“You’ve Gotta Be Kidding!” by Clem Carney
Five out of five stars
This book is a collection of textual bloopers that took place in athletic competitions centered roughly around Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The competitions were almost exclusively at the level of middle and high school, although there are some Little League and other odd games such as T-ball thrown in.
Coaches, officials and players are all included in the descriptions of the unusual errors made. Men split their pants in public, boys pull their shorts down when removing sweat pants, men get walked in on by women as they are changing, have women walk in and change in front of them and unusual calls are made and sometimes rescinded.
Since in most cases the officials and coaches know each other quite well and generally do not want to engage in anything that could lead to hard feelings, there are times when things are not as they appear to be. One of the funniest stories takes place at a baseball game where there is a close play at the plate, and the runner is called safe. When the fans let out a howl of protest the manager came out and said, “Scotty, I know the runner was safe, but my fans feel you must be told off.” After much arm-waving and other gestures but no sound, the manager went back to the bench and play resumed and his fans were satisfied.
When humans are running and moving hard, actions take place in a split second and decisions must be made. Wardrobe malfunctions are a fundamental part of such events, making for humorous situations that are embarrassing at the time, yet funny after the fact. I was reminded of the old baseball umpire adage, “Always wear dark underwear in case you split your pants.”