17 August 2008

Massive Tribal Dump

Give that man a job. Seahawks seventh round draft pick
Justin Forsett ran like a cat dipped in turpentine last night
in the 'Hawks preseason 29-26 OT victory over the Bears.


I'm glad you finally got to witness first hand the huge screaming steaming drinking throbbing mass that is a Seahawks game at Qwest Field. Granted, it was only a preseason game, and therefore was only "sports orgy lite". Still, it made our backup QB Charlie Frye's foibles - the interceptions and whatnot - no less rage-inducing. (If he were more competent perhaps we could get "World's Most Athletic Human" Seneca Wallace out where he should be, catching passes instead of backing up Matt Hasselbeck.)

But I have to tell you, every year at the first game when the players come flying out of the tunnel to all the smoke and fire and beer-gurgling fanfare, it reminds me of the scene in "Gladiator" when the fighters are brought up into the light of the coliseum for the first time and all nearly crap their loincloths over the sheer fucking size of it all.

Now you also know how oh-so-very-goddamn loud it is. Again - it was only a preseason game, so it was "ear-splitting lite". Increase that cacophony by a factor of 2.5 and you get an idea of what a post-season game is like.

Now that you know what I mean when I say that I find it quite satisfying to take a gigantic emotional dump in public, and to do so without consequences, and to have it be an expected behavior. Also, as you pointed out, to not just take an emotional dump individually, but tribally as part of the tens-of-thousands-strong screaming steaming drinking throbbing mass. (SSDTM for those of you who need an acronym for everygoddamnthing if it gets more than two mentions. I'm looking at you, Microsoft. -Ed.)

If you know me as well as you do, dear brother, it begs the question how I, who never had the athletic inclination to throw my voice fer Winchell's sake, would become a frothing sweating screaming flailing fan
of football. (Or FSSFF. Not the second mention yet. I know. I'm just getting ready. -Ed.)

Easy. I think football is a dharma. It represents an integral concept of this difficult and oft-confusing life that is represented in my favorite fuckin' haiku of all goddamn time from Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828):

It is a dewdrop world

Surely it is

And yet

And yet -

Football is only a concept. (Oh yeah? Try convincing Bears backup QB Caleb Hanie that the 600-pound sack of man-crete that flattened him last night was a concept. I'm sure his chiropractor would like to hear that too. -Ed.) (Quiet you! -TRG.) It is what it is - to flog a hackneyed football interview phrase - because we all agree that it is. The fans, the players, the coaches, the ticket scalpers - you get the drift. It only has as much importance as I interpret it to have. I scream until I hyperextend my pyloric valve in anger when our backup quarterback Charlie Frye throws an interception, but I do so by choice. If it were, say, Bears QB Rex Grossman throwing the interception, I would shriek with glee and dispense high-fives to everyone within high-fiving range.

I find it enjoyable to become a FSSFF (Nice! -Ed.) because it is one of the few times in life when I am conscious of the emotional choice. In the rest of my life, it's not like that. Someone tells me shocking news and I startle. People die and I weep. My brother grieves and I despair. The cat pukes on my bedspread and my heart is filled with blackest rage. All of these things, though they seem appropriate to the situation, arise spontaneously and therefore seem as autonomic as a sneeze.

All these emotions, however autonomic they may seem, arise from values that I possess: the worth of my bedspread and the importance of my brother's well-being, for instance. These could be subject to emotional choice as well. I could choose to help others breathe through their upsets as I breathe through mine, to listen compassionately when my brother grieves, and transform the urge to punt the cat into compassion for his dyspepsia. (Or if you must punt the cat, punt him delicately and with loving-kindness. -Ed.)

But I will always rage over the foibles of Charlie Frye, because as Issa put it so succinctly two hundred years ago:

It is a preseason game

Surely it is

And yet

And yet -

Cheers, -Thaddeus