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This Time of Year, You Gotta have a Nimble Thumb

     Whew! My thumb’s exhausted! With football in midseason and the World Series following the division playoffs, my thumb’s getting a workout. You should see the deep grooves it’s worn in our remote control!

     A thumb could handle it - if it were only football and baseball. But there’s golf and NASCAR races and tennis and poker – wait! Poker’s not a sport!

     What I can’t figure out is why in heck they only put one PC (previous channel) button on the remote. They could’ve at least put two – one for each thumb. How’s a gal to get from the pitcher’s windup to the center’s snap of the ball and around the track in ten seconds with only one PC button?

     Well, you gotta have a nimble thumb, that’s it. A thumb that’s physically fit. A thumb that knows how many seconds between downs and how many hours between pitches – all that important stuff. 

     Tennis is the worst. Those players run around the court smashing balls this way and that without taking a breath. You could watch an entire set of tennis while the pitcher’s winding up for a fastball. Thank goodness tennis is taking a brief recess.

     But the baseball/football/NASCAR trifecta – not much better. We start the evening with a Padres playoff game. As we wait for the pitcher’s delivery, Thumb sits at the ready. “Whack!” the fastball zips over the plate and hits the catcher’s glove. Thumb jumps into action and presses PC. Lots of time before the next pitch.

     The action on the screen transforms itself into a long green field with horizontal white lines. Hordes of giants in huge-shouldered uniforms huddle beside a little brown ball. Thumb knows what’s up. It’ll be at least nine seconds before the center snaps the ball. Thumb excitedly pushes 2 and then 8 to get to...

     Cars careen around the NASCAR track, jockeying for position. Where’s hometown boy Jimmie Johnson? What position is he in? The numbers on the marquee scrolling across the screen go from sixteen to twenty-three, but no Jimmie Johnson. Thumb can’t wait. Hits PC.

     Hey! Just in time! Brees has the ball and oh no! They’re gonna sack him! Nope. He got loose. The ball’s sailing through the air, sailing, sailing – caught! Shoot. Wrong guy. He’s running down the field – all the way down the field. Touchdown. Thumb presses PC.

     We spot Johnson’s blue and yellow Lowe’s car amidst the roar ’n rumble of the race cars. Third! He’s in third place. Fifty laps to go… Thumb reaches over to 0 and then 6.

     Giles is up to bat. Count is three and two. Giles assumes the stance. Hefts the bat over his shoulder. Adjusts his stance. Pitcher steps off the mound. Giles steps out of the box. Pitcher steps back on the mound. Giles steps back into the box. Shoulders the bat. Steps back. Calls time out. Thumb is off and running. To 1 0.

     The kickoff return guy pushes his way to the twenty, struggles to the twenty-two, gets thrown to the ground by a pack of players in black uniforms. Thumb flexes its muscles and goes for the 2 and then the 8.

     Just in time for… commercial. Thumb presses 0 6. Commercial. Thumb presses PC. Commercial.  Thumb presses 1 0. Commercial.

     Thumb gets up and goes to the bathroom.

     Soon the World Series will be over. Maybe NASCAR, too – I’m not sure. Either way, we’ll all gather in the living room and settle in for a good long football game. No baseball, no races, no PC button. Just football and a couple of beer commercials.

     My thumb? I’m inviting the grandkids over with their Playstations and Game Boys and iPods to keep it occupied until basketball season begins.

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