Sunday, November 29, 2015

Angry Birds

So here’s my dilemma. I’m not a sports guy, never really was growing up. Yes, I ran when I was young and lifted during my teen years, but I wasn’t big on organized sports. Nowadays, however, I watch football and baseball as a means of escape.

Being a New York Giants fan, the whole Eli Manning-Tom Coughlin era has been one of increasing stress. Never a dominant team (unlike, say, the 14-2 Phil Simms-Bill Parcells 1986 Super Bowl winners), the Giants like to play to the level of their opponents, start playing serious late in the game, keep it close until the final 30 seconds, and squeak in to the playoffs – when they make them, which hasn’t been lately – on the thinnest of margins, and usually not in control of their destiny.

Result: Stress, not escape, for Hopper.

Three years ago I decided to start watching baseball. Now, we’ve been taking in a game at Yankee stadium once a year for over a decade now as a sort of family outing with my wife’s side. But I grew up a Mets fan, and it felt more natural to root for them. And since they were not a good team, hovering slightly below .500, and I knew they weren’t a good team, I found myself enjoying watching the games after a busy day at work. Couple this emotional uninvolvement with the fact that a loss in baseball is one-tenth the loss of a football game, baseball became my preferred form of escape.

Then the Mets got good all of a sudden and made it to the World Series.

And stress, emotional involvement, and every-loss-mattering came back in spades.

Last week, after the Giants brutal, heartbreaking, completely demoralizing loss to the Patriots with six seconds left in the game, I threw my hands up in disgust and said the first thing that came to my mind:

“I’m giving up football and baseball and taking up bird watching!”

Problem is, I’ll start watching the birds in my backyard and this’ll happen: I’ll spot a group of warblers muscling in on a bush that a group of wrens call home and I’ll start routing for the wrens and those bastard warblers’ll bring it full force and before you know it, my team, the Wrens, will lose on the last play of the game!


Maybe it’s time to break out the telescope again … surely hunting Messier objects wouldn’t be stressful, would it?

No comments: