Author's Note: For the past few months all things Hindenburgian have been neglected. Capturing decaying cities and eroding into the Vallejo lifestyle consumed all aspects of existence. I'm back with guns blazing and eyes aglaze to bring you...ANOTHER SPORTS POST! Fuck it. I ain't even ashamed. Days like today are the reason why I'm in love with antics of mongoloid 1 athletes.
1 The word choice of "mongoloid" has a nice cadence but otherwise makes no sense. It means Asian. My preference for Asian Women does not extend into the athletic realm. Otherwise Jerseys of Dat Nguyen and Ichiro would hang in my closet...if I had a closet.2
2. Clothes are kept in a bin that lives in the back of my van.
3 Typing those five stars again felt damned good. I haven't written anything with passion in months. I'm glad to have this piece of my soul back.
OK. The post starts here. No more messy footnotes.4
4 I mean it.
Have you ever experienced the feeling of shameful pride? I first felt this emotional phenomenon in the presence of the great Ben Zurawski. My fellow Pollack came to visit me in Chicago, where I'd been studying animation and petty crime with great ardor. We went to an Italian restaurant in Wrigleyville. As I recall both the meal and service were quite excellent. Upon exiting the restaurant we were startled to find that an Eve 6 concert had sprung up during our meal. Neither of us had much appreciation for Eve 6. In fact, we rather hated them. Still, we were happy to see them live. Ben summed up the experience as "the first time I've ever felt shameful pride."
I got hungry last night. Wanting a nosh I drove to Taco Bell at 3:30 in the AM, ordering a Burrito and a Bacon Flavored Quesadilla. The clerk asked if I wanted any sauce. My reply was something to the effect that I'm too lazy to open sauce packets. She joshingly offered to open the sauces for me. I agreed.
"Are you serious?"
"If it's not too much trouble. I'm sorry. I just can't pass this up."
She opened three sauce packets and handed them to me. I tried to read the labels and dropped one. I gave her a helpless look. She reciprocated with a decidedly unmerry laugh. I paused to emphasis my seriousness. She opened another packet, placing it in my palm.
"Don't drop this one." Why? She would've given me another. I drove home, hoping to brag to Jeff. I pride myself on a library of bizarre human experiences that I share in moments of bliss hoping my friends will nod before reveling in the World's Weirdness.
The Taco Bell Packet Fiasco is a classic strange experience but falls short due to lack of innocence by those involved. Though proud of the packets I felt like a real douche as well.
. On one hand I felt cool and cocky in a Ferris Bueller sort of way. On the other hand, I made a minimum-wage employee of Taco Bell open my sauce packets for me in exchange for a smile and a bit of playing dumb. It was outwardly manipulative and rude. The sort of thing a person shouldn't be proud of. The sort of thing Dan Lawlor lives for (he makes this a beautiful art form...just ask The Wacko).
I still thought it was cool.
Being a Detroit Lions fan makes me feel the same way.
Jeff doesn't like Sports and the dogs don't speak yet so I don't talk about Sports with too many people. Having spent an inordinate amount of my upbringing discussing sports with Nick, the Scaramuccis, Bryan, and Tom Guttenberger5
5. Dear Tom,
If you ever google yourself and end up reading this I hope you aren't too weirded out. Afterall, we haven't talked since Junior Year of High School when I turned into the Dearborn High Weirdo. I probably seem like that same weirdo for mentioning you in this blog about Taco Bell when we haven't spoken in seven years. Nonetheless, I heard you're doing well. Our Moms are in the same Water Aerobics class together. From what I gather the women in these classes wade around the water and gossip about their sons. Mrs. Scaramucci is in the class as well. That's how I found out about David Scaramucci getting a girlfriend.6 Actually, Mrs. Scaramucci is as well. It's kind of weird that of the 5 people mentioned in the sentence in question (six if you include David Scaramucci and not just John Scaramucci) that 60% of them have mothers in the same water aerobics class.)7
6. My mom found out and called me. I care more about David Scaramucci's love life (Beav and Beavette 4 life) than I will ever care about my own.
7) The class instructor is Mrs. Knox. Her son Kevin was my boss at Ford. Our relationship had a lot of shameful pride in it. EX: He once defended me for refusing to wear socks to work.
That got away from me but here's the gist. Though I don't discuss sports there is still a wealth of sports related conversation inside me. If I hear the faintest mention of sport I will suddenly inject myself into the conversation. I have shameful pride for this as well. A) I get to talk Sports B) I'm the weirdo who harasses you about the Cover-2 Defense in the produce section of the grocery store.
People are usually nice enough to include me in the conversation. It's amiable until I mention my love for the Detroit Lions. This always makes people smile. They shake their heads in disgust, usually uttering something along the lines of "that's tough".
But is it?
Ohio State University recently published a study of Sports Fan Psychology. The study concluded that those with the most negative emotions towards their team derive the most enjoyment from their fandom.
My Dad (love you) sits my 3 year old self before the television and puts on the television. I didn't understand what football was yet I was transfixed by the brilliant blurs of green. From that day forward, Fall Sundays were reserved for watching Lions Football. I started learning. The blurs became people. I saw Barry Sanders. The people became poetry. Then, at the same juncture that they became part of me, the Lions became terrible. Real terrible. It's no exaggeration to say the Detroit Lions are worse at being a professional football team than any other business is at any other thing. The ineptitude induced riots. Granted they were in Detroit but still.
I haven't faltered in my fandom. I guess shittiness transfixes me. Fans of good football teams like to argue and prove points. That isn't necessary when you can only cheer ironically. Life had a great running joke. Saviors would come, regimes would change but nothing ever brought much hope. I felt honored to cheer for such a team. If a Special Olympian wandered into the real thing wouldn't you pull for him?
This morning brought the same motions. Down 24-3 before my first cup of coffee, I could do little but stare bleakly. The scarlet letter's no trouble but having it stitched on each Sunday still blows. I swore them off for the ninth time this year. Then the amazing happened. We won. It wasn't even a fluke. We stormed from behind, overcame adversity, and found a hero in young Matt Stafford. I've seen plenty of great games but never from my team. Details
I feel elated and confused. Sure beats shameful pride.