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Options January 26, 2016: In which I try answer the Big Question, "Sports. Why?" (Fill-in for Sportsy Talk)

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Artist Track Album Label Approx. start time
Yo La Tengo  Meet the Mets   Options Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics  Egon  0:00:00 ()
Walt Whitman (Quoted)  Walt Whitman on Baseball   Options Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns OST  Elektra  0:01:51 ()
 
Belle & Sebastian  The Stars of Track and Field   Options If You're Feeling Sinister  Matador  0:05:45 ()
Therese takes Calls  About Sports   Options      

Listener comments!

Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:03pm Matt from Springfield:

YLT "Meet the Mets"! Had a bit of a Beach Boys vibe to it, if that's possible!

Hi Therese! Look forward to your Sportsy Talk! Sportsy Rainbow!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:03pm Ken From Hyde Park:

So. Therese. Do you think the Patriots should've gone for a field goal with three minutes left in the Broncos game Sunday?
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:04pm slocker:

Where do I find a skipping tutor?
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:04pm Cheyenne:

oh hey Therese!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:04pm Carmichael:

I guess ol' Tom is not so terrific. BWAAHH HAAA!
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:05pm Matt from Springfield:

Schadenfreude schared, Carm! :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:05pm Jeff:

I'm not, not really,
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:05pm Studio B Ben:

You aren't missing anything, Therese, that you don't get from reading a good book about an underdog winning the day.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:05pm Cheyenne:

you get to sweat a lot and possibly hurt yourself! sports sure are cool!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:05pm Ken From Hyde Park:

"The least trusted name in sportsy talk radio"?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:06pm Cliff:

So.....why did Bronwyn and Jim pick you to fill in for them?
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:06pm Matt from Springfield:

I am an inside kid, uncoordinated mess as well!
But I *excelled* in the past two days at Snow Shoveling! I excavated cars, reconnected sidewalks, and for the finish I added trails to the community mailbox, since delivery resumed today!
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:06pm Cheyenne:

This is an excellent song about sports tho.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:06pm Revolution Rabbit Nov63:

Therese - I *hate* Sport. *Hate* it. But I think what people like about it is *exactly* that it's meaningless (after all, I dig Godzilla, funnybooks & Rock'n'Roll)...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:07pm Jeff:

Was one of those songs from that movie about Englishmen running outside in their underthings?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:07pm Studio B Ben:

We could talk about Undertale. A skeleton wears basketballs in it. That's Sportsy.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:08pm Cheyenne:

I used to do a zine called "OllyOllyOxenFree" that was about games, but not sports. I like games more than sports.
  Tue. 1/26/16 6:08pm Snake Plisken from DC:

I suppose the most dangerous game is a sport.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:08pm Matt from Springfield:

@RRN63: I'm *kinda* interested in hearing about some sports, much less so others. But I can appreciate those who are, because after all: Every Sport Tells A Story, in some way or another. That's where some people get their jollies.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:08pm Carmichael:

Did Bobby Fischer qualify as an "athlete"?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:08pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I wonder if Abe Vigoda (RIP) participated in sports as a lad.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:09pm Cheyenne:

MATHLETES COUNT! (....get it??? ....nevermind)
  Tue. 1/26/16 6:09pm Snake Plisken from DC:

Ritter Sport?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:09pm Cliff:

Yeah, jeez, I can't believe Abe Vigoda really is dead this time.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:10pm Matt from Springfield:

@Carm: That gets into the "game vs. sport" question. Chess is a game, equestrian-ship involves exercise, but is more of a game (gaining points). Now *racing* (track/NASCAR/horses/etc), is that a game, or a sport?? Now I'm more confused than when I started...

@Cheyenne: AUGGH!!!! ;)
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:13pm Matt from Springfield:

Danne, where are ya??! :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:13pm Cliff:

Cheyenne: I was a mathlete! And I was on the Lego Team too!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:14pm steve:

after 2-3 years without touching them i recently put both of my skateboards out on the curb. kinda sad i guess?
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:14pm Matt from Springfield:

I was a mathlete also! And, a "theater athlete"! (Since we called improv comedy "theater sports" ;)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:14pm BadGuyZero:

Hiya!
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:15pm Matt from Springfield:

BGZ!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:15pm steve:

we had "Math Olympiad"
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:15pm BadGuyZero:

Are you a mathlete?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:16pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Our school district had annual "Math Track Meets" when I was in high school.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:16pm Mike East:

I played fantasy football one or two years...I was trying to convince myself that I liked sports. Turns out, I don't. I much prefer watching PBS cooking shows on Sunday afternoon and listening to Jonesy. But to each his/her own. Gotta be yourself, man. Sometimes its not always clear who that is and it takes some time to figure it out.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:16pm Carmichael:

I love sports AND rock-n-roll. Bicycling and distance running, specifically.

