Sunday, May 30, 2004

Wide World of, Sports.

It's raceday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway: the Indy 500, Indianapolis' secular Mardi Gras. I have almost no interest in car racing, as it happens, despite growing up here. A certain amount of "race fever" is unavoidable if you live in Indy.... I learned my color names in kindergarten from the assorted race flags (though darned if I remember what they mean--there's a blue one with an orange stripe, what the heck IS that?) If you live anywhere on the west side of Indy you can hear the cars running on race day; it's like a distant hive of angry bees, or a spaceship warming up for takeoff. It's been going on all day today, since the weather has been poor (but not bad enough to call it off) they've been running under a red or yellow flag for a good part of the afternoon which means they're running "slow" and it's taking hours longer than it ordinarily would. I turned on the radio a bit ago to hear what's up and they were only on Lap 130 (out of 200)... so they may overlap with the Pacer game tonight, which is unfortunate.

But that's not what I came here to talk about! In an effort to make my blog more hip and relevant to today's blognews junkies, I'm pointing out a crucial news item I read yesterday. It's not about our horribly screwed up government, or Kerry's military service, or Bush's tie this keeping with today's theme, it's about sports. At the French Open this week, Russian tennis star Marat Safin pulled down his shorts and flashed a moon to celebrate making a difficult shot against his opponent. ("Safin Cheeky in 5-Set Win", Chicago Tribune May 29) He got penalized a point for this, and was furious that match officials saw something wrong with him dropping his drawers. The best part in this article was this quote:
SAFIN: I felt like it was a great point for me. I felt like pulling my pants down. What's bad about it?"
Yeah--everytime I have a personal triumph, my first impulse is to pull MY pants down. I used to do it all the time in fencing. I think I saw Ron Artest moon the Detroit bench in the playoff game Friday night. My friend Jeremy, a labor lawyer, always moons the courtroom after a particularly incisive cross-examination. (At least, I bet he does. He probably thinks about it.)

Up til now, I'd have said that professional tennis interested me even less than car racing.... but now that I know there's shorts-dropping action at the French Open, I'm going to be a fan for life.