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Sometimes I Wish That It Would Rain Here

Thursday, November 02, 2006

sportsmanship

the office where I go for physical therapy has some interesting decor. on many of the walls are old-skool sports paraphernalia accompanied by a complimentary drawing in the style of a colored wood-block print that appears to be from the same era as the equipment itself. for example, one wall has a set of old, leather boxing gloves next to a picture of what appear to be two shirtless proper gentlemen in a rope-encircle ring with a judge and several onlookers outside the ring. on another wall hangs a pair of wooden badminton rackets, accompanied by a picture of proper folk playing badminton on the lawn not very much unlike this one (via Google images). overall, it’s actually very tasteful, if not particularly appropriate since many people there are recovering from surgery or old-age induced injuries unrelated to sports.

the most interesting, however, is a catcher’s mitt and mask that appear to be from the turn of the last century. next to them hangs a picture the purportedly depicts the winning run of the 1880 game of the “New York Giants & Chicagos.” the picture shows a runner sliding into home plate and the catcher reaching down to tag the runner. what I find particularly interesting is the title of the picture: “How is it, umpire?” if such a scene were to unfold in professional sports today, it would likely entail the runner and catcher both telling the umpire how it is, not asking. furthermore, half the runner’s team would be waving their arms as a “safe” call, while half the catcher’s team would be jerking their thumbs in an “out” call. I just thought it interesting to see how the tenor of professional sports has changed in the past 125 years.

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