Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Coming off the ledge: Patriots 31, Vikings 7

If you come to the belief that human existence is absurd and the universe is utterly meaningless, there are a few choices for how you should carry on your life. As it happens, these are the same choices you have to deal with the frustration of seeing your favorite team defeated badly.

Anger It is natural to lash out in anger, to seek blame, but beware: the hatred will turn your soul black.

Despondency Apathy is not an easy attitude to maintain; eventually something will make you care again.

Self-Pity Staring at your navel doesn't get you very far or count for much; ultimately, if you are pitying yourself, it means you are probably the only one pitying you.

Sadness Avoid the anger, avoid the apathy, avoid the pity--just embrace the overwhelming sadness. For example, if your favorite team, which has never won a Super Bowl, is losing by 24 points in the fourth quarter and then the announcers start talking about how eventually your team could be moved to Los Angeles, don't get mad. Embrace the sadness.

Grim Determination In The Matrix Revolutions, Agent Smith is kicking the hell out of Neo and asking why human beings keep bothering to try at all. Neo responds, "Because I choose." This also explains why I chose to watch Monday's football game to the bitter end.

Laughter To stare into the face of the abyss and smile--that is courage. It's hard to laugh as your team is getting mauled, though. It's easier to cry.

Hope Wait around in the belief that SOME meaning will come along, SOME savior, SOME purpose. Wait and hope and hope and wait--maybe eventually something will. In life, you can attempt to make something happen (be an ubermensch), but if you're a sports fan, what exactly are you supposed to do? All you can do is hope. Of course, just as you can wait excitedly to watch a football game in which your team rolls over in suckitude, so might you wait forever and ever for nothing. Our Beckett play is called Waiting for Tarvaris.

Self-obliteration Nobody would suggest suicide is the answer to watching your team lose, of course; the sports equivalent would be to simply give up following the team.

Addendum: alright, here's the real reason I'm coming off the ledge (or at least trying to). Last year at this time, the Vikes were 2-5 and had already suffered 4 blowouts like last night's. And if the 2006 Vikings are even worth the fretting, they will be 7-4 or 8-3 in a month. That's my best effort; I feel absolutely awful today.

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