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This Week

Play On!

Louis Roney

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Football? I played football until I noticed that no one was offering me any money to continue. Watching the boys who play for pay in televised stadia brings some thoughts to my head: There is no consistency in the conditions under which a pro football player plays. He prepares in late summer practices when heat stroke is a constant danger. The playing season used to begin in the fall, ergo, football was always called a fall sport. Playoffs come now in January, and this year’s were in far-below freezing conditions. The ground is no longer the same. The ball is hard as a rock, and the players’ hands are almost frozen. When the frigid playoff season is past, the Super Bowl is trotted out in February either in the “winterproof” South — or indoors, where players and fans alike are in a comfortable temperature.

The expansion of the season from the old-time post-Thanksgiving to today’s February date begs the question: Why? The answer is nothing to strain the simplest of minds — like money. Football is no longer a game, but big business. We hear that the season may soon be stretched to 18 games to fit the larger wallets that team owners are having tailor-made for themselves. Will the players countenance a still-longer season? Incidentally, 18 games would mean more injuries, wouldn’t it? Orthopedic physicians will not feel themselves left out. More football! Is everybody happy?

“Whither?”

“Thither?”

“Not hither?”

“Whether hither or thither, no dither!”

I used to know a big-mouthed guy who too often said to me, “Louis, you’re incredulous!” I think he meant it as a compliment, meaning that I was wonderful, good or beyond belief in some positive way. What he should have said was, of course, that I was “incredible.” Instead, he was saying that I was gullible! OK, so I’ll believe that — I am quite ready to believe when people tell me something that’s credible. But I’m concomitantly “incredulous” when what they are saying doesn’t really add up — incredible, that is.

In winter, we can all rejoice that we live in Florida when we see on TV the weather in other regions. In Florida today, there are almost 19,000,000 people in a state whose population was 2,000,000 when I was in high school. What piqued all these people to come and share our goodies? Well, they’re not flocking into the states with bitter-cold winters or constant rainfall. Lots of old-timers in those states may now be saying “enough awreddy!”

Actual ads placed in British newspapers:

“Free Yorkshire Terrier. 8 years old. Hateful little bastard. Bites!”

“Free puppies. Mother is a Kennel Club registered German Shepherd. Father is a Super Dog, able to leap tall fences in a single bound.”

“Joining nudist colony! Must sell washer and dryer £50.”

“Wedding dress for sale. Worn once by mistake. Call Stephanie.”

And the winner is…

“For sale by owner. Complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica, 45 volumes. Excellent condition, £100 or best offer. No longer needed, got married, damn wife knows everything!”

Are things in the world these days happening to take place solely because Barack Obama is in the White House?