Last night, Mrs YWS and I finished the entire 7 seasons of the best drama ever made, The West Wing … for the 5th time! With our due date for our first bubba a mere 8 days away, the latest from The Voice and Master Chef were cast aside, well, recorded to the hard drive, as we churned out the final two episodes.
I’m not sure how many times you can watch a show without it completely losing its impact. With the depth and complexity inherent in so many of the characters thanks to genius screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, you can watch it through the lens of different characters each time you go through all 7 series. But eventually, it’s going to lose its effect. I think we’re about there.
In the final moment of the show, Martin Sheen’s character President Bartlet is asked what he’s thinking about as he flies home to begin a new life. ‘Tomorrow’ was his answer. Roll the credits.
Although I had seen it before (4 times!), it seemed an underwhelming final moment. That was the best they could come up with!? Not even a ‘What’s next?’ – Bartlet’s go-to line?? Why they couldn’t get ousted writer Sorkin back for $1m an episode for the last couple of chapters is beyond me. They had him on screen in the closing moments! Why not get him to pump out the finales? Alas, I digress…
The closure did get me thinking about my own re-entry to the world of sport in 16 days’ time.
- What will it look like? Full immersion or a soft re-entry? How much is too much?
- Will the blog continue?
- Should I watch a whole lot of events that I’ve missed?
- What about online – reading articles and game recaps?
- Are there ground rules that could be helpful to navigate the early stages so that a year’s worth of good work isn’t instantly undone??
So yeah, there are a couple of factors to weigh up on my flight home from DC to New Hampshire.
What will it look like?
I almost smile as I write this paragraph, as you have to understand that it is surreal to consider the fact that I am able to pick and choose how I integrate sport back into my life! My default to sport has been switched off for so long that there could be a very real temptation to dive headlong into full immersion, justifying it with a self-entitled, ‘I’ve earned this.’
And look, that may be true, but a softer re-integration with a few key games here and there with friends may be a safer option.
Will this blog continue?
The shortened version may be enough, but 11.5 months ago, the only writing I was doing was report writing for school. This, however, is becoming so softened and robotic that you may as well get a computer program to drop in the comments depending on the student’s mark. Wait, some schools are already doing this?! It’s hard to tell…
Engaging in this forum with the journey without sport and having an outlet in which to be intentional with it has been phenomenal. Navigating the temptations and allure of the world of sport upon my return will be pretty interesting, to say the least.
Making sure I don’t buy into the BS that is inherent in sporting circles, especially in Australian football, as well as our insatiable appetite for ‘a story’ is crucial. Watch this space.
Should I watch all the events I missed?
What’s the point of the journey if I’m not really missing anything?? I’ve been asked this before, and it is a fair question. There definitely are some moments that I will witness retrospectively – The AFL Grand Final, maybe a game or 2 from the NBA Finals, WrestleMania! If that taints the journey in the eyes of anyone, so be it.
But the Warner century or Clarke’s 329 won’t mean anywhere near as much this many months later, nor will the Super Bowl, Stosur’s US Open victory or our summer dominance over India. By the way, if you need any further motivation to rise up against the Indians then look no further than their ridiculous Bradman vs Tendulkar ‘debate’ … seriously.
They will be interesting to watch, but there has to be a sacrifice to attain the level of change that your life can require. In order to give up your vice, whatever it may be, you have to let go.
Agghh, I ‘m still stuck on this one! I love the idea of only watching sport with other people – ensuring that sport isn’t at the centre of life all the time, but as a key component of community, especially with the boys.
To lock that in, however, is impractical, especially with a baby arriving just before the year without sport ends. I’m going to be home a lot, there won’t be too much socialising in the early days etc. As an aside, in terms of poor planning, it doesn’t get much worse than having your first baby 8 days before your sport ban ends. I blame many things, none of which can be printed here…
Before I lay out some of my thoughts though, allow me this disclaimer! I hereby understand that when a baby joins the fray, even the concept of watching an entire match of anything makes the return of Big Brother look like a good idea in comparison…
That said, one option which I’m yet to set in stone is limits on game viewing. Try this on for size:
A total of two games or events, consisting of not more than –
- 1 AFL game per round
- 1 NBA game a week
- 1 soccer game a week
So, if there’s a NFL or Champions League game or wrestling event that I want to see, then that leaves me with the option of picking 1 AFL or 1 NBA or 1 English soccer match; if that.
This will force you to be strategic and to plan out in advance the events you want to relax and enjoy yourself with. If there’s a big Man U – Chelsea match-up in a few weeks, shoot some texts out, lock it in, but don’t expect to be able to watch as much footy or basketball. It’s simple mathematics.
There are other rules to consider –
- If a solo sporting viewing is planned and a social option arises, people win. Every time.
- If you watch a quarter or half a game, it counts as one whole viewing. No watching 4 quarters of different football games and claiming that as your ‘one’ AFL game. You’ll become obsessed. Again.
- No carry overs – ‘I haven’t watched anything in a fortnight, so I’m plonking myself in the recliner for a catatonic 6 straight matches.’ Do I need to reiterate that I’m becoming a dad, soon?!
Is there a need?
It’s funny listing these rules, as I genuinely don’t need them. My default setting switched off from sport some time ago. There’s simply no need to get pedantic about numbers of viewing and lay out a list of rules.
The thing is, however, that we live in the midst of a plethora of distractions, all shifting our focus away from what’s really important. Open your eyes, switch on the tv, listen to the radio, surf the net, listen to your friends as they convince you how much you need or deserve the latest product, trip or item of clothing. Justifications for selfish behaviour abound.
I might not need the rules now, but there’s no telling just how quickly I will be glad that they are there, protecting me, keeping me on the right path.
With just over 2 weeks left, now is the time to think about tomorrow.