dinner time conversation, miscellaneous, drivel

…life of a cougar…

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Of all the things in life that are difficult to explain, one of them has to be why I am a WSU football fan so late in life. It isn’t that I seek to explain it to anyone else, rather, simply to myself. I feel as if I am old enough to know better than to flirt with the gates of hell where the sign clearly says, “abandon all hope, ye who enter”. I’m, of course, being a little dramatic. It clearly isn’t all hell. Just more often than not and in perplexing ways.

Being a cougar football fan, on the surface, might make you objectively look at yourself a little curiously from time to time. Sometimes it feels as if you’re the sort of person prone to having random dogs come up to you and begin humping your leg for no apparent reason, when everyone else is left alone. Or that maybe you’re the sort of person who enjoys agony and self-inflicted pain, that purchases with regularity, items that malfunction after you’ve spent a bunch of money on them or which break inexplicably. Life as a Cougar feels somewhat and inescapably different, in unusually disappointing ways. Sort of like hearing that your parents WILL buy you a car, only to be greeted one day with some rusted out pinto with mag wheels on it and ‘pussy magnet’ spray painted on the sides. In pink…

It’s not just the Cougars. I’m a Mariners fan, too. Which truly sucks now that Dave Niehaus has passed away and I’m stuck with Rick Rizzs and his fantastic-enthusiastic barf-a-thon. Ho-lee Smokes! At least this last game it dawned on me. U of Arizona played us like Charlie Daniels might work over a pawn shop fiddle, and Jason Gesser, the newest color commentator/former cougar QB, sounded honestly dejected. I have never heard anyone sound so dour or hopeless; as if someone had told him that they’d eaten his pet hamsters last week and shit them into his pillow case and that he just found that out sometime around the end of the 3rd quarter…

In many ways, it broke my heart, because I remember one of the ‘not Hell’ Cougar football eras when Jason was playing on a broken leg or something equally improbable… It was, I’m pretty sure, against USC, down in Pasadena, and I think we won that game and ended up going to the Rose Bowl. (and then our coach quit to go to Alabama and then got fired for courting a stripper or something before he ever coached a game there…). Jason Gesser is/was/will always be, in my mind, the platonic ideal of why I’ve ever rooted for the Cougars…

I grew up in the era of Rocky films. A time when going to the cinema meant watching an undersized, underwhelming boxer get his ass kicked and face punched to shit, his brain beaten into some sort of Julia Child-esque scrambled egg dish, only to come back and win… Only because he didn’t know better and he had a bigger heart. He was too stupid and had no room in his brain for doubt, even when having the shit beat out of him… It’s a perfectly lovely story – just like that of David slaying Goliath – that resonates with the heart. You can’t help but love the underdog, the ugly and stupid and inept one who hasn’t learned how to lose, doesn’t have that word in his vocabulary…

I suppose that’s the reason I’ve only ever been a Cougar – it’s because I’m naive and stupid enough to think that I don’t really know how to lose at things, even though I may fail at many things, often, and in amazing ways. I have severe flaws and other people can easily find and exploit, them. Somehow though, as long as I’m breathing, I think I haven’t lost. I’m stubborn. I am stupid enough that I am brilliant…

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