T Nation

Female Athletes & Sportcasters


Not-So-Gentle Readers,

I would like to submit for your consideration some excerpts from a small compendium I put together a while back, entitled "The Official Rule Book: Road Map to a Better Society."

I can only hope that you may find these observations of mine to be, well modestly diverting -- in a mildly amusing sort of fashion . . . .

A true giant of 20C American letters, H. L. Mencken, confessed at one point that if he had his way, "no man guilty of golf would be eligible to any office of trust or profit under the United States, and all female athletes would be shipped to the white-slave corrals of the Argentine." Now, genius endures and truth is eternal, so one is hesitant in presuming to find fault, but with all due respect to HLM, times have changed, and his worthy suggestion might need an update.

It must be noted that he wrote this remark in 1943, one or two years before Martina Navratilova was born, back before there were female sportscasters like Jeanne Zelasko.

Undoubtedly, Mencken enjoyed condescending to our Latino neighbors to the south, but ... their mythic status as free-spirited gauchos of the rolling pampas notwithstanding ... it would be a mistake to underestimate the businessmen of Argentina, an impressively cosmopolitan society. One must doubt whether they would have have been willing to take Navrotilova off our hands - at any price.

And certainly, Mencken himself would be the first to agree that his second category must be expanded to include Zelasko and her ilk.


Since that comment was so well-received, here's another excerpt from "The Official Rulebook: Road Map to a Better Society" (by Yrs Truly). . . .

Henceforth, professional race car drivers will only be permitted to wear their racing suits ... yes, the fireproof ones slathered in corporate logos ... when they are actually driving a race car, as opposed to, for example, appearing in commercials depicting them (ostensibly) having dinner at Outback.


Another nugget of authorial wisdom from "The Official Rulebook: Road Map to a Better Society" ...

"Cut out all those exclamation marks," F. Scott Fitzgerald once declared. "An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke." We heartily endorse the sentiment, while shuddering to think what Fitz's exquisite sensibilities might have endured had he lived to see "emoticons." While the former are to be used with the utmost restraint, the latter are seen as frivolous (and frankly, a bit embarassing) by most reasonable adults. Particularly egregious abusers of both (e.g. company newsletter editors, elementary school teachers) are on notice that severe measures may be deemed necessary.


More, from "The Official Rule Book: Road Map to a Better Sociery" . . .

Those wishing to name a public commercial eatery a "ristorante" will have the good grace to locate their establishment in Genoa or Milan. In the U.S., it's spelled "restaurant."


dick, i liked your schtick better back when it was called "all in the family".


Archie wasn't this smart, or funny...


Mr. Bear is a bit more astute in his critique - burlesquing Archie Bunker isn't quite the same as being him.
Well, here's one last nugget from "The Official Rule Book: Road Map to a Better Society" . . .

No parent will name a child Ashley (or Ashleigh, or Ashlee) for the next 20 years, effective immediately. After 10 years, exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for select (i.e. of noble birth) British citizens or decadent aristocrats from the Deep South (males only).
The name Kaitlyn (or Katelyn, or Catelin) is banned altogether.

And because you're taking such a kind interest, here's an excerpt from another collection of my essays entitled "Ruminati":

David Letterman, bless his heart, was on one occasion discussing Shirley McLaine and her outlandish notions about reincarnation. He wondered aloud why it was that everyone seemed to have been some sort of Big Shot in their "recalled previous lifetimes." How is it, he asked, that "no one ever remembers having been a dishwasher in El Paso in 1910?" On another occasion, on the same subject, Letterman claimed to recall having delivered a pizza to President Eisenhower in a previous lifetime.

It is in this same spirit that one might well wonder how it is that the mythical creature of our popular culture known as "Today's Busy Working Woman" is somehow never seen as a member of the working class, like perhaps an assembly line worker at an automotive stamping plant. Outside Roseanne Barr sit-coms, she is rarely depicted, say, as an overweight housekeeper at the Red Roof Inn. And certainly she is never portrayed in commercials as, oh, a Wal-Mart "associate" with bad teeth.

Rather, she is always a sort of no-nonsense beauty ? a crisp, efficient "professional" (we're never quite sure exactly what her profession is) who wears tailored business suits and hangs out in sleek offices with lots of glass and hi-tech telephones, evidently spending most of her day giving presentations, looking at drawings, and talking to other "professionals" about those drawings over lunch at expensive restaurants.


So, Swivel ... how long have you been Jeanne Zelasko's biggest fan?


OK, I wouldn't want to be accused of being niggardly with my hard-won wisdom. So in the interest of sharing the wealth, here's just a couple more items of enlightenment from "The Official Rule Book: Road Map to a Better Socity," which will hopefully nudge us all towards the Shining Dawn of that Glorious New Day for humanity . . .

All right-thinking individuals will resist the regrettable mass delusion that black leather jackets are somehow the final word in fashion statements.

Men will not have metal inserted into any part of their head, excepting bona fide medical procedures such as steel plates and tooth fillings; for women, ears are exempt (maximum two piercings per ear).

All braille keypads will be removed from drive-through banking facilities, effective immediately. Braille elevator keys, great; braille door signs, of course; braille menus in restaurants, certainly. But braille keypads at ANY drive-through facility, banking or otherwise, are simply wrong.


hahaha. isn't that the frickn witch from the series last year ? btw you're the one with the photo collection. i figure what between zelasko, navratilova, and the leather guy you're prolly using up more than your fair share of brawny's huh ? now would ya go an' write something about jared already ? hahaha.


Yep, you can enjoy her on Fox every Saturday with "Kev."

Actually, my picture collection favors Aliyah Wolf and Rochelle Loewen.

Now, now - I didn't make disparaging remarks about YOUR sexuality ... or your spelling! (last time I checked, it was spelled "probably").

He's on my list, don't worry.