Back to “Bethena” for the moment

I just got irked at myself for shedding so little, and I missed playing it. And I’m constantly staggered at the difference it makes in my ability to play my own music when I work hard at someone else’s. And I’ve said that I wanted to shake myself out of the new-age-easy-listening rut I can fall into too easily — best way to do that is to play and listen to something like that. Not that Joplin writes marches (a few), but his stuff is stronger and more lively and requires more nimbleness, and has more of those heavy, chunky chords that I like so much.

I want to start on “Elite Syncopations” next. The last theme in that one is a real bear, and I want to see how well I can do it.

And in orange-colored news … they have to stop snoozing for forty minutes and playing for twenty. I’m not sure what’s causing this or whether it’s a conscious decision on their part since they have injuries and are dressing so many kids, but it’s been a constant with the team, and it’s worrisome. I can only conclude that it’s a deliberate choice to save effort because there is no other reason on Earth why they play like this so predictably.

I love the Flyers style of hockey — that full-court press they tend to play. I adore that they play aggressively. But I’m no longer sure it’s a good idea to do so. They end up decimated by injuries and dressing too many rookies at the end of the season, when things really become demanding. As a result, I wonder if they don’t consciously choose to ratchet their effort back for the first period and a half to save energy at the end of the season.

The rookies are excellent, but they are still sort of excellent individual players and not a gelled team quite yet. By the next season, they start to gel … and then get knocked out by injuries because of their style of play. Like I said, I adore Flyers-style physical hockey; I love that they play the press. But I’m not sure it’s the winning strategy it once was; it makes for inconsistent play, and if there’s one thing that can be said about a cup-winning team, it’s that they are consistent. Any team that plays reliably at 80% will go further than a team that plays at 100% and 20% unpredictably. I suppose we’ll have to see.