Mr. Bill George Presents

Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

The Invasion Of Normandy (In Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania)

In Sports on August 5, 2009 at 12:37 AM

I’m standing in a crowded landing craft. Or at least it’s called a landing craft. In my mind I’m an allied soldier, ready to storm the beaches of Normandy with my brothers in arms as we save Europe from the grip of tyrannous Nazi bastards. Images of “Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault” and “Saving Private Ryan” flash through my head. However, outside of my mind, I am actually in a wooden recreation of a landing craft, firmly planted on a grassy field surrounded by 10 other landing craft placed intermittently along an imaginary “beach line.” My rifle is really a paintball gun and my brothers in arms are fellow players who have made their way to Pennsylvania as I had for “The Invasion of Normandy” at Skirmish Paintball. One of the largest paintball events in the world.

We stood cramped in this craft waiting for the game to start. Waiting for the entrenched Nazis at the tree line to make fodder of us. We were the first wave. From the outside we could hear war crys as our allies got amped up for their wave to go in. This was not so with us, we in the landing craft had dimmed to a calm silence as the 30 seconds till the game start counted down. Sweat beads run down my face stinging my eyes, unable to be wiped away because of my mask. I check my harness, make sure my ammo pods are secured. I will be needing more than what my hopper can carry alone. The time is running out now. At five seconds a siren wails, signaling the start of the game. From the distance a million orbs of paint rise from the tree line like a great swarm of speckled bees that have just been disturbed from an ageless slumber. The silence of their ascent lasts for only a moment as the tiny orbs begin hammering the door of the craft, assaulting us with reverberations from the wood.

I crouch low, ready to sprint when that door drops. A great “WHOOMPF” is heard all along the field as the doors of the landing craft fall softly to the tall grass. Five guys ahead of me falter in the sprint to cover as shells and paint giblets erupt from their chest. Poor bastards never stood a chance, the germans had a bead on them ever since they started firing at the door. I don’t pause in my advance, I make it out of the landing craft and sprint the few yards to cover. About half of us made it out of the craft and we had drawn very heavy fire.

It was only the first wave and we were already barely able to fit behind the little cover near the landing craft. With nervous hesitance I knew I had to move up, if the second wave entered without us moving up it would be a cluster-fuck of camouflage, paintballed allies, and very happy Nazis. With that knowledge I charged ahead to the next available bunker. I remember thinking it was much more spacious however the volume of enemy fire I had attracted was also much more significant.

“MOVE UP!” I scream, along with a few others in the front lines. We few were like the fingers making way for the rest of the hand to drag itself up. Thank god, people started to move up though I found myself in the predicament yet again of being cramped in my bunker. Looking to my right there were a few barrels that would have to do for cover. I got up to sprint to it when I heard an immense flare in crackling, the firefight just reached a new level. Thinking the enemy all decided to say “Hey! Go for that guy!” I picked up speed and crashed into cover. When I made it to cover I saw that the firing was due to the second wave hitting the field, guns blazing at no particular target, and the germans were happy to return the favor. There were paintballs colliding with other goddamned paintballs to give you any idea as to how filled the air was getting with hard-shelled orbs traveling at speeds upward of 270 feet per second. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cheerleaders: Yay or Nay?

In Sports on May 17, 2009 at 8:39 PM

I was at the NBA Eastern Conference Semi-Final Game 7 between the World Champion Boston Celtics and the Orlando Magic today and something at the game rekindled an internal debate I’ve been struggling with for years now.

Cheerleaders

I’m conflicted over their very existence. I still can’t decide if I am for or against them.

On the one hand, I think to myself: How could any self respecting woman take such a job? The whole concept is degrading. Sports teams hoping to maintain the attention of their main demographic (young men) during timeouts by throwing pretty women in skimpy clothing in front them. And on top of that, have them dance… shall we say, suggestively. It objectifies women and reinforces stereotypes regarding their role in society that should have been broken down decades ago.

But, then I think to myself: It’s a job. And I’m guessing a relatively well paying one. And I am certainly not in the business telling people what they should or shouldn’t do with their lives. If a woman is passionate about dancing (and/or enjoys sports), why not try to be a cheerleader? It’s a high profile gig that I’m sure will serve their dancing careers well down the road. You get lots of press and attention, you do good for the community when not at games etc. And it’s only temporary by its very nature.

So which perspective wins out in the end? I still haven’t decided. My heart says it doesn’t feel right and we should strive for better as a people. While my brain says, why not? Life is far too short to deny these girls a job opportunity and simultaneously take away some dude’s entertainment.

Overall this post solves nothing in terms of me reaching a conclusion on the matter. But I wanted to get my thoughts out there and see how others feel about the issue (or non-issue). Or I could discover I’m all alone on this one  and I just think too much. Sound off below in the comments section.

Cheerleaders