Tuesday, October 23, 2012


No photos with today's post.  You'll thank me.  I don't have photos that support my message.  Even if I did, I think you would prefer I not post them.

I'm older than you.  Grew up in the 40s and 50s.  I was there when television was invented.  Black and white only (well, as a photographer I know we're really talking shades of gray).  Small screens.  Three channels available. 

My folks weren't rich.  I went to a friend's home to see his television.  The show was "The Lone Ranger" and it was so cool. 

Televisions had antennas.  Either a V-Shaped contraptions called rabbit ears because they looked like rabbit ears.  You'd set then on top of the television and connect to the tv by a flat plastic cable carrying two wires.  If you wanted better picture quality you'd have  a more complex thing mounted outside on your roof with a wire running down and through the window to connect with the television.  Some were really fancy, lots of aluminum arms running in all directions.  From above, neighborhoods looked like little forests with all the antennas sticking up into the air from the rooftops.  If you Google TV Antenna's, you'll find lots of photos. 

TV images were small.  Often there was lots of "snow" in the picture, white dots on the black background.  If snow was a big problem you'd get a fancier antenna.  Or a "tena-roter" you could use to turn the roof antenna around to get a better signal.  Sometimes the the snow was caused by birds landing on the arms of the antenna.  You'd need a beebee gun to shoo them away.

Sports on TV were great.  Pictures weren't crystal clear but clear enough.  You could definitely see the action.  You could read the numbers on the jerseys.  I especially loved watching hockey. The white ice provided a great contrasting background so the players were clearly visible.  The puck was a problem, too small to see clearly. 

Football was great on tv.  Much better than just listening to a radio announcer try to describe what was happening.

I wonder if TV created the need for teams to have different uniforms for home and away games.  Before tv, people attending games could see the games in color.  It was easy to distinguish between the guys in blue uniforms and the ones in red.  On tv, all colors  presented in shades of gray and you might have trouble figuring out who was who.  So they had one team wear white, the other team use team colors.

Baseball... this is where disgusting comes in.

Not disgusting back in the day with the little shades-of-gray images on the little screen.  Actually it was fun watching baseball in those days.  Not a lot of detail, though. Even if you had a huge antenna on your roof.  The cameras were good but you didn't get super close-ups.  You couldn't see the seams of the ball and pitcher's hand griping it. There were no close-up of player's faces except in after game interviews. 

That was then.  This is now. 

I've been watching a lot of baseball lately. I'm a big Tigers fan and just delighted they'll play in the world series.  I've been watching playoff games on a 42" high definition television.  The close-ups are spectacular. 

And disgusting. 

Baseball players spit.  All the time, all the players.  Spit spit spit spit.  Why?  Where do they get enough hydration to spit so much?  In one of the games (Giants vs Cardinals) I noticed the field seemed wet.  I wondered if it was wet from rain or spit. 

Do players in other sports spit?  Do the Outlaws spit?  I haven't seen any spitting at Outlaws games.  I don't recall spitting at football games in general.  Maybe because the face masks are in the way?  I don't spit.  In the old days it was a guy thing to chew tobacco and that generated a lot of spitting.  Bars had spittoons to so tobacco users didn't have to mess up the floor, provided their aim was good. I think some modern baseball players chew tobacco.  That would explain some spitting. 

Some chew gum. I chew gum.  That never makes me want to spit.

Most baseball players just spit.  That's what baseball players do.

Isn't spitting unsanitary? Watching a baseball game, I wonder if there is a square inch of the field not wet from spit.  Spit contaminating the turf with whatever germs players may be carrying around.

When I see players sliding into a base I'm distracted from the action by wondering if they're getting spit all over their uniforms. 

I'm going to watch the world series.  Hopefully the Tigers will win in four so I'll only have to endure about twelve hours  of spitting. 



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