Tonawanda News

Columns

October 25, 2013

Patron of the arts, in a Bills shirt

Tonawanda News — Time, being a variable and artificial construct, can be told in many ways. What feels like a beginning to some is a conclusion for others.

The broadcaster Marv Albert was once in a horrendous car accident, and while awaiting an ambulance, a police officer kept him talking and answering a stream of questions to keep him conscious. What season is it?, he asked. Basketball season, Albert replied. 

If you follow sport (or can be described by that odious term “sports fan,” a pejorative that bothers me more than “history buff” or “illegitimate child”), you know you’re now in a brief syzygy (really; it means “planetary alignment”) of the so-called “seasons” of sport — baseball’s departure from the stage converges with the middle of football’s year, hockey’s has just begun and the curtain is about to rise on basketball.

For some of us, those are the life’s four seasons, with apologies to Antonio Vivaldi and Frankie Valli. 

Frank Zappa, the rock star, composer and crank, once pointed out what the world needed was fewer all-purpose auditoriums and more concert halls in which basketball can be played, and he’s right. The stage of New York’s Radio City Music Hall has been used for boxing matches and basketball. Los Angeles’ (outdoor) Dodger Stadium was used, at least once, for an opera recital. Some of us can appreciate this sort of thing.

There are those capable of intelligently yelling about (pick any) dropping a pass that hits a receiver in the numbers, messing up the give-and-go, whiffing on an inside curve or watching a goalie looking at something other than the puck. Others can go into a dreamland of admiration for the composers, choreographers and practitioners of some artistic performance on a Sunday afternoon while everyone else is either watching the Bills game or crying about the Bills game.

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