Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 08.07.06


Jim's back and he's got some Sport Shorts for ya

PUTNEY, VT | Well, I just got back from our Brazilian vacation my fellow Americans and I can tell you that the Brazilians are not too happy.

Two reasons.

First and foremost, they were eliminated from the World Cup by the French. "The French?" Do they even play soccer? All of Brazil thought they were only adept at guzzling wine and puffing on Galoises.

Ronaldo the Brazilian patron saint of soccer showed up to play looking like Charles Barkley. He was still a magician with the ball but after one trip down the field he was wheezing like Rush Limbaugh digging his last Vicodin out of the couch cushions.

The other reason that the Brazilians aren't happy is because they feel like Americans have decided to become the Huns of the 21st century. Brazil has joined 95 percent of the planet in hating our guts. They have a word for Bush and it involves sewer-dwelling lizards only not as cheerful or aromatic.

My wife and son, who are Canadian and New Zealander respectively, paid $40 for their Brazilian visas I paid $140.00!

I didn't even question the difference. Apparently we treat Brazilians like friends of Osama when they apply for a tourist or work visa to the U.S.A. So, they are just returning the favor. I claimed to be Swedish while I was there.

Speaking of Charles Barkley, I returned just in time to see him announce on ESPN that he plans to run for Governor in Alabama. Doesn't Alabama have enough problems?

The "Round Mound of Rebound" has apparently looked at California and Minnesota and thought that if dopey Arnold and cross-dressing Jesse Ventura can do it, so can he.

Charles, if you weren't 6 foot 9 with arms like an orangutan. your profession would not be millionaire basketball player. You would be lucky to get a job as a sneeze-guard scraper at the salad bar at Denny's.

Charlie was unaware that you had to be a resident of Alabama to run for governor so after buying a mansion there, he will be eligible to run in 2010. By then he might want to be a fireman or an astronaut.

Floyd Landis energized the sports world by winning the Tour de France. The announcement was followed by reports that Floyd had more testosterone in his system than the entire Brattleboro, Vermont, High School Varsity Basketball team.

Poor Floyd is doomed to join the three other Floyds in obscurity. I speak, of course, of Pink Floyd, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Floyd the barber from Mayberry.

The talking heads think that by disqualifying Floyd the Cheater that the entire sport will clean itself up. Doubtful. Why would anyone want to ride a bike up hills for three weeks without gallons of drugs?

Like a good columnist I will follow the thread here and describe the sport that all of Vermont's Windham county is enamored with. I speak of our esteemed CRVBL league that has the fans buzzing.

CRVBL is the Connecticut River Valley Baseball League of which I am the elder statesman and member of the Putney Fossils. We play five other local teams all summer culminating in playoffs and finals.

I share first base duties with Butch Giannetto, owner of "Adagio" the finest Italian restaurant this side of Naples, situated on Main Street in 'Brat'.

Together, Butch and I bring over one hundred years of baseball experience to the Fossils. Add his bartender Dennis, who holds down second base, and we are pushing sixteen decades of baseball brilliance.

If one of us pulls a muscle in our inner ear we will have injured every single strand of muscle fiber in the human body.

Last week Butch strained his gag reflex trying to stretch a single into a double.

"Don't give up" is the Fossil motto.

In golf, Tiger lost his daddy and didn't make the cut at the US Open. He saw his rival Phil Mickelson blow a two shot lead on the seventy-second hole by virtue of an orgasmic display of wretched decision making. If his caddy had pulled out a .22 and shot him in the leg to forestall his club selection nobody would have blamed him.

Quick, without Googling can you name the winner of the U.S. Open? I can't either.

Tiger came back last month and won the Claret Jug signifying the championship of the British Isles. Good for him.

In closing remember to keep your head down, your stick on the ice, and your eye on the ball. Don't give up.