There are plenty of reasons to be envious of professional athletes.|
There are the obvious ones: They make millions of dollars. They stay in peak physical condition with the help of professional trainers and nutritionists. They get to do something they love for a living.
Of course, certain people from all walks of life can and do achieve all three of those things in their professions. The hedge fund investor makes more money than A-Rod. That muscle-bound guy in the gym with the speed metal blasting in his headphones can probably bench press more than Ray Lewis. And how about Zane Lamprey, host of a television show called Three Sheets, where he basically travels the world sampling local food and booze – you think he's not having a good time at work?
For me at least, what separates professional athletes (and some college ones) from the rest of us is this: they get announcers.
I mean, what other worker gets introduced by a Michael Buffer sound-a-like with Van Halen's "Right Now" blaring behind them? Where else can you have your ultimate achievement captured by Al Michaels asking everyone else, "Do you believe in miracles?" Is there any other job you can do where routine tasks get blown out of proportion by a screaming Gus Johnson? Think of the glory!
If you're like me, you sometimes have those voices in your head, whether it be during a Rec-league basketball game or the home stretch of a 5K. You can hear Bill Raftery exclaiming "the kiss" when you hit that 15-foot bank shot. You imagine Tommy Smyth glowing about your foot skills in that fantastic Irish accent. You run around the gym hysterically chanting, "He's done it!" when you win that game of H-O-R-S-E. You know who you are.
So of course I'm jealous, but unfortunately, it's only the elite athletes are competing at a level where it's actually worth announcing. Think about it: what would happen if we really did have announcers capturing every play and every step of our own athletic endeavours? Methinks the broadcast might sound a bit different than it does in our own head.
In my head: You know, Joe, Larson has really been stinging the ball lately. He's shown power to all fields and at this point, there's no safe way to pitch to him.
Reality: You know, Joe, I can't remember the last time I saw a guy reach on an error six consecutive times, but Larson has done just that over his last two games. Ever since that move to the nine-spot in the order, it's like the opposing fielders are just expecting him to strike out or something.
In my head: Oh, Bill, that jump shot should get him going. That's all it takes for this guy to get hot, one shot!
Reality: Well, Bill, at least he won't be going home with an empty stat sheet again. Good for him. In all seriousness, though, this would probably be a good time to get him out so he doesn't push his luck too much.
In my head: He's broken through the pack, and I tell you, Ray, Larson is absolutely pulling away from the pack! Shades of early-90s Bo Jackson right here!
Reality: And Ray, it appears Larson doesn't realize his flag has already been pulled. Oh, and now it appears he's high-stepping... it's going to be a long walk back to the huddle after this.
In my head: GGGGGOOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLLL!
Reality: Right now both teams are out on the field warming up, and it looks like one of them is now running around with his shirt pulled up over his face. Strange, wouldn't you say, Steve?
In my head: And out in front holding onto a slim lead is Anders Larson of the United States. With that kick of his, I really don't see anyone catching him down these final 100 meters.
Reality: And here we have the first of our walkers, who, as you recall, started about 15 minutes after our runners here at the Susen Komen Race for the Cure 5K. Just in front of that pack, though, there does appear to be one runner as well. Oh my, Dwight, he appears to have saved quite a bit of energy for this finish as he sprints through the line, apparently in an effort to crack the 45-minute barrier.
In my head: (Whispering) Well, Johnny, it looks from here like he's got the 5-iron out the bag, which means he'll probably be trying to play that high cut shot that he's used so effectively today.
Reality: (Whispering) This is an awkward lie, Johnny, because that ball is just into the rough past the front edge of the tee box. He's not even walking back to his bag after that, so it appears he's just going to stick with the 5-iron again.
In my head: Oh and it's Larson with another forehand winner!! He simply will not go quietly today. You know, when it's all said and done, Jon, I think this could go down as the definitive tennis match of our generation.
Reality: And it looks like that shot from Larson will clip the tape and fall just over the net for an "excuse me" winner. Hey, Jon, did you see that Federer-Nadal match last weekend? I mean, wow. You know, when it's all said and done, Jon, I think that could go down as the definitive tennis match of our generation. And man, is that professional tennis a heck of a lot better to watch than this...