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Weekend sports

Monday 1/22/24

The Buffalo Bills excel at finding ways to lose by being stupid.

Back when the Bills were, I believe, a sole game above .500, and many thought they would not make the playoffs, I wrote in these pages that they could very well be the AFC's representative in the Super Bowl, and at the least would make some postseason noise. Well, there was the game and a trip to the AFC Championship for the taking.

Yesterday when coming back from the cafe I thought, "Okay, who do you got for this Bills-Chiefs game tonight?" and concluded that the Bills would probably be in a position to win, but find a way to lose, because the Bills can only go so long, it seems, before they do themselves in.

That game was so winnable for them. You cannot convince me that the decision to run a fake punt with Damar Hamlin was not because of what I'll call the Twitter effect. You actually had a head coach of a professional sports team trying to create a viral moment.

We are a culture of fools and fakers, ruled by the digital.

Do you know what Damar Hamlin's stat line is for the 2023 season? I do. Two tackles. That's it. Then, season on the line, you go for the Hallmark moment, with no sound reason or judgment behind it. And even still, the Bills had ample opportunity to win the game. Now I will have to watch the Chiefs probably win another Super Bowl and I don't think they're very good this year.

I had also written that I thought the Packers had a real chance to beat the Forty-Niners. Yep. Turns out they did. And probably should have. I don't see any of these teams beating Mahomes. Maybe it's a case of the Forty-Niners surviving their scare and they're on there way now, but I see the Chiefs going back-to-back.

You see people crying in the stands at these things. Adults. That is not healthy. What these people are doing on that field is their thing, not yours. This isn't your thing in life. It's someone else's thing. With art, it's everyone's thing. I understand art moving one to tears. You have the audience member, you have the person who made the art, and you have the art, which is separate. The art belongs to all. It's for people. Post patterns are not ran for people. They're run for that team that is on the field.

Stuff up and down the field--in a game, which seems like one of those pretty significant give-away words--is the life stuff of the people going up and down the field. Pull for your team, but when it's over, win or lose, it shouldn't affect you at all, really. You are an adult.

It's funny: These people are never interested in in the interesting parts of sports. How they work, their history, strategies, innovations. They just want a team wearing a certain color to win like it reflects back on them. It's not even really about sports--it's about them.

True, I have mitigating factors in my life right now such that, for me, it's never just, "Time to sit down and enjoy a game for three hours," but even if that were the case, after the Bruins served up the biggest gag job in North American sports history last spring, I would have been annoyed, but one is annoyed throughout a day or week simply by being alive and having eyes and ears. The idea of being brought to tears over this...we are just such a mentally unhealthy people.

I saw this video this morning of two former NHL teammates, goalie and a center (Quick and Kopitar, but could have been any two players who had been long-time teammates), facing each other in a game. Goalie froze the puck with the center in front of him and the broadcast went to a TV timeout. As each guy was skating off to his respective bench, they said something to each other, and the goalie gave the center a quick stick tap on the shin pad.

The comments. "I'm crying." "This cured my depression." "They're so cute!"

It's like these adults are children and the players are their dolls and stuffed animals. I find it so creepy, sad, pathetic, and depressing in and of itself in how it speaks to what people are now, what the world is.

I didn't learn until yesterday because of all that I was doing that the Celtics finally lost one at home. Get it out of the way, I guess. And they lost to a good team in the Nuggets. I was curious how far they could take their home-winning streak. I knew they couldn't do a whole season, but I admit to hoping they got kind of close so you could think about it. Say, up to 28-0. Then they won in Houston last night, so back on the beam.

The Bruins poured 9 goals into the back of the Montreal net on Saturday night--in Montreal, no less. Was a time when that would have been unthinkable.

Patrick Roy is back behind the bench with the Islanders. Good move. I just think he knows what he's doing. As a player he was Mr. Locked, or at least when it mattered the most. Roy and Tim Thomas are perhaps the two most competitive goalies I've ever seen. Billy Smith is probably in there, too.

The BC men's hockey team swept their weekend series against Merrimack. Checked the Beanpot schedule this morning. They play BU in that second game on the first night of the tournament. You sort of hope that it lines up so that those two teams can meet in the Final, but it should be a good game. BU also swept their weekend series. Next two games for each team are against each other this coming weekend. #1 in the nation BU v. #2 in the nation BC. I should try to go to one of those.

BC men's basketball hung with #4 North Carolina on Saturday out at Conte for most of the game. That's pretty much the very most they can do against a good team like that, unfortunately. Chance to make the tournament is just about gone now, slim as that chance was. I guess they could make the NIT.

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