Saturday, October 21, 2006

All Along The Watchtower

I like to watch. (Just ask Glamourpuss.) Remember that great line of Chance Gardener in the great movie "Being There"?

I like to watch people, processes, popular pulses, and a couple other alliterative "P" parallels (just ask Glamourpuss).

Of course, writing is watching, too. E.M. Forster said (my phrasing may be slightly off), "I write to discover what I want to say." But so much of writing is seeing; more accurately observing (smell, too, as any Proust fan would attest).

I like to watch sports, too.

Or used to.

I'm back in the U.S.A. now, and it seems I've lost some appetite for watching. Sports, that is.

I mean, last Saturday we were in Cosy Joe's pub in Westport, County Galway, and saw the much talked about Chelsea versus Reading football (soccer) match with the now-infamous injury to Chelsea goalkeeper Cech. (Seems like a long time ago.)
And that's exactly my point.

Back in the U.S.A. I am a hopeless and helpless fan of the San Francisco Giants, a baseball team in the States, with millionaire players and lots of fans. Nationwide. What does it matter?

Being in Europe put it all in perspective for me. The sports pages there (as well as sports viewing) are big on football, as well as rugby, right now.

But in scouring the sports pages of the Irish Independent or Irish Times, I found it impossible, or nearly impossible, to find even one sentence, even in the summaries in 4-point type, about baseball in the U.S. This while the big postseason frenzy was going on.

There were stories, or tiny summaries, on soccer, golf, GAA, rugby, racing (horse and greyhound), gaelic games, coursing (whatever that is), athletics (ditto), squash, cricket, tennis, equestrian, and hurling (not as we mean it here, after too much ingestion of alcoholic beverages).

No baseball.

So, everyone's up in arms over there about Chelsea or Reading or Wolverhampton or Barcelona or Manchester United.

Means very little in the U.S.

Conversely, over there they know squat about Endy Chavez's catch (I only heard about it) and Carlos Beltran's called third strike to end the season of the New York Mets (New York, as in New York City -- heard of it????).

So, I like to watch. But not sure which, um, sports anymore. Or if it matters very much at all.

Laugh. Or....


Anonymous said...

Professional sports are just a conspiracy between the government and big business to add to their control of the masses. Professional sports are nothing but big business and the stockholders and owners control it all. There is no fun in big business.

And that's all I got to say about that.

Later yall.....

Anonymous said...

And by the way..... Welcome back. We missed ya!

Glamourpuss said...

Coursing is hunting hares with greyhounds. Hideous.

It doesn’t matter which sport you watch – they are all rather pointless in the grand scheme of things but useful for satisfying the primal male urge to hit things with sticks and run away – albeit vicariously for most these days.

By the way, I think voyeurism is classed as a sport on the Isle of Man now. They’re a bit strange up there.

Puss (purring with egoic pleasure at mention of her name)

Anonymous said...

I used to hurl a lot in my day!!
and I hated it when someone watched. ;-)
Welcome home!!!

p.s. I loved Galway!

Anonymous said...

love Chance. I haven't done as much sports watching this year as in the past and I live in CHicago where my football (best sport next to figure skating) team rules. Who knows why i haven't watched?

Anonymous said...

welcome to my dilemma. i have no idea what's going on in american sports. i have been a terrible red sox fan....i mean, i do have the internet...but i never checked on any scores or anything once.

oh well, maybe they'll forgive me.

glad you had a good time...i've not been catching up on blogs lately due to actual schoolwork (can you believe it, i mean, the nerve! schoolwork!) so i'll go check out any posts re: ireland.

it's always possible we did walk by each other!!! that's the craziness of life!


cash said...

That may be a UK thing. In Croatia, they were all hopped up on team water volleyball or some crazy thing for a while - because they were good at it. I had a hard time getting into that.

Baseball is my number one but footie is a solid two - with Arsenal being the team I like. Coverage of that is non-existent in US papers also. However, coverage of sports in general isn't very good in print media these days. Europe fills pages every day with footie and if you get two pages of baseball here you are lucky.

It must be that we have ESPN.

azgoddess said...

um, what melonhead said -- sports exists for one reason -- to keep the stupid ~ fat and happy..and ignorant fo the things that are stolen in broad-daylight...

welcome back...and yes ~ i'm a watcher...i love to go out in public and watch people...why, i guess i'm alone now, as men have a hard time when i don't focus on

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Well, c'mon, folks, sports is competition , ain't it? And we're all competing for something, even if it's nothing or anonymity. Eh?