October 24, 2002

Outdoor Corner

by Chris Feeney

I once took a writing class (I know it probably doesn't show) in college. I can still remember one entire lesson revolved around irony. Until the last couple weeks I never thought it would come into play in my regular (well it used to be regular) weekly outdoor editorial. But my sports pursuits over the past couple weeks have not only proven ironic at instances, but often times humorous at the same time.

I'll start off with the humorous, or at least I thought it was funny. Not a real good segue (probably wish my class would have offered a lesson on transitions and making the first paragraph at least have a little something to do with the story's introduction). Anyway I was a bit confounded watching the World Series game Sunday night. No it wasn't the game itself, which went back and forth as both teams pounded out runs and I couldn't help thinking to myself that the Cardinals were really better than either team that actually made it to the World Series. No, what was bothering me was Anaheim's manager, Mike Scioscia. They kept showing glimpses of him in the dugout, and I kept finding myself thinking that he reminded me of someone I know. Finally it dawned on me, facially he looks a lot like Sam Berkowitz (I didn't mention his political agenda so that I wouldn't have to insert a tag line - paid for by candidate.) Has anyone else noticed this, or is it just me? There's still a few games left so check it out, even if you don't like baseball.

Okay back to the ironic sports. Why is it that all winter we are waiting for the warmer days of spring to go fishing but it turns out it is the colder days of fall at the other end of the season which ultimately provide the best fishing? Don't get me wrong, bass fishing is great during the spring and summer but there is just something about the last few weeks of fall when these guys really start going crazy. When you think about it though, it makes sense, ironic or not. It's like the waitress at the all-you-can-eat buffet telling you it will be closing in five minutes. These fish are trying to eat everything in sight heading into winter. So to sum it up in a clear conclusion, I feel that not only is it ironic that, while we often feel like it is improving weather and length of days that provide the best fishing, it ultimately is the opposite.

It's also ironic that this ultimately happens every year at the same time that we outdoor hobbyists get busy with waterfowl, fall turkey season and bow hunting.

While it is not a universal irony, I had a personal satire play out regarding bow hunting. Last week I spent all day Saturday working on deer stands. We are serious about our stands, so it should be no surprise when I say it took three of us all day to build and place two stands. I guess we finally realized that they would not produce many trophy bucks laying unassembled in the yard next to the garage for another year, and while the image of those deer were important inspiration I think it also had a lot to do with a few choice words from another dear.

The paradox in this story isÖ This old man worked too hard building, clearing brush and perfecting the sites that my back has been in miserable shape ever since and it was only 10 days later that I got to actually sit in one of the stands for the first time.

While I don't know if this qualifies as ironic or not, but I did see 23 deer that evening in less than two hours. I saw a ton of turkeys as well. So, there are lots of these wonderful creatures out there, and not one of them seemed bothered by the West Nile Virus or Chronic Wasting Disease. All these animals looked very healthy, I just wish I could say the same thing for myself as I may have pushed the back thing a little too soon.

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