My morose and oft despondent colleague, Mr. Krause, recently addressed our mutual passion for the sport of long distance running, and in doing so, alluded to the fact that such passionate loyalty requires a certain tolerance for pain.
Indeed, running begets pain. But said pain often calluses the soul, prepares it for the ultimate fight — whether physical or mental — and breeds a certain unparalleled toughness that can guide one through any hardship. This I know.
Pain is a binding precursor to ecstasy. Without it, we wouldn’t know a good thing if it hit us in the face… which, would be ironic in this case, because — depending on what the object hitting us in the face is — that could possibly hurt.
But I digress.
Perhaps the following irony deficient examples will help better illustrate my point:
(aka Nipple Abrasions — minor yet aggravatingly debilitating)
Congratulations, Washington Nationals, on signing Alfonso Soriano 2.0! No, seriously, I really am happy for you. I mean, y’all have had some painfully troublesome moments in your six year history… y’know, like, sucking and all. Then Strasburg went down… Dunn got away… and now you dole out $18 million a year for SEVEN YEARS to your division rival’s 32 year-old third fiddle. Um… okay. The bad news is: you got screwed. The good news is: it’ll be over in seven years. By then you will be so learned, so deteriorated, so callused by anguish that every little victory will seem colossal. Maybe you’ll even smile. Maybe.
(aka Plantar Fasciitis — excruciatingly biting, often chronic)
Eight years of Dubya. A war in Afghanistan. A war in Iraq. The continued waste of an asinine war on drugs, on poverty, on progression in general. The complete upheaval of congress from one extreme to another, to another, then back to where it started again. We don’t have healthcare, we do have healthcare, we don’t have healthcare. We’ve no jobs. Our farmers are forced to grow crap crops to make corn syrup which is then injected into all your food so that you are prone to overeat, become obese, get diabetes and die. Yeah. That’s some real pain right there; makes Canada sound like the Playboy Mansion. Ms. Teen South Carolina, you with me?
The Pittsburgh Pirates
(aka Hitting the Wall or “Bonking” — worst case scenario your body loses the ability to function due to depleted glycogen stores)
Two words: Matt Diaz. Wow. Just… wow. Dear readers, when signing Matt Diaz is a big deal, you know your team is in trouble. In the Pirates’ case, they’ve been in trouble since 1992, they show zero signs of improvement, and life is just gonna get more and more painful for the handful of baseball fans left in Pittsburgh.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”
My advice? Go Steelers!
Hate me ‘cuz I bring da pain, just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.
The Red Wings are the one sure thing in the city of Detroit. Well, that along with fiscal irresponsibility and a paralyzing lack of innovation. But, on the positive side, there’s always the Red Wings. Or there was until last night. It’s almost ironic that on a night when the Tigers beat the Pirates in Pittsburgh, the Penguins returned the favor in Detroit.
However, when you think about it, is there a better allegory for the current state of American industry than two formerly proud standard bearers of American pride and ingenuity battering each other in matches that barely anyone is paying attention to? Pittsburgh, the steel town that gave up that title long ago against Detroit, the home of the now bankrupt GM and Chrysler, slugging it out to the bitter end, an end that for all intents and purposes came about years ago.
To be honest, it’s probably a little surprising that these two urban wastelands even still have viable franchises. I suppose Pittsburgh has had some success in redefining itself but Detroit just seems to keep slipping further and further into a self-made morass of slip-shod decisions and shattered dreams.
Ultimately, these series are nothing more than the last gasp hurrah of two crippled giants. The Tigers still have a prayer and, with the demise of the Red Wings and Michigan State earlier this year, bear the standard for the entire city. Pittsburgh will always have the perennially contending Steelers and for this year at least, Sidney Crosby has brought them Lord Stanley’s Cup. But, it’s about time that we paid a little more attention to the man behind the curtain and realized that the time has passed for both cities.
No, the irony here is not the delicious irony of Gary Larson or the tragic irony of a passenger who was supposed to be on the Air France flight that crashed on its way from Brazil. These two impotent, rust-belt behemoths trading slaps is more of a pathetic irony. But I’ll still be cheering for the Tigers all weekend long!
–Thanks to Steve for the Air France link
In his last post, my oft misguided and ever self-loathing colleague, Mr. Allen Krause, offered up some morbid thoughts on how to pass the next several weeks while we wait to thaw out and spring into some serious baseball action. Poignantly defeatist in nature, Mr. Krause squashed our spirits more than he uplifted them, as more lamenting on the sad state of Detroit sports franchises and focusing on the natural discourse between Iran and the rest of the world leaves little else than a tinge of bitterness.
Dear readers, there are many more things you can do with your time. For instance…
Postulate How Many More Superbowls the Steelers Will Win Before the Pirates Get Back to the Post-Season (If They Ever Do)
Already the winningest franchise in NFL history, the Pittsburgh Steelers have long drowned out the cheers (if any) from the Pirates faithful. But don’t worry, ‘Burgh, the 2009 Pirates boast a lineup that features the likes of Jose Tabata, Brian Bixler and Nyjer Morgan! Whoo-wee! Get out the ticker-tape, ya’ll! I’m feeling a bit like 1991!
Count the Reasons Why Ann Coulter Has No Soul
Verily, this woman is as crazy as A-Rod is attention hungry. In her most recent blog post (dated 1/28/2009), she had this brilliant quip to share:
“The only reason McCarthy was elected to Congress in the first place is
that her husband and son were shot by a crazed gunman on the Long
Island Rail Road in 1993. Colin Ferguson’s shooting spree wasn’t
stopped sooner because none of the passengers had guns. As has been
demonstrated beyond dispute at this point, armed citizens save lives.”
There is no way these words came from a live human being complete with a heartbeat and the ability to actually feel. No way.
Waste Your Life Away by Playing the Harold Reynolds Drinking Game
(I don’t personally recommend this, but if you’re looking for a quick, painless way to hibernate until Opening Day, click **here** for details. And when I say “painless” I’m lying.)
Try To Nail Down How Many Games the Cardinals Will Finish Behind the Cubs in 2009
Let’s see, there’s Adam Kennedy, Trever Miller, a busted up bullpen virtually unchanged from last season, question marks at third base, second base, starting rotation, no one to protect Albert Pujols, the reality that LaRussa and Duncan will most likely be gone next year, and we still have Bill Dewitt and John Mozeliak at the helm! Folks, that’s just the beginning… I won’t go in to how good the Cubs look, how fresh and exciting the Reds look, how explosive the Brewers look, how nagging the Astros look. Ooh boy, can’t wait to battle Tabata, Bixler and Morgan in the ‘Burgh for the NL Central Toilet Bowl!
Okay, so I admit, my suggestions are just as morbid and defeatist as Allen’s… but if there is one thing we can all agree on, it is that a laugh — a good, hearty, gut-cleansing laugh — can last us a while… or in this case, a long, long while:
Now that is what I call comedy!
Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.