As Hopes Are Fulfilled, the Jester Smiles

Last week near Madrid, the poet José Emilio Pacheco received the Cervantes Prize for literature from Spain’s own King Juan Carlos. The ceremony was both well-deserved and ill-fitting, as just before its start, the esteemed poet’s trousers fell down!

Ah, how Cervantes would have laughed! As for Pacheco, he took his pratfall in shortened stride, saying, “Not having suspenders is a very good argument against vanity.”

With the perspective born of the end of our Trail Blazers’ seasonings, I can see that infinite jest awaits ALL of us who climb into the public’s eye. My dream of playing in the NBA has come true, yet my ambition is baulked! But a finer matter bears consideration: Do the same pitfalls await both the poet AND the point guard? 

Sport cannot be conducted without guts, sweat, and toil, so it follows that athletes must labor harder than men of letters who —in tranquil peace— compose their poems. Where the poet cuts-and-pastes, the athlete must cut-and-thrust. Further, we basketball players are publicly buffeted by fortune and flagrantly fouled by scoundrels. Why, there are times when we are wretched, ragged, and louse-ridden!

Well, we do get tired at practice, anyway.

And if some of us, by the strength of our arms and spring in our steppings, become millionaires, rest assured it costs us dearly in blood, sweat, and the ratio of our incomes siphoned by agents!

And as for the public exposure of our shortcomings, por favor! Our every mistake is pored over and amplified...to the point that there have been occasions when I yearned for suspenders on MY gym shorts!

(More thoughts on the year’s end follow.)
Fotos from Reuters 
and from an extraordinary 
series of shots at the Oregonian.

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