Category Archives: Spectator Sports

Modern Day Gladiators

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 “The Colosseum was used for entertainment for 390 years. During this time, more than 400,000 people died inside its amphitheater. It’s also estimated that about 1,000,000 animals died in the Colosseum as well.

Modern Day Gladiators

Violence is integral in our enjoyment
of  various genres of sportive employment.
Boxing and football are tops of their ilk,
wherein bloodshed and violence are mother’s milk.
It doesn’t take hindsight. Who couldn’t guess
that among all that brutal and terrible mess
of scrimmage and tackling and hitting and pounding
there wouldn’t be bone-breaking injuries abounding?

What is it in us that loves and enjoys
for mothers to sacrifice beautiful boys
for the vicarious pleasure of stove-up old men
who bask in the light of what they might have been?
Dressed up with cheerleaders, bands and  cold beer,
hot dogs and ice cream and the wild cheer,
we’re convinced it is festive, patriotic and fun,
then shake our heads sadly when injury is done.

Today college bigwigs and corporate scions
don’t fill colosseums with Christians and lions,
yet they send players to slaughter for our amusement,
and the logic of this is a source of bemusement
to rational humans who see the results
of blood sport on players—kids or adults
assigned to give glory to parents, team, country.
Their brutal sacrifice seems an effrontery.

Here is another post I did on statistics regarding  football-related injuries and deaths:

The prompt words today are gridiron, integral. tricky and hindsight.

Good Sport

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Good Sport

Although he’s just a featherweight with arms and legs like sticks,
he survives all the scrimmages— the shoving and the kicks.
He’s always game to play the sport in any sort of weather,
with his helmet duct taped to his head and gaiters of fine leather.
He’ll show up to participate whenever they might please
with elbow guards and shoulder pads and cushions on his knees.
Every game he joins his teammates in the dugout trench,
where though they never let him play, he’s faithful to the bench.
And no matter how much they may  laugh and jeer and chide and tease,
When it’s time for the team photo, he’ll turn up and mutter, “Cheese!”

Cheese, feather and game are the haunted wordsmith’s prompts today. Here is the link:




“S-U-C-C-E-S-S—that’s the way you spell success!”
These words still rouse me, I confess,
though fifty years now (more or less)
have passed since I last heard the chant
that quickly turned into a rant
when we saw the basketball soar
through the net and become lore.

It was the year they won it all—
those high school kings of basketball,
with last-second ball thrown from mid-hall.
Both those who watched and those who played
cheered  and ranted, chanted, brayed.
The day that ball swished through the net?
It was as good as sports could get.

The prompt today was “successful.”

Cheated (At the Olympics Awards Ceremony)

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You are the one we’d love to beat.
We train, we strain, we sweat. We cheat.
Anything to win the heat
and gain the glory of your defeat.
You are so handsome, fit and neat.
Sure of hand and swift of feet,
with fame and glory, you are replete—
the hero of each match and meet.

You are not boastful, do not bleat
your successes down every street.
You are humble and discreet.
You do not replay and repeat
each mile covered. Nor do you greet
those you’ve defeated when we meet
with prideful leer or smile cloying—
but still, we find your fame annoying.

You win each medal, then repeat
year after year at every meet.
Your well-toned muscles, hair like wheat,
make you every lady’s treat––
propel you to the winner’s seat,
your win made obvious and concrete
while those below complain and cuss.
Could you not leave some fame for us???


The prompt today was “Cheat.”


Jock Balk

Jock Balk

I’ve never climbed a mountain.
I don’t dive in the sea.
Sports are simply pastimes
that don’t agree with me.

I cannot bat or pitch or catch.
A baseball skill I lack;
and when I tried at tetherball,
it hit me in the back.

I flinched and ducked, then stood back up,
tried once more for the ball;
but when I missed, got hit again
and took another fall.

I ski a lot upon my back
and when I swim I sink.
The water I can handle well
is in my kitchen sink.

In grade school when we played those games
involving run and chase,
I was the last one chosen;
for I never won a race.

I did not shine at tennis,
nor at volleyball.
When it comes to doing sport,
I find I’ve flunked them all.

Bowling, golf and badminton,
croquet and racquetballing
are talents I just don’t possess.
They simply aren’t my calling.

I fear I lack the focus
to hit balls with stick or hand.
To me, it’s hocus-pocus.
I’d rather join the band.

In games that take sports prowess,
my teammates rave and rant
that I do not play kick-the-can,
but rather, kick-I-can’t.

Some people lacking talent,
coordination, speed—
simply choose spectator sports
to fill their sportly need.

But I don’t like watching football,
your soccer or your hockey;
and when it comes to horse racing,
I neither bet nor jockey.

I admit, at sports I am
the worst you’ve ever seen.
So stop expecting more of me.
I simply lack the gene!!

 The Prompt: Team USA is playing today in the soccer World Cup in Brazil. Do you have any funny/harrowing/interesting memories from a sporting event you attended, participated in, or watched?