Amish Ward Wednesday: Day Baseball, Naismith Basketball and Simpler Sports

BRONX, NY – All of New York City’s public schools, including my daughter’s, are on Spring Break this week. This means that I am taking the week off, except for today, to play activities director for her second grade version of howling at the moon. Monday was spent kicking around the neighborhood, hitting the playground, shooting hoops, and buying a pair of toy handcuffs (hey, it’s Spring Break!). Yesterday it was Jungle Book and Gray’s Papaya Hot Dogs in the city. Today I get to work, which is my break. It’s a simpler existence, work, and makes me long for a more spartan spring recess experience. I’m thinking an Amish holiday may be the way to go next year. Nothing but barn raisings, cow milking, horse n’ buggy riding, and great food. Hey, it worked for Harrison Ford in Witness… for a while anyway. Barring that, I was at least hoping for a getaway-day baseball game to bring her to on Thursday, but no such luck. Sports these days is as far away from simple as ever.

The Businessman Special. I hate how few day baseball games there are these days. You almost always have to wait for the weekends, and even then those bastards at ESPN end up moving the game you were going to see to 8:30 on a Sunday night. Lose the artificial lights already and play under the sun more. Baseball, beer, hot dogs, and just about everything else is better during the day. Hell, you don’t believe me? Ask the Starland Vocal Band, they’ll tell you.

Peach Basket Basketball. My Golden State Warriors are without all-everything guard Steph Curry because someone in Houston doesn’t know how to operate a mop. The LA Clippers also lost both Blake Griffin and Chris Paul for the remainder of the playoffs. And Phil Jackson won’t stop talking about his precious goddamn triangle offense. The NBA needs a rebuild. Bring back the James Naismith game and raise those peach basket goals to the rafters. You can’t shoot? You can’t play. Take away a ton of timeouts and reduce the time of games fer crissakes! The final 2 minutes of most basketball games take something like a half an hour. Oh, and make the Dolans go away.


What a Racket! Tennis? I’m gonna talk about tennis? All I want to see is a return to wooden rackets with the tiny face. Now that would make things a whole lot more interesting. Today’s racket heads are out of control. They’re bigger than Pat Sajak’s and Jason Kidd’s heads combined. Also, tennis players should be allowed to wear pysch-out stuff like Oscar and Felix did when they tried to beat Bobby Riggs at ping pong.

Football and Hockey. Leather Helmets and no goalie masks! Okay, this might not help hockey goalies but, wow!, who wouldn’t watch that kind of lunacy? As for the NFL, college, and high school football, leather helmets with no masks is the way to go. More sound tackling, for starters, and more endorsements. Look, I don’t want to push endorsement dollars, but it’s something these guys will listen to.

Slingin' Sammy Baugh!
Slingin’ Sammy Baugh!

Pro Wrestling. My cousin Haystacks Calhoun would be the first to tell you, pro wrestling is killing more grapplers these days than a thousand folding chairs over the head ever could. Chyna just died the other day but had the poor fortune of perishing on the same day as Prince. Anyway, Rasslin’ needs to get away from the performance-enhancing drugs and back to the good ol’ days of, boring black tights, clueless refs, distracting managers, and foreign objects aplenty. Bottom line, you can’t get “repetitive” head trauma when someone hits you with a blackjack once and tosses it into the third row. Clean it up, by making it dirty again. That’s the solution.

Okay, I’m done. I wanted to write this column with pencil and paper by candlelight but used the next best thing, a crippled PC. See you all next spring in Lancaster, PA!

P.s… Speaking of Spring Break:

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About Angry Ward 756 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.