Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm Looking Forward to A Quiet Weekend..

I just don't see one in my future. This weekend, I have a holiday party to attend and a family birthday celebration before the remaining holidays come sneaking up on us and 2009 is done and we move to 2010. And within the first few months of the year, the new feline habitat and gathering area will be built at the Row N complex, and by the time that gets done, it's Timbers season again.
I love being busy, having things to do and people to see, but right now, I look for a break to take my mind away from the pressures of the day. However, nothing in that arena is easy to digest right now, as the Timbers are dealing with the final moving pieces of the MLS effort while watching the USL potentially implode, the Trail Blazers are alternating between an amazing collection of players or guys that couldn't hit the broad side of a bus, and the Civil War is finally today for the Roses and I still don't care who wins. Seriously. It doesn't matter to me who wins, because either way, the state of Oregon gets some wonderful attention and one of the teams goes to the Rose Bowl.
I don't have leanings to either side, and because of the situation, the hype is absolutely epic. However, I'm just tired of everyone talking about it and just want the game to be done. It's almost like at points the build up takes on as much importance as the game for some folks, and as such, those of us that don't have a side to follow just sit on the sidelines. I know people have been saying to pick a side and root, but I just can't, and don't really want to. I already have enough teams that I follow religiously that keep my attention, from my Timbers to West Ham to a renewed love for my flaming horseheads. I love Portland, and want the best for the city and state, so really does it matter who wins? Well, apparently to some, it's the game for the right to live in the state.
But for rivalries, this is the most friendly vicious rivalry about. I've seen Ducks rooting for Beavers at points, and it goes vice versa, and I think that's something you see in this rivalry that you don't in others. For one to two weeks a year, the sides can torment each other like any other good natured battle, but for the rest of the time, both sides revel in the success of the other because it makes everyone look better. Face it, I will never root for the Timbers main rival under any circumstances, and there's no situation where that would change because I support who I support. You wouldn't travel to England and see a Hammers fan suddenly rooting for Arsenal because they wanted them to do well. It doesn't work like that.
But that's one of the things that makes this part of the world great except for Civil War week, as it suddenly becomes just like a lot of other places where the noise and chatter are just like anything else. Where else could you live where the talk of this game is drowning out talk of Tiger and his transgressions? One of the world's most famous athletes has apparently had an affair and it's the buzz of the interwebs except for this part of the world.
And why not? It's a compelling story of a rather strange auto accident that led to him getting injured and his wife saving him that became a possible domestic dispute to now admission of guilt. Woods has followed a near meticulous approach in controlling facts and information with the media to the point that for someone this famous, we really don't know much about him. I can imagine being this big and in demand, you want to be in control of things as much as you can, and there's dozens of stories of famous people who bared a lot out to the press and it blew up in their face. I can see following the reverse approach of controlling everything, even the most minute details, but at some point, simple human nature will rear its head. People make mistakes or things get too big and suddenly things take on a life of their own, and putting the issue back in the box becomes nearly impossible. I can't imagine living up to the scrutiny of the press when doing anything in public, but then compound that with then trying to control what does and doesn't get discussed, and I don't think anyone could live up to that standard for so long.
I get the lucky part of my mistakes not being played and replayed over and over again, and I can apologize for those I've wronged and try to learn from what I do without a chorus of talking heads beating the mistakes into the ground, as most of us do. Athletes and public figures don't get that luxury, and so whatever they do gets put out there for everyone to see. And we talk about it a lot in our desire to learn more about our heroes, a natural curiosity to try and relate, or a selfish ploy to pull people down out of jealosy. We talk about these things to divert us from the things that we deal with in our life, and sometimes it's hard to realize that in doing that, we end up making more out of things that perhaps is there. I don't want to be an apologist for Woods, because he screwed up royally. But then again, we all do, and right now what he needs to repair the damage to his family as best as he can. Tonight, two teams will be battling for a Rose Bowl berth, and one team will go away disappointed because that's how things work. Maybe someone will make a mistake, and suddenly they have to live with the result.
Does that mean the world of sports doesn't have importance? Hardly, but what it does remind me of is the times where we all need a dose of perspective. It's diasappointing when your team loses or they aren't playing as well as they should, but that doesn't change the fact that you support them. You can't enjoy the good times without suffering through the bad times, the losses, the uncertainty, and that's part of the human experience. Challenges make us stronger, even if we don't immediately realize that when things happen. Life doesn't slow down much, and it doesn't give us challenges that we can't handle, and honestly, I've learned more from the crap life has given me than the happy things because adversity makes you realize what you like and what you don't. Granted, I probably desire the quiet time simply to allow me to catch my breath, but at the same point, challenges get your blood flowing a bit and keep us engaged. And last time I checked, there really wasn't such a thing as a quietly fulfilling challenge.
So I'll do what I do by breaking down the pieces and putting them in as simple of terms as I can to process them, and realize that the good things are worth the effort. Granted at points it's hard to see the forest for the trees or remenber what the end result will bring us, but part of being human is to dream, to grow, and to aspire, and those things bring success and failure. And we all need to learn how to deal with those emotions, because I don't see life changing anytime soon.

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