Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Slackjawed, and Not Much to Say

Channeling Men at Work this morning, while trying hard to resemble one. This entry is really just a futile attempt to keep a little off-season momentum going here at MLC. We've never been really long on analysis - random venting and ill-informed sniping is more our ouevre - and Spring Training mostly lends itself to detailed, forward-looking essays on our teams' prospects. Suffice it to say that Whit and I won't be doing that - many others are both more inclined and better at it.

I will say, in the spirit of our long-running wager (and thank you, Whit, for the case of Harpoon - it was delicious), that I'm pegging the Sox for 98 wins again this season. I predicted that total before 2004, and was, ahem, exactly right. While I believe the 2005 Sox are capable of exceeding last year's total, there's enough health risk in the pitching staff to temper any wildly enthusiastic predictions. Whit, I await your prognostication for whichever team you decide to support in 2005.

Running debate over at Jerry's Wheelhouse about when/if/whether it's acceptable to exchange your fandom for a franchise, and if so, under what circumstances. As I get older, I find it harder and harder to maintain any level of passion for multiple teams. First, my interest in the Washington Wizards (and the NBA in general) cooled after the league's work stoppage in the early 90s. I haven't watched a full NBA game in over 10 years, even though I love basketball. Then, more recently, the Boston Bruins began to fade out of my life, before their league simply cratered. Finally, and currently, I find myself wholly ambivalent about the Washington Redskins.

I despise current Redskins ownership for their thinly veiled worldview of their fanbase as nothing but reliable dupes willing to serve as no-limit ATM terminals and their fantasy football approach to franchise building. But I'm starting to wonder if my diminishing passion for my home town 11 is related to the euphoria I experienced in October. Even when they were winning Super Bowls, the Redskins never gave me the emotional lift that I got from the Sox in 2004 - and got as recently as last night, when I came across the official MLB 2004 World Series film on ESPN Classic. Now, I really wonder I'm capable of caring that much about any team, save the Sox. Frankly, I cared a lot more about my fantasy football squad's performance last year than I did about that of the 'Skins.

It's an interesting phenomenon, because I find that I love sports in general every bit as much as I ever did. I'm banished to my bedroom most nights because I want to watch college hoops while my wife rots her brain with The Bachelorette. I watch a lot more ESPNews than I do network television. I still get a huge kick out of watching the games - I just care a lot less about the outcomes, with one notable exception. Food for thought, anyway.

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