Staying on the light side regarding sports injuries

Posted May 11, 2009, at 10:32 p.m.

I was at the Bangor Mall the other night when a guy approached me and said, “I bet you could be funny if you tried.” (This isn’t the first time I have heard this.)

“Me?” I responded. Truth be known, I can be glib. Heck, even as a sit-down writer, I can turn a phrase; evoke a laugh; maybe even evoke a roar of laughter from a crowd. That would be a neat way to make a living, wouldn’t it?

OK, OK, I get it. I’ve been thinking a lot these days about all of these sports injuries, most specifically, the Boston Red Sox and their continuing nagging sets of injuries.

Then, I reached across my desk for something in the back when it happened.

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I heard the “pop” sound, then I felt the twinge.

I’ve tweaked my hammy (hamstring), I’m thinking. I got the editor on the phone. Policy here is to take the day off; see if you can get the column in; and best wishes from all to get better.

Hmmm… I’m thinking, what next?

Out to the kitchen I go. All of this pain is making me thirsty. I reach in the back of the refrigerator for a sports drink. Ouch. That hurts. Did I hyperextend my elbow, reaching for that glass bottle? Drat. I did. Great. Now, I will limp on a sore leg, lifting a sore arm and, in general, be miserable.

Heck, I’m thinking, just like a ballplayer.

Since I am not ambidextrous, like my mother used to be — she would write longhand until one arm got tired, then switch hands and write with the other one, a distinction that brought her numerous academic accolades in high school — I could be in trouble.

I checked for health insurance opportunities at work. Sorry, I am on my own as a freelance writer. What next? What was next was this: I bumped into the wall. Definitely a contusion.

There was some swelling on the right thigh. Uh oh. Will this ever end? Figuring accurately that since Terry Francona, manager of the Sox, is not my boss, I might not get the chance to be out a month and be listed day-to-day, I better get to bed and hope for better luck the rest of the week.

Also figuring I’d miss my niece’s college graduation next week, I slipped under the sheets when the phone rang — gosh, I hate cell phones — and much to my surprise, I was asked to speak at a local camp about avoiding basketball injuries by doing pre-practice exercises to prepare for that day’s workout.

Oh my, am I the right guy to speak on sports injuries?

Want to know what really concerns me most about all of these sports injuries at the pro level? Here it is: the propensity for injury is often caused by anabolic steroid use or HGH (Human Growth Hormone) ingestion.

With Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez — he of the nagging sports injury — adding his name to the ever- growing list of abusers in Major League Baseball, one has to think that this may be, in fact, a universal, across-the-board problem for MLB.

It could be a long summer.

30-Second Time Out

I have been thinking about the University of Maine in Orono and all of these athletic budget cuts, which include men’s soccer and women’s volleyball. My opinion is this: If these cuts have to be made, why not start at the top of the sports list instead of at the bottom. If it was my decision, I would do what other schools across the country have done. By eliminating either football or men’s ice hockey, there would be no budget shortfall.

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