Tag Archives: Don DeLillo

Something About Sports and Maybe Baseball

Do you know what’s easier than writing? Stuffing your face with Holiday meats and cheeses and alcohols, and not writing. I’d feel bad except that I don’t. A couple of dead-Internet weeks with the built-in Christmas excuse to be slothful and unproductive was the pleasant spiral within which I am most comfortable. And now here we are. A new year is soon upon us, the deepest and darkest dead of the baseball winter still to come. It’s got me bored and uninspired and pensive. Standard operating procedure.

I was reading the internet this morning, more specifically the excellent and Blog Endorsed “I Suck at Football” column by Alex Pappademas. In his most recent column, Mr. Pappademas talks about reading a Don DeLillo book I have not yet read (End Zone) and then quotes a passage from said book that touches on the very nature of sport, and fandom, and life and order and whatever else. I would like to steal and repurpose the quote here, because it’s a very good quote and also ties in nicely with the lineage of this Weblog, but also because it’s an excellent way to post something with very little effort.

The exemplary spectator is the person who understands that sport is a benign illusion, the illusion that order is possible … The exemplary spectator has his occasional lusts, but not for warfare, hardly at all for that. No, it’s details he needs — impressions, colors, statistics, patterns, mysteries, numbers, idioms, symbols. Football, more than other sports, fulfills this need. It is the one sport guided by language, by the word signal, the snap number, the color code, the play name. The spectator’s pleasure, when not derived from the action itself, evolves from a notion of the game’s unique organic nature. Here is not just order but civilization.

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The Trance of Waiting Post Number One Hundred

Today’s post is the 100th in the history of this very prestigious and popular “baseball blog.” 100 posts are just about 100 more than I ever expected to write. This blog started because Octavio Dotel threw a ball in a hilarious manner one time and I felt compelled enough by my own ridiculous thoughts about said throw to create a place on the internet where I could write about it. Since then, I’ve been similarly inspired by baseball (or pretended to be) 99 other times. Tomorrow we’ll try the same thing all over again.

This writing thing is a hard one to pin down. It’s what I went to school for, as silly as that is. It’s something I’ve used to define myself as a high school and college student and now as an adult. If being an adult is even such a thing. I wrote a lot for a long time and then after college I stopped. I have motivation and ambition problems. I like doing nothing more than I like doing something. Starting this blog has cured me of that somewhat. It’s become my homework and assignment replacement. That’s some juvenile shit, but it’s true. This blog forces me to do the thing I shouldn’t have to be forced to do. All this probably says a lot about me. Read into it what you will.

The thing is, I think things are going well. I have no idea how to actually prove that. The graphs and statistics I have at my disposal back here would probably disagree, but this is one of the rare cases in which I feel comfortable ignoring the numbers. Let’s focus on the fucking grit, people. Soon, the baseball season will actually start, and we’ll see how that goes. It’s funny, I feel like I’ve been doing this forever, and only a handful of consequential baseball games have actually been played in all this time. I look forward to having a more consistent stream of content from which to draw inspiration. My goodness, the baseball offseason can get seriously irritating and boring.

Let’s end this meandering bit of nonsense with something a bit more substantial, and a promise that we’ll return to the same tired jokes and ham-fisted observations starting tomorrow. Let’s end with something like the excerpt from Don DeLillo’s Underworld that informs the title and symbol of this baseball blog. It feels appropriate, I suppose, and that DeLillo guy knows how to write a little. One of my cats likes to pull books out from the bottoms of our bookshelves, usually at night. It’s a wonderful little habit of his. Last night, he managed to pull Underworld loose. Underworld is a large and heavy book. That’s one hell of a coincidence—or maybe my cat really does understand English and know how to use a computer, something I’ve long suspected to be true. At any rate, I hope Don will forgive me this small bit of plagarism. He’s doing okay for himself, I think.

If you’re here, and reading this, I’d like to offer you my most sincere thank you.

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