Alice Cooper started his first band in high school while he was on the track team, a bunch of 2-milers rocking out at night!
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:16pm Matt from Springfield:

Academic decathlete! :)

@Ken HP: May I ask, what the "track" was??
  Tue. 1/26/16 6:18pm blahblahSports:

Already this is better than the regular sportsy talk. Normally I have to shut it off.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:18pm Cliff:

I used to like watching the Olympics when ABC broadcast them. But then NBC took it over and made it all jingoistic.
  Tue. 1/26/16 6:18pm @djelrock:

Simply put, in order to enjoy sports you need to be able to suspend reality for however long the game is and only the drama that's being fed to you matters. Just like a movie.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:19pm Ken From Hyde Park:

M_f_S - It was in name only. We'd take four or five written math exams (metric system, geography, algebra, etc.) and at the end they'd hand out awards to the top schools and individuals.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:20pm Matt from Springfield:

@Cliff: Is Bob Costas a factor in that?

@djelrock: That's a good way of putting it.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:20pm Matt from Springfield:

@Ken HP: Pshaw, they were just trying to be clever! :)
  Tue. 1/26/16 6:21pm Kevin:

ever think you'd be praying for a Larry d. perv call?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:21pm Carmichael:

But with NBC we get to hear and see Bob Costas in his mock turtleneck, waxing philosophically about the Herculean struggles of our legendary athletes. <sarcasm mode off>
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:21pm Matt from Springfield:

I think this caller is a self-aware robot, trying to cut into a conversation it already programmed.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:23pm Ken From Hyde Park:

In 10th grade or so, they had us run a 100-yard dash. When my turn came, I sprinted down the track and came to a stop right on the finish line. I didn't know that you were to run full speed past the line. I received much ridicule for that.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:24pm Matt from Springfield:

Another Super Bowl of Old Hands (Broncos & Peyton) vs. New Blood (Panthers & Cam Newton). That's a narrative you can use.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:24pm Cliff:

Bob Costas wasn't so bad, but it was just the NBC coverage in general was always focused on the American atheletes and would only focus on the events where the Americans were likely to win. ABC had more of an international focus to their reporting.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:25pm Jeff:

Mathematics.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:26pm Matt from Springfield:

The British are better at it - they have mathematicS (maths), while we only have mathematiC!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:26pm steve:

i feel like my brain is wired in a way that makes me want to see one team or competitor win if i watch a sporting event for more than a few minutes. no matter what it is. its hard wired... its illogical and i can't explain it.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:27pm Carmichael:

These callers sound suspiciously like the SUW demographic.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:28pm Matt from Springfield:

@steve: I don't care for NASCAR (my uncle and late grandfather were hugely into it), but if I went to a race with them (like Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas VA, like a "minor league" stock car track), I'd pick one car at the beginning and root for it during the race. Even if I didn't know anything about the driver, I'd find it fun to watch his progress.
  Tue. 1/26/16 6:29pm froyo:

@Carmichael blizzard threw off people's schedules
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:29pm Greg from ZONE 5:

Therese! Whaaaaa?!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:30pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Does WFMU have staff softball games anymore? There are pictures of games from many years ago.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:30pm Matt from Springfield:

@froyo: Heh, after the long, isolated weekend, they're finally ready to continue Friday evening :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:31pm Ken From Hyde Park:

@Greg - The entire Sportsytalk staff is on assignment this week.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:31pm Carmichael:

Jim probably got someone pregnant again ...
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:31pm Matt from Springfield:

Even Westchester should be "upstate", to a hardcore NYC resident.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:31pm BadGuyZero:

Is there such a thing as a geothlete?
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:32pm Jeff:

I really liked Bob Costas as an interviewer when he had his "Later" show from '88 to '94... then he left to go back to the the sports-industrial complex.

I thought it was a terrible shame that someone with any sort of talent or personal charm was wasting himself on all that endless content-free sports chatter.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:33pm Matt from Springfield:

@BGZ: We had Geography "Bees", like Spelling Bees.
So..."Geogra-Bees", maybe???
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:34pm Matt from Springfield:

YES Jeff! Let's talk about the dangers of the "sports-industrial complex"! Bring a political talk edge to this Sportsy talk!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:34pm Cliff:

This is kind of like meta-sportsy-talk. :)
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:35pm Mike East:

my daughter has a GeoBee coming up in a few weeks.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:35pm steve:

why isnt competitive long distance walking a sport? that's something i could get behind.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:35pm Matt from Springfield:

Good point, a lot of people want someone to be "The Best" in something - that explains sports championships, Olympics, award shows, etc. That explains a lot, actually. Thanks caller!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:35pm Mike East:

when she first told me about it, I said, "What the heck is a Gob?"
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:36pm Matt from Springfield:

@steve: It IS an Olympic sport!! 20, 50 km speed walking events. But, I don't think those will ever be broadcast on TV, if that's what you're wondering.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:37pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I once enjoyed watching golf on TV. Ken Venturi covering the 17th hole, for example. Then they changed the format to follow the leader's foursome for the entire round. I totally lost interest in the sport when they started doing that.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:37pm steve:

wow i had no idea Matt!
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:38pm glenn:

i don't have a ridge. a bit of a receding hairline, maybe.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:38pm Matt from Springfield:

@Mike: Awesome! I don't know if they'll include physical geog questions at this point (like what is an "archipelago"?) but that was a frequent weakness for me as opposed to political geog (countries and states).

