Clinton, S.C., Sunday, February 23, 2014, 3:39 p.m.
Last night I was reading Frank Deford’s book Over Time in which he notes that, when Grantland Rice died in 1954, so ended the era in which sports columnists sprinkled poetry – Rice was humble so he called it verse – in their work.
You know. The One Great Scorer. The Four Horsemen. Stuff like that.
Before that, I read a novel, Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger, in which a major character, a little girl named Swede, was obsessed with writing an epic poem about a cowboy.
So with the Daytona 500 in rain delay, it’s time for poetry!
Hell, no, it’s not. Who could write poetry while watching Michael Waltrip interview 50 Cent, about whom Waltrip apparently knew nothing more than he could call him “Fitty” without getting his ass kicked?
So, I just surfed away from the bobsleds at the Olympic Winter Games and saw that a huge crash had occurred in Daytona Beach. The huge crash occurred in the 2013 Daytona 500, and I wondered if, instead of the tantalizing rain-day silliness, they switched to a year-old race hoping a hundred thousand or so would arrive home from the golf course and think they were watching something that was really happening.
Probably not in Minnesota. Okay, ice fishing there. In from the frozen pond, Olaf exults at Mark Martin running 14th. He’s the one who could write poetry, particularly if the pond is Lake Wobegon.
I, however, have no desire to watch last year’s Daytona 500. I didn’t like it that much the first time. Once again – for the second week in a row! – ESPN is showing professional bowling. ESPU has women’s college basketball – Rutgers at Louisville! – and ESPN2 is closing out Kentucky at Texas A&M. The Wildcats are, in fact, closing out the Aggies.
Fortunately, Deford’s remembrances are nearby, and so is the guitar, so the Daytona 500 can finishing winding its lonely way as soon as it gets around to it. I’ve got no flight to make, and the house here in the Palmetto State is paid up. Run it Tuesday for all I care. I don’t even know where the race next week is.
The joke about bacon and eggs, the one where the chicken is dedicated but the hog is committed? That’s kind of where I’ve moved in the sportswriting pantheon. I’ve gone from being committed to just being dedicated.
And, as soon as I get this posted, I may experience a drive-through window.