Everything is wrong with me
Monday, June 07, 2004
 
Smarty, Dutch, and Tony Soprano
When he learned of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, intellectual and future senator of New York Daniel Patrick Moynihan was heard to say, "To be Irish is to know that in the end the world will break your heart."

After years of close calls, near misses, almosts, heart ache and heart break, I'm beginning to think the same can be applied to Philadelphia sports fans.

Smarty Jones, a Philly thoroughbred who had recently won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, entered this Saturday's Belmont Stakes with a chance to become the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 26 years. A 1:5 favorite, having earned over $11 million dollars with a record of 8-0 in his previous eight races, he was considered a near shoe-in to take the Triple Crown and bring a championship to a championship-starved city that had watched its Eagles self-destruct in January and its Flyers lose a hard fought playoff series to the Tampa Bay Lightening only two weeks ago.

Coming out the gate strong and leading most of the race, Smarty weakened in the final stretch and was overtaken by Birdstone, a 35:1 long shot, to place second in the race, failing to capture that elusive championship.

My thoughts? Fuck.

I don't watch horse racing. I don't particularly care about horse racing. But realizing the enormity of the moment, and feening for a championship of any kind, I jumped on the Smarty Jones bandwagon. And of course, like every other sports team I get attached to, I was disappointed.

You might think that after years of coming close and falling short, one might grow accustomed to disappointment, and therefore approach each potential championship with a caution bred by failure.

This is not so. Each time, it gets worse. Each time a team comes so close to a championship, I find myself giving myself over more completely than the time before, saying, "This is the time - we are due", only to be ultimately dejected and rejected.

But still, I (and all of my compatriots) carry on, because that's what being a real sports fan is all about, and because, even though it may hurt at times, and may cause us to get so drunk after a loss that we may pass out on our dad's front steps because we were too drunk to work our keys, we wouldn't change a thing.

Besides, we're due for a championship. So let's go Phils.

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I don't know if you guys have heard, but Ronald Reagan died.

Yeah, I know, I was just as surprised as you all, because I thought he died like eight years ago.

I'm not going to use this space as a hero-worship or to vilify him, because I think CNN, MSNBC, CSPAN et al have said enough, but mostly because I don't really know anything about politics. This is especially true of politics of the 1980's, when my main concerns were Garbage Pail Kids, Metroid, the WWF, and Mike Schmidt.

But still, he had a good run (except for those last ten years or so). Say what you want about his policies (like the highest national debt to that point in history, boatloads of money for a high-tech missile defense system named after a movie that we're still not sure works, etc), but he changed the role of the president with the media and the public and was able to manipulate the image of "The President" better than any man before or since.

Plus, the 80's were kinda cool. So he had that going for him, which is nice.

*******************************************************************************

Last night's Sopranos was good. What is not so good is that the Sopranos will be back for its final season in eighteen months.

What the hell am I supposed to do for the next eighteen months? Jesus Christ. A lot could happen in eighteen months, things so drastic that I don't want to think about them, lest I give myself a panic attack.

We leave it off with a near mutiny, but the family is salvaged by the NY guys being taken down by the Feds. What the hell happens next? How will the show be resolved in its last season? I have no idea. I'm thinking Tony's gotta go down, either by the Feds or by someone in the family.

Until then, I still have Wildboyz, and Da Ali G Show is returning on July 18, and I don't know - maybe I can get a girlfriend and stop watching so much fucking tv.

Hmmm...or maybe I can find another show to watch. Anyone know if Joe Millionaire is coming back?



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