I have recently come to love baseball. Like a fractal it has an incredibly simple form, which, upon closer inspection, reveals an amazing complicated structure, which is itself based on very simple rules. Throw, hit, run.
And it is pure Americana. The National Pastime, not a sport mind you, simply a way to pass the time. Playing catch while chewing gum, taking some swings in the batting cage in the afternoon sun, going to the game and eating a warm pretzel in folded paper. And the guys on the field, these are the guys who pass time for a living.
Get good enough at it and you become an immortal.
If the lamented Shakespeare were a baseball writer he might use a line that he vested upon some more or less obscure hero of antiquity and say of "Babe" Ruth, "He doth bestride the narrow baseball fields like a Colossus." For "Babe" Ruth is Hercules and Thor reincarnated, the Colossus of Swat. His bat is the club of Hercules and the hammer of Thor, the symbol of sheer, primitive might before which the puny folk bow and offer worship.
A boorish lout, who smoke and drank and played ball. And Joe DiMaggio, the sad giant who fell in love with America's princess and had his heart broken, but not his hitting streak. A nation turned its lonely eyes to him.
No other country has the gods of sport like the Americans. Sunday is a holy day as thousands decide to skip church so they can catch the game.
Here at the end of the earth, in a new country filled with strange animals and dark woods, you'd think we would create similar gods. But we don't. Our closest immortals are squeezed into simple parodies of themselves, shilling for bunkum science or bunkum finance.
Our Gods own myths are those of quiet self-deprecation. A "good game mate" mumbled under the breath; something that doesn't really lend itself to ten-foot tall bronze statues. And of course it is a myth. If they were really humble their words and deeds would be celebrated by our culture.
I can only think of two who are still revered in some way: Sir Edmund Hillary and Sir Peter Blake. Both are dead and both did work overseas.
But back to real sport. The NBA playoffs are heating up as… ZZZZZZZ. Sorry I dozed off.
The Celtics-Cavaliers series seems to be more interesting for determining the future of LeBron James than for finding this year's winner. The internet was asking the question over and over: was that LeBron's last game in Cleveland?
The answer is of course: shut up and let the guy play at least one more game in Boston!
Also I can't help but feel that hockey would get a lot more viewers if it didn't schedule its playoffs at the same time as the more popular NBA.
Hear that sound? That rumble on the horizon? That's the brand (fucking) new Roller Derby season!
This weekend the Pirate City Rollers kicks off their three team league under the rather awesome name (and poster) 2010: a Skate Odyssey (tickets from Under The Radar). It starts with the grudge match bout between the Mascara Massacre and Dead Wreckoning.
Will it be good? Will it fuck! … that means yes, yes it will be good.