Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the post of a lifetime

sk: there have been posts before that have been heartfelt, posts before that have been my "interpretation of the truth" ... but I can honestly say, this one might be my favorite post I've ever composed.  And so ... in the words of the greatest songwriters of all time ...

"There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed.
Some forever, and not for better.
Some have gone, and some remain.

All these places have their moments,
With lovers and friends, I still can recall.
Some are dead and some are living,

(wait for it ... wait for it ...)

But in my life?  I loved them all ...

In my life?  I love you all."

-- "In My Life" by the Beatles.  It's not my favorite Beatles song -- "Across the Universe" is.  And perhaps that would be more fitting for how I feel right now, because while I have probably five "anthems of life", "Across the Universe" is the one that most perfectly fits -- "nothing's gonna change my world / nothing's gonna change my world" ... but honestly?  I can't think of a more fitting song, coming off a more fitting win, for what I'm about to post, as the opening lyrics for today's post ...

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Let me attempt to put into words how I feel about Monday's amazing victory.  Because clearly, 6500 of them yesterday wasn't enough.  (What can I say?  When it comes to pointless rambling, Vice President Biden has nothing on me.  (stevo thinking about it ... it's been a long while since I hauled it out ... screw it)  And I'm told that Chuck Graham, state senator is here.  Chuck?  Stand up Chuck, let me see ya!  Oh.  God love ya, what am I talking about?!?!  I tell you what, you're making everybody else stand up though pal.  Thank you very, very much.  I tell ya what, stand up for Chuck!!!  Thank you pal, you can tell I'm new.  Good to see you buddy.  My God am I gonna miss the Vice President when the electorate fires him and his inept, incompetent, absolutely useless boss in 372 days ...)

I am fully aware that the Chiefs are not the best team in the NFL.  I am fully aware Monday night's victory was a complete and total fluke, that we will never see again in any of our lifetimes.  I am fully aware the Chargers have more talent than the Chiefs, are far more likely to make the playoffs than the Chiefs are (ok, this is debatable), and are far more likely to make some noise if they get to said playoffs, than the Chiefs are (sadly, this is not debatable).  I am fully aware that they outplayed us (at least on offense and special teams -- defenses pretty much broke even), and that if we replayed that game 100 times, without the Phumble?  They'd win it 100 times.

And you know what?  I DON'T CARE!  If you can't enjoy the hell out of THAT victory for at least a couple days, please, stop being a fan of this team.  I mean it.  Just stop cheering for a team.  Because if you can't enjoy the hell out of THAT victory for at least a couple days, you simply don't get what it means to be a FAN of something.  Did San Diego lose that game?  Absolutely!  Did the Chiefs deserve to win that game?  Hell no!  Was the last minute of regulation and the ten minutes of overtime possibly the funnest, most joy-producing 20 minutes of my sports fan life in the past year?  Yes!  Yes it was! 

I'm not apologizing for enjoying that win.  Never in a year, in ten years, in a hundred years. 

It's ok to realize it was a fluke!  It's ok to realize the Chargers have more talent, outplayed us, and will win that game, in the spot they were in with :54 on the clock, a million times out of a million!  There's a reason why the Chiefs were a home underdog, and it wasn't because every gambling syndicate on the planet was asleep at the wheel.  Sometimes, it's ok to simply step back, smile, and enjoy what the Chiefs and the Chargers gave us -- an entertaining as hell contest, a hard fought contest, and a win NOBODY who was there will EVER forget. 

My way of saying: it's ok to be grateful for a miracle.

The Chiefs certainly were.  Every report I've read, and God knows I scour the internet for Chiefs information more than the average bear, every report I've read contains the same information about how the Chiefs reacted to that win: pure joy.  Apparently the postgame celebration in the locker room was so loud, that even with the doors closed, you could hear the celebration 250 feet away.  It's ok to simply step back and smile!  It's ok.  Really, it is!  Not everything in life has to have a purpose.  Not everything in life has to have a rational explanation. 

I mean, why the hell do you think I chose the opening lyrics to the recap that I did?  "The luckiest dreamers who NEVER quit dreaming"?  Of COURSE Monday night was a fluke!  (I'd argue it was a bigger fluke than a sh*tty ass sitcom like "Growing Pains" lasting for seven years, but that's certainly debatable.  I mean, holy cow, anytime someone says "TV is so much worse now than it was 20 years ago", please, throw "Growing Pains" in their face as proof of how wrong they are.) 

Of COURSE it was a once-in-a-generation fantasy come to real life!  Of COURSE the Chiefs are highly unlikely to EVER win another game in that manner in my lifetime!  And you know what?  I DON'T CARE!  And neither should anyone else who claims to be a Chiefs fan.  Because the bottom line is this -- no matter HOW it happened, IT HAPPENED!  The Chiefs WON the game.  It's ok, say it out loud.  The.  Chiefs.  Won.  The.  Game!

Sometimes, when you least expect it, life hands you an absolute good.  And it's perfectly cool to simply accept that absolute good, and roll with it.  That's what makes life so damned enjoyable, is the unpredictable, is the unforeseen. 

Let me relate in real life terms, using, uum, "in my life" as an example.

For those of you who don't know, I am in a bowling league.  Every Wednesday, October through April.  And for those of you who don't know me, let me put this as delicately as I can, because I don't want to be accused of puffing up my ego anymore than I already do.  I am a TURRIBLE bowler.  I f*cking suck.  That's not an exaggeration -- I am eight layers of pukey awful.  I'm pretty sure I have the lowest male average in the league*, and it's not even close for second worst.  I know I have the worst average on our team, and it's a mixed league, and we're a mixed team ... so do the math.  I am an AWFUL bowler.

