Guest columnist Mitch Albom realizes the dangers of the sun. Why don't you, reader? WHYYYY?
Just read this piece of shit first. Then, proceed.
Phil Mickelson's jacket this past weekend in Augusta was green. His face, however was red. Phil may have had the short game to prevail on the day, but one opponent was playing a long game with him. It was an opponent many of us don't even know is out to get us. It's time to name names and shed some light on the topic once and for all.
You may have missed it, sure. Sports is full of machismo, and that bravado is its own sunblock against the dangers athletes ignore every day. Flesh-eating bacteria everywhere, paper cuts for professional poker players, the danger posed by sore wrists to bowlers everywhere. Each sport has its unique dangers.
One universal enemy though is hiding right under our noses. Or perhaps I should say hanging over our heads and spreading skin cancer, heat exhaustion, and supporting the carnivorous and harmful cycle of life itself with its relentless energy. It's time someone said it, so let me be the one.
The sun is trying to kill us all.
Yes, even Phil Mickelson.
Maybe especially Phil Mickelson. He looked like a walking million-dollar frankfurter on the back nine and only wore a hat to protect him against the vicious rays of the sun. What America saw was a champion striding forward, but what you should have seen was a mass suicide in slow motion: a crowd of people walking forward into the killing rays of a radioactive ball of intergalactic fire.
As a society, we're all too happy to just go with the flow. It's that attitude that turned everyone into heroin junkies in the 70s, cocaine addicts in the 1980s, and told everyone not to worry on Y2K. I've seen the film. We lost Charlie Steiner that day, and with him our innocence.
It didn't have to be that way. It never does.
The sun is dangerous, and yet every day adults walk directly in its rays, playing fast-paced sports like tennis, golf, and sometimes even extreme sports like baseball. It's bad enough when they do it. They can run the numbers: the fact that eventually the sun will give you skin cancer, which can lead to death.
Death has a 100% fatality rate. I learned that from my mentor, Morrie, who would meet me only at night on a park bench. He was wise. He understood the dangers posed by the sun.
He'd say, "The sun, gravity, and the Ottoman Empire are the greatest threats posed to humanity. Oh, and also the American vacuum cleaner industry. It's unsafe to put that much power in the hands of a woman."
He was wise, but eventually he too died at the hands of the sun. It was out when he passed away, and though I can't tie it to the sun directly, you don't need to be a scientist to figure out that it had something to do with his death. It was around half his life. Don't tell me it didn't know something.
He would have been appalled to see American parents leading their children not just into the sun's deathly rays, but to see them insisting on them running quickly beneath the Yellow Reaper's cancer-beams in environments filled with rapidly moving objects on real grass filled with insects and filthy, potentially toxic dirt. Yet this is precisely what they do, leading generations of our nation's future sports columnists, Hallmark movie writers, and Sports Reporters panelists into early graves.
All because they refuse to see the danger in the huge, fiery radioactive tyrant from space that terrorizes our every moment.
This is clearly unacceptable.
This is not sports.
This is murder, and we are all accomplices.
We can do things about it. It's not too late. It never is. Sports should only be played at night beneath artificial light in a photon-free environment. We can remove all hard objects from playing field to stop the secondary scourge of bruising. Finally, we can insist that each purchase a copy of my new book, The Seventeen Sponsored Individuals You Also Meet in Sandwich Heaven, Brought To You By Glaxo Smith Kline, Makers of the New Vitamin D Supplement Photonexa.
The slaughter can stop. But athletes must lead the way, and until they do it won't be a green jacket I see when I see a sunburned golfer walking up the 18th at Augusta.
It will be a yellow jacket of death surrounding us all, slipped onto our shoulders by the great yellow villain in the sky.
Or will you continue to smile and gladly soak in your own death one sporting event at a time?
It's not too late. It never is.