The Wise Guy: Football by any other name…

The Wise Guy has the offseason blues.  When football season, his first love, ends, there is a succession of great sporting events to keep him occupied: March Madness, the Masters, the NBA (and even NHL) playoffs.  But those events are over, and the dog days of summer are rearing their ugly head.  There’s only so much golf and baseball a man can watch.  With that, the Wise Guy has taken to drowning his sorrows in a semi-regular chronicle, “The Offseason Blues.”

Doubt is beginning to set in.  It’s been over four months now since she was with me, and the time apart has taken its toll.  I do my best to hold on, recycling old memories, reminiscing with friends, even dusting off some old videos, but it’s getting harder by the day. There are now glossies at the market teasing me as if she was on the near horizon, but I know I won’t truly see her for almost three months.  Some days I find myself wondering what was so worthy of my love in the first place.

To make matters worse, a new temptress has just swept into town and worked everyone into a lather.  She’s everything my love is not.  While my love is deliberate, violent, and a bit impersonal, this new girl is continuous, spontaneous, and beautifully choreographed.  I feel worldly around her, as if I’m finally in on the secret that everyone else seemed to know except me.

As I toss and turn in a state of delirium, I begin to seriously consider a dramatic break.  My love has given me so much heartache over the years that sometimes I just don’t feel appreciated.  So much time and money spent on days and nights that often end in misery.  But this new girl . . . she feels likely a party every day with no recourse or emotional attachment (at least for me).  Life with her would be so simple and free.

But as the night wears on, logic finally sets in and I realize how short-sighted I have been.  Love takes so long to build that it should never ever be thrown away on a whim.  Let the rest of the world have the temptress, they seem to need her accessibility, perpetual motion, randomness.  They can sing their songs, chant their chants, and even play with their (annoying) instruments over and over again without having to pay too much attention to her.  But me….I need a woman who doesn’t constantly pretend to be hurt just to gain an advantage, with complexity, structure, (and sure, a little bit of a physical violence) that requires my focus and complete attention.  Because only through that focus comes passion, which, when the stars align, can result in those rare but indispensable moments of transcendent joy, moments that live on over and over in my head, sustaining me (just barely) for the next time my love goes away.