Monday, June 23, 2008

"Catholic — which I was until I reached the age of reason." RIP George Carlin

I was lucky enough to see George Carlin live, about 15 years ago at Bally's in Vegas. Being a huge fan, I tipped entirely too much money at the door in order to be able to sit literally at the foot of the stage. Best money I EVER spent.

Carlin closed the concert that night with his famous, and still funny, "Baseball and Football" bit. On the night of his death, it seemed fitting to post his take on the stark differences between my two favorite sports on TWFE. Call it my small way of honoring a great comedian, a man who was also a bastion of free speech.

Baseball is different from any other sport, very different. For instance, in most sports you score points or goals; in baseball you score runs. In most sports the ball, or object, is put in play by the offensive team; in baseball the defensive team puts the ball in play, and only the defense is allowed to touch the ball. In fact, in baseball if an offensive player touches the ball intentionally, he's out; sometimes unintentionally, he's out.

Also: in football,basketball, soccer, volleyball, and all sports played with a ball, you score with the ball and in baseball the ball prevents you from scoring.

In most sports the team is run by a coach; in baseball the team is run by a manager. And only in baseball does the manager or coach wear the same clothing the players do. If you'd ever seen John Madden in his Oakland Raiders uniform, you'd know the reason for this custom.

Now, I've mentioned football. Baseball & football are the two most popular spectator sports in this country. And as such, it seems they ought to be able to tell us something about ourselves and our values.

I enjoy comparing baseball and football:

Baseball is a nineteenth-century pastoral game.
Football is a twentieth-century technological struggle.

Baseball is played on a diamond, in a park.The baseball park!
Football is played on a gridiron, in a stadium, sometimes called Soldier Field or War Memorial Stadium.

Baseball begins in the spring, the season of new life.
Football begins in the fall, when everything's dying.

In football you wear a helmet.
In baseball you wear a cap.

Football is concerned with downs - what down is it?
Baseball is concerned with ups - who's up?

In football you receive a penalty.
In baseball you make an error.

In football the specialist comes in to kick.
In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve somebody.

Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness.
Baseball has the sacrifice.

Football is played in any kind of weather: rain, snow, sleet, hail, fog...
In baseball, if it rains, we don't go out to play.

Baseball has the seventh inning stretch.
Football has the two minute warning.

Baseball has no time limit: we don't know when it's gonna end - might have extra innings.
Football is rigidly timed, and it will end even if we've got to go to sudden death.

In baseball, during the game, in the stands, there's kind of a picnic feeling; emotions may run high or low, but there's not too much unpleasantness.
In football, during the game in the stands, you can be sure that at least twenty-seven times you're capable of taking the life of a fellow human being.

And finally, the objectives of the two games are completely different:

In football the object is for the quarterback, also known as the field general, to be on target with his aerial assault, riddling the defense by hitting his receivers with deadly accuracy in spite of the blitz, even if he has to use shotgun. With short bullet passes and long bombs, he marches his troops into enemy territory, balancing this aerial assault with a sustained ground attack that punches holes in the forward wall of the enemy's defensive line.

In baseball the object is to go home! And to be safe! - I hope I'll be safe at home!

Here's George performing "Baseball and Football" from one of his many HBO specials.

In closing, I can only say...No, I HAVE to say...Shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker and tits!

RIP George. Fuck...


  1. Are we going to have a famous death every week now? It seems like we're going that way.

    My favorite thing about HBO as a kid was their stand-up comedy specials. I used to put a tape recorder up to the TV so I could listen to them on my paper route. Of course, one of my absolute favorites was George Carlin.

    He was sort of past his prime when I saw him about 12 years ago in Ann Arbor, but even if he didn't make me laugh as much, he always made me think.

    R.I.P., George. An election year just isn't going to be as fun without him.

  2. I swear I didn't look at your post until AFTER I did mine! Too funny!