Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Confessions of a Sportsman
It has come to my attention since my last posting on sports that there is some misunderstanding as to my relationship to the sporting life. In this life, I have indeed been many things: a writer of melancholic stories about solitary loneliness, an author of lonely stories of melancholy solitude, and creator of solitary stories of lonely melancholy. But whatever necktie I may have been wearing that day, I have always been one thing, and one thing only, through and through: a sportsman.
You might ask, of all the sports, the ones with special shoes and hats that are hard, the ones played on ice or dirt, the ones with (domesticated) animals and without, which is my favorite? I have to answer: the National Pastime, for I love it so. I am a National Pastime fanatic. I have never missed a single episode. When I am not busy avidly watching the National Pastime, whether on television, the movies or a telescope, I am always devotedly reading the many novel adaptations of the game so I can relieve each and every moment, like I was right there, snacking on the foodstuffs that we associate with the game.
I will, in particular, never forget the game where the team that everyone thought was going to lose got really behind as the game progressed, until all of us in the balcony believed that the team was certain to lose the game rather than win it. Then, during the last segment of the contest, the team everyone thought was going to lose suddenly rapidly improved their performance until the point where it was decided they won the game. My stool nearly fell over I stood up in the stands, so loudly was I cheering the name of that team and the player(s) most responsible for their victory.
I love all sorts of games. Games played with the hands or the feet. Games where people pick things and run or see how far they can kick things. I particularly love the game with the things. The longish things with the things at the end that hit the other thing. I will never forget my first longish thing with the thing at the end that hits the other thing (sometimes it’s not a separate part). It wasn’t much, but it was mine. I used to go out to the place where the game is played and hit the other thing for all it was worth, until the thing at the end needed replacing and sometimes I even lost the thing I was hitting, so hard did I hit it!
I will never forget the words my sports advisor said to me, once. He said: keep playing the game until you are successful at playing it, for, if you stop playing the game at some point in time before you are successful, then the result will be that you will not be as successful at the game as you might have been had to continued to play it, son. And that’s good advice I have never forgotten when undertaking to play any sport. Including the sport of continuing to live.