Etcetera 1.

If a kid can toss a ball before he knows how to read and write, then sports come before words.

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Fishing is one of the oldest sports. People even play it to survive. In that case, is it still a sport?

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Anyway, take a man who does not know how to fish. His neighbor comes along and shows him how to cast a line. There is your kindness in sports. He stands on the bank of the river, waiting. He feels a tug. He cranks the reel. He has caught not one but two fish, very big ones. There is a sporting miracle.

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Sports take place everywhere. In the winter, when the river freezes, a group plays ice hockey on the surface. Up in the hills a girl teaches her little brother how to shoot a bow and arrow. In the town high school, a game of basketball is set to begin. Inside a house there lives an old man who doesn’t care about any game but baseball. He is looking at a movie about Babe Ruth on his television.

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Christmas 1994, Knicks versus Bulls. The game was on all the televisions, there were televisions everywhere, big ones stacked up from the floor to the ceiling.

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How are the Calgary Flames doing?

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The most painted sport is probably boxing, maybe baseball, unlikely golf, and very doubtfully badminton.

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There are folks who do not watch much sports but they read the sports section everyday. Some of them are doctors and they do it because they like to talk with their patients about the standings.

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This is Etcetera, a weekly column of sports overheard.

Written By

Joshua Baldwin is an editor at Eephus. He is the author of The Wilshire Sun, a novella. His writing has appeared in The Paris Review, n+1, The Brooklyn Rail, Chicago Review, Prelude, and elsewhere. He lives in Los Angeles. Reach him at josh@eephusmag.com.