Thrashing in the Desert

Written By: Charles - Dec• 07•09

Samhain                                     Waning Wolf Moon

Oh, my.  The day after the Viking’s thrashing in the desert, the mauling in the sand, the collapse in the sun brings…not much.  Favre admitted they got outplayed and that he, in particular, succumbed to old ways, win it himself by throwing, throwing, throwing, avoiding the question of open receivers and the running game.

A fan’s emotional response to their team’s victories or losses has been studied and found to have a link to mood in the days and weeks after a game or season are over.  No surprise there, I guess.  Still, it’s funny, isn’t it?  If I go to the Guthrie and see a weak play, I don’t feel bad about myself.  I think they may not have rehearsed enough or cast poorly.  If I go the Chamber Orchestra and there’s a few squeaks and chirps, flats and sharps, I don’t drive home wondering how that could be and how, in a visceral way, it reflects on me and the whole Twin Cities, Minnesota.

Now I’m not saying I feel bad about myself because the Viking’s lost, but I feel a slight down note today, a mild OMG.  Why is that?  It may be that the theater and music fit well into my upper middle class, educated lifestyle, entertainments that have an intellectual side honed over decades.  I have a critical reaction to them, a reasoned and analytical response, more like a newspaper movie critic than a fan.

Neither baseball nor basketball engage me, hook me, the way football does.  It’s surprising basketball doesn’t hook me because it certainly did when I lived in Indiana.  When the Alexandria Tigers played well, especially in the sectionals, I felt great.  When they lost, I felt bad.

Now, football.  As I watch a game, my body often moves empathically, curving around a defensive player, lowering a shoulder to get past an offensive linemen.  There is a distinct emotional connection, an emotional connection not related to how I analyze the game, but to the men, these giants and superstar athletes.  When they hurt, so do I.  When they jump up and down, so do I.

Maybe that’s it.  The boy who ran the bases in a pick-up baseball game or who played flag football with fervor comes to the fore, the line between watcher and the watched blurs, crosses over the line.   He does not analyze the game, or the play or the theater.  He merely feels dejected if he loses or happy if he wins.  Why?  Why is not a question he wishes to answer, knows how to answer.  He feels.  That’s it.

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