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Thoughts on spring and sports

By Staff
Jim Grammer, When it was a game
Oh, the sweet smell of spring, my second most favorite time of year-my favorite time of year is, of course fall. But, I love spring in the South when the grass begins to turn green and the dogwoods bloom and all over our little town on any vacant lot there are the baseball teams and softball teams going through batting practice or taking infield.
Yep, you can forget the Robins, it's a sure sign of spring when the crowds of mamas and dads, grandparents and just onlookers are gathered along the chain link fence on the first and third base side, sitting in lawn chairs and bleachers rooting for the team. It's sure enough spring when the girls and boys are moving the ball up and down the soccer fields with mom and dad cheering them on. I love spring.
You know, there are some things about the spring I don't like. For instance, I just can't get used to the sound of a baseball striking an aluminum bat. I grew up in the days when baseball was made of leather and a baseball bat was made of wood. The first thing one learned about the game was the proper way to hold the trademark on the bat so it wouldn't break when it struck the ball. I bet young kids today don't know what a trademark is. Sorry, boys and girls, I just can't stand the sound the ball makes when it is hit by some enormously expensive metal bat. Even in college baseball you hear "Plunk" and the announcer says, "its a high fly ball, it may be, it is, it's gone, homerun." There's just not that excitement to it like it was way back when you heard "Crack" and you could tell by the sound that it was a homerun. Thank goodness the pros still use the wood bat.
Another thing, I like the sight of freshly cut grass and a well manicured lawn as much as anybody, but there is something in the deep recesses of my mind that makes me hate the smell of freshly cut grass. This phobia, or whatever it is, was caused by the smell of fresh cut spring grass during those trying days of spring practice back at Alabama. During Coach Bryant's days spring practice was pure hell, to put it mildly. Players were worked to absolute exhaustion everyday and no one cared if you got hurt or not. Everyone dreaded spring practice and would try anything to get out of it, but with mostly no success. All during these days out on the that practice field there was a scent of that grass and when I smell it today it causes the irrational feeling of dread. I know it sounds crazy, but it's true.
There is another thing I don't like about spring. Have you ever noticed in our little wonderful city that there are more rumors going around during spring than any other time of year? It took me awhile, but I finally figured-out what causes this. It's called "ball field talk" here in Hartselle. More false rumors and outright lies got started with the adults that gossip while sitting in those bleachers and lawn chairs at the ball fields than Communist propaganda during the Cold War.
For some reason it just doesn't happen as much any other time of the year. Another strange thing about this gossip is that it only applies to three subjects: (1) circumstances of how someone died recently, (2) who's being unfaithful to their spouse, (3) anything connected to the Hartselle School System (by my unorthodox calculations this subject has only a 12.5 percent chance of being anywhere remotely accurate).
Of course things that pertain to the school system are the most juicy gossip; death and adultery have to take a back seat.
New comers to our town need to be aware of this phenomenon so they can be prepared when they go see their kids play baseball, softball and soccer. The next one doesn't have anything to do with sports, but still I have to mention it.
What in the world was the Good Lord thinking when he created trees that produce all this yellowish, dusty pollen that covers everyone and everything this time of year?
It clogs-up your nose and sinus, makes you sneeze and cough and makes your car look like it just came off an African safari.
With all the different ingenious forms of reproduction He created here in this wonderful world, it looks like He could have come-up with something a little better than this.
But, I guess he knew what he was doing and He never promised us a prefect world.
Anyway, I love spring.

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