Vidakovich column: I will, I won’t; I do, I don’t; I would, I should … I could
I must warn you that this column has no particular subject or rhyme or reason to it. A collection of random sporting thoughts is what makes up the sentences and paragraphs that are to follow.
You may agree with some of my ramblings and strongly object to others, keeping in mind that this is not the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Rather, it’s simply arguable opinions of a person who has spent a life immersed in the study and playing of many sports and the remarkably unique characters that make up the always entertaining field of dreams.
So, here goes.
I couldn’t care less if or when the Major League Baseball shortened season ever gets going. The players and owners have been squabbling for quite some time now about how many games should be played and how much money those poor and destitute millionaire players should make. In a time when folks are trying to stay employed, pay bills and keep their heads above water, the guys who get richly rewarded for playing a kids game can’t seem to bare to part with a million or two here and there. I think it’s quite a shame.
I don’t seem to be much more excited for the resumption of the NBA season in late July than I am for baseball to begin. How they are going to keep all of the sweaty, heavy-breathing, colliding bodies from contracting this virus is a mystery that I can’t even imagine Columbo could solve.
I will be surprised if the Denver Nuggets make it past the first round of the bubble-bound tournament that is to be played entirely at Disneyworld in Orlando. The experts say plumpy Nikola Jokic has lost some weight and is in the best shape of his life. Extra padding and a low motivation level have always plagued Denver’s Croatian hoops star. Maybe if some of the flab is gone from his frame, someone in the organization has also decided to stick a hot poker up his keister to get him going.
I should be excited for late summer and the beginning of college and professional football, the two leagues that I would miss immeasurably. I could be mistaken, but like basketball, I think once all of those big bodies start to fall all over each other, players are going to be getting infected right and left. It’s already started to happen, and NFL camps don’t even open for another month.
I would like to tell you that I am a good golfer, but the word competent to describe my game on the links would be a stretch. I sure have had fun playing more this spring and summer than I have in a long time. Hitting that little ball and chasing it around green pastures is quite a challenge. But there is never anything about a good walk spoiled when you get the exercise and the scenery of a beautiful jaunt around a golf course with a bunch of good buddies, or even perfect strangers for that matter.
I do derive an equal amount of pleasure playing softball with my Tuesday night team in Rifle. We have a group of very fun guys and gals and they’re a pretty talented lot to boot. This could be our year to grab that elusive championship. We’ve come close a few years, but no victory cigars have ever been lit. The main thing is everyone is having a blast and that’s why I drive down the western turnpike each week to see my team.
I won’t ever stop running. Even someday when I’m old and used up, I will still get out the door early in the morning and crawl-run if I have to. Running is still the best therapy for dealing with this mixed up world that I have ever found, without exception.
I should tell you, though, that about a week ago I had to run a few extra miles in the early dawn light trying to make sense of why I had to say goodbye to beloved Aunt Jemima on my syrup bottle. This good friend, regardless of color, race or religion, has been with me for Sunday morning hotcakes since I was a little boy. I guess I’m just behind the times and filled with dumb-assery, because all I ever saw in this wonderful woman was someone who looked like she could really make a tasty stack of griddle cakes!
I must confess that when I heard the horrible news of AJ’s demise, I rushed to the store and stocked up on her likeness for many breakfasts to come.
I don’t let loose of dear friends that easily!
Mike Vidakovich grew up in Glenwood Springs, is a longtime youth sports coach and is a regular sports contributor for the Post Independent.
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