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Wishful Thinking

This article is more than 10 years old.

They come in many uniforms of red and blue and green.
They come in quick succession, so it seems that when you’ve seen
One team outscore another as the clock has ticked toward late,
Two more teams take the floor or field. The danger is they’ll sate
Our appetite for competition, crazy as that seems
For those whose sleep is often troubled with disturbing dreams
Of basketball or hockey, or of baseball late at night…
Of soccer, golf, or tennis. Am I wrong or am I right
To say that sports is too much with us late and soon and more…
Hey, even as I’m writing this, my guess is three or four
Collections of competitors are cranking up for games,
Or, having finished, they’re all calling refs by ugly names,
Or soaking tired feet in preparation for the time
They’ll head out there to play again. Look, this thing has to rhyme
Or I’d have just suggested that we’d all be better far…
Far better, if you like, if things were not quite as they are
And there were fewer games to watch, each night and each new day.
For then there would be time between them, and we all might say,
That game last night was quite a game, and more than that as well,
Because as things stand now, once I’ve said “quite a game” the bell
That starts the next game has been ringing. I can say no more,
And soon I can’t remember if the red team won by four,
Or if the blue team won by six, and on some days it’s tough
To quite recall just what I’ve watched, for I have seen enough
To promulgate confusion in a man of certain limits…

It’s blasphemy to say the TV should, perhaps, be dim. It’s
Pure madness in our culture flooded thoroughly with sports,
But if we were not inundated, we could do all sorts
Of other things, like read, perhaps, or maybe even think…
Or exercise, but no, because before we pause to blink,
Another game is on, and so we sit again, befuddled
By groups of athletes playing something when they are not huddled
Around a coach who’s telling them what we already know:
This game’s the most important game that’s made a TV glow
Since last night’s, big important game. And next will come one more
Completely crucial than the ones that came the night before.

I’d read a book instead some night, or even turn in early,
For I’d be better rested, and perhaps I’d be less surly…
But no, I fool myself, I know, with protestations lame:
I’ll watch, ‘cause if I don’t, I might miss out on a big game.

This program aired on May 14, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

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