Sunday, May 22, 2016

Irritating things

In no particular order of magnitude, here are a few things yours truly finds truly irritating.

Stephen A. Smith. This yappy head seems to think he's Moses coming down from the mountain with tablets when it comes to basketball. SAS, a perfect monogram, never played or coached the game. He just talks -- and talks- and talks some more. His foil, one Skip Bayless (and I wish the TV sports execs had done just that instead of hiring him to blather on) ranks right up there with the wimpiest, whiniest nerds the planet has ever seen. These two clowns make millions. They deserve each other. We deserve better. When I see Stevie or Skippy pop up on the screen, yours truly is reaching for the remote to click on something else. ANYTHING else. Give me shyster evangelists asking for money, how to spice up a salad with minced road kill, the finer techniques of knitting booties for gerbils, or even a network that speaks a foreign language where I can't understand a word. But not THESE guys.

Political debates and the rules. We've seen it over and over again. A candidate gets asked a question, but they'll dodge it and talk about something else. The moderator should say, "It is noted the candidate did not address the question. We'll move on". Further, when they have a time limit to their responses, it should be enforced. Be it three minutes or 30 seconds, that's all they should get. But we all know every politician ignores such rules and keeps talking. How to fix it? Simple. When the clock goes "ding" on their time -- cut off their microphone and switch the camera shot to the next one up. The former can blather on all they wish, but nobody can hear or see them. Even the smarmiest politico would figure that out pretty quick. And hey, aren't these the people that are going to be MAKING the rules we have to live by? The least they could do is abide by debate class 101 decorum.

Baseball outfielders and their diving catches. Once upon a time, Willie Mays supposedly made the greatest outfield catch on a drive to center field off the bat of Vic Wertz. Nowadays, major league outfielders routinely make more spectacular catches. But when watching late-night "highlights" we will always be force-fed a few diving catches. The talking heads will act like they've never seen such a spectacular feat before. Hey, not only do major league players make such catches every day -- so do college players -- and high school players -- maybe even little leaguers. This is nothing special anymore.

Why does there always have to be soccer highlights of foreign teams playing in foreign countries? Nobody in America cares any more about futbol abroad than those folks care about whats going on in the NBA and NHL playoffs. Who's kidding who?

It used to be that pro bowling was a big deal in America. While it still exists, it has definitely been relegated to lower status on TV and among the masses. In order to spice it up some, the crowds in attendance at the alleys no longer have to be hush-hush when keglers are plying their trade. They are free to scream at yell throughout. The players not only got used to it, but appear to relish it.

So why doesn't pro golf adopt the same philosophy? This remains the only sport (OK, maybe tennis serves) where fans have to be silent when a player is hitting the ball. After the ball is in play, they can cut loose again. Are we to believe a golfer's concentration before hitting the ball is more fragile than that of a bowler, or a major league hitter standing in the batter's box waiting on the next pitch while thousands in the stands are free to carry on vocally throughout?

And why are only positive cheers allowed in a pro golf tournament? Evidently, they have a rule against booing. Shouldn't a fan that paid the price of admission be allowed to root against a player they don't care for? It happens in baseball, basketball, football, and hockey. Does our First Amendment right regarding freedom of expression stop when attending a golf tournament?

After a linkster strikes the ball, we've heard shouts of "GO IN THE HOLE, or YOU'RE DA MAN!"
What we never hear is "GO IN THE WATER/DITCH, or YOU AIN'T ALL THAT!"

But the latter is not allowed, else one be quickly escorted (thrown) off the course. It's not right. And that's only on the men's tour. Try the same sort of tactics at an LPGA event, and one will be lucky if they don't wind up in Guantanamo Bay with a few other alleged terrorists. Either that, or have to do an hour being grilled on The View. Brrr, and perish the thought. Given a choice, I'd rather take my chances in Gitmo.

Lots of things are irritating. The power going out, then starting up the generator, only to see the power come back on. Reset all the digital stuff. And then it goes out again. Grrr.

All those 800 calls that keep coming during an election year. They are ignored and you'd think they'd figure out after being routed 20-30 times to an answering machine, they aren't going to get through. But they never do.

The lady with the giant cottonwood trees at the end of the block. In a few weeks they will start to shed and, given the prevailing winds, cover up the whole neighborhood with that nasty stuff again. Swimming pools and AC units clogged up, garages full of it. Where's a modern day Paul Bunyan when you need him?

Michael Smith and Jemele Hill on their daily sports jive-a-thon. Lots of empty sound bytes, but neither appears capable of listening to, much less comprehending a differing opinion. Do they act like that at home?

Kenny Smith always trying to one-up Shaq or Barkley on another cable channel. But that's what little guys do. Try to prove they're smarter than the big fellas, both Hall of Famers. It's the inferiority complex thing, but it's still irritating.

Last but not least, it's Detroit Lions' fans. Like every other year, they're already raving about what a killing they made in the draft, how great their team will be this fall, and going to the Super Bowl is a possibility.

That's not really irritating. It's laughable. Bless their big hearts and wallets, but small brains, some folks just never learn.....

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