It doesn’t matter that these men are performing feats of athletic skill I can only achieve in my dreams (after which I usually wake up with a pulled groin muscle.) And it doesn’t matter that each of these men possesses more muscle mass than my entire body weight plus a mid-sized SUV.
The reason these things don’t matter to us men is because we knew THOSE men can’t actually hear us. If they could, then football parties as we know them would cease to exist:
“Did you see number 42?! That idiot completely missed the tackle!”
“Hey, Bill — I think he’s looking at you.”
“Try moving over by the cheese dip — oh yeah, he’s definitely looking right at you.”
“What’s he holding up?”
“I think it’s some kind of fancy GPS device.”
“Why’s he smiling like that?”
“Quick, Bill! Change the channel!”
This obvious exaggeration was done to make a point, which is that, aside from leaving for work one morning and being tackled through the screen door by a 310-pound linebacker, nothing can keep a man from shouting at the TV during a sporting event.
I should clarify that not all sporting events fuel a man’s primal need to yell at the TV.
One example is bowling.
The reason is simple: There’s no element of physical danger involved. True, there’s always the underlying risk of someone’s fingers getting pinched between two bowling balls, but it just doesn’t evoke the same level of danger as it would if bowlers had to actually compete for the ball in a tip-off before each frame:
“…The ball goes UP-and-now-down, off the head of Czechoslovakia’s Sirius Kunkussion, and onto the foot of Floppy Sesamoid, who is now gasping for air from the hand blower…”
It’s pretty much the same thing for golf and tennis; no real danger involved. And even though golf does use exciting terms like Water Hazard! Sand Trap! and Sudden Death!, we all know the only real danger is if someone forgets to pack a sweater for the senior tour.
However, in both sports, a few well-placed scorpions could make all the difference:
“What a beautiful shot by Tiger, eh Tom?”
“Yes, it was, Frank, but he seems a little hesitant to get his ball.”
“Well, Tom, Tiger’s a smart golfer. He knows there’s a good chance that one of the three remaining scorpion hazards is probably in that cup.”
“That’s a good point. But remember: He does still have one last caddy-option left. The question, of course, is whether to use him here, or save him for the sand trap…”
“In case you’re just tuning in, it’s advantage Federer, which means Nadal must win this next point if he wants to stay alive — no easy feat, I must say.”
“That’s right, Tom. As you can see, they have just released the scorpions on Nadal’s side of the court. One wrong step, and he could — WHOA! I think we’ve just lost another ball boy…”
Now, before I get a bunch of angry letters from bowlers, tennis players, golfers, and scorpions, I just want to say that I have nothing but the utmost respect for those sports (and for scorpions in general). The last thing I want to do is offend anyone with a racket, golf club, or good enough aim with a bowling ball to drop a 7-10 split.
Especially since we just had the screen door fixed.
(You can write to Ned Hickson at email@example.com, or at the Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore., 97439)