That’s the Way the Ball Bounces
With the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) playoffs in full bloom, there’s a simultaneous growth of blooming idiots on both sides of the referee’s whistles. The refs, who unlike brain surgeons, are forced to make critical, instantaneous decisions in front of thousands of hostile fans, insecure and screaming coaches, and prima donna players. Many of the latter carry the extra weight of a festoon of tattoos on their arms, chests, torsos and legs. When a foul is called, they put on an Academy Award acting performance followed by a “Who me?” incantation before they sulk away. If they vent their anger at the refs, they may also get a technical foul, and two of them in any game earn an ejection from the game. Referees have blown calls and one such obvious playoff technical call was rescinded after the league viewed the videos. Players may kvetch – complain — on the court but should find some solace knowing that the average NBA salary in $5,356,000.Three players earn more than $23 million a season to run around in their underwear and throw a sphere through a metal rim for a living. Of course it’s not all peaches and cream as the lowest paid NBA performer earns a mere $457,588 for the 82-game season, which comes to $5,580.34 per game. This serf probably plays ten minutes a game, which comes to a paltry minimum wage of $558.03 per minute. The minimum wage for the rest of the country’s workers is $7.25 per hour.
What a Racket! What? A Racket?
The top international professional table tennis players may make more than $100,000 a year through tournament prize winnings, endorsements and sponsorships. Whether they are a top-ranked pro or an amateur, when it comes to matches, some players seem to have a similar entity to blame when they misplay an opponent’s serve or volley, and it is not the referee — it is their racket — aka paddle or blade. They will first look incredulously at it at arm’s length, slowly bring it to eye level and carefully scrutinize the surface, trying to determine where this instrument deserted them. Some turn the racket over to check both sides trying to ascertain if suddenly a malformed surface appeared. It is a far quieter action than that of the miscreant NBA player, and an excellent study in facial expressions.
Who’s to Blame? Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Perhaps French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) was right when he emphasized in his writings that each of us is responsible for the consequences of our actions.