid.

8) Yesterday at my part-time job as a “Front Service Clerk” for Publix Supermarkets, I walked 8053 steps, or 3.8 miles in a 5 hour shift…

                []             a) not bad for a guy slightly younger than a redwood tree or a tortoise;

                []             b) see answer “a”;

                []             c) all of the above;

                []             d) Mongo Santamaria.

9) Yoga pants are…

                []             a) a blight on humanity:

                []             b) the best thing that ever happened to men in general;

                []             c) tight in all the appropriate places or;

                []             d) the corner of 57th Street and Maple Lane.

10) Opinion polls are…

                []             a) a blight on humanity;

                []             b) a valid and meaningful method of determining people’s feelings about the issues that face our country today, as long as the “people” you ask have an IQ above room temperature;

                []             c) stupid or;

                []             d) endless.

11) Are you (please check all that apply, sequentially)…

                []             a) male;

                []             b) female;

                []             c) other;

                []             d) over 21 years of age;

                []             e) an American citizen;

                []             f) a taxpayer;

                []             g) a standout rodeo performer;

                []             h) deeply confused about which antiperspirant to use;

                []             i) claiming all the residents of your entire apartment complex as deductions;

                []             j) all of the above except a, b, c, d, e, f, g, and h.

Thank you for participating.

By applause, how many of you are really glad that this opinion poll is done…yeah, I thought so.

Love and questionnaires,

Cap’n John

Post Script…a major announcement will be forthcoming from the Cap’n John For President campaign in the immediate future. Stay tuned to this blog for the latest news.