Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You know what would be weird?

Let's say, simple theoretical thought experiment type dealy here, just for the sake of argument and such, let's say you're a fan of the Atlanta Braves. Rare breed, difficult to find in crowds, doesn't make a lot of noise even at Atlanta Braves baseball games. I know. I get it. Just work with me here. Imagine if you can that you are such a thing.

Imagine further, perhaps, that you are a fan with some history. No, you're not one of these goofy little whippersnappers born after Greg Maddux started wearing a tomahawk, not one of these spoiled punk brats that honestly think three years of mediocrity and a reasonably sane rebuilding plan is hell on earth. Oh God no, you’re not one of those guys. No, you're deeper than that. You started following this sad sack of a franchise in 1986 or something. Your first favorite player was Claudelle Washington. Or something. Something like Claudelle Washington. If you can't bring yourself to grasp the stupefied awesomeness that was Claudelle, Bob Horner will do as a stand-in. Yeah, you're that kind of Braves fan. You remember when they *really* sucked.

Let's say you're that guy, or some guy close to that, right? You survived the '80s. You danced through the '90s like a drunken puppet. In the earlier parts of that decade, you were, in fact, very much like a drunken puppet, but she was worth it. You remember with the clarity of God hisownself Sid's slide. You remember even more how the foldout couch in the common room of Dunn's dorm broken literally in half and dumped everyone onto the floor in a sweaty, catatonic heap. You remember with unpleasant specificity requesting that Bo Pamplin kindly remove his foot from your groin, if he would be so kind. Yeah, these are the days that broke the boy and made the man, along and along, as they were.

Lonnie Smith getting deked. (Run you stupid son of a bitch, run!) Kent Hrbek and that damned wrestling move on Ron Gant. Halle's boy toy backing up Tommy's grandest hour in '95. All of it. You'd remember all of that. Even, like, silly little Walt Weiss, two years past his prime, just flailing out there, like some sort of deep sea fish monster teleported from the inky depths right into the hole at short in the Astrodome. Hell, you'd remember when J*hn R*ck*r was just an eccentric LH reliever and not the biggest ass on the planet. Yeah, you remember all of this. It's the land of make believe!

Now, if you're that guy, you've probably got some pent up frustrations from the 90's as well. There's that Puckett thing, of course. There's the Dave Winfield thing. The Eric Gregg thing. And of course the J*m F*cking L*yr*tz thing. You could even track across the years until you get to the C*rl*s F*cking B*ltr*n thing, but that would be going too far.

That L*yr*tz thing would quite obviously open doors onto the whole of "Yankees of the mid-to-late '90s" thing, and that would be a sea of seething potential most anyone would be well advised not to swim. Visions blurred red, stabbings of necks, etc. Yeah, you don't want to go into the deep end of the Yankee thing at all. So you still with me? You thinking about maybe being that guy? Yeah. Okay. Now throw in for good measure that you're a total comic book dork from the old days and you literally grew up on The Transformers.

Now, if you're that guy, and you take a long lunch one afternoon to go see the new Transformers sequel, and you're a little late so you sit in the back row to avoid the walking through other folks in the dark, and you sit there all two and a half hours chuckling along with some vaguely familiar guy sitting two seats over, and it's clear he too is a total Transformers dork, and then the lights come up and you're grabbing your headgear for the ride back and you suddenly realize, dude, that's Mariano Rivera, and FUCK, now I TOTALLY CAN'T HATE THAT GUY ANYMORE!

Yeah. That would be totally weird. It would be like losing a part of your soul.