Monday, February 04, 2008

Holy Wow

Hunh. I went online to check today, thinking it had only been a couple of days since I last posted, and it turns out it's been a week. Weird how that happens. Life has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it.

So I'll say a little something about probably the last subject any of you expected to ever see me writing about: football. Normally, I hate football. Of all the professional sports, it has always seemed the most gratuitous to me, the martial metaphor of trench warfare up and down the field, divided by moving Maginot lines, with highly-specialized teams of tactically-precise monsters ramming into each other over and over again in a brutal spectacle of attrition . . . the line between sport and sublimated, commercialized carnage is never so thin. It grates on me, especially considering that not only is the the game pretty harsh, but it's usually not even very interesting - the endless stop-and-start procession of downs and plays is just boring, especially considering just how much time is spent standing around the field doing not a lot of anything.

But I checked in with the game tonight, not out of any real interest in the game itself as such but rather a strong antipathy towards New England sports teams. You see, since I've lived in New England I've come to hate New England sports fans, with their asinine sense of entitlement. It's not like that's a new phenomenon in sports, but ever since the Red Sox won their first World Series they've ever so gradually shifted from loveable underdogs to, well, the new Yankees. They expect to win. And this attitude is almost as bad with Patriots fans. There is nothing in sports so loathsome as a franchise that is expected to win by dint of its presumed greatness. (This doesn't apply so much in the case of individual athletes, like Tiger Woods, for whom groundbreaking individual achievement is still a pretty awesome thing to behold. It's hard to resent an individual their hard work and talent, but easy to resent the hubris of a monolithic, ubiquitous corporate brand.)

But I'll be damned if this wasn't a great game. I mean, I can't remember the last time I enjoyed watching a football game, or hell, that I even watched a football game, period. Probably about a decade. But the last quarter or so of this game (about when I turned it on) was pretty riveting. Knowing how heavily favored New England was to win, it was really heartening to see the underdog win. All throughout the game my apartment building had been noisy and boisterous, and I could hear yelling and banging through the walls whenever New England made a good play. I had been anticipating a horrific clamor when the Patriots won but instead . . . silence. Total, deafening silence throughout the four floors of my building, and indeed, throughout the entire neighborhood. A very satisfying silence.

I wish I had some money down on the Giants. I imagine there are going to be a lot of unhappy bookmakers when the sun rises.

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