SPORTS TALK – February 2020

By Peter Lederman

Having grown weary of mumbling half excuses as I exit early from a string quartet performance or backing my way out of a nice dinner party, or even feigning illness to avoid a night out, I have decided to come out of an unusual closet and announce that I have a profound love of SPORTS. I call this closet unusual, ’cause in the larger world, larger than Andes I guess, my behavior would be considered quite normal. But up here, surrounded by beauteous nature and peopled by what seems an abundance of authors, and painters and actors, horticulturalists, musicians, and pet lovers (all of whom I share passions with) it’s an isolating experience for someone whose muse is Eli Manning. See I got you right there: he is/was the quarterback for the woeful 3 win and 12 loss New York Giants football team, whom I am a lifelong FAN of, and whose contributions to the fabled stories of sport have been absolutely, existentially heroic.

It might sound silly to most people—that I feel an aloneness that is troubling—but let me give two supporting facts. I felt a need to form a very small club, 3 people including my wife who I am hereby outing, that gathers to watch sporting events on the sly…we even have a secret password when we see each other in public…yep it’s “swordfish” courtesy of the Marx Brothers, that we use to signify our kinship when in mixed, non-sports-loving, company. And secondly, I once posted the chance for someone to watch a Giants game on television with me at the Andes Library auction and for the $10 I garnered I was able to temporarily gain a comrade to share my love with….but alas, he soon disappeared.

So what’s the point of this you might ask?  Well many a time when I am in a sequestered ecstasy I feel a little selfish. Here I am in sports heaven watching an event that feels almost transformative, and so easily available to my fellow Andeans, and I know they are missing out. If only I could open the door for them to this vast arena of enjoyment, and ardor and excitement. A world full of as much, if not more, passion, mythology, history, tradition, excitement and often pure joy as a Puccini aria or the later stages of  Moby Dick, and friends, the ending is ALWAYS unknown. Ah, but why bother? Ah but why not try?

So every once in a while, when the urge seizes and this lovely local paper has room, I plan, for better or worse, to throw out there a mixture of Intro to Sports 101, a review of a recent sporting event or to lay the groundwork for an upcoming event. By the way, I hear that on the 23rd on ESPN this fellow David, who is a perennial second stringer (doesn’t get to play with the big boy varsity) has a match with this giant of the ring Goliath who is undefeated; but hey you just never know.~