Clinton, South Carolina, Thursday, August 11, 2016, 10:06 a.m.
No good verb exists for your favorite team, or race driver, or ballplayer, or golfer, etc.
Who do you pull for? For whom do you pull?
Pull for? It’s hard enough just to pull.
I’ve put a fair amount of thought, over the past few minutes, in how to “pull for”? Let’s say you’re driving a pickup truck, with a friend, and boredom sets in, and you decide to see how far you can coast. Push in the clutch — or slip it into neutral — roll down a hill and try to get to the top of the next one. As the truck slows, you and your buddy start sliding in the seat, stupidly thinking this tiny impetus might get the truck to the top, where, presumably, its coasting can live on for another hill.
That might be an example of “pulling for.” That might be an example of needing a life.
I’ve tried not to use “pull” in relation to sports, unless it’s skeet shooting. Personally, I try to condition myself to use “root.” I root for the Red Sox. I root for the Paladins.
I’m a hog. I’m trying to get out of my pen. Oink! Oink!
Plunging into academic research — I fiddled around with my phone for two minutes — the best alternatives are “back” and “support.” I back the Red Sox. I support the Paladins.
I bore myself.
I love the Red Sox! It went unrequited last night.
Everything is becoming a ballgame.
I know a ballgame when I see it. I’ve been playing in and writing about them for my whole life.
The election is a ballgame. A dirty game. The refs aren’t calling anything. No one cares about the game. Everyone cares about this game.
My grandmother on my mother’s side had many nonsensical sayings. When she felt a bit puny, she’d say, “I’m about to perish to death.” “Perish” was pronounced “persh.” I was 15 years old before I realized she didn’t “ice” her potatoes before she boiled and mashed them. “Aish taters” were Irish potatoes.
I’m about to perish to death of the Olympics, and I’ve barely watched them. They’ve smothered all the channels like hash browns at the Waffle House.
I’m surprised TCM isn’t running a week of Olympic movies.
Yes, I’m ashamed of myself for feeling this way.
I remember when I wrote about football games. (By the way, I am as dismissive of “cover” as “pull for.”)
In case you aren’t convinced that football is king, I now write rich descriptions of “7-on-7 scrimmages,” which once were called games of touch, and other scrimmages that don’t count, still more than two weeks away from games that do.
The local folks can’t get too much about their Red Devils and Raiders. Tonight they’re both playing a half in a Woodruff jamboree, which means “scrimmage that sells tickets,” only they are thirds, technically, since three sessions are being played. Each third is what would normally be a half: Clinton vs. Blue Ridge, 6:30 p.m.; Spartanburg vs. Chapman, 7:30; and Laurens vs. Woodruff, 8:30.
Me to the local McDonald’s to file story and photos, no later than 10 p.m.
All that having been snarked, I’m part of the local folks, too. I love hanging out on practice fields and chatting with coaches. It unearths my inner kid. Most sports fans feed an inner kid. A few get to buy it meals.
I also like the tension of deadline pressure. Another political analogy: It’s the art of the possible. Write the best you can do in the least possible time. It’s like taking the SATs every Friday night.
And, occasionally, Thursday night for a jamboree in Woodruff.
Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy either Forgive Us Our Trespasses or Crazy of Natural Causes, and you’ll get a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs, absolutely free. Tell ‘em Mr. Monte sent you, y’hear?
Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Crazy of Natural Causes is on sale at $1.99. Links to print copies are below.
Forgive Us Our Trespasses is the latest. It’s a tale about crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.
Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.
The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.
The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.
Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.
Follow me at Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Twitter (@montedutton), Google+ (MonteDuttonWriter) and/or Instagram (Tug50).