Pressure and the backyard

For them not interested in reading, you can see the photos in THIS<<link SmugMug Gallery.  

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We begin with a fairly easy “find the hummingbird” . . .

. . . followed by an extremely easy “find the hummingbird” . . .

Letsee . . . what to talk about today?

I could rail about religion but this series (LINKthere are links to each article at the end) makes good points that I won’t have to make and that religious folks will ignore regardless of who makes them.

I could talk about politics . . . but it’s fairly clear to me we’re past any talking, with both sides essentially having lost their mind and vying for the title of biggest hypocrites. Both are now feverishly working to destroy whatever illusion of competency they might have had. The sad part? The same idiots will get reelected by their respective supporters except for a few that will swing the balance of graft (Democrats likely to lose the House and lose seats in the Senate in the midterms, setting up a presidential loss in 2024).

What’s left? There’s more bees . . .

I could mention the Olympics. I’m not really following them, but catch peripheral stories in the form of headlines.

For instance, I noticed a little brouhaha about Simone Biles withdrawing from competing at the games. I was amazed at the number of people who thought it was their job to verbally castigate her for it.

Let me tell you a little story . . . about bowling. Toward the end of my bowling career, I was the anchor of our team. For them who don’t bowl (has bowling died off? I don’t see many bowling alleys around), the anchor goes last. Most of the time, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes, it does.

Sometimes, it comes down to the anchor having to bowl one, two, or even three strikes to win. Players who come through are deemed to have ‘come through in a clutch’ and them who come up short are deemed to have ‘folded under the pressure’.

Here’s the thing about be anchoring the bowling team. The number of people depending on me was three — my wife and another couple who were good friends. Before that team, three other friends (an all male team). In the golf league, one other player.

Still, regardless of how supportive your team members are, there’s some pressure in every ‘clutch’ instance. Pressure to not disappoint people counting on you. Never mind that the performance of the other team members has much more of an impact on how the team does than an individual player who happens to bowl last.

The anchor position is usually reserved for people who can take the pressure.

We always have these annual flowers in pots . . . they always do well. They handle the pressure … with help from us.

There is no doubt in my mind that Simone Biles is a clutch player. I mean, how long has she anchored the US team? How often has she conquered the pressure and come through for her team? And that’s not even considering overcoming the emotional toll from the sexual abuse (effectively sanctioned by the Olympic ruling body and overlooked by the FBI and other agencies that should have stepped in).

How much winning is enough to give her a pass? Because there’s one more issue to consider . . . it’s not just her team (who also affect the outcome) that contributes to the pressure . . . it’s a whole country.

A country that’s arguably mostly made up of couch potatoes who sit in judgment of the missteps of others.

A country whose citizens seem to have lost any empathy and consideration for anyone but themselves. 

Here, some mouth-breather who — under the slightest pressure — would fold up like the cheapest Chinese-made lawn chair, will likely pipe up and say something about not playing if you can’t take the pressure; that these athletes are getting the big bucks to perform.

How have we come to a point where we give no consideration to the fact one cannot possibly perform at 100% of the time? How have we come to the point where we — the spectators — feel entitled to even have an opinion about such things?

Don’t answer that; I know the answer and it depresses me.

I just read she’s planning to compete on Tuesday. Is her head really in it or will she get hurt? Did she feel pressured to compete? I hope she’s doing it for herself and I hope she won’t get hurt.

On a side note, I don’t understand why we have the Olympics. Why — every four years — people take an interest in stuff they don’t normally follow.

Why not stick to professional meets, where people compete for money and the only ones who follow the meets are people who are really interested?

I believe the NBA just had a final . . . I don’t know who won, and I don’t care. But the people who follow the NBA were very involved for the whole season. Some are rejoicing, some are saying ‘next year; you watch!’, and some are despondent because their lives are too pathetic to be more important than what a bunch of people in shorts are doing.

Would it make sense for me to watch the final and pass judgment on who won or lost? Can I even form an opinion about a team or individual players based on watching one game?

There are no teams, no individuals, and no sports that have any impact on my life. I used to ‘follow’ bowlers when I bowled, golfers when I golfed, and some racquetball players when I used to play. But the investment was never personal. I might have rooted for a team or a person, but impersonally . . . nothing in my life was affected by whether they won or lost.

But even if it were, even if I ‘cared’ . . . it wouldn’t give me the right to question anything about the collective performance of a team or the individual performance of an athlete. I certainly couldn’t take it as a personal affront. At most, I could beat myself up for giving a shit caring about what happens.

When I watch these hummingbirds, I wish they would all share (in another few weeks, they will) but I can’t sit here and pass judgment on what they do. All I can do is keep putting out feeders or take them all down.

Perhaps that’s how fans should be: cheer athletes when they need cheering, support athletes when they need support . . . and put them in jail when they beat up their wives (or husbands), or run a dog-fighting ring, or otherwise break the law. And definitively castrate sexual predators before gutting them.

Wouldn’t that be novel?

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