2008-06-19 / Sam Bari

Deciding who is Lord of the Balls

You can't beat a system you can't understand
By Sam Bari

The last two weeks marked a period in the history of the world that will be remembered in books, newspaper and magazine archives, multi-media libraries, and computer databases at least until life as we know it comes to an end.

Starting with the French Open tennis tournament, followed by the U. S. Open golf tournament, and the yet to be decided National Basketball Association finals, the Lords of the balls have been at the forefront of the news.

These sporting events have drawn more media attention than all the wars, natural disasters, and political contests put together.

We can only hope that the space guys have not been watching the earth too closely or they would definitely get the wrong idea about the structure of our hierarchy. If they asked to see our leaders this weekend, they would probably be disappointed.

According to what they have observed, Rafael Nadal, winner of the French Open, Tiger Woods, winner of the U. S. Open, and Doc Rivers coach of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers respectively, should be leading the welcoming committee.

Although floods in China and the Midwestern U. S. have made tens of thousands homeless, injured, and without the basic necessities of life, more money and time has been spent on sports-related events than on helping these unfortunate people.

If I were watching the earth from another planet, I would think the earthlings were selecting their leaders because of the attention that has been focused on the aforementioned sporting extravaganzas. They have the pomp and ceremony of coronations, presidential inaugurations, and celebrations that mark the birth of royalty.

Recognized athletes are regarded with more respect and reverence than most people in high political offices. Nobody could fault anyone from the interplanetary community if they thought earthlings selected their leaders from those who could best manipulate a ball.

Whether it be a baseball, basketball, golf ball, tennis or soccer ball is of little consequence. The fundamental criteria for guaranteeing awestruck adoration from fellow human beings is to be a master at playing with one of those balls.

I wouldn't be surprised if the space guys perceive our place in the intergalactic scheme of things as little more than semi-interesting pets. Just throw the humans a ball and they'll be amused for hours, maybe even days. They might sell us at their local Petco. The price on our heads would be determined by our prowess at doing amusing things with balls.

Think about it seriously for a minute. Last week, cosmologists were treated to one of the most awesome events that can happen in the universe. For the first time in history, scientists observed the final moments before a doomed star exploded into space. They actually witnessed the explosion of a dying sun. That's awesome! Every kid on the planet should know about that. The event received less attention than a Miami Dolphins off-season scrimmage.

I really think we need to change our image before anyone from any other solar system is going to take us seriously enough to drop in and say hello. Why would they? Does anyone really need a relationship with a society that believes the pinnacle of success is achieving superior ball manipulation skills? I don't think so.

It is rather sad that all of the champions who won their tournaments in the last couple of weeks were paid more than our president- a lot more. I don't doubt that they were more interesting to watch, and they are more popular, but I don't know that I'd want any of them running the country. Maybe we should consider that for a second.

For a few million dollars, you can buy the best athlete in the world in almost any ball-oriented sport. Maybe if we paid a little more, we could get better leaders. It's just a thought. Our children might be inspired to think that high political office could offer a better future than being a basketball star. Right now that is not the case.

Let's face it. The Lords of the balls rule. It's just another part of that system we can't understand.

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