Some people have sports. They sit around eating their popcorn, drinking their beer, screaming bloody murder at the overpaid alpha-males on their TVs: playing armchair Quarterback. I don’t have sports. I have politics. I sit around eating my popcorn, drinking my beer, screaming bloody murder at the overpaid alpha-males on my TV: playing armchair Prime Minister.
Some people bemoan the blunders of the blind ref. Meanwhile, I bemoan the blind justice of the Supreme Court. Some people lament the terrible example professionals set for our young people – with their fighting, their steroids and their playboy lifestyles. I likewise lament the attack ads, the corporate kickbacks and the Senate. But in politics as in sports, while we love to make our examples of the Odas and the Armstrongs who get caught going too far, we ultimately accept such behaviour as a part of game.
Some people watch round after round of negotiations descend into accusations of stonewalling and greed, they get fed up with the general idiocy of both sides and resign themselves to another damn lock-out. I watch round after round of negotiations descend into accusations of racism and “state sponsor of terrorism”, I get fed up with the general idiocy of both sides and resign myself to another damn war.
And it’s around this time that those who have sports and those who have politics begin to mirror each other most of all. We turn off our TVs, pour ourselves a stiff whiskey and gather the kids around to reminisce about a (possibly imaginary) Golden Age: Lo! the good old days when it was more than a game; a time when teamwork and integrity
were more important than money and reputation, when it was honest work and dedication that separated the amateurs from the pros, when the people still cared and the beer cost less and we could have showed them all if we only had the chance, (and well goddammit all, we’ll never get fooled again!)…
…Later, we sober up and decide (yet again) that even if the home team is a sackful of hosers, at least they’re our sackful of hosers, and at least they make more sense than Cricket or the Tea Party. And in politics as in sports, our kids will likely grow up to be poets and engineers, who quit the team to follow their own dreams, dismissing ours as drunken folly.