Good [insert time of day to make scripted greeting seem personal], WFNYers. It’s only Thursday in one of those “feels like” Day 9 of the work week weeks, with college football and the Labor Day weekend so tantalizingly near. But I suppose that’s better than Monday, Tuesday, or that most despicable of days: Wednesday. The Cleveland Indians are on a rampage with a cheat-code pitching staff, the Cavaliers saga drags turgidly onward minus one Kyrie Irving, and the Browns will be completely without Joe Haden for the first time since 2010, which is painful given that he was one of basically two players (the other being Joe Thomas) for whom I could muster something resembling affection since 1999.1 We’re on the cusp of the fall sports season heating up, but while we’re waiting…
As usual, I had no idea what I was going to write in this space all week. But then, like any word-person worth his weight in bullshit, a theme suddenly emerged like a majestic heron from a lake mist. Provoking the theme were the following items I consumed throughout the week.
How are these items related, and how do sports fit into it? Well, here’s one more item to tie it together.
Thursday night is effectively the start of college football season, when Ohio State plays Indiana to start the Labor Day weekend. I love college football deeply, at least as much as the microwave oven. Because I’m old enough to no longer have any firm grasp on time I haven’t had a spare moment to become excited for college football until this week — and now I’m giddy to go to the local Ohio State bar and watch the game, make some friends, and cope with one of the 5-to-10 days of the year I’m legitimately homesick. Within a two-mile radius of where I live in San Diego, nearly every university in the Big Ten has a designated gathering place for football game days, some of which I may even dare to visit when Ohio State isn’t playing. (Although I confess I don’t know if all of them have a local base. Sorry, Purdue.) Many other cities have similar transplant communities, and that’s incredibly cool. When we have homes in other galaxies, I’ll be excited to see other carbon-based organisms and football fans and Ohio State fans, if I can find them.
The point is that the more I look at different types of people —Cubans, Muslims, Texans, or even [vomits on keyboard] Penn State fans — the more I realize people are much more alike then they are different. Cubans discover the same innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and online jackassery that the rest of the world found via the internet. Muslim kids struggle with their identities in religions foisted upon them by their parents just like many other Americans. When my sister drags me to church I keep my distance from my family for fear that I’m putting them all at risk when I burst into flames as God finally takes his well-deserved vengeance. Even the most obedient among us can appreciate the deliciousness of a barbecued pulled pork sandwich or the language-enhancing potential of the F-word, no? People of all types have responded in a variety of beautiful ways to lend a dollar or a hand in Texas. And people near and far from home seek a reprieve from real life by gathering and watching their teams in order to feel a part of something — some of us just wear different colors. These moments from this week reminded me of that.
Your Calvin and Hobbes strip of the day. I’m going to guess Calvin would not have adjusted well to a life of corporate servitude.
And now for the random 90s song of the day. For Thursday’s R90sSotD, we have one of my favorite songs from the Foo Fighters’ best album, 1997’s The Colour and the Shape. “My Poor Brain” is almost a pre-grunge punk throwback. The video below shows the band performing “My Poor Brain” in Sydney, Australia, in 2000. While I admittedly don’t listen to all of their recent work, one has to respect the Fighters’ longevity. The band’s new album is set to release in September, but alas it is ineligible because it is not from the 90s. As a bonus, here’s the Foo Fighters cover of Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” from the The Colour and the Shape reissue.
Sometimes I wish that I could change
I can’t save you from my poor brain