Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blood for work and play

Wild-card Wednesday has me writing about that plasma-filled topic of blood. Despite not having a television, us boowahs are on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer kick. Hulu has posted the first three seasons of Buffy so we've been watching (or re-watching in my case) on laptops. Gaga was just a little kid when the series started and Doodle was born when Angel was spunoff. I still remember living in an apartment, watching Buffy, then, when Angel kicked in with it's wonderful cello-based score, taking Doodle's arms and conducting the song before putting him to bed.

While I've been enjoying re-watching it (and groaning at some of the inconsistencies (such as Angel not being to resuscitate Buffy because as a vampire he has no breath but in the very next episode, Spike is puffing away on a cigarette)) the boowahs are getting a kick out of it, too. So good times.

I also finished reading a book that was about one of the things I used to enjoy watching on television, Ultimate Fighting. L. Jon Wertheim's book Blood in the Cage is a nice bit of sportswriting on the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Good sportswriting can be a fun thing to read. You may find it strange, though, that I don't really care for it. I don't read Sports Illustrated (for whom Wertheim writes for a living), I don't read much of ESPN's guys who aren't analytical-based (such as Neyer and Law). It just doesn't captivate me.

I think some of this is that good sportswriting is about instilling life and meaning into sports which, I feel, most of the time isn't there. It's just not a great story to me when someone "overcomes adversity" by scoring a goal a day, a week, a month, a year after their father passed away. This holds true at any level of sport. Sport is about competition. Without it, life does go on. I think it is this attitude that has kept me from embracing sports teams throughout my life.

Now wait a minute, you might be saying, how can you have that attitude when you're a big fan of the history of baseball and have websites devoted to these same people and are interested in them and all that jazz? It's because these people do have stories and they have developed a level of skill and achievement at something I do admire. I just don't want to read forced writing about it. You didn't homer because your Dad was looking down on you, you homered because you're a talented athlete who has been doing this, through thick and thin, for most of your life.

Maybe it's this abundance of sportswriting, the forced sportswriting, that steers me clear of all sportswriting and so I miss the good stuff.

Wertheim's book is good. Sometimes the writing gets a little too flowery for the topic but mostly it's good. As a veteran fan of the UFC myself, there wasn't a whole lot in there that was new to me. Some stuff on Pat Miletich and the promoter Monte Cox but that was about it. If you're new to the sport or want to understand the charm of mixed martial arts, it's definitely worth picking up but since I didn't get a lot out of it, I can't put it in my top ten despite it being a well-done book.

No comments: