originally uploaded by Mark Waitkus on Flickr
Last week, Alex Belth wrote in a post titled, Do Baseball Nerds Dream of Electric Sheep?
Do you dream about baseball during the middle of winter? When it is grey and cold, chunks of ice on sidewalk, banks of snow against the buildings, do you picture long summer days, green grass, men spitting and laughing, the smell of beer and urine, the humidity, and the tension of even the most routine ball game?
You can start printing up my Bad Fan™ badge now, because my answer is, pretty much, no. Not right now, anyway.
First, of course, there's football. And for some reason -- maybe because the sports are really like pickles and ice cream, two great tastes that DO NOT taste great together -- it seems like I'm only ever 'into' one at a time. I need palate-cleansing time. Again, judge me if you will, it won't change anything.
Then there's the fact that my football team has now been eliminated from contention by the sports team I probably hate most in the world, in either sport I follow. That'll put you off your feed, sports-wise, for at least a little while.
Meanwhile, this week, we find ourselves in that sea of dead air between the conference championship games in the NFL and the Super Bowl. Apparently there was some kind of football exhibition game played this past weekend, but seriously, who even watches that thing anymore? Even hardcore football fans have little interest in watching a scrimmage where everyone's just playing not to get hurt.
So. Back to Alex's question. Do I dream about baseball, as I look out my window and watch another foot-plus of snow come down on Boston?
And again I say, for the most part, no. Frankly, part of that palate cleansing I go through every year is using this Time of Tumbleweeds to do other things -- watch ANYTHING AT ALL besides a sporting event or a show about sports on my television, for example. Visit dear, old friends that are only in the country anymore for one month each year thanks to State Dept. jobs. Reacquaint myself with my husband, a two-sport widower.
You know. Life. That thing people are always trying to bug you with while you're watching the game.
But as I've thought about Alex's question, I've noticed that there is one little green shoot, if you will, of baseball that has at least cracked the surface of my wintry distraction. One little pang, that hits me, baseball-wise, from time to time, and has since before last season was over.
I try not to think about it, because when I say 'pang' that is the exact word I mean, like a hunger pang, and every time I give it attention it only seems to get worse. This is not a pleasant feeling I want to wallow in -- and there are other things to do besides rage that my pang will not be assuaged for another month yet.
But that feeling in the pit of my stomach, something like hunger, something like homesickness, hits me every time I can't avoid thinking about Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, or a combination of the two.