Wednesday, September 17, 2008
What Really Grinds My Gears: Empathy Edition (warning: guy next to Peter Griffin is not actually me, I swear)
Empathy (n)- The experiencing as one's own the feelings of another.
Although my trusty electronic dictionary (for students grades 9 and up which I will give my favorite tutoring student today) lists "sympathy" as a synonym; rest assured that it is not. Sympathy involves feeling bad because of someone else's emotion but NOT experiencing those emotions as if they were in fact your own. So empathy then is a much stronger experience than sympathy. Now I will do my regular (as of last week) weekly post titled "What Grinds my Gears" but by directly experiencing the emotions of other fans.
(1) Brewers fans as told by White Boy South Madison- I always smile when I type, read or hear "Milwaukee" because I remember the great scene in Wayne's World when Alice Cooper shocks Wayne and Garth by bestowing upon them the knowledge that this city is named for the Algonquin (Native American tribe) word for "The Good Land". However, it is anything but a good land these days for me these days. If we finish again like we did last year, it would be an utter sports atrocity. This is because my main reason for waking up in the morning this season, Ben Sheets and C.C. Sabathia, are free agents this off season. This cheapskate ownership does not have the guts or desire to fork over the schekels, pounds or Yen, let alone dollars, to resign these two guys. We have to at least make the playoffs this year because our piece of crap owners won't give us another shot for a while. With sweeps at the hands of the plummeting Mets (more on them soon) and the surging Phils, we find ourselves without possession of a coveted spot in the Fall tournament for the first time in a while. I am still dealing with the devastating loss to the Giants last January and the frost bite I got from sitting in the stands with no shirt on that night. I can't deal with another devastating sports moment with the wounds from that night still so fresh.
(2) Browns fans, as told by White Boy South Columbus-Its bad enough that I have to drive 3 freaking hours just to go to Cleveland Browns stadium (what a great name though!) just to go to the games and sit amongst drunken idiots wearing dog suits. However, nothing is more gut wrenching then the continuous beatings we take at the hands of the Evil Steelers. I hate those fucking Black and Gold douchebags. First they hand us the most devastating loss since the fumble game in the 2003 playoffs. Then they go on a 10 game winning streak against us. With this in mind, it has been rare that we have ever gone deep into a game with a real chance of beating them, especially when facing those fuckers at home. WHY ROMEO, WHY!! Why on earth did you kick a field goal down 7 with under 4 minutes to go? You know you have a shitty defense. You know that you were moving the ball on the Stillers for the first time all game. You know that if you have any real shot at winning this game, you need to score a TD on this drive. It was 4th and 7 for goodness sakes! If it was 4th and 25 I would be more sympathetic (but not empathetic cause your a shitty coach and I can't stand you). If you don't trust your recently wealthy QB and superstar receiver to get you 7 yards in a big spot, what is the point of even showing up! Uggggh. Whatever, at least we have Lebron until he goes for the money with the Knicks.
(3) Jets Fans, as told by White Boy South Hampton- As SCHMUCK will tell you, we Jet fans are sick of always losing to the freaking Pats. So you could imagine my delight when, over lox and Bagels Monday Morning before jumping on the Merrick train to Penn Station en route to my big office at the law firm/big financial corporation/hospital, I read that Tom Brady was going to miss the entire season with a Torn ACL. My yamaka nearly flew right off my head I was so vaklempt!! I knew now that we were finally going to beat these guys Sunday at the Meadowlands. See I have to call it that because it makes me too sad when I call it "Giants stadium." However, with one errant Farve pass in the third quarter, the entire tone of the 2008 season changed. This was our chance to step up and take hold of the division for first time since the 2002 season. When Farve threw that absurd pass into the waiting arms of Brandon Meriweather, memories of last seasons 38-14 drubbing and the 9 previous consecutive home losses to Hoody and his band of cheaters flooded my brain like the words to the Melodic Ashrei prayer in the Torah do on Shabbat. Shortly after that pick, Cassel and company marched into the endzone and completely demoralized me and my fellow "-et's" fans. See, I call us -ET fans because we all root for the Mets and Jets instead of the Yankee and Giants. I guess that their great defense and our overrated and over-hyped QB made for another brutal day to be a fan of this historically losing team. Ugh!! At least we have the Mets' guaranteed playoff birth to look forward to?
4) Members of the liberal elite; as told by White Boy South Tribeca- As a gay/black/atheist man who went to Harvard undergrad and Yale Law school, I am offended by the strategy of Palin and Mccain of appealing to the apparently disenfranchised white working class. It is appalling that Mccain and Palin would try to appeal to the same group that the KKK has consistently reached its collective arm towards by conjuring up images of farmers from the plains, in the form of hockey moms of Alaska. This is clearly praying upon the fears of these Americans of the "other". As someone who fits into nearly every minority category in this country, I empathize (not sympathize) with fellow "others". It is clear to me, given my vast intelligence and flair for the cosmopolitan, that the world needs more cultured, learned and frankly bi-racial people in the Oval Office than that of Palin and Mccain. It is the view of this sophisticated and urbane man that being worldly and more scholarly than "average" Americans is not something to scorn but rather something to celebrate. We should expect more from our leaders than ourselves, not the same amount. After all, would you want your president to be someone who you could grab a beer with or someone you could have a glass of wine with while making fun of those who believe in some theory as utterly unfalsifiable as "Intelligent Design." I scoff at thee.