Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wonderful Wiz --- but

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Basketball was my coming of age sport.

I love the game.

But the way Dr. Naismith designed the game the player had to shoot up to make a bucket.

When I was in High School (the famous De Witt Clinton in The Bronx) --- our star was "Leopard Ed" Warner. Occasionally you would "dunk" the ball --- and receive cat-calls for show-boating !

Now, everyone does it.

I think it sort of cheapens the game --- although some of the athletes --- like Gilbert Arenas --- are fantastic.

I find myself watching more and more women's sports.

For the most part they shoot up to the basket. At my towering height of 5' 10" that is something I relate to.

So too in tennis. Serves come in off of high-tech rackets in men's tennis at 130 mph.

I can't even see that.

The women's service comes in substantially lower than that. They are often great and graceful athletes --- but I know what they are doing, although any one could whip my butt on my best days.

My crowning tenninis moment: At a benefit in Washington DC I hit a twisting serve into the mid-section of the fabulous Argentian player Gabriella Santini. She shanked it. At first she grimaced --- and then broke out laughing.

Tiger is clearly a great golfer --- but the new shafts let him hit drives 350 yards.

Batting helmets give hitters an advantage that earlier batters did not have.

Similarly fiber-galss poles shoot pole vaulters into previously unbelievable heights.

The comparability of records over time is almost meaningless.


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