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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Possibility And Perishability - Red October Angst

The hunt for certitudes in a modern-day Red October.

By Harry Cummins

     For those of us who distill sports as a way to measure our seasons on this earth, the calendar now flips to October.  As it was in pre-pandemic times, many of our favorite fun and games converge this month in a rushing river of  entertainment. The MLB playoffs share the spotlight with the NFL and college football.  Exhibition games begin in the NHL and NBA.  College basketball begins this month with unrecognizable rosters altered by new eligibility and transfer rules.

     Is it just me.... but does this all feel notably different this October.

     We have all had to come to terms with living in an altered world.  Our disagreements now border on political and personal revolution.  Many are left with the question, 'What is it all about'?  In a search for certitudes, sport becomes distraction, with a Covid-shaped cloud circling our arenas and playing fields.

     No matter our age, we each are swept up in a subversive surge toward the inevitable hereafter. The next day.  The next year. Finally our death.  In a world where so many perishables exist, we instinctively long for something that lasts. Something to hold onto! Something to transcend mere time passing.

     So, as you search for what is real in this red October, perhaps still leave room for the changing landscape of sport. Look for those athletes in whatever sport, that seem to understand what is means to hold on.  To hold on to values and virtues and real possibilities. They embody the legacy of human effort that sport has traditionally typified. Moments of sheer beauty and possibility. 

     These are not easy markers to spot from the make believe heights of headlines and box scores, but it seems to be something to which many feel summoned this October, 2021.  Find that place in life where your grip was once the most hopeful and..hold on... it says to us.

     The French activist Simone Weil once said that the only real question to be asked of another is "what are you going thru?"  It is a question we are obliged to ask not only of our neighbors and strangers, but also of our athletes.

     Assuming duration (holding on to the right things) can ultimately create possibility, let our games go on with a renewed understanding of those who play them..and just why we should watch!





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