The O Zone…

My attention span is at an all time-low, which is truly saying something. I don’t know if it’s decreasing as my years are increasing. Perhaps it’s a result of having children. Maybe it’s all the cough syrup I drink.

I don’t know the reason… all I know is at this point in my life if anything takes more than 5 seconds for me to digest and comprehend, that’s 5 seconds too long. It’s probably why I’m a big fan of the new feature in the Inky Sports Section: High & Outside and Low & Inside.

It’s a collection of quick bytes from around the world of major league baseball, written in a short, quick, often tongue-in-cheek style that’s akin to my own style, at least that’s what I shoot for when I scribe The O Zone.

So, without further adieu or any other kind of adieu, I give you The O Zone, ADD style.

This received just a minor blurb in the aforementioned Inky Sports Section (April 12th edition) but to many, myself included, it’s a major news item. Here’s how it read verbatim:

Bryant Gumbel gave up his role as an NFL Network play-by-play announcer after two seasons.

Let the bells ring from coast to coast and from sea to shining sea in celebration as we no longer must endure the sleepwalking, morgue-esque tone of Mr. Gumbel. He is perhaps the only announcer in history whose pauses are more eloquent than his actual diction.

Now if only more than 1 in every 10,000 or so homes actually had the NFL Network it would be even more monumental.

And why do I get the feeling this was not Bryant’s idea to step down after just two seasons?

When I become President, my first act will be to abolish all fluorescent bulbs. I know we have bigger fish to grill but after having worked in offices in around the tri-state area these past 15+ years, I have had my fill of the cold, sterile, operating-room glow that emanates from these particular sources of light.

What do you think T. Alva Edison himself would think of these monstrosities? He would hate them! Yeah, yeah, yeah spare me the ‘but they save energy and they’re good for the environment’ rigmarole.

And for you environmentalists out there, I’m doing my part. I’m going green by reusing toilet paper. Ok, perhaps not the most sanitary thing to do but it’s something.

And speaking of politics… just when I thought things couldn’t get any more ridiculous, along comes the now-infamous Obama “bitter” comment.

If you’ve been out of town, out of the country or dead and missed the Senator’s comments, he was speaking at a fundraiser in San Francisco and was trying to explain his troubles winning over some working-class voters in small towns like those in Pennsylvania, saying they have become frustrated with economic conditions:

“It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Before I go on, let me state clearly for the record and for full disclosure that I am a registered Democrat. That does not mean however I vote the party line every election. On the contrary, I vote my conscience and I vote for the best candidate, period.

I will tell you however I will NOT be voting for John McCain no matter who he is running against, be it Obama or Hilary Clinton. My reasons are many and I will get into them at a later time.

But back to the Obama “bitter” pill, which this has now become. Did I miss this or has anyone, anywhere, said what he (Obama) said was wrong?

Are people not bitter in this country?

Do not people in small-town America steadfastly and devoutly flaunt their right to bear arms and/or their religion of choice?

Do not most people feel betrayed by their own government?

I know politics is all about stating your case as a candidate all the while digging up any kernel of impropriety of your opponent but…

Mark Twain wrote: “The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”

What’ya say we all take a nice, healthy pause, huh?

Is this an HMO thing? Another tidbit in the April 12th edition of the Inky Sports referred to Cleveland Browns’ wide receiver Joe Jurevicius and how he had contracted a staph infection a few weeks after undergoing knee surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

Not exactly newsworthy until you consider Jurevicius is the 6th Browns player in just four years to contract a staph infection. The article did not say whether the other 5 Browns players also contracted their infections following stays in the Cleveland Clinic but it’s probably a fair assumption.

It was truly a heartwarming story from Augusta on Sunday, wasn’t it? No, I am not talking about Trevor Immelman, who won the Green Jacket, just four months after undergoing surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor from his abdomen.

That was indeed a feel-god story for sure.

But I am referring to the tender, sweet, TV spots that featured Phil Mickelson speaking on behalf of the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, which helps elementary-school teachers improve their math and science teaching skills.

While I will laud Mickelson for launching a worthy venture and perhaps it is the seething cynic that lies inside me but how hypocritical is it for a company like ExxonMobil to portray themselves as this do-good, social conscience company when last year they made a profit of $40 billion dollars. That’s a 40 and NINE ZEROS kids.

Look I ain’t no math genius for sure but I do know the simple math of the more we all pay for gas adds up to more profit for the oil companies.

And what math skills are they going to teach these teachers? How a monthly transpass is cheaper than buying one weekly as they’re forced to take the bus or train because they can’t afford the gas in the first place to run their car to drive to work to teach our children??!!!!

‘Til next time.

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