Okay. That wasn’t the best Seattle sports weekend. The Huskies (both the football and basketball editions) lost, the Seahawks lost, and word came out on Sunday evening that both Hawks starting cornerbacks — Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner — are facing four-game suspensions for performance-enhancing drug use. So yeah. Admittedly, things could get better.
Scrolling through the Twitter timeline over the past 24 hours has revealed varying stages of grief from Seattleites. We’ve seen everything from denial, to anger, to depression, to acceptance. Some fans are ready to jump off a ledge, some are cursing out anyone who so much as talks to them, some are claiming it’s all a conspiracy, some have the blinders on and refuse to speak one ill word about any of our downtrodden ballclubs, some are coping with humor, and some are just plain sad. No matter one’s progress through the grieving process, it’s clear that these are dark times for us right now. And so as a result, I’m here to offer perspective.
The other day, I got these new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sleep pants. They’re great. The thing about sleep pants is they’re often too heavy, too warm, and too cumbersome to serve any purpose to me whatsoever. Not so with these pants. They’re thin, cool, and stamped with the likenesses of Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo. In addition, they have this flap in the front which allows a nice breeze to flow into and out of my attire. The flap also provides easy access for other things, which for purposes of modesty I won’t go into detail about. Regardless, these pants are great, they were a cheap Black Friday purchase, and they make me happy in ways that my sports teams cannot.
There’s this game I play. It’s called Word Whomp. It’s kind of a stupid game. So stupid, in fact, that I hide all Facebook-related posts about it so no one will see that I’m playing, or when I’m playing, for that matter. I’m very private about my game-playing. Anyway, this Word Whomp game, I’ve been playing it for years. It’s an absolute time-killer. Which isn’t always a bad thing. I’m no athlete. I’m not one of those “no days off” guys. There are days off. I need to kill time occasionally. And this game helps me do that. The objective is basically to form as many words as possible from a selection of six letters given to you onscreen. You have two minutes to achieve this. Should you manage to form every possible word, you win the game. And when you win, there are these animated gophers that do backflips across the page. It’s awesome. Extremely fulfilling in a borderline non-sensical way.
I have a DVD of the Husky basketball triumph over then-No. 1 Stanford in 2004. I queue it up whenever things aren’t going so great, no matter what those things may be. When Tre Simmons knocks down a barrage of threes in the second half to give us all the momentum we need to win, I swell with emotion every time. It’s one of the greatest games, irrespective of sport, that I’ve ever witnessed. I’ll watch it tonight. And it will be fantastic.
There’s this. If you need a laugh, go ahead and fill out your application and submit it. Or better yet, make a similar application for a friend of your own. You’ll feel great when it’s all said and done. And everyone will get to chuckle at the expense of someone else. That’s always fun.
It’s sunny outside. It’s not warm by any means, but wouldn’t you know it, it’s not raining. For November in Seattle, that’s near-incredible. I couldn’t be more thrilled about that. And at the end of the day, after I’ve hit the gym and used up all the caffeine I’ve been sucking down like oxygen at work, I’ll sit in a hot tub and do absolutely nothing. That nothingness won’t last forever. Eventually I’ll have to return to the somethingness of everyday life. But for that brief moment in time when I’m sitting there achieving my lifelong dream of doing nothing at all, I’ll be at peace. And my knees won’t hurt, my muscles won’t ache, and my head won’t be swimming with priorities and deadlines and requirements for the days ahead. It will be glorious.
The point is, the sun came up today, we were all still alive, and our happiness was still controlled by no one besides ourselves. I’m not saying you can’t be upset about the state of our sports teams — if you’re a fan, you probably should be. I’m just saying that we need to keep it all in perspective. I’m a huge sports fan. I’m a little disappointed right now. But am I unhappy? No. Am I going to let a few bad breaks take a hold of my entire existence? No. None of that. And I feel better because of it.
There are any number of things in your life that will bring you joy. Find them. Embrace them. Life isn’t perfect. Sports aren’t perfect. We can’t control wins and losses, talent, ability, results, effort, the choices others make, any of that. But we can control how we feel. And really, that’s all that matters.
Now come on and help me find a nice woman for Ryan Divish. His biological clock is ticking…