G-O-B, beats the "G-O-P" any day! :D
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:39pm Matt from Springfield:

@steve: Check out 2016 Rio, maybe some highlights of walking and cross-country running will be available online.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:41pm Carmichael:

I just read that Abe Vigoda was a gifted handball player in his youth.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:41pm Carmichael:

This guy's never gonna shut up ...
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:42pm BadGuyZero:

I'm baffled trying to figure out what this caller is talking about.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:42pm dale:

love his dissertation. but he can stop it now.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:42pm glenn:

feminists and baseball. check out baseball life advice by stacy may fowles.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:42pm Matt from Springfield:

Very interesting backstory to the song!
"You can't afford a ticket / Back from Baseball-gette City!"
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:42pm BadGuyZero:

Yay lady caller!
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:42pm Matt from Springfield:

Wow, now "Teenaged" Zoe!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:42pm Kurt Gottschalk:

hi zoe!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:46pm Jeff:

I'm right with you, Therese! I'd love to cut all those ESPNs out of my cable service and the bill!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:47pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Always Sunny in Philadelphia had an episode with the gang downhill skiing last night.
  Tue. 1/26/16 6:49pm Listener Robert:

Matt, "game" and "sport" are partly overlapping sets. There are games that are sports, sports that are not games, there are sports that are also games. Among games there are those that are competitive & those that are not competitive.

We had a discussion at the Junto back in the 20th C. about how to define "game". It's pretty hard. The only thing I insist on is that a game have boundaries in space & time. If an activity encompasses all time and/or space, it's not a game. So, for instance, one's life is not a game.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:50pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Sport of the future: competitive aging. Pharmaceutical and genetic manipulation companies vie to get behind the longest-living humans.
  Tue. 1/26/16 6:50pm Listener Robert:

Heck, Geo. Blanda was a heck of a QB at 39 YO, and was even competent at 49.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:51pm Matt from Springfield:

@Robert: Thanks for those comments on the philosophy of "games".
  Tue. 1/26/16 6:52pm Listener Robert:

Besides space-time boundaries (also boundaries w.r.t. person), games (competitive or not) have to have a significant of artificiality & arbitrariness.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:53pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Scripted = Rigged ?
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:54pm Matt from Springfield:

Blacksburg! (We just talked of that last night... :)
The Carter homestead is all the way down in Scott Co, near Bristol and TN).
  Tue. 1/26/16 6:54pm Listener Robert:

Remember when the Mafia fixed a performance of Swan Lake? According to Woody Allen, at least.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:54pm Kurt Gottschalk:

VANGELIS!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:54pm Mike East:

I don't mind folks who are real into sports, but it bothers me when they make the assumption that I care about it...like when they ask if I saw the Yankees game last night, and I say no, then they'll say, Oh, you're a Mets fan, then?"
The subtext being: "cuz the only other option is that you don't have a pair of testicles..."
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:56pm glenn:

and we know you have two kids, mike, so....
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:57pm glenn:

fuck the super bowl. spring training opens in 3 weeks.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:57pm Pete from Boston (and NJ):

Watching sports is watching a story. Often it's a dull story, but that's like enjoying a bad movie. At its best, it's a really suspenseful story.

Once you decode how to follow the story, you are following it with other people who are as much a part of it as you.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:58pm Ken From Hyde Park:

I just remembered: Yo La Tengo came into that name from a sports-related story. One of the outfielders didn't speak English, so the player in position to catch the ball would yell out "Yo La Tengo!" Well, something like that.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:59pm Pete from Boston (and NJ):

It's good to have someone who gets your level of interest and walks you through it, so you get it and are then in the story, too.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:59pm glenn:

also, sports is the only thing you can watch on a television, and not require sound. invaluable in a bar.
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:59pm Matt from Springfield:

@Pete: Yep, "Every Sport Tells A Story".
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 6:59pm BadGuyZero:

Nicely played, Therese!
Avatar Tue. 1/26/16 6:59pm Matt from Springfield:

ALL RIGHT!! Thanks Therese for filling-in, you did a great service to the not-so-sportsy inclined!

Have a good evening, everyone!
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 7:00pm Pete from Boston (and NJ):

It was fun to clean the basement to.
Avatar Swag For Life Member Tue. 1/26/16 7:02pm Ken From Hyde Park:

Nice work, Therese. Have a good week.
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