Quick comparison: He Got Game vs. Above the Rim. Both center around the lives of superstar high-school basketball players raised in the inner-city. However, each focuses on a different stage in the player’s personal development – He Got Game is about the corrupt politics of the recruiting system, and how a young basketball player’s life becomes a commodity to countless people. Above the Rim, however, focuses on how the cruel realities – and influences – of the streets can cause many young men, with great potential, to leave it underdeveloped, and largely, unrecognized.
Wait a second – why in the hell am I talking about this?
Well, for one, because I just watched Above the Rim. But there’s another reason; what the hell was it? Oh, right – because I’m just not that interested in what’s actually happening in sports right now. The Super Bowl? Whoo-hoo. The Flyers, Sixers, and the college teams? Eh, just not there yet. I feel…hungover. Drained. Restless, even.
But not interested.
And I don’t think I’m the only one feeling this way. Because, after this Eagles season, I just needed a little bit of time to regroup. Thing was, they left me empty. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing; I mean, we can focus on the negative all day long, and I’m privy to the fact that a lot of people in this town are completely satisfied to do that. Whatever. Every year, only one team wins the whole thing; have we forgotten that 31 other cities will end this season feeling the same way we did?
Well, alright – maybe they won’t feel quite what we did after this year.
But if you’re like me, a diehard Eagles fan first, then I can’t imagine you were quite ready to dive into any other sports just yet, either. Don’t get me wrong – I love the grit of the Flyers, the energy (and unpredictability) of the Sixers, the passion and tradition of our Big 5 schools.
But I’ve got my sports schedule, and always have. Summer it’s the Phillies, until the fall, when they blend with the Eagles and college football. And then, football normally takes me to around January/February, when I start following hockey and basketball.
Plus, being a fan takes – well, commitment. I know, that sounds a bit ridiculous, but anyone who is a passionate fan will understand what I mean. You adjust your schedule to watch the games; you spend time analyzing stats and reading about the team and their opponents; you ride the emotional roller-coaster of exciting wins and painstaking defeats; you discuss and argue endlessly around the proverbial water-cooler. It’s a culture.
But shoot – I haven’t quite been ready to live it again.
God, I feel like the pathetic guy, sitting in his room, shades down, afraid to see the light after a cruel break-up. (Editor’s note: Okay, this is starting to get out of hand). I wasn’t ready to play the field again. But you know what?
I’m feeling better.
I think…I think I’m over them. God, they broke my heart. They were so inconsistent, I never knew which team I was going to get from one Sunday to the next. They were full of unnecessary drama, and sometimes, they just acted the fool. But damnit all if they weren’t exciting. The highs were so high – but the lows were too low. And they left me, wondering what might have been, and they aren’t coming back.
I gotta find me a new team. In another sport, of course.
Alright, so I know how absurd, and over-the-top, all of that is. (Editor’s note: Insert Understatement-of-alarming-degree here). But c’mon – don’t you feel that way, just a little? Don’t you feel like you’re still kind of recovering from the end of the Eagles season? And aren’t you hesitant to go through it all over again?
But wait – you say the Flyers have been playing pretty good hockey? What’s that – the Sixers evened up at 21-21? And Jay Wright’s got them ‘Nova boys ballin’, huh? (Editor’s note: Well, at least against unranked teams).
You can’t stay away, and I know I sure as hell can’t, either. We’re sports fans – we move on.