Posted tagged ‘Pistons’


December 12, 2007

I just looked this word up in the dictionary because I’m stupid and don’t know a whole lot. (There. That should shut up the haters) I will give you an example. There is an enmity between me and the Boston Celtics. Not that I would actively try to disrupt the organization by, say, kidnapping one of their players or stealing all of their uniforms or anything. I’m a Pistons fan and was at a very impressionable age when the rivalry between the two teams was astronomical. Some of the greatest characters in the history of the NBA were on those two teams during the 80’s. Laimbeer, Isiah, Bird, McHale, The Chief, DJ, Walton, Salley, Rodman, and my favorite Piston of all time, The Microwave, Vinnie Johnson. (I started that list with only a few names in mind, but these faces kept popping into my mind. I couldn’t leave any of them out.) Elbows smashing into domes,  fights every single game,  verbal wars where, after awhile, even the newspapers looked bruised and battered.

For the first time in my life, I hated something truly and deeply and with a pure emotion that doesn’t find you very often. At times it could be terrible and a little frightening, but it also made me feel alive in a time when nothing else did. Maybe a little sad that being a spectator to a sport was the one thing that kept me real, but I’m sure there are a lot of you out there that could say the same thing.

This post isn’t about my hate for the Celtics specifically. It’s about how my idea of enmity has changed. Is it a mellowing, like a fine wine? Now, I don’t hate any team. I dislike some players and I root against some teams in certain situations, but I am much more interested in the sport itself; in the high-flying dunks or the 30-yard strikes, or the 80-yard romp down the sidelines. Who does it and for what team doesn’t matter any more. I know what you are thinking. Maybe I should try to get into the United Nations or run for President of the local school board. With my open-mindedness I could save the cheerleader, save the world. I think that is a grand idea and I applaud all of you for telepathically sending it to me.

There is a problem with all of this though. Where before I felt alive in the magic that the Celtics and the Pistons produced for me, the magic is gone now. I hated the Celtics, but I absolutely loved the rivalry. I don’t have the desire to watch college football from 1 in the afternoon until 9 at night with no break any more. My question is this: Did the magic leave me, or the sports themselves? How do we get an objective perspective on this? What are some of the forces at play here? Media saturation? A PC society? The dichotomy of good and evil? Without the evil, the good don’t look so hot.

I would love to here your ideas.