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Friday, October 31, 2014

Sports, A Gilded Cage, Or A Damp Dungeon.

Hope is a dish best served cold, with a side of cheese, and a few crackers, occasionally you should toss in some prosciutto, and a healthy dose of anticipation.  Of course, it also goes well with a few cold beers, some chips, a little salsa, maybe some melted cheese and a dash of delusional dreaming.  You might as well crack open a couple of soft drinks, and throw in some pizza, because the season is really heating up, or hasn't started yet, or is just finishing, and hope is moving in for a while.

 Hope is always present when watching sports, it hangs around, feeding you dreams of glory, (for the participants, the athletes who have trained, and worked, and studied, and given so much) dreams of success beyond measure. For you it provides the opportunity to marvel at someones else's talent and accomplishments.

And, if a team is so talented, and lucky you can slap high fives until your wrist is sprained and scream in joy so often your vocal cords have nodules, and you are permanently hoarse, then you will have the right to brag about how you have rooted for a team that won some sort of prestigious honor.  Ah, hope you are a true friend.

But, where goes hope, so goes despair. Despair is a dish best served cold, with a few belts of Kentucky Bourbon, or Mexican Tequila, nothing sweet, or nutritious, tepid, flat beer, and lukewarm coffee, maybe a sandwich of stale bread and old, slightly rancid bologna.  And you are never more than a fumbled ball, errant pass, foolish, hurried shot, or momentary lapse on defense from the pits of desperation.  Sadness, and indifference, or anger, and disbelief, these are the companions of loss, these are hand maidens of defeat.

Fortunately, dawn is waiting, sort of, maybe the next game, maybe a new season, possibly the second half.  Whatever it is, there is hope, blossoming right in front of you, a fresh chance, that guy could really turn this thing around, there is hope, you can almost smell victory.  But, you can also feel the cold, uncomfortable icy sting of defeat, waiting, just out of sight, but always there.

In the beautifully haunting, tender, yet cruel words of Ray Davies;

"For those who are successful,
Be always on your guard,
Success walks hand in hand with failure,
Along Hollywood Boulevard."

Humanity is an odd bunch.  We throw so much of ourselves into things over which we have no control, throwing time, money, and affection at strangers we can never hope to meet.  We feel such joy, and sadness over things that are beyond our control.  We have 24 hour, 7 days a week coverage of teams that only play once a week, and we still can't get enough.  We have fantasy teams, coverage of recruiting, bracketologists, draft experts, websites, talk radio, non stop, never ending sports, and it is still not enough.

All of which leads me to one conclusion, I can't wait until the game tomorrow.  And basketball season is almost here.  It will be awesome, sometimes.