There’s always something to howl about

Besides that Mrs. Davison, how did you enjoy the post?

I think I first realized we exist in a quirky, if not passionate and divided adult society when I found myself in a lecture hall observing an assistant professor and a fellow graduate student nearly coming to blows over a Henry James excerpt from the aptly titled,  An International Episode.  I watched on as a confederacy of my peers and elders; some undergrad, some doctoral, some by proxy—chimed in from the gallery seats as the two went at each other, a coffee breath’s apart.  Before long, the entire crowd seemed to join in, taking sides on what does and does not constitute a cultural faux pas and whether James himself, a man already dead for 72 years, was a genius or an ass.  

It was like a Pulitzer prize fight gone wild, only everyone was wearing turtlenecks and corduroy.  I was proctoring the lecture to make up some lost hangover hours from another class.  The whole Henry James dialectic was over my head to begin with,  so who was I to judge, one way or another, who had the longest literary wiener?  I fancied myself a sports writer, a true reporter of facts…(as I understood them, of course.)  That was more than 25 years ago and the memory all but faded away…

…only to resurface this week as I got sucked into the Comment Section vacuum of  a thousand faceless internet voices.  I think we all know of what I speak so no more linkage.  It intrigues me when I witness, walking past the bar of course, the same, aforementioned ardor present in, let’s say… the wide-screen crowd watching a televised sporting event.  I’m always curious as to why these raving fans, dressed in home team regalia; scream, curse and cheer for or against a particular team or athlete (or candidate, for that matter) who doesn’t even know they exist. Like the Chazz Palminteri character, Sonny,  says to C,  in A Bronx Tale,  

“Why you care about Mickey Mantle? He don’t care about you…” Willing suspension of disbelief can be, well…disbelievable, I guess. 

I played sports, albeit Division III, well into adulthood and I’m here to reiterate what the majority of us should already know; most noble opponents, whether professional, amateur or literary, leave it at the field once the game has ended or the last shot has fired.  It’s the fans, the observers, the commentors,  if you will, who generally keep fanning the flame of division after the final score or vote is tallied.  I’m not originally from Chicago but they tell me that Packers fans can’t stand Bears fans. (You should try growing up in Philadelphia where sports fans can’t stand each other, period.) I don’t know why this is. 

I suppose it just goes with that part of the territory, outside the sidelines and up in the cheap shot seats, in this case, the comment section of at least a half dozen blogs, where everybody with equal halves of brain and opinion mix it up on a daily basis.  First they attack the players and then they attack each other, and before you know it, even the likes of poor little dead Henry James is getting knocked around….just like in those upper decks in Philly.  This is why real estate in the nosebleed section is sub prime, to say the least.

Having said all that, my favorite comment this week in the blogiverse is from The Bubble Sitter,  a person  (entity?) who I silently disagree with about 90% of the time but whose comments I’ve never considered ‘unsubscribing’  from…

“Bunch of drama bitches…Shouldn’t you all be out trying to make 6%?” 

Pretty f-ing funny, if you ask me.  And no need to comment. I rarely respond anyway.

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    8 Comments so far

    1. [...] Besides that Mrs. Davison, how did you enjoy the post?, by Geno Petro. [...]

    2. Teri L February 20th, 2008 3:13 pm

      I’m first in line for the “I heart Geno” T-shirts at Unchained.

      (I don’t subscribe to comments, so you don’t have to respond. :-) )

    3. KC Investments February 20th, 2008 3:15 pm

      Good ole’ Philly fans. I went to a Capitals game (in Washington, DC, mind you) and saw Flyers fans trying to pick fights everywhere. When the Caps fans (mostly college educated white collar types) refused to fight with them they, well, it’s hard to explain, but they would fight OTHER FLYER FANS!

      Now, if this had only happened at one game I would say it wasn’t the norm. But Philly fan is a different breed. What does this have to do with the current pissing contest? I’m not sure. But I wasn’t sure why they were fighting each other, either. :)

    4. Brian Brady February 20th, 2008 4:47 pm

      Those guys fighting at the Flyer games were most likely better educated than the Caps fans. You just have to grow up in Philly to understand it

    5. Thomas Johnson February 20th, 2008 5:17 pm

      Geno for President.

    6. Derek Burress February 20th, 2008 6:44 pm

      Off topic: Geno, how do you feel about Division III schools not being able to award athletic scholarships?

      I think it sucks but I would love to hear from a D-III or former D-III athlete on what they think of it.
      Here’s how pro baseball players fight: We get in a pissing match across dugouts. Pitcher throws at batter’s head. Opposing pitcher decides to protect his teammate and gets ejected. Coaches come out and get ejected then another pitcher decides “what the heck” throws at another batter and the benches clear.

      Half the team is ejected and the media is having a field day in the locker rooms. A few curses here and there from the showers emerge. Then after the media has left, a cell phone to takes place between locker rooms talking about how much fun that mess was that and seeing if the guys from the other team wants to hit the local greens for a round of golf before the next day’s game.

      I kid you not. Next morning, the press has gone mad and the commissioner’s office is thowing out fines. Not that anyone really cares as it’s not likely any of us are going to end up paying anything once it’s all over.

      The only fine you may end up having to pay your entire career to pay if you are a minor leaguer caught dipping.

    7. Mike Farmer February 21st, 2008 6:32 am

      I thought that pithy zinger by bubble sitter was funny, too. Very good.

    8. Geno Petro February 21st, 2008 6:57 am


      My collegiate athletic experience began at Lees-McRae in 1974 being recruited for football and ended 7 years later at Slippery Rock playing club Rugby; hardly notable or worthy of any NCAA financial assistance. After the ‘red shirt’ year though, I was given a $600 Grant-in-Aid and a free cafeteria meal ticket for one season. None of us ever expected much more. It was mostly for fun although one guy named Ricky Porter did get drafted and spent a few years with the Bills. I think someone bought him a used Toyota but that may be rural legend. The baseball players were the quirkiest, though. They really believed they had a shot at pro ball and wouldn’t shower for a week if they were on a hitting streak. (If only Billy Beane were around then.)

      To all others:

      Even though I requested no comments, thank you. I’ll be glad to sign your T-shirt, kiss your baby on the campaign trail, and get your back at a Flyers game or any comment section where the crowd is acting a little nasty to my home boys.