Wednesday, December 07, 2016

It's Only a Game

That's a shot of some of the stuff in my car's trunk. Prominent is a tennis bag with a couple of rackets and a box of cans of new tennis balls. I'm intending to clean out my car including this packed trunk and write a short essay about what is in there. Not today, though.

Today it's about sports. The ones you play and the ones you watch. I only play tennis. And only in very, very casual doubles games with random people showing up to take turns playing one set each with each partnership. And, yet...sometimes one gets upset over a bad call, their own mistakes, the conditions. But it's only a game. 

Yeah, a game. The results of my tennis aren't written down anywhere. No one cares. We often don't remember five minutes after we walk off. And, yet, we play by strick rules. We try our hardest to chase down a shot.

I sometimes think we do this because real life, where things really do matter and sometimes are matters of life and death, is too complicated. We can understand the rules, play between the lines, get control.

Sometimes we are only spectators. We have a favorite high school, college or professional team. We exalt in their victories and die a little with their failures. And this is so silly really. We know it. And yet we feel a surge of emotion watching a winning basket or a goal line stand. 

I've boycotted football this year. I enjoy watching it, really. But the awful injuries and the way it has overshadowed academics at colleges makes me feel guilty. It's been nice not really paying attention to games and reading or going out with a friend while FFP watches. I've snuck a few looks at plays while he has the games on. And, obviating my boycott, I'll look up during the commercials for these games and watch them. 

Real life seems to loom large for me just now. But games are just games. Nothing I care about is riding on the outcome. Even if I'm the one playing.

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