Advertisement

Parasiliti: Vacation allows the fan in me to emerge

July 21, 2013
  • Bob Parasiliti
Bob Parasiliti

Sometimes, it’s refreshing to see how the other half lives.

For the last week, my pen has been in dry dock and my notepad has a sweat ring, a fond memory from a cold beverage.

I’ve kicked back and watch sports without having my paycheck invested in it.

There is no better time than vacation to try different things in life.

This week was dedicated to being an everyday fan. And, believe me, life is much different on the other side of the aisle.

When my pen is paddling upstream and my notepad isn’t a cocktail napkin, I watch events and then try to report, explain, define and present them so readers can see other sides of the situation.

This week was different.

I just sat and yelled at my TV.

I invested my two cents while looking at some local things, voicing my opinion and complaining about how they are handled and covered, without offering any improvements or alternatives.

I can’t believe no one listened.

There was no need for facts … those idiots didn’t do what I wanted.

Televised sporting events come with a joystick so you can control the players, right?

Well, they should.

Anyhow, a few notions popped up while playing answer to the sports fans’ version of Where’s Waldo.

 The world of sports is suffering through a midlife crisis.

Every sport seems to be looking for a way to make sure the next generation will catch the fever of fandom.

Every game and broadcast is bending to the youth, incorporating the use of Twitter and social media to allow everyone to have a say during a game. There is always a poll or a way to use cell phones to add a layman’s electronic voice into the conversation.

Major League Baseball matter-of-factly admits using those numbers and statistics to help build the future fan base.

 On the other side of it is the search for the stars of the future. They are the guys chosen to bridge the gap between Baby Boomers and Gen XYZ, Seat 3.

So far, we have Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Manny Machado, Matt Harvey, Yasiel Puig and Mike Trout in baseball’s screen test.

And soon, names like RG3, Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson will dominate NFL talk when camps start to open. On the college level, the waters are being tested with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

The funny part is that while sports look for young blood, old guys try to spill it.

Harper, for example, gets grilled for his arrogance/confidence. The same goes for early reports on Puig. (Coincidentally, Harper was out on Puig’s viral throw from right field on Friday). 

 Then there is the controversy created around Manziel, a football player who went from being prom king to Heisman Trophy winner in six months.

It’s all because of their brash way of doing things that have never been seen before at such a young age.

Youth was being served when the freshman won college football’s top honor, basically by getting the most highlight hype for the last half of the season.

Now, he’s being vilified for acting like a 20-year-old college kid — oversleeping, missing class, partying and eating too much pizza.

All this will be a great “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” essay in is English 102 class.

Here’s a point to consider, though.

Manziel spent Wednesday afternoon in Alabama being smacked around at SEC Media Days in Alabama for spreading his wild oats. These are the same guys who brag about attending keggers with their college quarterback back in the day.

Then we saw Manziel walking the red carpet at the ESPYs in Los Angeles on the same night. Wasn’t he breaking curfew?

Heck, it’s OK. With all the athletes in attendance, the party was obviously an ice cream social that served just Gatorade. 

 Why has baseball’s All-Star Game — and many other high-profile sporting events — become a Cecil B. DeMille/J.J. Abrams production?

There are red carpet entrances, TV cameras on the field during the game, junk events to make it a week-long celebration and choreographed in-game situations — like Mariano Rivera’s eighth-inning entrance — that upstage the game.

Rivera deserves every honor, but we are always taught individuals — and hype — hurt team sports.

 It’s amazing how Tiger Woods can go from being “back” for the 600th time to MIA again with just a couple swings of his putter. Still, the drama fueled the British Open and golf in general.

 Finally, it has been nice to see the heightened interest — emphasis on finally — to the Hagerstown Suns/stadium issue. This story needs to be resolved, one way or another. It has outlasted Gunsmoke and Law and Order for longevity.

Here’s one last scream at the TV screen. Government officials say there has been progress, but the words sound like they are standing with their hands in their pockets with their fingers crossed. The situation sounds like negotiating while hoping for someone else to make the ultimate decision.

Look, folks. If this was a boxing match, you rarely win by just counterpunching.

It’s the final round and you aren’t going to win on points. You need to land a haymaker.

That’s enough of all this. Today, I start having to pay attention again for real.

Now, it’s time to put on the sunglasses and go shopping. I blew out a flip flop on a pop top.

Bob Parasiliti is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7358 or by email at bobp@herald-mail.com.

Advertisement
The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|