Our heroes and those who love them

The vapor trail of some kind of energy, gathered by Firsty for your reading pleasure
Post Reply
User avatar
firsty
Posts: 1050
Joined: September 9th, 2004, 12:25 pm
Location: here
Contact:

Our heroes and those who love them

Post by firsty » November 30th, 2006, 2:12 pm

Sunday evening. Now I know what it feels like to be bored to tears. I'm dangerously close to a crippling depression, to the point that I want to fall to my knees on the floor and weep. The Indianapolis Colts are the Dave Eggers generation of the National Football League. Their idea of running away with a sure victory, this time against the Philadelphia Eagles, is to run down the clock with dramatic, playful and tiresome audibles from our favorite understated smirker, Peyton Manning,

Can you remember what it was like to read "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius"? Dazzled in the first quarter, then settling down for the second, but by the end of the first half, the writer apparently felt he had proved everything he needed to prove. Unfortunately for the reader, we're left with a half book's worth of complete crap just to "find out how it ends." Similarly, this football fan is forced by tradition and optimism to sit in front of the television waiting for the Colts to make it seem like football could possibly be fun again.

Why not keep reaching upwards?

Because these artists — quarterbacks, authors, whatever — these specific kinds, which fail in this way, dont believe in themselves. And they hide behind broad humor and clever retorts to hold their ground.

It demonstrates a clear lack of confidence, this inability to go for the gold, in either football or writing. Pedigree, false humility, singers with relatively good voices. But I just cant take this heavy breathing reach-arounds being repeated by Al and John. It's not necessary. If a five-minute ramble by John Madden is required to understand and appreciate the talent of Peyton Manning, then perhaps both Madden and Manning are in the wrong business. Madden should be doing Super Bowl commercials for mediocre chain restaurants and Manning should be singing karaoke in Ramsey, NJ.

Monday night. The Seahawks will win, but only in spite of Favre's performance.

Brett Favre, as opposed to Manning, is a master craftsman, moving teams down the field by doing all the critical small things by instinct. He stops midstream on a bootleg pass and throws across the field, using a traditional move but executing it more quickly, to take advantage of the slippery field and the defense's even slower reaction time, something I barely noticed. Or his no-huddle offense, which is based nearly as much on the quick hike of the ball, to keep the defense more psychologically chaotically on hits heels than physically so. The Packers with home field advantage out west in suddenly exposed Seattle.

He knows more than they do. But he's more interested in making what he knows work for him within the context of his job and his craft than in letting you know that he really does know so much more than you. Manning, on the other hand, wants you to know precisely everything he knows, in an effort to mask his insecurity. Just like Eggers. Even though neither really knows nearly as much as you do. It's just that they have a talented way of showing it. Lets not take everything away from them. They have sheer talent. It's just an underdeveloped, nearly intentionally so, barely breathing, mass of something old.

As a kid, of course, I wanted to be a football player. A quarterback. And a rock star. But from the earliest days, as a child, as a seven-year-old kid imagining with one football and no friends in the back yard inventing play-by-play calls, it was a quarterback. It wasnt until much, much later, that I wanted to be a writer. When I was playing football against myself in the backyard grass, I was imitating Walter Payton and O.J. Simpson and Terry Bradshaw. I wasnt imitating Archie Manning or Dan Marino.

When I grew up, I idolized writers. And, similarly, the rough and tough kind. The kind who knew what they were doing and did something with it. They didnt write for the sake of writing. They wrote of their experiences, and they chose their experiences to enhance their writing. Hunter Thompson, Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, etc.

Even George Plimpton, who reeked of pedigree and waspy nose-lifting and argyle socks. But George Plimpton knew about the lure of sports. For the story, he played football, baseball, hockey, tennis and golf, plus he boxed. Hunter Thompson began and ended his career as a sportswriter. Some of the richest journalism of the early to mid-20th century was sports journalism.


Image
Plimpton is the kind of football player, and writer, we need more of these days.

Fortunately for us, Brett Favre has kept himself recharged since his wild nights in Atlanta. But he cant go on forever. We're going to need another Hemingway or Picasso or Kerouac. Another Mean Joe Green, Conrad Dobler, Mike Singletary, Ron Jaworski, Terry Bradshaw, Simpson, Payton. The real deals.

Brett Favre, Terry Bradshaw, these masters had their demons and their flaws. Even Hemingway had his missteps, usually caused by clinging too close or too long to tried and true efforts of style and presentation. Sometimes we see Favre pushing too hard. And then I remember three literary giants who died between 1994 and 2005 — Bukowski, Burroughs and Thompson. They didnt spiral towards the end — this may be arguable, but at least they kept on keeping on. They simply kept doing what they were doing. They werent relying on old relics of memory to shape a contrived thing out of dust. Bukowski kept writing to the end. Burroughs became even more involved in pop art in his last 10 years on this earth, even laying down tracks with Tom Waits and Nick Cave. Thompson gained a new audience, publishing a regular column on ESPN's Page 2 website.

Favre may not have the same steps he had 5 years ago, but he still, now, works as hard at his game as he ever did. Manning never looks like he's working hard. Neither does Eggers. It's too easy. These are cheap victories, and they dont mean anything, because Eggers will never be considered a great writer of his generation, and Manning will never win the Super Bowl.

