Monday, January 9, 2012

Maybe This Explains It

Taken from Again to Carthage by John L. Parker: A conversation between two characters in the book, page 179.

"They say there are basically only two different kinds of sports: Ball and chase," said Roland.

"Right. And the ball sports are the most ridiculous."

"Why would that be?"

"We figured that out too. In order for any ball sport to work, all the participants-and spectators too for that matter-have to jointly agree for the duration of the contest that some silly inflated goat bladder is the most important object in the universe."

"Ah, a willing suspension of disbelief."

"Precisely. A game is a physical form of fiction. The instant the game is over, this magical object is suddenly just a goat bladder again. Chase on the other hand, is a much more elemental concept."

"In what way?" Roland was pulling up to the green-striped awning in front of Petite Marmite.

"Everyone understands the idea of escaping from something that wants to eat you..."

Personally I've never understood team sports... Sure I understand how basketball and football and baseball are played but I have just never "gotten it." I never enjoyed playing and I sure as hell have never enjoyed watching so much.

Maybe it is just because of the way my personality is that I have never grasped it. My somewhat antisocial tendencies that have always made me feel apart from everything when it comes to team sports, playing or watching.

What confounds me even more is how people associate so passionately with their favorite teams. When people say "We won!" I just wonder WTF are they talking about... we? In the case of NFL, I mean some people act like they are owners and coaches the way they talk about "their" players... "We won!" No, you didn't... a group of guys probably more than half your age that you will never probably meet on a field miles and miles away... yeah, they won... you sat on your ass on your couch.

I mean Jesus... the recent bowl games... I swear... One team defeats another team in a 70 to 33 final score. If you read the blog and Facebook updates you'd believe this was the beginning of the rise of a whole new republic... Maybe, if illiteracy, poor dental hygiene, obesity and mass unemployment are the benchmarks of of a new society, but thank God it isn't. It was a game of "ball," that's all.

I've contemplated this well for over a week and this is what I have concluded... if the only thing that you have to gauge the relevance of your life or your place in society is the success or failure of, and I have to say this, total strangers on a field that you will never know, a reevaluation of things just might be in order.

I prefer to focus on not being eaten personally...

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know you felt this way. I too object to the "we," as applied to the thuggish multimillionaire mercenaries who typically have no real connection to where they play or their mindless fans.