(*: I typed this up before bowling tonight.  (richard dawson voice) Survey says ... YES!  I AM the worst male bowler in the league!  Although by only one pin a game.  What can I say, even a broken clock is right twice a day ...)

And you know what?  (come on, you know what's coming)  I DON'T CARE!  Because I wouldn't trade what's come out of that league for anything.  And at the risk of taking liberties I'm not entitled to, I'm guessing there's at least three people that will read this, that wouldn't trade anything either.  (Well, except for maybe our captain's "motivational techniques".  Gotta be honest, he could use a little improvement with his "pep talks".  Generally speaking, "hit the godd*mned headpin!" isn't exactly "inspirational" or "peppy".)

Let me set the scene.  It's fall of 2008.  Dusty, my roommate at the time, forwards me an email about our company bowling league, and asks me if I want to join.  Why I said yes, I have no idea.  See two paragraphs ago -- I am an awful, awful bowler.  I enjoy it, don't get me wrong, but the idea of making an ass out of myself in front of my co-workers for six straight months wasn't exactly appealing to me.  They already see me make an ass of myself in the office every day, why let them see my asshattery exists even outside of my cubicle walls (rimshot!)  Thank you, thank you, I'm here all week.  Try the veal (rimshot!)  Anyways.

I agree to join up.  Our team originally was going to be DJ, our co-worker Erica, and myself.  Then Erica dropped out.  I started thinking "do I REALLY want to get paired up with some random person?  What if I don't like them?  What if they don't like me?"  You know, crazy talk in hindsight ... and perfectly logical thinking at the time. 

(aka "the story of my life".  Oy.  Anyways.)

DJ convinces me to stick with it, and ... well, since I have been accused of "misquoting" a guy I affectionately call "The Kid" in the past, let me just paste the email he sent me the day our league started:

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From: Dusty
To: Stevo.
Date: 10/01/2008     2:01pm
Subject:

I was also told there are a bunch of fun young ladies in the (our employer) league!
And one of them is our team member!

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Now, my reaction to this email was what you would expect -- hysterical laughter.  And after wiping away the tears said hysterical laughter induced, I looked at his email again ... and immediately began laughing hysterically again.  How can I state this?  Hmm ...

("the voice of reason" voice) ITS PRESEASON!  No, wait, wrong phrase.  I meant:
("the voice of reason" voice) ITS A BOWLING LEAGUE!!!

I mean, sweet Jesus, who looks to a BOWLING LEAGUE to find a "fun young lady"?  You have to be eight levels of stupid to think "you know what, I'm gonna join a bowling league, meet a really hot chick, and we're gonna have all kinds of fun together!"  Again, ("the voice of reason" voice) ITS A BOWLING LEAGUE!!!  We all know what the stereotypical bowler looks like: old, fat, ugly, reeks of stale beer and cheap cigarettes, looks like they haven't showered in a month, and live in a cardboard box under the freeway overpass.  And THAT'S where DJ is expecting to find a "fun young lady" at?  Sure champ.  Sure.

Well, you can imagine my shock, surprise, and abject disbelief when I entered the bowling alley a couple hours later, and realized "holy crap, Dusty had a point!"  The idea of DJ making sense was shocking enough.  I mean, when we all worked together at Transamerica, we had a phrase for the typical Dusty response -- "Dustyland".  As in, "that makes SO little sense that he's off in his own little world to come up with that answer". 

So when I met our teammate for the first time, you can imagine my utter shock at realizing:

* she's not old
* she's not fat
* she's anything but ugly
* she doesn't reek of stale beer and cheap cigarettes, and
* she didn't look like Todd Haley in a dress.

(Note: that last point was the most important.  Have you SEEN Coach Hobo lately?  Ewwww.)

Sometimes, life delivers something epically great to you when you least expect it.  That teammate hyped up four years ago?  Is my ex-girlfriend ... and most importantly, one of my best friends in life.  The reason DJ and I aren't roommates anymore?  Is not just because he reached his "Voice of Reason" breaking point ... but because he met the "fun young lady" he was looking for, and married her earlier this year.  I mean, what are the odds of that happening?  What are the f*cking odds of meeting two (there's more than two in the league, I'm just focusing on two in particular here), what are the f*cking odds of meeting not one, but TWO?, of your best friends -- known affectionately on this site as "the ex" and "boasheao", what are the f*cking odds of that happening, in a freaking bowling alley?  No, seriously, what are the f*cking odds?

10 to 1?  100 to one?

One in a million?

What I'm trying to say is this, and believe me, if you've stuck around this long, you can guess where I'm going with this, but it needs to be typed for eternity's sake.

Sometimes, wins make total and perfect sense.  You completely outplay the opposition.  You have more talent.  You force more turnovers, gain more yards, knock the other team's quarterback loopy.  Like the raiders game.  Made total and perfect sense.  If you replayed that game 100 times, the Chiefs would win 100 times.  If you replayed that game 1 million times?  The Chiefs would win 1 million times.  That's how logical and reasonable the outcome to that game was.

Monday night?  Was not one of those wins.  No, Monday makes no sense whatsoever.  If you replayed that game 100 times, the Chiefs would lose 100 times.  If you replayed it 1 million times, the Chiefs would lose 1 million times, that's how absolutely unbelievable, how ridiculously unbelievable that victory was.

And my response to that is three simple words, and for once, it's not "go f*ck yourself".  Nope, three simple words.

I. DON'T.  CARE.

Because sometimes, things don't make sense.  Sometimes, there is no logic, rhyme or reason to attach to it.

And then sometimes ...

You walk into a bowling alley, on a random Wednesday night in early October.

And thank God above with all you have in you, for what He graciously gave you as a result ...

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