The idiocy of cultism and religious indoctrination is endemic. All over the United States, between school classes, kids drop to one knee and bow their heads. They are imitating a professional quarterback named Tim Tebow who does this every time he gets lucky during a game (which has been too often this season). He is thanking Jesus for helping him complete a forward pass. This seems to me to be the equivalent of having twelve men on the field, but so far no penalty has been called.
I am all-too-familiar with this sort of stupidity. See, I have to confess here that I managed to put myself through college by playing semi-professional baseball in Illinois. I was offered a baseball scholarship, but I compared the situations. On the one hand, if I pitched an won four games during the summer, or played in eight, I could pay room, tuition, and board at a major Midwestern University – the state was more sensible and had better priorities then. On the other hand, I could have my tuition paid and get to live in an athlete’s dormitory and eat with them. It would only take about half of my time during the school year. All I had to do was retain armature status.
Back then, college baseball players were very seldom afforded any opportunity to get to the Major Leagues. The path was the minor leagues (and I turned down a contract there too). See, they had this clause, before Curt Flood, that made you an indentured servant. You could choose not to play once you signed, but you could not negotiate with another team if you had a good year. So, screw that.
As far as spending half my day playing baseball, dragging the infield, pitching batting practice, shagging fly balls, and sleeping near people with limited vocabularies was concerned, I declined that as well.
So, it became particularly important for me to play those summer games, and better to become the winning pitcher. Now, umpires and catchers were often a problem. Umpires were not very well-paid and some had narrow strike zones. I could live with that if it stayed consistent, but it often didn’t. With some, if you threw the first pitch right down the middle and the catcher caught it, just about everything else was a strike. Great, but it took awhile to figure that out. Often, if the umpire took a dislike to you, everything was called a ball unless the batter swung at it. If a batter did get on base, and then ran to second, the catcher would almost wind up and then throw to second and by that time the runner was on second. Wonderful.
Once I got thrown out of a game for laughing or giggling. There was this one batter in a very important game that I just could not get out. I threw everything at him and the weakest hit he got was a double. Things like that happen. Well, it was a critical situation and he came to bat. I threw the first pitch at him as hard as I could, aiming it at his temple. He went one way, the bat the other, and his helmet was the only thing left in the batter’s box. I put my hand on my mouth and said “Oh my god, are you ok?” (Smirk). I threw a slow curve on the outside corner next and he popped up to the second baseman.
The next time he came up, I looked in for the signal and somehow disassociated. All I saw were three sets of eyeballs looking at me, staring in fear, as I looked for the signal. Those worried eyes were becoming comical. I started to grin. The eyes grew wider. I smirked. The eyes grew even wider. I laughed. I was thrown out of the game, still laughing, glad that the men in white suits were not called.
Ok, to get to the point. Most irritating after that freak show were batters who would cross themselves as they stood in the batter’s box. I’d throw the first pitch at them, and then they would behave. One day, another coach or manager arrived and asked “Wat da fuck d’ya tink yer doin?”
I said, “I have enough to contend with, what with the catcher and the incompetent umpire, and do not intend to pitch against god as well. It is unfair.”
He never let me start another game. Fortunately, it was time for graduate school and I got a teaching assistantship.
So, Tim Tebow, you are lucky you were not an opposing batter. And I hope you and your team loses.
It does not make sense to try to translate this one, so next time, Deutschland!