Why We Do What We Do
I still remember when TMZ decided to start a sports division. I didn’t fully comprehend the weight of it at the time but I know I remember it. I still remember when SportsCenter showed clips of every highlight of every top 25 ranked College Basketball team during the season. I remember when I saw Kirk Herbstreit pick my NC State Wolfpack to upset “The” Ohio State in The Horseshoe with Philip Rivers himself leading the charge (we lost in 3OT in the greatest NC State football game I’ve ever seen). I remember when we allowed sports to be sports, music to be music, art to be whatever it wants to be. I remember when we saw people as people and as lives that had value and worth.
We live in a contentious time in American History, arguably as divided as we have been since the Civil War (no source, just trusting that Aaron Sorkin didn’t lie in that one episode of The Newsroom). But to be honest, I am not nearly smart enough, talented enough, or willing enough to dive into the American societal system- then attempt to portray a universal truth we can agree on regarding personal rights and two party systems. Or- whether or not a man has the right to stand or sit under a flag, whether he should, whether or not we really should even have the song play before the game in the first place, whether or not we can legislate patriotism, and whether or not Brock Turner is the worst or just the recipient of a country’s rage against a legal system that allows those with money, a “future”, and the right skin color/ alumni association to get away with what he did.
This will not be that place. This will not be a place where we criticize and calculate attacks. This will not have message boards that attack and hurt others. We will have fun. We will share memes and laugh. We will comment on all the parts of life. We will share poems, short stories, speak of mountains and valleys and rivers. Not as metaphors that create or manufacture depth, but allowing the thing to be what it is. Rivers are rivers. They carry their own depth and their own weight without us attaching it to them. We want to appreciate life and all it has for us here, not tear down and be contrary with each other for the sake of it. We will not have “hot takes” or “first takes” or really any other “takes”. There are better writers that have seen more days that can comment on this time in American history far more eloquently and appropriately.
I am an educated, Christian, poet, coffee and Gregory Alan Isakov loving, NC State basketball trauma surviving twenty-four year old white kid from just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina who honestly can’t add anything to a conversation on politics and race in American sports outside of the fact that I find it odd that white athletes are called sneaky fast, black athletes are called freaks or deceptively smart, and no one seemed to believe Jeremy Lin could/ can drive well and maneuver to the basket off a pick and roll at the elbow.
No child decides to play sports so that they can change the world. They choose it because they love the way the ball flies. No musician sits at a piano for the first time dreaming of inciting social change, they do it because they cannot get over the inherent beauty of three notes strung together in harmony. We do not begin to paint or write for any reason other than that we love to create. Maybe the train has left the station and sport and art and life will become about something other than themselves, but we will not go gentle into that good night. We will fight on as Mr. Dylan Thomas/ Bill Pullman in Independence Day told us to. We will rage against the dying of this light.
Next week I will probably be talking about how Point Break is actually the greatest movie of all time or how Coldplay really isn’t that bad/ Fix You might be the best song ever or maybe something like how I want to open up an American History themed diner named “Remember the A-la Mode” or “Darwin’s Origin of the Spices” or something along those lines so don’t worry I wont be like this again.