Monday, October 23, 2006

The Wide, Wide Weird of Sports

Professional sports events brings out the "weird" in people. Particularly big-time events such as the Stanley Cup, or World Series, or Superbowl.

Detroit is no stranger to such events. Well, okay...I don't know that the Lions have ever come close to the Superbowl, but we have won the Stanley Cup and World Series a few times, and both Michigan and Michigan State have been to the Rose Bowl.

Despite this, it still surprises me.

Several years back, the Red Wings were on their way to win the Stanley Cup, and apparently people were throwing dead octopus on the ice and driving around with brooms tied to their cars. I think the broom had something to do with wanting a "sweep", but I'm not entirely sure. The octopus? Not a clue.

My wife and I walked out of Meijer late one evening, and there were cars honking like mad driving along the road. It was my wife who realized it probably meant the Red Wings just won the playoffs. (She turned out to be right.)

Now, Detroit is in the spotlight again. The Tigers are in the World Series. Personally, I couldn't care less. But apparently, the rest of Detroit does care. And last night was one of the sightings of "weird".

There I was, sitting on a bench at church with my four-year-old, and in the hallway comes this big, burly, and balled-headed army man. That isn't a typo. I don't mean bald-headed. I mean balled-headed. (Although, he happens to be bald as well.)

He had painted his entire head white, with red lines curving around his face like the stitching of a baseball. My first reaction was he was trying out an early Halloween look, where Uncle Fester from The Addams' Family, must have had surgury gone horribly awry. But no. As he approached, I realized it was more horrific than that. It was actually a person turning their head into a baseball!

My four-year-old laughed at him, but as the balled-headed man walked away, he said, "That man's gonna scare someone!"

I just don't get it. It is a game. And painting our heads, or wearing giant foam-rubber hands or evening throwing out octopus onto the ice isn't going to make the team play any better. It is almost like people honestly think that the more excited they are for the game, the louder they yell at the television screen, the more people they have at their sports-watching party, the better the team will do.

I've tried to break to folks. I've tried to tell them that when their favorite sports team wins a game, they had absolutely nothing to do with it. They do not have any magical powers over the athletic abilities of the athletes. Nope. The athletes did it all on their own.

Yet, when the team wins, I notice it isn't, "The Tigers won!" Instead, it is, "We won!"

We? We. Weird.

It'll be interesting to see what happens as the World Series progresses. Not because I care one iota about how the Tigers do. But I am interested in seeing just how weird the weirdness will get from the Tigers fans.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well,interesting post.Another weird
thing is
steroid use.