Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fugue You

When I Stopped Caring
In the first half of today's Steelers-Giants game, Pittsburgh QB Ben Roeth- lisberger went back to pass. Pressure came as he threw the ball, and it skittered to the ground in the backfield. The refs blew the call and didn't blow the whistle, so the Giants picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown. As we saw the replay that was even more clear then the real time that the play was a forward pass and not a fumble, I didn't even give the game full attention, it was so obvious that the play would be overturned...

And then, well, it wasn't. Giants touchdown.

Now, eventually the road team was able to use the fact that it, well, was much better than the home team (Eli Manning's 10 for 24 for 125 isn't going to win many games, really) to win a closer than it should have been game, 24-20. But something curious happened to me soon after that play.

I really, truly, stopped caring about the NFL. For the first time ever, and for the better part of an hour. Because I stopped believing in the veracity of the game. Roger Goodell in the house, New York / New Jersey "needing" the win to promote good feelings after Hurricane Sandy, the game being in New Jersey despite fuel shortages and rescue efforts still going on...

Well, other stuff just seemed more important, and better to do. Like, well, anything.

A little background. There's a lovely narrative moment in an episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (don't snicker too hard, it's brilliantly written) in which the hero goes into a fugue/coma state, and can no longer act. Another character enters into her subconsciousness and finds a looped state, which is finally broken when the repeat focuses on a small moment where the protagonist first lost all hope of success. It wasn't anything big or violent or earth-shattering; it was just a point where, well, something small and profound was realized. And in that moment, the seed of profound and crippling guilt over that lack of commitment was generated, like a ticking time bomb. (It Got Better.) Anyway, you get the point.

At the time of fugue, my fantasy team had the second-most points in the league this week. At the time of fugue, I had hit on a picks parley to make my sports gambling for the week a win, and was still alive on a second ticket. I wound up missing on a 160 to 1 ticket by a single game, and might have one of the best days picking in my time doing that sort of thing. And while I wish ill on the Giants as a general matter of course, due to my Eagles fandom, my Eagles fandom is kind of at low ebb, due to a general disgust for Year 14 of the Five Year Andy Reid Super Bowl Plan. So it's not as if I was consumed by sadness over the Steelers getting shafted. It was just more along the lines of disgust for a fixed game.

So I just stopped watching. I never do that. Instead, I folded laundry, cleaned the kitchen, washed the dishes, ran the puppy around outside. The Shooter Wife, who was under the weather and just kind of watching the game out of the corner of her eye while knitting, let me know that things had changed, so I came back down and tried to get back into my parley root, to not very high impact. The SNF game is on right now, and I'm not watching. I rarely do that, either.

I'm not sure how long this fugue state is going to last, or that it's anything more than an off day or moment. If the Eagles rip off a roaring win in New Orleans tomorrow, I'm sure that I'll be sucked right back into giving a damn about them, and giving a damn about them is likely to recharge the battery for everything else. And if the 160 to 1 payoff had come, i'm sure I'd be over the moon right now.

But right now? Really, not so much.

Because at some point, fandom has to ebb, time has to snap back, satiety has to be achieved.

And when that is realized, and if it stays, there's really only one thing to ask.

What's next?

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