Television is probably the finest barometer of America's current norms and mores. Hits like Modern Family and How I Met Your Mother have a decent amount of truths within their fictional story lines. There are several same sex couples raising children, trophy wives and oxycotin addicts within a 3 iron from my front door. Law and Order and Homeland play to our more dramatic tendencies. Somewhere in the blurred middle (of America) lies Reality TV. You get the point.
But what of the dramas that consume us daily. The ones that don't play on your living room Sony? Where are they best represented?
Like the 4th grade basketball game Tuesday night that ended with several in tears. The home team was comprised of mostly meek, but wonderful, polite and well mannered 10 year olds.
The away team played skewed toward high school gals equipped with an urban intimidation which provided a distinct advantage. Skill wise this game was a toss up that could have gone either way. Sports, we were remidned, are played with more than skill. You will probably witness this during Sunday's Super Bowl. Count how many touches Wes Welker or Danny Woodhead get. Then take a look at their real heights and weights. Skill sometimes takes a backseat. Aggression. Competitiveness. Anger. Force of Will.
Give me a team with 100% will and desire versus 75% skill all day long.
As the home team shook hands after a particularly tough loss the victors taunted them and signaled they were losers (as the Smash Mouth song goes.)
Nevermind most of the girls had to then travel a half hour away to play indoor soccer... which saw them lose 2-0 (they are now 0-4 with 0 goals scored.) Naturally the victorious soccer team taunted the losing team in the hand shake line. You remember the old stick your hand out and then pull it back game, right?
More tears. More life lessons.
Did I hear my wife say "Just remember you are going be prettier and smarter always! He who laughs last!!!"
That might be hyperbole. But this moment, at age 10, was a huge event. Will your child want to separate him or herself from the sport? From sport altogether? "If this is how kids are going to act why put myself through it?"
Will he or she rise above it? Use it as incentive to excel?
Will body image problems arrive? Should we sign that anti-bullying measure? When should you remove the bedroom door? Install anti virus software? Purchase a breath-a-lizer?
For roughly 24 hours this house was made of egg shells. And it seemed like it was in the middle of an egg toss from LA to NY. One bad move, or bad sentence, could cause it to fall, shattering to pieces. Household scrambled.
That was then. Really. 3 days ago.
You have to move on and be ready for the next challenge. There will be no tidy resolution at the end of the half hour. This lesson will be taught over time. Months, probably years to figure it all out. And as we all know there is no guarantee of closure.
We try to keep our kids out of the bell tower and ourselves away from the mental ward. The delicate balance. The forbidden dance. Oh, wait, that's this: Seriously... this is it
Time for some slapstick (what the hell is this dog doing living in our house!!!) Then more hoops. Then America's absurdist spectacle on Sunday. Millions will tune in to watch a 60 minute game over 12 hours, A sedentary National event celebrating soda and chips, cars and babies talking about the stock market, aged pop stars, and Indianapolis (!), Bob Costas, Belichick, Eli, Giselle Bundchen. Did I miss anything? Everything?
Exotic bets will be placed. National Anthems will be butchered. Military fly overs will occur.
We pat ourselves on the back and pretend all is good for this moment. Eat. Drink. Be Merry!!
And take the Giants with the points.
There will be cries to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a Holiday. Safest bet this weekend is the winning City will VERY unproductive next week.
It is that very reason this column endorses the New York Giants as Champions of Football.
Might give the staff a legitimate reason to be unproductive. To date, there are 39 years and counting of unexcused ineffectiveness.
Could a Giants win possibly help? Couldn't hurt. And can this thing at my feet really be a good idea? There are far worse.
View from above:
Have a great weekend and enjoy the Big Game!!!