Friday, March 19, 2010

365 Photo Project - Day 77

Taken: March 18, 2010, 10:30 p.m.
Location: Healdsburg, Ca

Was just too tired to write anything last night. It was a full and rather pleasant day but a long one and I was exhausted by the time it came to thinking up something clever.

I did spend my evening a 13-year-old, the son of a good friend, who I've come to adore in the mere two years or so we've known each other. He is a sweet and kind kid, smart and funny. Like many boys his age, is also a sports fanatic, most notably for baseball (I only sometimes hold his love of the Yankees against him. After all, he got it from his Mom.) And, like most boys his age, he is obsessed with trades and free agency and all ways of player movement. I was about to say "in my day" which is going to make me sound like my Dad but, um, back when I was his age, trades were the exception not the rule. We didn't have a 24-hour-news-cycle-countdown-to-the-last-nano-second-of-the-trade-deadline with everybody from ESPN to the sports blog-o-sphere speculating on who is going, who is going where and for who in return.

Not that it has in any way dampened my young friend's love for the game. I'd rather hear his speculation any day. For one,  he never takes money or salaries into account and his proposals are far more creative that anything that actually does happen. Makes me wonder what professional baseball would be like if 13-year-olds got to run every franchise for one day. That would be something to see.

But see, we have the love in common. I've been a sportswriter, have lived through scandal after scandal, have seen my share of the parade of knuckleheads, both in uniform and out, have witnessed the worse of sports, on occasion from a front-row seat. But I'll never lose the love. I'm just not built that way.

I'm one of those people who, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary, still believes in the purity of the game, remains loyal to my favorite franchises  (Mets and NY Giants) even as they have not always showed the same loyalty in return. I know all that bad stuff exists but when the games start, I just don't allow myself to go down the dark alleyway of cynicism. I will not enter the House of What's Wrong With Sports Today. I prefer to believe that the game matters to most guys who play it and they do their best, they try hard and they try hard to win.

Sports is really the last refuge of the true gladiator, those aforementioned knuckleheads aside. There's almost always a winner and a loser and the outcome is as concrete as you can get -- even if some matches dominate "what if" discussions for generations (that's part of the fun too). The scoreboard tells the tale and every game is like its own mini story of drama and intrigue, life and death. I often wonder, actually, what life would be like if it worked more like sports. Do your job well and get paid, be judged on merit and ability, not by the what you look like or where you're from or who gave birth to you or who you happen to love. Now, that would be something.

The image today is another one of my experiments. It's an ostrich egg, set against a white background and lit from above. I used the K100D with internal flash and turned the image to B&W in Photoshop.

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