Sunday, May 23, 2021

Just One Year

I have largely abandoned rooting for teams for cultural and political reasons. While my college is still on FIRE's good list for free speech, and a roommate of mine just recently retired as bursar at William and Mary, they have clearly lost their way, as have many other academies.  The major sports leagues have been significantly irritating in their politics, which is not surprising.  Whatever management thinks, the athletes are disproportionately African-American, living in a woke bubble since age 14 and believing - even more than their idiot fans - that blacks are targeted by the police.  So to manage them effectively, the coaches must believe what keeps their players happy, and management must follow along, however reluctantly.  The white players believe this also, because they have been in this bubble and influenced by their peers.

So even when my beloved Celtics have been exposed to Enes Kanter for a couple of years, outspokenly reminding them "You want to talk about oppression?  How about the government targets your family explicitly, threatening to kill them, " I have a soft spot, even when Jason Tatum or Jaylen Brown says "There are two Americas."  Like they would know. Chat with Luka Doncic sometime, wouldja? He is great at not offending teammates, because he has his eye on the prize.  But he gives hints that the NBA as a whole does not really grasp reality.*

Having five sons who played sports, I completely get rooting for laundryOur valiant lads are being mugged by those thugs from Pittsfield/Nute/Groveton (or alternatively, not allowed to be physical against those sissies from Derryfield/Calvary/Bedford). I am not objective, even when I press hard.

So I look out the corner of my eye what is happening to the Patriots; I check in only at random about the Red Sox, who were central to my understanding of the universe until a few year ago; and after checking in on the Celtics only once a month this season, I found in early May they were going to the playoffs and escalated to once a week. And I saw that the same incredible bad luck in terms of injuries is happening again. Isaiah Thomas. Gordon Hayward. Kyrie Irving. So 2018. I am so rooting for Brad Stevens to have JUST ONE YEAR with only a normal amount of injuries.  This year, after deftly managing all the injuries to just about everyone in preparation for the playoffs, all of a sudden it is Jaylen Brown out, and Time Lord hanging in gamely despite injury, to no avail.

I don't think God worries much about justice in sports.  I think that is us, who assign symbolic value to the cosmic justice of entertainment.  But as that is the oversimplistic world I seem inexplicably tied to, I care. Can poor Brad Stevens have just one year without insane injury problems to deal with?  It has the deep, unsettling feeling of my years of becoming slowly aware of the star-crossed Red Sox in the 60s, fed by my parents who had watched this develop since the 40s, before the unbelievable, WP Kinsella- level misfortune of Boston** (and Chicago Cubs) became a national understanding. Which lasted six decades.

*Or maybe they do grasp reality, which is "Who cares about truth?  We know where the money is.  We haven't a clue what Hong Kong, or Uighurs, or underground churches are all about, because we have been told there's nothing to see there. Ka-ching!"

**Exceeded by Cleveland. I admit it.


james said...

There seems to be more continuity with baseball announcers than with players. I wonder how that effects loyalty?

My wife listens to games instead of watching, and I've heard pretty much the same men for years--perhaps TV announcers vary more. (I have trouble keeping track of who is on what team.)

Ben Wyman said...

When I hear some of the commentary coming out of the Boston sports industrial complex - guys at the Globe or on WEEI constantly talking about how Brad Stevens has lost the locker room and needs to be fired or whatever the current nonsense is - I do sometimes think "we deserve this. Too many of us are insufferable and we do not appreciate what is right in front of us."

As much as the Knicks hate us, it was great tonight to watch them get to be in MSG for a playoff game tonight. They've got a fun team and they're having a good time. Meanwhile, the injury-riddled Celtics have gotten to the Eastern Conference Finals 3 out of the past 4 years, and yet when the Celtics struggled this season, you could tell they were hearing a lot of the negativity via Twitter or Instagram or where ever it bleeds in from.

They're a fun, young team and I like all those guys, it's a bummer to not enjoy your favorite team, even if they frustrate you sometimes. I don't know why so many people want to go online and tell Kemba Walker they hate that he smiles so much during games and they wish he was gone. Seems like a bad use of your life.

RichardJohnson said...

Regarding bad luck of Boston teams, I'll take a pass. Say what you will about Pesky holding or not holding the ball, or Buckner's fielding, the Red Sox have won 9 World Series, which is about 3rd or 4th best. Granted, there was an 86 year gap, but what the heck. In addition, even with all that bad luck, from 1967 on the Sox had better than average teams. Carroll Hardy was the exception. Bad luck and the Celtics: ditto all those championships. The bad luck about some of those acrobatic catches from Giant receivers in Super Bowls is balanced out by Julius Edelman against Atlanta.

The woke narrative coming from ignorant multimillionaires gets wearing. Coach Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs is an example not necessarily well-known in the Northeast- though of a well-read multimillionaire. Russian major in college, I believe. I read that he spends about a million dollars a year on food. That's his choice, but that combined with his preaching about social justice and all that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. A social justice sybarite: no thanks.

Grim said...

Well, the Red Sox won the game I watched at the Sixpence Pub in Blowing Rock while on the motorcycle run this weekend. First baseball game I've seen in ages, but it's a pleasure to sit and watch one all the same. They've got a solid relief game, it looked like.

Maybe baseball is more important than the rest of this stuff. I only catch a game every few years, I guess, but it's a really great sport that's always fun to watch and consider.

Sam L. said...

I gave up watching baseball, football, and basketball yeaaaaaaaaaaaars ago, both live (because there are no teams in my immediate area) and on TV. Not interested. Especially soccer.

Narr said...

Lack the sports-watching gene entirely, myself; some of my best growing-up memories are of scratch yardball games . . . but have never much cared otherwise. (My wife's far-flung international friends marvel at the Husband Who Doesn't Care About Sports.)

Any ideas what's up at Chicagoboy? Haven't been able to get in for days.

Cousin Eddie

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I heard from Jonathan that it should be back up today. They had a malware problem

Narr said...

Thanks, I just saw that.

Cousin Eddie