I still enjoy playing and watching sports but my attitude is different. I wrote a Hobo Metaphysic to demonstrate what I am talking about: There are two kinds of people in hell; those who win and those who lose, just play.
I am sure a lot of you folks have been following the controversy surrounding the New England Patriots and cheating. Now a lot of puns could be made about deflated balls and the male ego, but I will not go there. Wait, I just did. Hube de doo dube.
Anyway I still have a competitive streak in me, but I have never seen it lead to anything but division between me and my fellow man, so I am doing my best to let it melt.
“For when envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing is there.” James3-16. Good old self seeking, hard to get away from for sure, especially in sports.
You should have seen me in my basketball playing days; exalting myself when winning, hating myself when I was losing.
Here is a children’s story about a kid who has a tough time letting himself have fun at baseball.
Jack loved everything about the game of baseball. First there were the smells: the leather and oil of his mitt, (which lay next to his pillow every night), the wood of his Hillerich and Bradsby bat, the chock he used on the handle, the green grass and dirt, all got him excited to for the game. He loved the diamond and the flowers along the fence line even the billboards on the outfield fence appealed to Jack.
His favorite player was Willie Mays. Willie could hit, field and run like nobody else, and his throwing arm, well there was none better. Willie did it all with incredible grace, he made the game look easy and fun.
The game for was easy for Jack as well, but nobody, except Jack, knew it. He batted ninth and played right field for the Midland Cougars. Jack thought baseball was about having fun, but when he started playing little league he found out baseball was about winning and losing. He hated the thought of anyone feeling like a loser, so he played badly on purpose, that way if the other team lost at least it wouldn’t be his fault.
Secretly Jack was growing tired of things, other kids on his team made fun of him, he hated striking out all the time and missing pop flies and grounders was hard work, it just wasn’t natural to him.
Then Jack’s worst nightmare came true. It was the bottom of the last inning and the score was tied, the bases were loaded with two outs and it was his turn to bat. If he struck out as usual, his team would lose and it would be his fault, but if he walked or got a hit, the other team would lose and get to feel bad.
None of his team would look at Jack as he trotted to the plate, they were sure he would strike out like usual. He was secretly hoping for a walk. The pitcher wound up, and sent a fastball straight down the middle for strike one. The second pitch was a little outside to Jack’s eye but the ump called it a strike.
As the pitcher wound up for what undoubtedly be the third strike a miracle happened, for an instant the world of winning and losing completely disappeared, he saw the world as it really was, he was a kid who knew ho to play baseball.
Jack swung smoothly, the ball touched against the sweet spot of his bat, and took off like a rocket. It was the longest home run in the history of Paffile Park. Jack was smiling to himself as he trotted the bases: He knew in his gut he wasn’t a winner or a loser and neither was anyone else, he was just a kid having fun.