A Nation in Mourning

I root for the Red Sox and the New England Patriots, and I love it when they make it to the World Series or the Super Bowl.  But if they lose, I can’t imagine giving it more than a minute or two’s rueful commentary with my viewmates, and then we get on with life.

Now for the players, whose salaries and status depend on such outcomes, and who put in such effort to get there, I can imagine a top-line defeat can be a bitter pill.  For the managers and owners and coaches, I have always subscribed to the idea that anyone hiring them would be looking for someone smart enough to play the game, and dumb enough to think it’s important.

At the end of my workshop yesterday (a confused but earnest attempt to set out my views on somatic perception to a mixed group of body-oriented psychotherapists organized by Misty’s mom, Giselle), she unwisely put the England – Germany score in the World Cup on the board: 4-1 in favor of Germany, a horrible score for those of you not conversant with the beautiful game.  Bad move: some of the students literally went into shock – bent over, having difficulty breathing, others collapsed into an exhaled depressive position; manifesting all those outward signs of trauma we had been examining during the workshop.

Paddington Station, always a bustling throng, was praeternaturally quiet; the train back to Oxford was best described as stunned into silence, with no one speaking to their seat mates.  When I got home, I looked at the highlights (endlessly playing on all four England’s channels), and, although England was robbed of a goal (why don’t they use video to decide these things?), they were simply outplayed start to finish, so let’s just get on with alleviating suffering, appreciating the beauty, loving our children, and cleaning up the planet.

I cannot for the life of me understand why a game – a game! – should take on such identity and importance for those not playing.  Let’s be stunned into silence by the oil spill or the war in Afghanistan or genocide or the use of rape as a weapon of war, or conversely by ‘La Boheme’ or a glorious sunset or the exquisite economy of fractal mathematics or something.

John Cleese has the silliness of American football down:

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