The Best of Andy Rooney

If you stop and think of all the things we've invented, you have to be pretty impressed with the human race. I'm not thinking now of the big things like airplanes or cars, for example, but even unimportant things -- sports like football, basketball and baseball. They are all very different, interesting and complicated, even though, in the scheme of things, games are unimportant.

Baseball became important to the San Francisco Giants when they won the World Series.

I can remember when the Giants baseball team played in the Polo Grounds in Harlem, New York, in the 1950s. In the long run, it doesn't really matter who wins or loses; it's just fun to root for your home team. I was secretly rooting for the Giants because I'm a big New York Giants football fan.

I never threw a ball very well and didn't play baseball, but I liked the game anyway. I wasn't too good at basketball, either, but I played on my class team as a kid. I liked the passing that wins basketball games, and my height didn't matter at the level I played. Everyone on my college varsity basketball team was about 6-foot-2, and I was 5-foot-9 on my toes.

You can't limit our games to football, baseball and basketball, either. Look at some of our other competitive sports: ice hockey, tennis, soccer, lacrosse, boxing, wrestling, running, golf, skiing, badminton, skating, softball, marbles, handball, swimming, cycling, weightlifting, ping pong, bowling. Cricket and rugby are someone else's games. It's hard to understand why cricket is so popular in England but not played that much in the United States. Or why baseball and football are so popular in the United States but not as popular in other countries. They're both great games and they're also played in Europe and Asia.

What's known as "football" elsewhere is called "soccer" in the United States. I remember reading somewhere that American football came from the British game of rugby. Football is great to watch and to play. (I have to admit that the word "football" is not an accurate description of the game we play but it's better than "soccer." Soccer should really be called "football,' but we'd have to come up with another name for the game we call "football.")

When I was a kid, one of our favorite games was simply called "tag." It was great because you could play anywhere, it required no equipment, and all the running around was great exercise. All you had to do was touch someone and they were "it." The word "it" had a special meaning to kids. We'd run after someone, touch them and yell, "You're it!"

We played another game I don't think kids play much anymore, called Hide and Seek. It was a strange name for a kid's game -- kids never say "seek" -- but accurate. Maybe Hide and Seek isn't as popular as it once was because there are fewer places left to hide. When I was a kid living on Partridge Street, we could hide behind the chimney in the alley next to the house, behind the big tree in the back yard, or behind the steps going down into Mrs. Wachter's cellar.

It wasn't much of a sport, but we weren't old enough to play football,

The Best of Andy Rooney - Humor & Satire Classics

Humor & Funny Stories - The Sporting Life | Andy Rooney

Article: Copyright © Tribune Media Services