Sunday, February 05, 2006

A recentering

Over the last six months, nearly all of my posts have been about college football. It's not that big a deal, considering a large amount of my free time over the last six months or so has been spent thinking about, watching, reading about, etc. college football.

But at the same time, this blog wasn't just started to be a college football blog. It was, and remains, a place to organize and capture my meandering thoughts. Sort of a place I can point to when, years down the road, I want to remember how I felt about certain things. And a lot of those thoughts might just be about college football, but I do think about more than just that.

In any event, much of what I write about is sports in general, but not solely that. I'll write about movies and books, TV shows, music (infrequently), and anything else that catches my eye enough for me to formulate something interesting to write.

But the most common thing posted will be sports - college basketball, local Atlanta pro sports, baseball, soccer.

And tonight, a Super Bowl commercial, of all things, reminded me of why I care about sports, enough to write occasionally about them. No, it wasn't the ESPN Mobile phone commercial corporate shill Dan Shanoff was praising effusively Friday. It was just before the game started, a Disney commercial came on with several of the key players in the Super Bowl practicing how each would say "I'm going to Disney World!". First, athletes are typically horrendous actors, even in commercials. But here, none of the athletes was forcing it. The lines, and embarassment/excitement shown on each's face was jsut really genuine. Like the athletes in the commercial truly were thinking about it, but in a "I honestly have dreamt about this" way. Im a world of contract disputes, off-field crimes, and over-corporate hype, it was just really refreshing to see the innocence of these athletes, the way they actually still dreamed of something. And that's why I care about sport, even in the world of Kobe/Shaq feuds, TO apology press conferences. It still is, at some level, about dreams - dreams of achieving, dreams of being the best at something, dreams of winning the game - not about cashing checks. Sport is simple, basic, innocent, genuine. And every effort made by whoever to make sports more complicated, more of a business, more "marketable" might, in some way, just prove a failure. We care because of the simplicity. We care less when it isn't simple. And despite the turn-your-head-inside-out irony of the fact that a commercial, for one of the largest companies in the world, a company whose property has done as much to ruin sport as anyone (ESPN), before the most overhyped sporting event of the year, this commercial, with all these overpaid athletes smiling and just thinking how great it would be to win... it kind of reconfirmed my faith that sport can be what we wish it would be, what we love it for.