Thursday, March 22, 2007

This Post is Like a Turkey Sandwich

Chuck Klosterman wants us to consider: We don’t discount Revolver because of the influence of drugs. Should we discount the 1998 home-run race because of the influence of drugs?

He’s not saying that we shouldn’t. I just like that he’s bringing sports and music together in a new way. FreeDarko insists that basketball isn’t jazz. I’d like to agree, but I’m not really sure what jazz is. I’m pretty sure football isn’t war, either. (Despite this, which isn’t the same thing.) Baseball conjures the pastoral, even in the Bronx, but it’s become a metaphor for other things, rather than the converse. On the other hand, a knuckleball can be a marriage.

Walter Pater says, “All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music.” Maybe Klosterman's on to something, and sport does too. I’d say Bad Boys: The ’87-’88 Detroit Pistons, which for one year I watched daily, aspires to the condition of tragic opera, one with “The Final Countdown” by Europe as its theme, Isiah Thomas as soprano, Joe Dumars as alto, Dennis Rodman as contralto, Mark Aguirre as tenor, Bill Laimbeer as baritone, Chuck Daly as bass-baritone, and James Edwards as bass. In any case, Pater’s got the libretto (by George Blaha) and the acting (Isiah drops 25 in a quarter… on a sprained ankle!) aspiring back to the condition of music, so we’re headed around that circle again. Maybe the only sports that don't demand and ruin metaphor are boxing and footraces.

Or maybe in all these cases the only metaphor that really works is sex. My favorite new sports blog these days is Ladies…, which shines through (and occasionally takes on, with humor and gumption) the machismo and frustrated homoeroticism of sports and reminds us that these guys running around in their pajamas are enjoyed by some smart, sexy, funny women. They talk about getting to third base and they mean it.

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