Friday, October 3, 2008

Other People's Shame

You know what's the best/worst thing about watching playoff baseball? The yummy, yummy tears of the losing team's fans when it's a home game. With the Bad News Cubs falling into another big early hole en route to a big late loss last night, TBS had plenty of time to find distressed looking Cub diehards to show as they stared the long, frozen stare of disappointment out at their suddenly stricken club. Carlos Zambrano turned in his best start since throwing the no-hitter; it didn't matter. The Dodgers just kept making the plays, taking advantage of myriad Cub defensive mistakes, and all in all, looking like a remarkably bloodless killing machine. You know, one that wasn't playing with One Hundred Years Of Woe Is Us in their laundry.

Oh, and it doesn't hurt at all that they've got Manny Ramirez on what will likely be the last and best defining hot streak of his life, before he signs some ginormous contract for the Yankees and becomes Sheffield II, Electric Boogaloo. His bomb to center field last night was like watching a golfer who is five strokes up on the 18th take out the driver anyway and crush it; completely unnecessary and yet pretty danged great, because, hey, wow, I didn't know humans could do that. At this point when ManRam goes deep, it's almost expected, and that sound you heard when he did it was his agent, Scott Boras, cackling as he orders another ivory backscratcher, this one made entirely out of late-trimester aborted elephant fetuses, for that extra ounce of E-Vile.

If your taste for abject self-pity wasn't sated by last night's telecast from Woefully Field (soon to be have its naming rights sold to some bank, then bought out at taxpayer expense to become the US Tresury Rescue Program's Woe Is All Of We Field), then you should just click over to the 9,531 word embarrassment that our old friend The Bad Tooth put up at the World Wide Lemur. (For people who are new to the site or Blogfrica, you may also know these things as Simmy Boy, The Four Letter, or just Boston Douchebag at Network Douchebag. And so we move on.)

Wait, I'm afraid you missed something in the middle of that last paragraph. Let me put it out in bold relief, so we're all aware of it.

Nine thousand, five hundred and thirty one words.

No, seriously.

In it, you will learn:

> How very, very awful it is to have the temptation to go out drinking with your favorite athletes on someone else's check

> That when an athlete quits on his team and the team ships him out, an E-Vile Sports Agent (Boras, naturally) has to be The Culprit... rather than, say, the freaking maroon who HIRED HIM IN THE FIRST PLACE, because the E-VILE AGENT HAS MYSTICAL MIND CONTROL POWERS

> How the 3-4 hitters of a team that has won two championships is just the same as Ruth-Gehrig (my, how the modern standards have fallen)

> That a guy that leaves million dollar paychecks lying around uncashed is somehow lovable or wacky, rather than the jaw-dropping and embarrasing embodiment of a system that causes simmering resentment, distance and distaste between athletes and fans

> That the Red Sox do not, it would seem, offer direct deposit

> The degree to which the author is a spoiled child, in that it wasn't enough that his team has won twice in four years by buying players like, well, Manny Ramirez... they also have to, it seems, win more championships with them, despite age and declining skills, because, dammit, There's Love Involved Here

> That life Just Isn't Fair (waaah!), because he has to live with the possibility that Coke might swoop in and buy ManRam after his many years of working for Pepsi... and that there is no chance that hated rival will, of course, sign said player to a ruinous contract where they pay for a declining circus

Finally, this. I get the appeal of Woe Is Me. I am, after all, an Eagles, Sixers and A's Fan who plays in five fantasy sports leagues (1 baseball, 3 football, 1 basketball) while commishing three of 'em, and I play poker every month or so. Bitching about the hand you've been dealt and your awful, awful luck is a universal thing.

But at what point did we decide this was, well, entertainment?

When I'm bent about my fortunes, I generally try to Shut The Hell Up (yes, I know, not always)... because it's Boring To Listen To. It's shameful to engage in. It's a cry for attention and sympathy for a game -- not your career, your relationship, your family, or anything else of real and lasting value -- not going your way.

I'm also going to let all of you Public Woers -- and most specifically, Bad Tooth, in on a little secret. This life thing? It's not going to end well. Those aches and pains aren't temporary. The increasing creepiness that you generate from watching teenage girl entertainment, the sense that your music is no longer with it... that's all here to stay. Along with the improperly located hair, the sense that all of these athletes aren't as good or as lovable as When You Were Young, and the urge to declare everything as going to Hell In A Handbasket -- well, welcome to Flavor Country. Adapt.

So, to Cub Fan and The Bad Tooth and all of the rest of you that will be on my screen and Oh So Sad soon... I'm very, very sorry for your loss. You're very, very brave for telling me how you feel. You'll feel better soon, maybe after a nice long cry, a warm bath, maybe some milk and cookies and cuddling with your favorite stuffed bear.

Now, um, can we all move on, and maybe talk about say, sports?

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule