I yearn for when confusion could heal
I was talking to a friend last night about sports. (How many stories and thoughts begin with that phrase: "I was talking to a friend . . . ")
She raised the question about devotion to pro sports teams and how insane it appeared. I agreed and gave my knee jerk reaction regarding pro soccer teams in Europe and how being a fan was tantamount to belonging to a street gang.
It's a light non-response I realized.
Communities do get excited by the team that represents their city-state. It takes you out of yourself and puts you into a larger, or smaller, world sphere.
But there's another reason too. Pro athletes are young men and, at least in my case and millions of similar kids between the ages of 7 and 13, these young men stride across the city like young tormented gods.
These young gods integrate themselves into the community. They are a part of it.
Look at the wake of Hurricane Katrina. What I remember is Brett Favre, QB Green Bay Packers, telling a news conference that the game he devoted himself to wasn't important. He pointed out he was lucky, he knew where his family was and he helped fund a help line to track down the families of others.
The images of members of the New Orleans Saints as they wandered through the SuperDome helping children and consoling the refugees, serving food and changing diapers.
No matter where those athletes lived or where they were raised they proved that they were a part of the community where they played.
Then you go to guys like Matt Linhart, the Heisman Trophy winning QB of the Trojans. This young man at 12 was cock-eyed. He endured several operations. He never dreamed he had a chance to be an athlete, all he wanted to do was to be able to see. He got his miracle and this 22 year old kid spends his free time working with the kids of Compton, helping them play the game that inspired him.
Duante Culpepper, QB Minnesota Vikings, makes no secret of the fact that he was born in prison.
Pretty rough knock for a kid. He spends his spare time working with troubled kids in Minneapolis.
Deon "Prime Time" Sanders, to this day always has 50 tickets to every game he plays in given to kids at local boys clubs. He pays for them out of his own pocket.
You can go on and on but the most shocking wonderful story got kind of ignored. Laveranues Coles is a Wide Receiver for the New York Jets. He works with sexually abused kids in NYC. There are too many of them. Well, one would be too many.
Coles admitted to the press that he had been sexually abused by his step father from the time he was 9 until he was 12.
Coles admits he was lucky. His father went to prison for his crime.
See, even today, a sexually assaulted male is a survivor. He lives with guilt, because, like many rape victims, he believes he was complicit in the crime against him.
It took a lot of guts for Coles to go public, to come out of the shadows. He did it to help other kids in trouble.
So some people who support teams to a mad degree may be just jerks. Some super star athletes are jerks. Some people have to be jerks to survive. It's nothing to hold against them.
But some people are inspired by young men who have proven that their exceptional ability is only enhanced by their being exceptional young men.
At least I think so, that's my experience anyway.
I got blindingly shockingly sick yesterday. It was kind of cool in a detached way. It was a bolt of electric exquisite pain through out my body that drove me to one knee. I was light headed and my vision was just a blur. I don't think it lasted for more than a couple minutes but it felt like eternity there, or maybe that eternity was waiting if I could only reach my hand out.
It was okay though. Lots of fatigue and isolated pain like you feel after a car wreck.
It's over. I survived.
My silly puppy kept licking my face.
I didn't miss any work.