Movies & TV Sports

American Idol. World Series. What’s the Difference?

Now that I live in LA, I also now work in an office. Aside from the fact that putting your hair in a pony tail is not the same as taking a shower when you work in an office, thus you must get dressed up every day instead of putting on sweats and lounging around, you also have conversations with people about things other than business, logistics about getting together, or child issues. They call it water cooler talk, and I love it.

I have a new friend at work who likes a lot of the same things as me. We were discussing television shows (we both watch The Big Bang – great show if you haven’t seen it). I asked him if he watches Idol.

“American Idol? Of course not.” The distain was dripping, no pouring, from his facial expression and I could tell he was taking me off his ‘take a five minute break and chat with someone in the office list’ as he inched his way toward the door of my office.

“Well, you are watching the World Series right?”

He moved back toward me with a tough, don’t you even think of going there, look on his face. “Yes, it’s an American pastime, and what is your point?”

“Well, what is the difference? You watch a bunch of entertaining games leading up to the crescendo of the World Series final game. You personally do not play baseball. You eat in front of the TV, and you have a favorite team you really want to win. What is the difference between that and American Idol? And, might I point out, oh snobbish one (he and I don’t work for each other so I can go there in conversation, or at least the employee handbook doesn’t say I can’t go there), that more Americans watch American Idol’s final ‘game’ than the World Series.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“Yep, I can and I am.”

The conversation that ensued isn’t interesting to me, and since it’s my blog and he is a free American and can start his own blog, or answer this one if he chooses, means I don’t have to present his point of view. Suffice to say that he cannot conceive that anyone in America could compare the World Series to an American Idol final. I think he’s wrong.

Both are entertainment for the viewer and serve no greater purpose than that.

Both are on TV or in person shows. One costs more and has more events, but that’s just semantics.

Since becoming Obama Mini Me, I personally do not judge others and their tastes at all. I like American Idol because I love to sing, and if you follow my blog daily you know that liking to sing and being good at singing is not the same thing. I do not like to play baseball. I think it’s boring to watch, and does not call for brain power in the least. And while I recognize that pitching calls for some athletic prowess, it also messes up your shoulder big time (my dad was a pitcher) and physical abuse is not something I think should be America’s pastime. Should we talk about baseball catcher’s knees? I also think that when you consider the trouble baseball has had with cheaters who use enhancements to make themselves better at the game, you have to give Idol its due that no one lip sings while they have someone else’s voice piped in. In other words, there is no cheating on Idol and that alone makes it better than baseball. And, don’t get me started on baseball players and Madonna. But I don’t judge anyone who likes to watch it. Suit yourself. Be my guest. Go for it.

I think I really won that debate. Funny, I’m not sure my new friend has been in the office lately. He hasn’t stopped by.


Thanks Tom Watson

Tom Watson at the Open

For those of you not in the golf loop, this past weekend, Tom Watson, at the age of 59, almost won the British Open. It was an amazing display of tenacity that had the pundits spinning.

“It’s bad for the game. If someone that old wins, then what does it say about the degree of difficulty in golf?”

“It’s great for the game. Can you imagine if he wins it for the sixth time this late in his career?”

And so the four days went. Going into the eighteenth hole, he had to make par to win. He didn’t. In the interview afterward, someone asked him if it was because he was too old and lost steam? He replied that while it might have looked that way, it didn’t feel that way.

Here is the thing. So many people are going to pick up their dreams again because of his success this past weekend. Golf courses and driving ranges will be filled over the coming days with those who put the clubs away a long time ago. Now, they will pick them up and say, “Why not me too?”

This story is so American. The Rocky Balboa dream of that which seems unattainable becoming attainable. While I am not a believer in everyone winning the blue ribbon whether they won or not, as is the custom for younger kids right now, I am a believer in inspiration, and that’s what this weekend was all about.

Most people have no idea whose name is on the trophies of the world, but for a moment on a Sunday afternoon, all of us who have achy joints and tired souls sat up a little straighter and thought, “It’s not too late.” To me that’s a stronger legacy than winning. Ok, that’s a lie. It would have been the perfect movie ending if he’d won, but the lesson was not in the winning, and I heard it loud and clear.

Sports Women

Eight Belles Week: It’s Kentucky Derby Time

I have a picture of Eight Belles in my office on the wall. You remember Eight Belles. She was the filly that ran in the Kentucky Derby last year and broke both her legs after finishing second in a field of nineteen boys. She was only the fourth filly to run in the Kentucky Derby in a bunch of years (I can’t remember how many). Sports Pundits all across America sang of her strength, her commitment, her heart. Animal activists cried of the cruelty of the race and said this should not be happening. It’s the dirt rather than grass; there are too many in the field, there is too much inbreeding and the lower legs are no longer strong enough, and so on.

I didn’t watch the Derby last year and have always felt the fraud when attending Derby parties where everyone seemed to really care about what horse crossed the finish line first. If I bet, it was based on the way the name of the horse struck me, not anything about the horse. And, I stopped going a number of years ago when I realized that I just didn’t feel good about watching them run, run, run being beaten with sticks the whole time. I wonder if the Olympic runners would run faster is someone ran behind them beating them with stick? I am told it doesn’t hurt, but I don’t believe them.

Six Belles Her trainer was very strange. “She ran a whale of a race. She ran the race of her life,” Jones said, fighting back tears. “She ran great. She went out in    glory,” Jones said. “She went out a champion to us.”  Don’t you think that’s a strange thing to say? But let’s not dwell there; I’m sure he’s thinking of her this week, and so am I.

Eight Belles will sit on my wall for a long time to come. I draw strength from her. She gets added to the list of strong women in our history who have gone before, done their best and didn’t always get what they deserved.

Thanks EB.