Monday, January 24, 2022

Quote of the Day (Ogden Nash, on Sports in Winter)

“All winter long, yes, every day,
I throw the sporting page away,
I turn my faithful radio off
And grimly settle down to scoff,
Since contests that as sport I list
In wintertime do not exist.”—American light-verse master Ogden Nash (1902-1971), “—And Don’t Forget Weight-Lifting, Shot-Putting, and the Ladies’ Junior Backstroke Championship,” in Everyone But Thee and Me (1962)

In case you’re wondering: Nash thought that hockey belonged to Canadians. As for basketball, he saw it as “A game indulged in by giraffes/And only good for scornful laughs.”  (If he felt that way 60 years ago, what on earth would he think now?)

Football? Back then there was no 17-game, 18-week schedule; no rival conferences facing off; no playoffs extending forever; and, instead of a Super Bowl in mid-February (like this year), the NFL Championship game was played on December 30, only a bit over a week from the transition from autumn to winter.

Many fans of the three sports just mentioned might quarrel with Nash. But I’m all for what he waits for in winter: the “grapefruit knights” of spring training, when he could “sail serenely into harbor/With Phil Rizzuto and Red Barber.”

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