“Now, uh, now I’ve got something you’re bound to like. You’ll be crazy about it.”—Driftwood
“No, I don’t like it.”—Fiorello
“You don’t like what?”—Driftwood
“Whatever it is. I don’t like it.”—Fiorello
I’ve been meaning to tackle this for some time because I keep getting asked. There’s this expectation I’m going to say something about all that’s going on in the world. There’s also a presumption building that somehow, I’m capitulating if I don’t.
Since I didn’t have any free NBA to watch last night and the college football title game provided very little suspense, I figured now was the time to clear the deck.
Do you have a crazy uncle you put on the clock at a family dinner and wait for him to say something? Something that will blow everything up? And you know he’s going to do it because he always does and can’t help himself?
Since I’ve revived Fanview, many seem to be waiting for me to turn into that crazy uncle and start lacing political statements throughout the word count.
If you look at the bottom of this column, you’ll see the number 1,151. That’s how many Fanview columns I’ve written since late October 1998. Predominantly it’s been a weekly column, but there have been stretches where I’ve posted daily.
And if you’ve read Fanview for any length of time, my worldview is no mystery. My political and social leanings are all out there. And I still cling, tenaciously, to them. I am who I am.
But that was my mistake. I am, who I am…But you are, who you are, and a sports column wasn’t and still is not a place to preach my worldview.
My view of the NBA, Cowboys, Saints, lazy athletes, bad officiating, lousy play-calling, pontificating reporters…absolutely… I’m gonna talk about it. If something in sports is declared politically incorrect, I’m gonna say something.
And it goes both ways. Don’t expect me to echo something because it’s how you feel and need to be re-affirmed. My first instinct has always been to distrust what everyone else agrees on. I’ve been told that’s a result of abandonment (father wasn’t around) when I was a kid. I liken it–a little bit to that and to–too much Twilight Zone by the age of five.
The first PSA I ever saw (early 1970s) had many established celebrities (every race, creed, gender) gathered as a choir, clapping hands, laughing, hugging, singing, “Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in, the sunshine in…” It’s from the back half of the song “Age of Aquarius.” It was all about coming together after the tumultuous 60s.
In those days, I was unchurched and had a worldview extending no further than my driveway. But the first instinct to come over me about that PSA was fraud. I didn’t believe it.
Why? Because everybody believed it. And if everybody is in lock-step, then–probably thanks to Rod Serling–I’m taking a step back. This is why I have anxiety about long lines. It’s not the wait. It’s about being herded, homogenized, and surrendering to conformity because I want something.
I was the same way with church. I didn’t think it was fraudulent, but I had to assess it and come to believe it’s truth on my own. Not merely because somebody told me I had to.
When everybody–every organization, every celebrity, every media outlet, every social media thread—celebrates the same thing…All my red flags go up.
The constant refrain is to use your voice. The truth is, and I know this as someone who speaks for a living—the more you speak, the less you’re heard. I’m going to speak less, and then only about sports in this column.
Redskins/Indians/name changes that’s sports. A Bill in congress about Global Warming? That’s not what you clicked on for, and it’s not the reason I’m trying to connect with you. So don’t try to change me, and I won’t try to change you.
(Except, I will benignly attempt to get you to despise the Cowboys, Saints and come to my opinion that the NBA is terrible for the game of basketball.)
I don’t go to TNT/TBS to be lectured by Chris Weber while watching a basketball game…and if I’m fortunate enough to have people click on this column to read about sports…then my soapbox is now firewood.
If a politician, actor, or athlete does something on a comedic level, of course, I’m going to twist it all I can. Trump and “Covfefe” was funny. Biden and “We hold these truths…you know the thing!” is funny.
Funny is good. Some might even call funny, fun. And if you are incapable of having fun—I firmly believe—you will die.
Sports is entertainment. And as with a movie, tv-show, commercial, we have the right to share a fan’s view—without being forced to consume a worldview.
The Dude abides…
Joe T. is the author of “Tangent Dreams: A High School Football Novel” … “Temple City & The Company of The Ages” … “The Dead Bug Tales” … “The Dark Norm” & “FaithViews for Storm Riders”…all five available through Amazon.com.
Follow Joe on Twitter @joet13b
MeWe: Joe Torosian