The Sporting Life
It is probably no surprise that we do not hitch our psychological wagons to the on-field rigors of this or that sporting outfit. Like many Mark I geeks, we tend to associate sports and the period they occupy in the school day as the geography of physical abuse. I’m assuming this isn’t true for people who purchase the annual Madden, and then play the game wearing a jersey. But I don’t really know that guy.
After living in my town the last couple weeks, some measure of the enthusiasm people expected to find in me grew there spontaneously. We ended up watching "the game" in Spokane, which is a reeking wound cut into the Earth. I’m not sure if the people who toil there really understand that they live in an entire country full of towns they could move to, or that living there is itself a kind of death.
In any case, this will be the last time I invest myself in a game where I have no power to determine the outcome. I really feel a need to emphasize the distinction between this and the sort of game that usually occupies my time. When I feel the kind of plundered devastation I felt on Sunday, there is usually a "learning phase" that follows it. It’s the first step in a process, a chain of well-documented events which culminates in the expulsion of self-doubt and leaves as the remainder the possibility of future victory. Provided, of course, that I have internalized the deep wisdom presented by the universe - taken the yoke of that strange intellect which courses through defeat.
When other people are playing the game and it is my job to watch helplessly, all that exists is desolation. It really was a terrible thing to watch. The entire conflict turned on demoralizing penalty calls and grave mistakes which mounted a wall of points too high to see over. And then, with the ashen Mark of Failure already inscribed, there’s still time on the clock so you have to sit and watch as your anointed warriors file into the mouth of hell.
And all throughout, the leering of Steeler’s coach Bill Cowher - like the hated visage of Goldstein. I swear to G-d, every time they showed that fucker it was another Two-Minutes Hate.
how i loathed the thing