Monday, February 6, 2012

Funereal Solace, The New England Patriots Lose, and Casey at the Bat

The New England Patriots were defeated. They did not lose; they were beaten by a better team.

In the off season, the Patriots need to get a true deep threat, to strengthen their secondary, and acquire some game changers on defense. I did not cry tonight, for I did not expect the Patriots to win. In all, that is what happens when the magic wears off, the gold doesn't glisten as much, and your team is revealed as mortal.

There is a bitter aftertaste. But those millionaires will keep their money; the planet stays in her orbit; and the world keeps spinning.

The New York Giants are the Patriots', Belichick's, and Brady's nemesis. Enemies are good to have...until they consistently beat you.

The seasons are passing by at a steady rate, and the opportunities for revenge will come fewer and farther between. Perhaps, the Patriots and Tom Brady needed to be reminded of just how rare one Super Bowl appearance is for a team or a player. To have lost as many times as they have on the grandest stage of them all, is both an insult and reminder of greatness, as much as it is a slap in the face.

We tell our children fables in order to prepare them for times when all is lost, and life seems hopeless. To point, this evening, as a New England Patriots fan for now, and forever, I am reminded of Casey at the Bat, a story whose wisdom is timeless:
The Outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville nine that day:
The score stood four to two, with but one inning more to play.
And then when Cooney died at first, and Barrows did the same,
A sickly silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, if only Casey could get but a whack at that -
We'd put up even money, now, with Casey at the bat.  
But Flynn preceded Casey, as did also Jimmy Blake,
And the former was a lulu and the latter was a cake;
So upon that stricken multitude grim melancholy sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Casey's getting to the bat.  
But Flynn let drive a single, to the wonderment of all,
And Blake, the much despis-ed, tore the cover off the ball;
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Jimmy safe at second and Flynn a-hugging third.  
Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat.

There was ease in Casey's manner as he stepped into his place;
There was pride in Casey's bearing and a smile on Casey's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, he lightly doffed his hat,
No stranger in the crowd could doubt 'twas Casey at the bat.

Ten thousand eyes were on him as he rubbed his hands with dirt;
Five thousand tongues applauded when he wiped them on his shirt.
Then while the writhing pitcher ground the ball into his hip,
Defiance gleamed in Casey's eye, a sneer curled Casey's lip.

And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped-
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.

From the benches, black with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm-waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill him! Kill the umpire!" shouted someone on the stand;
And its likely they'd a-killed him had not Casey raised his hand.

With a smile of Christian charity great Casey's visage shone;
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the game go on;
He signaled to the pitcher, and once more the spheroid flew;
But Casey still ignored it, and the umpire said, "Strike two."

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and echo answered fraud;
But one scornful look from Casey and the audience was awed.
They saw his face grow stern and cold, they saw his muscles strain,
And they knew that Casey wouldn't let that ball go by again.

The sneer is gone from Casey's lip, his teeth are clenched in hate;
He pounds with cruel violence his bat upon the plate.
And now the pitcher holds the ball, and now he lets it go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville - mighty Casey has struck out.

It rained today. It rained hard. It burns. And sometimes, you swing and miss.

Until next year.

Congratulations to the New York Giants and their fans.


Edward Teach said...

Unlike football, politics is not a spectator sport. And blogging doesn't count as action in the real world. Chauncey knows this, but I’m not too sure about our favorite professional panderers.

The Right Rev. Dyson and the Brothers West (Cornell and Allen) seem like pandering, impotent attention-seekers, minstrels with a scowl. Instead of jumping out the window, thinking it makes no difference who’s in the White House, they need to recognize that we are just one Supreme Court justice vote away from overturning the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965, one vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade, one vote away from Jim Crow. What will a Republican appointee do?

Ironically, those safety nets so hated by Republicans have kept the American people from feeling the full extent of our current economic depression, unlike during the Great Depression. As a result, Obama never received the super-majorities in Congress that Roosevelt had, and chose incremental change over doing nothing. Shit, even the beloved Roosevelt’s New Deal intentionally excluded African-Americans, so he could get the necessary Southern congressional vote.

Any brother who characterizes Obama’s failures as proof of a moral failing, rather than concessions to reality, is guilty of digital Tomming, helping white liberals who felt like race traitors to align their politics with their prejudices. Attack the problem. Offer a strategy towards a solution. Grow the fuck up.

chaunceydevega said...

@Ed--Digital Tomming! I love that phrase. Gonna borrow it.