There is sound for the worthless
If no one noticed, I had partly planned to stop writing my lion's end of FreeDarko for the foreseeable New Year. I'm tired, angry, bored with the NBA, and have far more pressing things to do than spending several hours a day debating Lamar Odom's breast size on tv. I've also come to realize that, while as a blogger I'm supposed to want to cast a big tent, draw in the gross and distended for the sake of environment, people like Faith make me not want to visit my own site.
My scruffy 'ol relationship with the Association has so far fallen that yesterday I sent THC an email saying that I felt "embarrassed" for having tickets to a Wizards/Celtics jab-off that, incidentally, was set to overlap with the Redskins first playoff game in recorded history. Not that I care about Portis on the field anymore, or Moss more than two downs per half, but it just seemed like bad form; missing the NFL playoffs is nothing if not ignorant, and to do so in a city engulfed by post-season fever borders on youthful treason. Luckily, THC shot back with the observation that Arenas/Ricky Davis was a match-up akin to Hercules, I remembered what built this blog in the first place, and I was able to enjoy a lovely night of basketball without worrying who was angling for a field goal way off in the distance.
I could speak to you for eons of the zealotry and provident hand-outs that watching these two zesty, yet perfectly damned squads face off provided. The night was thick with such magical note cards as Gheorghe Muresan IN THE BUILDING to give a halftime award to the son of an owner of a favored chili spot. . . Larry David look-alike behind me who spent the entire fucking game yelling at the Wizards, especially Arenas, to "play defense" and "give it to Brendan". . . Delonte West, smooth as ice. . . Scalabrine put in to make one single clutch three-pointer from the corner, then promptly yanked again. . . the realization on my part that, in this here NBA, victory is about capitalizating on the opponents mistakes or overplaying your own, not executing flawlessly. . . my purchase of the single most honorary Arenas shirt known to horsekind. . . the chance to observe, in perfect form, the once-and-for-all deading of the "Butler is the next Pierce" nonsense. . . Ricky Davis, that damn good. . . some chubby, bespectacled mama's boy pulling off the most accomplished dance cam performance I've yet seen.
But what I really want to do is what I do best: heap shame upon the white man and back-handedly, somewhat imprecisely, praise those of the minority persuasion. One of my absolute least favorite things alive is white men, usually slightly older, talking sports to women who clearly don't need or want to hear it. At a crap Italian restaraunt back in H-Town, I nearly got up and punched some British guy who, when the conversation at his table turned casually to the geographic wonder that was the Rose Bowl, proceeded to bust loose with an amateur scouting report on Vince's pro prospects, the difference in defensive schemes, etc. Then last night, the man behind us had a running monologue going, presumably for the benefit of his wife/date, about the Princeton offense, Tampa Bay's defense, other garden variety ESPN.com information. Two rows back, the aforementioned LD impersonator would occasionally stop bellowing about defense (WORLD'S DUMBEST WIZARDS SEASON TICKETHOLDER. the Wizards are not built to play defense, just to score and get steals in transition/on the perimeter) to tell his daughter (??) about which Wizards were really valuable to a sound team game.
I am not a sailor or an adventurer, but something has become clear to me as I wash this earth with my scalding blood: if someone's not responding, they don't care. Either that, or you're talking way over their head. Granted, half of what people say out loud at a sporting event is to sound knowledgable around their oh-so informed peers in the bleachers. But if you are really, truly, talking about screens as a way of bonding with your female companion, it's not working. Keep in mind the model of the baseball game: at any given time, only about 70% of the spectators at a ballpark can apprectiate the nuances of the action, but that doesn't mean the others aren't having a good time. In fact, they're probably enjoying it on their own terms, with as much as they need to know, and find it intrusive to have someone browbeat them with technical wank. At the risk of pissing off our very limited female audience, usually a woman (or any non-fan, for you parents trying to force a burgeoning art fag to play catch) agreeing to go to a sporting event is itself a loveable concession. And if he/she is managing to enjoy the experience, its on her own terms, not through a cloudy, just-discovered lens of identical fandom that God calls upon you to polish. Otherwise, Sundays would not be a day of solitude, and playoff season would not be a unrelenting string of excuses and avoidances on my part.
What I have just taunted applies by and largely to the white man. In fact, in my grippingly amateur work in the field, I am fairly certain that I have observed nearly the opposite behavior among African-Americans, especially younger couples. I think that it has something to do with the black NBA Date, from hereon known as BNBAD. Most younger white people at games are there with their boys, maybe their father (like I can afford these tickets). It's basically an extension of the "yelling in front of the television" setting that gives rise to retarded, self-important sites like this in the first place. But younger black couples at games have a curious dynamic going on—the game is a legit dating (or at least "date") activity, but it doesn't overwhelm things. This could easily lead to some dangerous suppositions about African-American women being genetically predisposed to understand basketball better than their ivory-toned contemporaries (someone, please, take the bait and fight me!), but more likely it has to do with an understanding of the fact that a sporting event can mean different things to different people, and there's no reason that everyone can't enjoy it in their own sweet way. Or that, if the man has already gotten his way by going to a game, he owes it to his woman to make the experience as pleasant, and un-dude-ish, as possible. I am forcibly lead to believe that it's the absence of this institution among the white race that leads to such awful pieces of shittery as "man lectures woman with two-bit commentary" that I have on so many occasions observed.
I hardly remember any other sports well enough to elaborate on this across the boards of discipline; I wonder if it's not an NBA-exclusive phenomen, even if the content sometimes ranges far and free. All I want to say is teach your children well, and maybe future generations will be spared my wrath.