Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Baseball on the Radio or Boxing in Black and White (The most perfect cigar pairing)

Baseball on the Radio or Boxing in Black and White (The most perfect cigar pairing)

The question is clear. The answer maybe not so much. A bit of background. I don't like new stuff, never have. As I age, I like it less. I like boxing. My favorite bit of boxing entertainment is watching old B&W fight reels. I like baseball. My favorite bit of baseball entertainment is listening to old radio broadcasts of games. Perhaps I'm just a history buff. More likely is that new things scare me. They're loud, abrasive, and make little sense. I feel like I should be yelling these sentiments at clouds.

I feel as though the older broadcasts contained within them a certain sense of timelessness, as if being performed and presented for the ages. They lack the current-day topical inserts of the nowadays presentations which are rife with timely side commentaries. Don't float away while I'm yelling at you, Mr. Cloud. Don't you know who I am? I am still useful. I can still do things. Things like making a brief case for and maybe against both baseball and boxing as being the perfect cigar pairing, atmospherically speaking.


What's more American than baseball? Lots now. But when they played in B&W, nothing shy of apple pie. A long summer day, beer and hotdog in hand. The crackling Midwestern voice painting a pretty picture. It feels a bit like a day at the races minus being out a few bucks more than intended. Like laundry drying out on a clothesline. It always seemed to me that the natural place to smoke a stogie was on a park bench, back when you mainly could.

Maybe you might glance at the newspaper that's folded under your arm. Who doesn't love a good boxscore or several? Some all-time great sportswriters working the local beat add a nice touch. How about keeping score? That was lovely. I still think of doing it now and again. Tallying the days of hardscrabble flannel-wearing gritty boys of summer. All of them were owned by their organizations, and in a way--aren't we all?


Or perhaps the natural environment for the cigar is a smoky room playing host to blood and gut pugilists. Ill-lit but for the glaring ring and how cinematic are those plumes in those lights atop the heads of pugs like smoky greyscale halos. Just sit back and watch them maul for your benefit. A distinctly different lot in life, for the time being, Boss. Nothing wrong with that, and probably helps blow off some steam.

If baseball writers were as grand as a slam, boxing writers wrote in nothing shy of biblical ways. Some of the greatest journalists and authors have dabbled in each, but more so in the sweet science. The seedy underbelly of society and two brave fellas battling it out in what remains the greatest and truest form of human competition. "You don't play boxing." I believe Sugar Ray Leonard said that, but I don't know if he was the first. Regardless--Oh, my.


Simply, one is enjoyment from the perspective of prey and the other predatorial. Ain't nothing inherently wrong with either. We huddle in sunlit groups and we sit alone in darkness, we have layers and layers are neat. But which layer is best? The layer we need at the time. So it's apples and oranges or apple pie and red meat. This actually helps in discerning. I would recommend a Connecticut shade smoke or maybe Candella for the ballpark and a broadleaf and/or Maduro for the gladiatorial games.

Then back to the day's toil refreshed thereafter. It does my heart good that I now realize not much has changed. The sky is bright blue and I think I've said my piece, for what it's subjectively worth. "Let's play two!"- Ernie Banks, or the old 'one-two' of any a many grizzled cornerman. Different paths, same destination. Enjoy the smoke.

::: very :::