Between the holidays, work and wedding stuffs, I don’t have time for a lot of creative writing these days. SO, why not recycle old moments? This is something I drafted out circa 2008 – with some grammatical updates and other additions.
Chicago folk love their sports. Blackhawks. Bulls. Bears. Other ferocious animals who can skate/run/throw a ball.
I have serious issues with sports. Especially professional sports. I don’t get it. Why do people waste so much time and money burying themselves into meaningless sporting events? And how does each event differ? It’s all the same to me. “Did you see that catch?” Yeah, I’ve seen one just like it every time I flip on ESPN. Which is never, because a) I don’t have cable and b) I hate sports.
So OK, I see some benefit. I think that ”striving to be the best,” being goal-driven and learning how to work as a team are very important elements necessary for a life of success, BUT, let’s be honest: you can learn these lessons elsewhere (i.e. – The Muppets). I’ve heard that sports activities teach us how to befriend our enemies (aka – “friendemies”) and respect friendly competition. It reminds me of those nerdy Successories posters (easily found on every corporate wall in America). You know, the one at your insurance agent’s office displaying eight people skydiving whilst holding hands in a circle with the word “TEAMWORK” floating below in bold sans-serif font (run-on sentences are fun)? Let me let you in on a little secret, pals: Successories posters are worthless (and not to mention costly) office accents outlining a bunch of shallow junk that strives to convince people to better their lives. Then it doesn’t work because most people hate heights.
But regardless, this post is not about participation in sports – it’s about being obsessed with watching other people play sports.
Someone once told me that sports are both unifiers and a dividers. They unify people who root for the same team, and instigate brawls between people who root for rivals. Ah-hah! Now it all makes sense.
That statement got me thinking. Let’s consider these two scenarios:
Scenario 1: The Sports Fan
You walk into a party alone. The only person you know is the host. You hang your coat and immediately spot the keg in the back corner of the room. You think to yourself, “…the quickest way to avoid this uncomfortable situation is to start getting drunk.” So you naturally stroll over to the keg, grab yourself a cup and pour. While you’re fillin’ up, one of the party-goers approaches you.
“Yo bro. Can you pump for me?”
“Sure.” So you do. Everything is going great.
“Dude- I love the Cubbies too!” (He’s referring to the cubs hat you’re wearing.)
“Sweet. Awh man, can you believe what happened this year in the playoffs?”
You both proceed to spout out a bunch of meaningless stats. Before you know it, you’ve consumed five brews. Suddenly you find yourself getting ballsy and you begin inviting other Cubby fans at the party to partake in some beer bong action.
It seems like the whole party shares your love for the Cubbies. Of course, there’s Lew, who is unfortunately a Cards fan. You all have a good time cracking jokes at his expense. He can’t say anything because…well…everyone knows St. Louis sucks.
Suddenly, someone new walks through the door…gasp…wearing a Sox hat. The music screeches off. Silence ensues. Tumbleweeds roll across the carpet. Everyone stands there, wide-eyed, staring at the audacious idiot who strolled into this party with a stupid sox hat on! The NERVE!
Suddenly a brawl breaks out…beginning with some below-the-belt jabs about various Sox players. The Sox fan gets lippy about Wrigley Field…and then the poop really hits the fan. Beers are thrown…then chairs. Before you know it, the cops show up. You think there is a chance they’ll understand…if only they rooted for the Cubbies, too. Unfortunately, wearing uniforms, it is too difficult to determine.
You opt out by jumping over the balcony and making a run for it. And as you’re bleeding from the mouth, jetting down some dark alleyway, you think to yourself, “Stupid Sox!” When the coast is clear, you stop to catch your breath and analyze the damage to your jeans and polo. You feel a pat on your back from your new friend who has been running close behind.
“Dude, that was awesome! Go Cubbies!”
Scenario 2: The Poetry Fan
Now let’s revisit this scenario. Instead of sports, let’s imagine you’re a Robert Frost fanatic. You have the fedora on with his logo to prove it. The jerk who walks through the door is into Thoreau…he has that stupid Thoreau scarf on! That son of a—! Who does he think he is?
Immediately you walk up to him and yank his scarf in disgust. ”Thoreau? Hah, more like Bore-au!” The newcomer glares at you and then notices your fedora. ”Frost? Pshaaw. Please. Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening was a complete humdrum.”
“Moron! Robert Frost is highly regarded for his realistic depictions of the rural life and his command of American colloquial speech. He won four Pulitzer Prices, you knob! What did Thoreau do? I don’t see any Pulitzer on his resume, punk!”
“Shaw! Thoreau is only considered one of the most influential figures in American thought and literature! A supreme individualist, he championed the human spirit against materialism and social conformity. A-hole!”
I think the second brawl is significantly more interesting. Don’t you?