Game On – The New York Times

The lesson begins with a provocation. “People say baseball is a combination of tennis, badminton and table tennis,” said our teacher. “But it’s really a game of chess.”

Interesting! I was thinking about chess before the tutorial started, especially the oversized garden sets with four-meter-tall pawns. The melon ballpark felt like a giant Ping-Pong table, and about 10 of us gathered there for a Saturday morning class that seemed comically unlike it, “Honey, I’ve shrunk players.”

Technically, it’s not the first time I’ve played football, which, you’ve certainly heard, is America’s fastest growing sport. In high school, we played it in gymnastics. Actually, until recently, I thought handball was a sport created specifically by gym teachers to exhaust kids in the gym. exercise when it’s too rainy to play football.

At my lesson last weekend, the rules were drawn quickly: Serve, keep the ball, don’t think too hard. My cohort was all beginners, so it was easy for us to stick together about our lack of skills and cheer each other on as we started to learn things. It took a while to determine how much force was needed to hit the ball, the hollow ball, which is plastic, lighter than a tennis ball, and barely bounces. But after about ten minutes, my serves started to land in the right box, my serves went over the net.

The bottom line about rugby is that it is easy to learn and accessible to players of all ages and abilities. I played it as a kid, but it’s also popular among retired people. If you know anyone who regularly “takes a dip”, chances are they’ll talk about it a lot and it looks like they’re having a club fun dedicated to Dylan booty addicts or fasting continuous.

Having tried pickle as an adult now, I see why people are confused about it. The rules are simple, the mechanics of the game are challenging but not intimidating. The yard is small enough that all four doubles can chat and trash talk at their leisure.

We didn’t go into strategy in my first lesson – we were too focused on just hitting the ball – but when I texted the teacher a few days later he expanded the chess metaphor King: “Like chess, you need patience and the ability to predict your opponent’s next three moves”. I’ve heard of the important “third drop,” which follows the serve and its return and means landing in the opponent’s “no-volley zone,” otherwise known as ” kitchen”.

I will be happy to know exactly what these terms mean in practice when I return to court. In my fervor, I finally came across another, less interesting side of the melon ball trend: baseball with a sprained ankle. That hasn’t overshadowed my enthusiasm, though I advise fellow ball pickers to sit up before hitting the field and make sure to wear good, supportive shoes.

“Fairy Tale” (Tuesday): It’s no surprise that I recommend Stephen King’s new book, as I’ve read each of his more than 70 novels and short story collections. Some more than once! (Check out my guide to some of his important works.) I could already find myself re-reading this, an original copy that I devoured during Covid isolation. It follows a teenage boy, his dog, and the magical fallen world they explore. Our reviewer called it “a page-turner fueled by memorable weird encounters and thrilling, often well-rendered action sequences”.

“The Good Fight” (Thursday): The sixth season of this often unclassifiable legal drama, playing on Paramount+, is unfortunately also its final season. The great Christine Baranski continues to lead an excellent cast, and – you know what, if you haven’t seen this one, I think you should read some of the Season 1 reviews and just start over. It’s funny and weird. (Our main TV critic James Poniewozik once wrote about the show’s clever opening credits sequence.)

There’s an art to grilling vegetables that isn’t just cutting them into chunks and throwing them over the coals. In David Tanis’s recipe for grilled summer veggies with tahini, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, and onions use different grilling methods, making sure they’re tender in the center and lightly burned on the edges. burnt or undercooked. If you’re planning to light the grill this weekend, this recipe makes a scrumptious side dish, or centerpiece, at any Labor Day festival. The glossy tahini – creamed with yoghurt – adds richness and flavor to the mellow vegetables. But you can replace it with any other tape or coating you like. Or serve the vegetables plain, leaving them a pearly light.

A selection of New York Times recipes is available to all readers. Please consider it Register to cook for full access.

Notre Dame vs. Ohio State, college football: At the end of last season, while Notre Dame waited to see if it made the playoffs, head coach Brian Kelly accepted a new job at LSU. To succeed Kelly, Notre Dame promoted defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman, then 35 years old, who had no experience as a head coach but was loved by the players and players.

This will be Freeman’s first regular match in the top job, and it won’t be an easy one. Ohio State led the nation in total strikes last year, and its star quarterback, running back and widening is making a comeback this season. Despite their close rankings – Notre Dame is number 5, Ohio State is number 2 – odds researchers have chosen Ohio State as the 17-point favorite. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

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Thank you for spending part of the weekend on The Times. – Melissa

Matthew Cullen, Lauren Hard, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Tom Wright-Piersanti and Ashley Wu contributed to The Morning. You can contact the team at

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