Grapes, sour and otherwise
Suppose you could be anyone, within the world of sports...
A superstar in any game, a person with all sorts
Of money coming in not only just from what you do,
But from the shoes you wear and from the drink you're drinking, too...
And from the cars you drive, and from the broker that you choose,
And from the clothes you wear and from the credit card you use...
But I digress. If you could star in any of our games,
Would you elect to do so? Look, I won't be naming names,
But people at the top of any game have problems, too...
They stand above the crowd and people know just what they do
Each time they leave their houses — "houses," plural, they have lots,
And all of them — those houses — are on preferential lots,
But if you have no privacy unless you fly your plane
To some secluded island that you own, well, that's insane.
So I would not be anyone who's so completely known
That he or she could not be sure to ever be alone.
Still, wouldn't it be fun to be so good at what you do
That when you do it, people gasp and shake their heads? It's true
That hitters, shooters, golfers, skaters when they are the best
Supply our need to know that somehow high above the rest
Of all that's mediocre, shabby, disappointing, flat...
Float wonders that can lift us past the dross of all of that.
So would you be a cause for gasping? Would you be a star?
Or are you, fin'ly, happier with being what you are?
It strikes me, as I ask the question, it's a silly thought...
But maybe few among the ones who lift us thus have sought
To be as large as they've become in our collective dreams.
They've all been working too hard to look up, perhaps. It seems
That stardom, when it comes, must have surprised at least a few
Of those who have attained it. Huh. I wonder if that's true?
Well, this one's gone astray, I guess, as musings often will,
Especially the ones that muse upon the living thrill
That athletes can embody when they triumph while we watch
Them making moments full of grace while doing things we'd botch,
And also on the cost that we demand those athletes pay
As they, in their brief moments, work at what we still call play.
This program aired on August 24, 2006. The audio for this program is not available.