I shudder to imagine what it must be like to be constantly called on to entertain.
Football players are not known for their humor. And yet, they are regularly expected to strut entertaining touchdown routines.
I hope to someday ask a football player what goes through his mind as he leaps for the ball and feels it fall into his hands, knowing that when his feet touch the ground he will be called on to perform.
Is he sweating bullets as I would be, his mind racing well before his feet meet the ground– all eyes on him, waiting for his big celebratory moment?
I would rather make out with Jonah Hill. The old Jonah Hill.
Never mind the game-winning throw that determines the championship or the pivotal tackle of the other team’s quarterback.
Nah. Those minor details fall very short compared to 20,000 eyes waiting for me to be funny.
Actors know what I’m talking about.
They may be asked to carry a billion-dollar-budget film, but on awards night all that matters is their speech.
No pressure.
I loved Ross on Friends. I’m sure he’s just the same in real life.
These actors stand before us, and how many times do we conclude that we like their character much better than the real them?
And what about those fun little contests that we ordinary people get to participate in at state fairs and festivals where we judge the hottest bods or the knobbiest knees?
I only sat down to eat my turkey leg. And now I have to do what?
I recently got my first taste of public humiliation since high school in this setting. The chatty announcer chose me to stand before the crowd, blindfolded and all.
I felt my shirt instantly wilt under the weight of my sweat. My face turned a nauseous beet-colored shade of crimson. All I could think about was what would they ask me to do and who could I push down to distract them from my escape.
I am not a typical kind of funny. Everyone who knows me knows this.
I don’t sit at the dinner table and broadcast gut-wrenchingly-funny anecdotes about my day or my awkward teenager years.
I think it’s the pressure of the moment that makes me clam up. Or maybe I was simply not endowed with story-telling capabilities.
I prefer, however, to conclude that it’s my audience. I personally find myself hilarious.
And when I tell my mother about something funny that happened to me, she laughs so hard milk comes out her nose.
She also finds humor in a clean knock-knock joke.
I see no reason to question her humor radar.


world cup wonder

June 28, 2010

A few years back, I got to visit Europe . . . during the world cup.

The things I saw can’t be adequately described in words, but I’ll give it a shot. There was definite excitement and fervor, but add to that a pinch of insanity and a handful of pandemonium. Delirious street riots, screeching fog horns, screaming, celebrations. What I would imagine Mardi Gras to be like. It was quite the scene.

And yet, this event, much like the Olympics, in which the whole world comes together to watch–although all hoping for different outcomes, is one that America remains mostly separate from.

Soccer has never truly grabbed hold of our nation. We’re more of a pigskin playing, basketball dribbling kinda people. Actually, we’ve pretty much embraced every sport but soccer. Why is that?

Soccer’s got the violence that so many people crave. It’s got worldwide popularity. It’s got hot guys in shorts. Shall I just say, David Beckham?

With all of these thoughts in mind, I sat down to watch the U.S. play Ghana the other day. For the entire 20 minutes that I made myself resist from flipping the channel, the score remained 1-0.

Much like hockey, another sport I can’t get in to, soccer is made up of constant back and forth ball handling with little scoring. And yet, it’s one of the most popular sports on our planet.

What’s the deal?

Could someone please enlighten me on the appeal of this sport?

Because I really don’t want to be forced to watch another 20 minutes.