Thursday, May 15, 2008
I watch the scores. I follow games online. I listen to play-by-play on XM satellite radio. I consult the transactions column in the dead of winter. Hats. Outerwear. Paraphernalia with the San Francisco Giants team logo on it. You tell yourself not to get too disappointed if they lose, or too excited if they win (increasingly rare). They last won the World Series in 1954. I was alive but have no memory of it. too young. My team lives and plays home games three time zones away. They left New York after the 1957 season. They abandoned me; I stayed. I flirted with others. This is insane. It is the opposite of Zen detachment. It is attachment at its worst. What's the sense in it? Imagine if you had to explain this infatuation (most frequently indulged in by males) to an alien from another galaxy. You're disappointed why? Because someone lost playing a baseball game 3,000 miles away? Someone you never met and who does not know you exist? Explain that part again, please. Don't click on ESPN, skip the sports pages in the morning paper, ignore it all, be true to your own well-being and sense of happiness. Right. It's not just me. Extend it worldwide, to all sports, to any sport. The yelling in the stands, the barroom fights, the hooliganism, the fierce loyalties, the yelling at the television screen, the roller coaster of hope and despair. Completely and entirely manufactured and contrived by accidents of time and place or legacy or kinship. The same as the stuff of war. Oh, sure, if they were winning all the time it'd be easier, right? Hardly. Hardly. When is enough? Is abundance enough? Or is enough abundance? It does not matter. It is psychosis. It is fantasy. Astral projection makes more sense than following sports as a fan (the word fan comes from fanatic). Imagine the untold waste, the pitiful regret people express, even on their deathbeds. Oh, if only Chelsea had won. I wish I had seen the Cubs win the Series. But only if Wolverhampton had won it all. My life would've been complete if the Yankees had won just once more. Or the Sox. Or the Indians. Or Royals. But only if Team U-Name-It had won it all just for me. Just once. Then I would have been happy, my life would've been complete. Except for more. Just once more. What a displaced outlook. What a conditional way to live. Libera me. Deliver me. I pray that I wear this allegiance like a loose garment, a cloak as easily shed as a snake his skin.