Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Rather Complex Dilemma

So, I'm befuddled.

Recently, or at least more prominently than usual in my memory's length, there have been a number of reports in the media discussing things that we've really all already known concerning sports and their ill effects upon those who play them.

First there was the issue of the NFL and brain damage and mental illness. Which has been mostly crystal clear to anyone who has ever looked at football being played or considered the anatomy of the human body.

Then, there's this Andre Agassi autobio that's recently come out to significantly better reviews than dear Mme. Palin's similar but different tome. I read the segment published in Sports Illustrated and was pretty impressed by the candor and insight of both Agassi and the text. He's a frightening and redemptive example of the negative impact sports can have on children. Here's hoping that we don't have to find out similar things about Tiger or the Williams sisters or who knows how many others.

So, here's the quandry. I love sports. Always have. Am watching football right now, have been all day, and intend to do so until about 11:30 tonight. It's what I do instead of going to church.

But what is the depth of my complicity as a single watcher of sports? I support it with my time, my attention, my money, certain of my allegiances, aspects of my identity.

But am I making a mountain out of a molehill? I would imagine that the arts have similar effects. Dancers, actors, lots of other professions suffer similar ailments.

But there's something so terrible, profoundly dark side of advanced capitalist consumption about the way that the industry of sports rears, trains, lures, and excretes so many people, many of whom are in part thrusting themselves into these situations because of their own financial, emotional, social, and other needs.

But then there's all the stories of people who endure what may come only to be able to offer a better life to so many others through sports.

It's really complicated.

Can somebody give me something good to read about this sort of thing? I mean, who are the big moralist philosophers of sport?

Back to Double Digits?

9-4 last week. I want 10.

Atlanta vs Carolina: Carolina’s playing better and Jake DelInterception is throwing them at a lesser rate. Whatever. ATL's gonna roll. Falcons by 14.

TB vs Mia: Such a shame that Miami's a better team. Because I'd love to see the Bucs get a little roll going. Those old uniforms are awesome, no matter what people say. And Josh Freeman had a week as good as anyone last week. Here's hoping it'll continue, but probably not this week. Fins by 10.

Det vs Min: I wonder if we ought to just give out byes for games like this. Keep Favre healthy, you know, to see what'll happen next. Poor Detroit. At least the Titans played reasonably well last year, so the shock is different than the sustained disaster in the D. Clearly, the Vikings are going to demolish the Lions. Dome-o-lition. Maybe Sage and Tavaris will get some tv time. Nords by 21.

Jac vs NYJ: What the hell is going on with the Jets? Free. Free fallin'. I really would like to see the Jets do well this year, so I can watch Rex Ryan talk out of turn, but the Jags are in the midst of a respectability battle in the AFC South. They'll win by about 10, but it'll hinge on MJD and what that Jets front 7 does.

Cin vs Pit: Game of the week, first sweep of the division for the Bengals, blah blah blah. They're threatening to play this game instead of the Titans game. And, no offense to either team, but I live in Tennessee. WTBJTTSMS? Defending champs by 7. At home, the Pitt Panthers already set a winning precedent for this weekend, and you always bet on the champ. Somebody's gonna kiss the baby.

NO vs STL: Another game between dome teams. This one, like the other, is a no brainer. The Saints are just smoking everybody. The Rams might want to call Limbaugh back. They're going to need some painkillers after this.

Buf vs TN: A-ha! Remember my email about trifectas? This could be it. Three in a row, baby! That's what a friend of mine would say, but he's not in town this weekend. We'll win it. Too bad I probably won't see it on TV. Us by 14. The road to redemption begins here. I wonder what the odds are that we'll win out and get to the playoffs.

Den vs Was: Oompa loompa Washington stinks. Zorn's career is right on the brink. They won't win cause Denver can flow. Oompa loompa, Snyder must go! Joe Lieberman's not the only loser in DC. Broncos by 21.

KC vs Oak: Whoa. J'e' pense que les Raiders sont plus crap. And Chris Chambers is making the Chiefs less disastrous. And Cassel's still putting up respectable numbers here and there. Larry Johnson is a wanker, hey, hey, hey, good-bye. Sans moronitude, the Chiefs roll. By 5, in a Keystone Kops routine.

