Please don’t let the red-ball era fade away into oblivion
FOR a while, it was the kickball renaissance. Adults everywhere were calling for "slow and bouncy" or "fast and smooth" like they were ordering cafe lattes. There were actual leagues. Morning drive-time celebs extolled the virtues of America's (actual) game.
You've heard of the dead-ball era? This was the red-ball era.
And it was good.
Can you imagine anything more joyous than a game of kickball? It must have been a giddy, glorious time. And so for a few fading moments, a few lucky adults were kids again. But alas, the fad has faded, moved on.
They were on to something, though. Soon there was a dodgeball movement, and then even a dodgeball movie.
(It was a disappointing dodgeball movie, but then, a movie about dodgeball, starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, could never live up to the comic potential and expectations we've built up in our heads. It should have been so much more!)
Adults were playing dodgeball. And it was good.
But again, we haven't heard much about that lately.
So here it is. It's time for the next one. I propose the comeback of prisoner's base.
This was perhaps the best playground game of them all, better even than the one where two groups of kids stand perhaps 40 yards from each other, and take turns throwing a tennis ball as hard and as far as they can, back and forth.
No, prisoner's base. It was the best. It took all of the skills you learned playing chase master and made an evolutionary leap.
If you were lucky, recess, P.E., you might have real, actual bases. This was like heaven, like the way we all imagine flying first class must be. But a pair of rubber slippers could suffice if necessary. Some rolled up jackets. Anything. Just a base. Two bases.
And then it's chasing and dodging and daring and running and feinting and sprinting and catching and tagging and exhilarating escape. And holding hands, and holding them out. Stretching, reaching out for help. And then a triumphant rescue, and together, all the way home.
Can you imagine adults doing this?
I can. I can.
» For future reference, tips for "informational briefing" appearance speakers: 1) If you're going to make a presentation in order to stall and smokescreen to deflect from Herman Frazier's appearance, apparently protocol is to have enough copies of your report printed out for the committee. 2) For goodness sake, practice pronouncing "Kahanamoku." Please.
» The "Old Spice" commercial in which the guy sits at a piano and sings a lounge-singer version of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" is one of the most effective advertisements I've seen in a long time. Because I have decided I want to smell like that guy.
The fact that it airs during the NCAA softball Super Regionals only adds to it.