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We are in a newer, better state-of-mind; a better feel for the life unfolded and that yet to come. After a stretch of bleak, stunningly-ugly smears of horror in this world, drawn in schizoid swaths by an array of so-called ‘artisans,’ ranging from S-I-C to the randomly-ill and mentally-unsound, the bleak has become brighter; the broken is on-the-mend. The rallying cry that put it all together for me came from a slug-looking creature as he waltzed around the dusty, orange clay at home plate. After sticking his ass up to the heavens, he did a quick one-two sweep. Then, the creature ripped off his protective mask, angled his lips upward and bellowed words I don’t ignore: “PLAY BALL!”

The really cool thing about traditional American sports - although FS has been known to watch Women’s Curling, beamed out of the beloved, crazy country that lives above us in the attic – is they are much like a field of perennials. Sports are with us much of the year. Then, they disappear for a bit, only to return wearing a bright, colorful coat of hope. The cycle turns. But, this time of year, is the most unique. Seasons of games expiring; seasons of games commencing. This is a time of year where practically all professional sports are in play. The breakdown: some sports are in preseason mode; others, are in the heat of a season; and still others are in the throes of their league Championship. It’s a perfect storm; a clash of worlds. It’s the amazing sardine chase off South Africa’s Wild Coast, a time when schools of pilchards are targeted by larger predators, who in turn are hunted by even larger fish and, so on and so forth. As this ballet crescendos, Cape Gannets, cormorants and a penguin or two join this spectacular eating orgy from above. The pilchards form a massive, defensive ball, while tuna, Cape fur seals, dolphins, sharks and even a whale join the brunch. It’s a blast to watch. Whew, alright. Well, that was a helluva long-winded way to describe FS’s take on sports in mid-October.

That evil-twin set of Professional tennis and golf are winding down their seasons. These are two of the most self-centered, narcissistic sports ever created by ego-driven humans. The mostly-bland look on enemy combatants – Ha! – as they face off on either a manicured lawn, or rectangular piece of concrete is hard to wrap your heart around, assuming you even have one since you’re watching it. Though golf can have a more common feel due to its natural environment, it’s even worse ‘cause you are watching players beat themselves; it’s basically a sport of masturbation.

The Big Four, as I think of them - baseball, football, basketball, and hockey - enjoy a bizarre schedule this time of year. Baseball waxes toward a grand finale. The Fall Classic – no, not the reconvening of SCOTUS – is a fun time to statistically analyze the scores of hot dogs you scarfed during the season, juxtaposed to the hundreds of green lizards you allowed to crawl down your throat. And, while that curtain descends, American football gestates through its second or third month, as it storm-troops and labors toward delivery of a new Super Bowl Champion. The other ‘big’ two - hockey and basketball - have begun their preseason. However, in honor of everything that is commercially evil about this country, you are virtually watching games that help better define the word ‘irrelevant.’ Can you use it in a sentence? “You might be wasting a couple of hundred bucks and time with the family, after a hard day’s work, if you take them all to see the irrelevant preseason hockey scrum.”

And, I could go on, dredging up mention of oh-so-many-more sports – hello NASCAR and F1 racing, not to mention real football, including: MSL, Champions League, Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, Eriedivisie, La Liga, etc., all of which get tube time. You understand. We live our lives in the here, and now. Sometimes, that means watching other people living large as they play a game you love. Sometimes it’s down to a vicarious thrill. In the Astros-Yankees, ACLS Game 2, a kid in the stands stuck his gloved-hand out, slightly over the yellow, home-run line. After the ball snuggly nestled in, FS looked in amazement as the umps were called upon to watch video…just in case there was “fan interference.” No fucking way! The HR stood. Oy, oy, oy kid…sign your contract.

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