Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hey, Hey...

One of the many things that fueled my sense of alienation and isolation during my "coming-of-age" years was my complete and utter lack of interest in professional sports.

As a Western New York (read: "Buffalo") native you were an object of pity, at best, and scorn, most typically, if your whole life didn't revolve around Da Bills and Da Sabres. "What do these sports-haters even do on Sundays?" an extensive article in the Buffalo Evening News wondered.

In my early twenties I would sit in the break room at work and listen to endless post-mortems about last week's "big game."

"Didja see the game las' night?" would be the opening salvo to very nearly every conversation.

Things would ease up during the Summer for the short period between the Sabres' invariably early exit from the Stanley Cup playoffs and the start of the Bills' training camp. At times like these people might actually discuss their families, what non-sporting event they saw on TV, or even music.

During one of these discussions I let slip that I really liked THE MONKEES.

Well, this aggregation of Joe Six-Packs had never heard anything so ridiculous in their lives! Soon, it was all around the plant how "that Craig weirdo" likes (snigger, snigger) THE MONKEES.

I guess the fact that it was 1982 and about a jillion disposable fads had come and gone since MICKEY, DAVY, MIKE and PETER last illuminated a TV screen made this sort of declaration seem rather outre. But I stuck by my guns. I still feel those records recorded and released in the name of The Monkees are some of the best pop nuggets from the 'sixties.

At one point, I had a discussion with one of my sports-enthusiast fellow-workers that went something like this:

Other Guy: Huh. So you like, what, The Monkees? Huh.

Me: Yeah. I probably wouldn't have started playing the guitar if I hadn't seen those four guys on TV every week. And they made some pretty good records.

OG: But, like, that was only a TV show! They weren't even a real band.

Me: Wow! I never thought of that. So it was all fake and worthless, huh?

OG: Well, I hate to break it to ya...

Me: Just imagine. Somebody rounded up a group of guys, who didn't grow up together, or even know or particularly like each other and made 'em dress all the same and pretend to be part of a fictional cohesive unit.

OG: That's pretty much it.

Me: And then these same hucksters would go around and rent out big arenas for this manufactured group of guys to go and play for giant throngs of screaming idiots.

OG: That's what I'm talking about!

Me: And then, these same swindlers go and license the group's logo and likenesses on a bunch of plastic crap to sell to the great, unwashed masses so they can make even more millions of dollars. All because people who buy into this fiction are mindless sheep!

OG: Testify, my brother! (OK, maybe he didn't exactly say that...)

Me: You know, that's a pretty accurate description of professional sports. Guys who are only playing on the same team because they're paid millions of dollars to wear the same clothes as their team-mates. Stadiums full of "fans" drooling over these millionaires as they strut their stuff. Ga-zillions of dollars worth of NFL and NHL licensed merchandise sold to these fans, who plan their every waking hour around their beloved teams. Yeah THE MONKEES were really a sham!

OG: OK, Craig. You have proven to me the hypocrisy of my ways. I will never, ever again watch or enjoy sports. You win. (This part I am definitely making up!)
It was a really stupid conversation, but I feel it was maybe the only time in my life I had put across a point in any kind of a discussion. That I remember this exchange twenty-five years after the fact shows what a rich and fulfilling life I have been leading since then.

Thank you for your time. I must now go wave my "whammy weenie" for that is what Da Bills have demanded of me.


Blogger whimsical brainpan said...


I wish I could have been there to see the look on his face.

September 05, 2007 11:04 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

That's really funny. But I have the opposite problem that you have. None of my friends like sports. But I'm a sports fiend. (And, though I rather enjoyed the Monkees, I'm not a big fan of canned music ...)

September 06, 2007 1:31 AM  
Blogger Craig D said...

whim: Whew! I'm glad you see the intended humor. I was worried you might think I was ragging on all pro-football fans; I know you're ga-ga for the Carolina Panthers.

dorky dad: Well, if you don't mind moving to Buffalo and rooting for the BILLS...

Honestly, folks! Every BILLS or SABRES game is front page news at the BUFFALO NEWS.

The local radio station carries bulletins from the training camp FOUR TIMES AN HOUR!

There is no escaping every ratty little tid-bit of BILLS / SABRES trivia.

About the best thing I can say for Fayetteville, NC is that they don't seem to give a hoot about NFL / NHL crap, other than to relegate it to the inner-most pages of the OBSERVER's sports section.

...where it belongs!

September 06, 2007 11:16 AM  
Blogger more cowbell said...

That's nice, but did you see the Colts gallop over the Saints tonight? Drew Brees is not going to enjoy the locker room banter tonight.

September 07, 2007 2:15 AM  
Blogger Craig D said...

cowbell: Yeah! Did you see when that one guy threw the ball to that other guy and he caught it?

An' how about when that other guy threw the ball and the guy didn't catch it?!?!?!!!

Oh, man!

An' then, an' then, like, the teams scored?

An' then, like, one of the two teams scored more points than the other team, so they won!!!!


It makes me feel like turning over some cars and lighting them on fire because somebody won a football game!!!!!

September 10, 2007 9:05 AM  
Blogger CS said...


September 12, 2007 8:26 AM  
Blogger Niceguy Eddie said...

LOL. Well done!

March 14, 2012 8:34 PM  

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