Who will carry Favre's torch in the next generation? Tony Romo? We have Tom Brady, but his grin is a little too cheesy. We have Big Ben, but he hasnt been the same since this summer, and he might never be the same again. Michael Vick seems more concerned with image than sportsmanship.

And somewhere out there is the torchbearer for the next great literary generation. But it won't smell like snark, and it's entirely sincere. But just like Brett Favre, who plays down his genius in favor of playing up his team's performance, you'll know it when you see it.

Until then, we have this weekend in football to look forward to. Tonight, in fact, two quarterbacks go up against one another, and they are both tough. If they turn out to be someday champions, they will be idolized and admired for all the right reasons. It will be Steve McNair against Carson Palmer. Sunday, of course, we have Manning playing Vince Young, who could still go either way. Hopefully Young won't watch Manning from the sidelines, studying the audibles, caught up in the pretense. And hopefully Young will keep the game interesting, or else another generation of football fans will be lulled to sleep by mediocrity. Lets hope for more.
and knowing i'm so eager to fight cant make letting me in any easier.

[url=http://stealthiswiki.nine9pages.com]Steal This Book Vol 2[/url]

[url=http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?26032]Get some hosting![/url]

mtmynd
Posts: 7659
Joined: August 15th, 2004, 8:54 pm
Location: El Paso

Post by mtmynd » December 13th, 2006, 11:00 am

F: "I'm dangerously close to a crippling depression, to the point that I want to fall to my knees on the floor and weep."

C: Your silence causes me wonder - have you recovered yet?

User avatar
firsty
Posts: 1050
Joined: September 9th, 2004, 12:25 pm
Location: here
Contact:

Post by firsty » December 15th, 2006, 12:08 pm

no!
and knowing i'm so eager to fight cant make letting me in any easier.

[url=http://stealthiswiki.nine9pages.com]Steal This Book Vol 2[/url]

[url=http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?26032]Get some hosting![/url]

mtmynd
Posts: 7659
Joined: August 15th, 2004, 8:54 pm
Location: El Paso

Post by mtmynd » December 15th, 2006, 1:40 pm

damn!

User avatar
stilltrucking
Posts: 20094
Joined: October 24th, 2004, 12:29 pm
Location: Oz or somepace like Kansas

Post by stilltrucking » December 15th, 2006, 2:45 pm

hey its just a game

I lost my virginity to Irshay and the Indianapolis Colts.

I can't go there much anymore

I watch a little

New Orleans about a week ago

THey got a runner who reminds me of Jim Brown

Running with three tacklers hanging on trying to bring him down

Talk about crying the year the Orioles lost to the Mets, terrible depression, houses with black krepe bunting. 1969. Have you eve read Summer of The Mets

I take it sports is not what is bringing you down.

User avatar
firsty
Posts: 1050
Joined: September 9th, 2004, 12:25 pm
Location: here
Contact:

Post by firsty » December 15th, 2006, 3:49 pm

i've had the flu for 3 weeks but the sabres are playing like champions. i tried a new head case therapy but i crashed, still burning. there are few real solutions to depression and the only ones that really work arent sanctioned by the FDA or the shrinks. so i'm off the grid, writing to the grind.
and knowing i'm so eager to fight cant make letting me in any easier.

[url=http://stealthiswiki.nine9pages.com]Steal This Book Vol 2[/url]

[url=http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?26032]Get some hosting![/url]

User avatar
Michael
Posts: 367
Joined: September 23rd, 2004, 11:12 pm
Location: California
Contact:

Post by Michael » December 15th, 2006, 5:51 pm

firsty, you have your nerve!

I was raised and born in New London, Connecticut (not necessarily in that order) and have been a Boston Red Sox fan since 1959.

I watched Ted Williams hit a home run in his last official Major League at bat. He didn’t stand still momentarily or, as is the case of Manny, long enough to grow a beard. He ran the bases as if he had somewhere to go. He went into the dugout and out of the dugout into the locker room without breaking his stride. No curtain calls for Ted.

Now, this could have been because most people didn’t do those things in 1960 or, possibly, he wasn’t a hot dog. I’m tempted to believe it was because he was ashamed to be seen with the sort of team that the Sawx fielded in those days.

Of course, I thought that Jackie Jensen was going to give The Mick a run for his money. It turns out that the only running he did was away from airplanes.

I thought that Gary Gieger was going to be a great base stealer. I forgot to think that he was going to be a great hitter.

I used to love to watch Earl Wilson hit. I didn’t care much for his pitching though.

Even avid Sawx haters had to like Dick Radatz. He was huge and the ball must have looked like a golf ball to the batter. It’s absolutely amazing for a reliever, mainly a closer, to have 180 strikeouts in a year.

He got too excited one day after striking out a batter and he pumped his fist, a la Eckersly. The Sawx traded him to the Indians. The Sawx front office was the most conservative in the world of sports, including the East German Olympic teams. The paradox which made the players the top amphetamine dealers in the league is kind of interesting.

I did some suffering of my own, my friend. Danny Cater for Sparky Lyle? The Sawx are sort of like the present Regime in Washington. They just don’t pay attention to history.

2004 seemed surreal to me. It was a dream come true, in spades. It’s still a dream. I’m not holding my breath for the “come true” part, though.

To friendship,
Michael

Post Reply

Return to “Remnants of Madness”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest