Monday, November 9, 2009

NaNoWriMo'09, Words 2869-3704

"This is such an honor," said jacoby. "Such an honor."

Big Jake did not respond. He was gazing at the screen on his computer notebook. Occasionally, a wistful expression would cross his face, evidently triggered by something on his screen.

Jake and jake in the Afternoon was a popular Urtthrian sports talk show. Jake, jake (called by his full given name in written works, for differentiation) and their production team were holding an important meeting, in preparation for the great honor.

"Play it again," said jacoby to his producer. "I want to hear it again."

"What are you doing?" he demanded of big Jake, who still had not responded or looked up.

jacoby remotely turned up the sound on Jake's computer. The soundtrack to American Football Classics swelled through the room. jacoby affected an exasperated groan.

"It's so sad," said Jake. "So sad."

"It is," said jacoby. "I miss it too. But that's in the past. We have a chance to be part of the future here—the future; and you're missing it."

Jake swung his head around and back, as if following a particularly stunning automobile that had just passed his.

"I missed it?" he jested. "Where did it go?"

"Ha-ha-ha," said jacoby. "Ha. Will someone get him up to speed here?"

Let's get up to speed too.

National distinctions did not survive the move to Urtthoo from Earth. These distinctions had already grown weak, and in the planetary transition people of all Earth nationalities were thrown and shaken together, and then grew where they were planted. Individuals continued to cherish aspects of their Earth culture, especially as manifested in the visual and culinary arts; but they were no longer surrounded by those who shared the same heritage.

Nations eventually did re-form on Urtthoo and again on Urtthri. But they were formed for administrative purposes, and no longer featured cultural homogeneity.

Sports and the arts made seamless moves to both planets, mostly. Symphony halls and stadiums; arenas and museums; aquatic centers and aquariums; courses, courts and galleries sprang up and mostly flourished.

By the time humanity left Earth, basketball and baseball had joined football ("soccer") as fully global team sports. Each sport established successful leagues on each planet.

American football tried.

Wealthy former Americans formed an American football league on Urtthoo. They time-shared fields with baseball and world football. They were never able to fill their rented stands, though, and in their half- to 3/100ths-full venues they could never recapture the pageantry and grandeur, the passion and awe of American football in America.

American football struggled for life on Urtthoo and did not survive the move to Urtthri. All that was left were digital video archives and less than ten million people who could appreciate the beauty in these relics.

"It's so sad," said Big Jake. "So much beauty—gone. An extinct sport."

When the Urtthrians found the Coryans, they were delighted to learn the Coryans already played a ball-kicking sport. The ball was smaller, not paneled and uni-colored, and there was no net and no head moves; but otherwise it was football.

The Urtthrian Basketball League immediately saw an opportunity in the newly discovered planet. Basketball invaded Cory before the Urtthrian financial or technological sectors. The UBL's developmental league was moved to Cory. Free buses would take the Coryans to D-league arenas, where they would watch the tall Urtthrians run, spin, jump and send each other flying. The average full-grown Coryan male was no bigger than the average early adolescent Urtthrian male, so the UBL lowered the hoop by 1/10th and then established adult training camps and youth outreach programs on Cory. The outreach was wildly successful. Coryans paid to see games now; there was a television contract; and in every neighborhood Coryan adults and children could be seen dribbling, shuffling their feet, running, spinning, jumping and sending each other flying.

Urtthrian Baseball had cautiously watched the efforts of the UBL, and was now ready to make its own move into Cory. Two UBA teams had been drafted for an exhibition in Cory's Central City. Jake and jake had been tabbed to call the historic game.

"Play it again," said jacoby to his producer.

The producer pushed a button, and a portion of a phone call played back to the production team.

" . . . and we would like Jake and jake to call the game! They have a real down-to-earth, relatable style, and we think the Coryans will love them. You could do your show before a live walk-in crowd throughout the week leading up. We'll be bringing a shipload of Hall of Famers plus you'll have the personnel of both teams at your disposal—enough for months'-worth of interviews . . . "

"Down-to-earth style," laughed jacoby.

"Down-to-cory anyway," said Jake.

"Later on in the conversation he called us Ambassadors of Sport. Ambassadors of Sport—I could get used to that."

"It is a great honor," agreed Jake.

* * *

Author's Note:For the record, I love American football and would miss it very much too . . .

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