By Paul Wieland
Assaulted by walls of sound, eddies of fury and windrows of wonder, America’s sports fans hear words at their worst, and at their own peril.
In the thousands of sports broadcasts and telecasts exposed to the eyes and ears of fans, those same fans need little knowledge of our common language. They only need know a few words and phrases. Because that’s all they get.
I write these unbelievable words because they’re great, and they’re great because they’re unbelievable. Great writing, huh… just unbelievable.
The only thing greater and unbelievable is when the great unbelievably pass away. That’s a three-ring circus for the men and women who tell us about the games on television. Passed away caps the occasion. It’s the Super Bowl of life, the end all and be-all for the great and the unbelievable. But what does it mean? What are we passing, where are we passing it, and where is away?
With apologies and no permission, I pass on a recent New York Times story as if it were told by a vapid sports announcer. You get to pick which of three words or phrases to insert in the blank spots. Remember, they’re “great,” “unbelievable” and “passed away.” And it doesn’t matter which words go into which spots. They all are made to fit by those who blather sports.
“WASHINGTON — Nameless, faceless and voiceless, the C.I.A. officer who first triggered the _____________ threat to President Trump’s tenure in office seemed to be practically the embodiment of the “deep state” that __________ the president has long accused of trying to ______________ take him down.
“But over the last three weeks, the __________deep state has_______________ emerged from the shadows in the form of real live government officials, past and present, who have defied a ________White House attempt to block cooperation with House impeachment investigators and provided evidence that largely backs up the _______________ whistle-blower.
‘The parade of witnesses marching to Capitol Hill culminated this week with the ____________dramatic testimony of William B. Taylor Jr., a _________ military officer and diplomat who has served his _____________country for 50 years. Undaunted by White House pressure, ______________ he came forward to accuse the same president who sent him to Ukraine a few months ago of abusing his__________ power to advance his own__________ political interests.
“The House impeachment inquiry into Mr. Trump’s efforts to force Ukraine to investigate Democrats is the climax of a 33-month scorched-earth struggle between a ____________president with no record of public service and the_______________ government he inherited but never trusted. If Mr. Trump is impeached by the House, it will be in part because of some of the same _______________career professionals he has derided as “absolute scum” or compared to Nazis.”
I’d name a sports announcer to complete my analysis, but unbelievably, the great ones have passed away.
Paul Wieland is one sports fan longing for the days when players made exceptional, outstanding or good plays, and their efforts were believable. And in the end, they just plain died.