Sea vs Ari: I'm going with Arizona on grounds of fantasy football, where my record is as bad as the Titans' except that I have one tie. But Arizona looks like a team that's gaining its footing, and Seattle doesn't. Too bad, because I wanted everyone to have to learn to spell Houshmandzadeh. Desert birds by 10.

Dal vs GB: Once again, Dallas screws me. Philly-San Diego, a game with two real quarterbacks is on opposite and I get to watch the Tony-Aaron show, where you never know just how dicey it might get. I'm saying Pack at home, because they're at home. By 14.

Phi vs SD: Remember a few weeks ago, how I said that the Eagles needed to beat the Raiders because of the postseason. Yeah, well, that's the one they needed to win because they may not win this one. I really hate to say it, but I think the Chargers are going to win this by at least one touchdown. F.

NE vs Ind: Hey, has anyone heard this described as the battle for best ever? Let me make something really clear. Unless your name is Otto, Terry, or Joe, you don't qualify for that competition. When Tommy Bundchen wins his next ring, we'll put him in there, but let's not get premature, huh? NE by 6, on a final drive touchdown, if not overtime. I'm saying this because Bob Sanders is out. And because I don't know who's going to win, and Bob Sanders is the only legitimate reason I have to make a choice.

Bal vs Cle: I just played this game on Madden a few days ago. I was the Ravens, and I won by 11. The same or worse will happen here, except the real Joe Flacco will throw for more yards. For reasons that I really can't explain except to say that I lived in Maryland for three years while going to the University of Delaware, but I really find the Ravens profoundly satisfying to watch. Ravens by 17.

Bettin' on the Bayou

Here they are, from N'Orleans, or however you spell that unbelievable molasses accent. Mine are coming next, but breakfast calls. Had to sleep off that Pitt game. Ugh.

SF vs Chi- SF to win by a touchdown. Pantless Coaches!

****upset special of the week****

Atlanta vs Carolina- Carolina to win by 3. Carolina played pretty well against the Saints and they look to play hard the second half of the season.

TB- Mia- the creamsickles did great last week, but was turnovers that did it for them. You wont get that out of Miami and their run game. Miami takes this by 14.

Det vs Min- This one shouldnt be much of a contest though i wont be sad if Minnesota takes a loss here. Minnesota by 17

Jac vs NYJ- New York... lets be what you were in the beginning of the season. The Sanchise! Jets get a win here by 7

Cin vs Pit- Wow.. this should be a good game. I dont know what happened to Cincy, but its nice to see them playing 4 quarters. I dont know... flip a coin on this one. I think Cincy owns it by 3

NO vs. Stl- This is a good week to rest up some nicked up starters for New Orleans. I'll take the st. louis rams in this one... HAHAHHAHA yea, lets get off the lollercoaster and hop back into reality... NOLA wins it by 21

Buf vs Ten- Tennessee has given me every reason to doubt them all year long. I should just stick with Buffalo on this, but I'll say Tennessee, VY, take it by 7

Den vs Was- Do you think that the Broncos want to look like total jackasses by losing three in a row after going 6-0 to start it off??? Me neither. Plus no Portis. Denver rolls over Washington.

KC vs Oak- Ya know... I'm thinking Oakland gets this with all the distractions in KC this past week. Too bad. These are both bottomfeeders. Oakland by 10

Sea vs Ari- Is this at home for Arizona. its the tail of two teams here. sucks for fans who shell out money to see a team get OWNED at home and to slaughter teams on their home fields. Arizona... looks to improve home field wins... they take it by 10

Dal vs GB- I don't know. I hate you Dallas. I really do. Ya know what, screw it, I'm taking GB out of Spite. haha. GB, you dont deserve my love, but here ya go... you win by 7

Phi vs SD- I don't know if this is considered an upset or not, but I'm thinking San Diego will get this in a shootout. Close game ends with the Bolts win by 3.

NE vs Ind- My man crush on Peyton vs my hatred towards all of New Englands franchise. Indy... you're gonna let me down aren't you. AREN'T YOU! bastards. New England by 14

Bal vs Cle- How in the F*** did this game deserve a Monday Night Football slot? I'm gonna blame the GOP for this. The Saints have more defensive TDs than Cleveland has offensive TDs. Sad Sad Sad. No contest. Baltimore big... 17.