Sports as Life

Before we get to sports as life, let’s view some great images.

Let’s start out today with yet another great image by close-up artist Mike Moats. As is usually the case, I love his composition. Mike always find the order that lies within the chaos, and that is a large part of the “art of photography”1Mike Moats

Diane Aldrich is responsible for this glorious (my opinion) image of some Agave plants leading us to some beautiful Sedona, Arizona red rocks. This might be a beautifully subtle use of HDR imaging, otherwise it is an example of an excellent use of graduated filters. I show many low light landscapes on this blog and this is one of my favorites. Well done!!2Agave On The Rocks - Mitten Ridge - Sedona KI 12-07-15DianeAldrich

I love snakes and this in your face view of a Bamboo Pit Viper is sensational. I would imagine that flash was employed and I think the results of a eye-popping image of this snake, with an unobtrusive background is very powerful.  Abhijeet Ramesh Jagtap placed this great image in my Earth Images group on Flickr photos and I am grateful for that fact. This highly poisonous snake was photographed in the wild.3AbhijeetrameshJagtapBambooPitViper

I keep returning to wildlife photography great Charles Glatzer whenever I want to share top-notch professional photos on the subject of wild animals. This Snowshoe Hare image with its “I’m ready to box” mood, and falling snow is wonderful.4Snowshoe Hare Charles Glatzer

Well, I am really out of this world with my next shot. Reg Saddler shared this photo which came from the International Space Station. The subject is South America. Wouldn’t you want to spend at least a few days up there to experience views like this firsthand?5Stunning picture of South America taken from the International Space Station shared by RegSaddler

I am primarily a realist with my own photography, even when I produce/share abstracts. Just the same, a few years back I began experimenting with images that I have converted to black and white, but that still contain just a splash of color. This Chris Muir shot does just that and I think he did an excellent job of it.6Chris Muir

I am not sure whether this image is a straight time exposure of the evening skies with reflections, or a manufactured image, but it caught my imagination either way. Mikko Lagerstedt made the picture in Finland.7The Lost World Finland by Mikko Lagerstedt

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Sports as Life

In the past couple of days, I have visited the comment areas of some websites that are devoted to specific sports. Two things occurred to me. One is just how much sports and how we view them, is a microcosm of life. The other is, just how outside the mainstream I am in how I personally view sports. Gee, I would have thought I was the epitome of mainstream thought. That’s sarcasm.

I do look at certain parts of life the same way I look at sports.

In NASCAR, I root first and foremost for drivers who come from Wisconsin. That’s because I’m from Wisconsin and I take pride in drivers from my state winning races and maybe even the championship. The top guy in that category is Matt Kenseth, so I cheer for him. Now Matt is a little caustic at times, and even downright sarcastic at other times. His sense of humor is dry and while he gives a good interview, he’d rather be sitting in his motor home. I possess those same traits and it should be no surprise, I like all of that. If Matt was not a Wisconsin driver I would still like him. I might not really root for him, but I would like him. Paul Menard is another Wisconsin driver and I cheer for him as well. Now Paul is not a great interview, and he can be a little rude to the interviewer. He never smiles and has a rather plastic look about him. He doesn’t seem to have any sense of humor, and that is the hardest thing for me to take. Still, I root for Paul. He is from Wisconsin and as far as I know, he is not a criminal, he is not violent, and he is a clean driver. The fact that I am not endeared to his personality, means I might not want to go to his house for dinner (he’s never asked), but it is irrelevant to me in my wishes that this Wisconsin driver would win some races or even a championship.

I have an acquaintance who frequents a Wisconsin short track. Now the track participants there are almost all from Wisconsin so if I attended the track, and if no driver raced there from my home town, I too would find personality trait’s a (small) component in who I wanted to win. Because my acquaintance did not like Matt when he was a weekly racer there, he doesn’t want him to win in NASCAR. He’d rather have someone from another part of the country win, instead of this Wisconsin driver. I can’t think that way. I am sure that I’m out of the mainstream once again.

I cheer for the Green Bay (Wisconsin) Packers in the NFL. They, like every team, have a 53 man roster. 46 of them suit up each and every game. I cheer for the combined unit (team) called the Green Bay Packers. I like all of the individual portions of that unit just fine. When I find that a Packer has hit is wife, sold drugs, shot somebody in a bar or any one of many other things that are either criminal, morally reprehensible, or simply intolerable, they come off my list. Suspend them, prosecute them, but get them off that team. If they are consistently underperforming, release them. Otherwise they are all part of that one unit that I cheer for. After reading some comments on a website, I realize than once again, performance, being a part of “your” team, and even legal issues are not as important to most (people who comment), as is whether they like the way they smile or how they pronounce a word. I am perpetually the “odd man out”, but that’s okay with me.

You of course could argue, that people who have the time on their hands to comment on websites about sports, are unproductive and of little consequence. I would agree with that if I hadn’t taken the time to read those comments.

Ultimately, I seem to view life itself, including politics, social issues and religion, well outside of the mainstream. I guess I view the world around me pretty much the same as I do sports. While I now realize that doing that is normal, doing it my way is not.

Thank you,                                                                                                                                        Wayne

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