Big, Yellow Bouncy Ball by Circespeaks
True confessions of the erstwhile politically correct blogger: I love sports. I watch NBA basketball. At this very moment I am sincerely hoping that the Golden State Warriors do “mess with Texas” and the San Antonia Spurs and win game 5 of this playoff series. Once again, we have young, male, mostly black or brown bodies, as a commodity. NBA players are well paid, and probably doing what they love best, but these players are a commodity nonetheless. At some level we all are commodities. The Alzheimer’s patient in a nursing home, unaware of her surroundings, unable to recognize anyone, provides work for those who care for her. So, for now, I am just going to enjoy this game. Unrealistic role models another day.
Some confusion arose on Mother’s Day during game 4 OT of GSW vs. Spurs when someone wanted to know who the GSW are. Adding to the confusion, I explained in all sincerity that the “Garden State Warriors” are a lesser known NBA team. As Recently as Sunday, Oakland was firmly planted–as firmly planted as possible in earthquake territory–in California, the Golden State.
It is half-time now, and I am confident (sports talk…really, I don’t know, but the Spurs are in more foul trouble) that the younger GSW team will win. The rock is not the only bouncing ball I love. Why do I love the pink playground balls of my youth, fuzzy green tennis balls, and, yes, big, yellow bouncy balls? I don’t know. The inflated, thus spherical truncated icosahedron, the soccer ball, has played the biggest part of my life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truncated_icosahedron.) Not the traditional “soccer mom,” I also played myself and have the scars to prove it. The ball I once loved best was a tiny red rubber football I named “Fifth,” my transitional object at the age of four or five.
The big, yellow bouncy ball was a recent purchase. I miss having little kids in the house. There are still big, bouncy boys, but they don’t go with me to Target and plead for toys any longer. This time, I thought, I will buy the one that I like best. It just so happened to be a very large yellow ball, shot through with streaks of orange. My favorite colors!
I brought home a toy for a two-year-old and suddenly every male who entered the home, from 18 to 50ish, behaved just like a two-year-old. Glass ceiling lamps have rained down, inflicting injury requiring Steristrips. A ceramic candlestick, the last of a wedding gift set has been twice-broken and twice-glued since I brought that ball home. It has narrowly missed paintings, a plaster cast bust on the fireplace mantle, and other objects more of sentimental than monetary value. Given all the destruction this object has wreaked, I probably should have taken it outside, or popped it, and put it in the trash. Common sense does not reign. Shards of glass and ceramics continue to rain.
Thanks to a successful ACL reconstruction, I had a great time chasing fuzzy green balls on the Community Park tennis courts today. A student of tennis in New Jersey (where adult soccer is not readily found) I too, have been commodified. The instructor was inspired; I was inspired. It was a good day on the tennis court. My favorite strokes, the backhand and overhead, were favored in today’s group lesson and play. It was magical. That last steal and transition basket was magical, too.
Despite the teachings of my late and esteemed Professor Otto Maduro, at times I do my best to misrecognize the power and politics behind sports, and to simply enjoy the human spirit and body in action. My mom and I also enjoyed bouncing that yellow ball back and forth. And we didn’t break a thing 🙂