Tuesday, January 23, 2007

A Grief Observed and The Problem of Pain: Thoughts On The Original Baylor Sports Blog by C.S. Lewis

Other than the team lead by Mulk, hallowed be her name, I've said many times Baylor sports are about hope, not actualization, always about the promise of tomorrow, never today. Much like Charlie Brown I come into every season believing that this is the year, and every year the harsh reality in the form of a she-devil named Lucy pulls the ball out from under me resulting in immediate physical discomfort and the more lasting sting of emotional pain for being duped by the same old trick. I had my Lucy moment this season against mediocre South Carolina. The B played well, had a lead late, and then the next thing I know I'm flat on my back, cursing myself for being a sucker.

I didn't give up on the B that day. I can't quit you and you know it; besides, despite the recent setbacks the women's team is headed for greatness. But for the men's team, I'd watch the games and cheer them on, but I would cease to believe. So I did what I've done a million times before and what anyone else would have done in my position . I started huffing gas and reading the works of the literary discussion group The Inklings. I happened upon a lesser known member of the group, C.S. Lewis, better known as Clive Staples Lewis.

Apparently, Clive, early in his Oxford career, initiated a "Oxford in Baylor" program. Clive, like all intelligent people, instantly fell in love with the the B and the thriving metropolis of Waco. However, Clive realized not all was well. Students, faculty, staff, and locals were often happy, but on occasion, usually when discussing the B's athletic endeavors, a grim expression would descend upon their faces. They implored this medieval scholar and avid cricket fan to please explain to them why Baylor sports fans must suffer. Clive took it upon himself to study this problem and held a series of symposiums on the subject. Over the course of several summers and numerous B v. Agrics football games, Clive gathered his thoughts into several books. As an aside, Clive often would say the Agrics reminded him of Cambridge, the only difference being the beautiful campus, intellectual environment, sense of humor, and running water. Clive attempts to make all long-suffering B fans feel better in The Problem of Pain:
Try to exclude the possibility of suffering which the order of nature and the existence of free-wills involve, and you find that you have excluded life itself.
So in other words, to live life as a Baylor fan is to suffer. There is no other way.
Clive also speaks about my Lucy moment directly in A Grief Observed:
Oh, God, God, why did you take such trouble to force this creature out of its shell, if it's now doomed to crawl back ā€” to be sucked back ā€” into it?
Exactly, why Baylor, why do you do to this to me every time? Why do you toy with me? But gradually, after reading over his body of work on Baylor I felt comforted. I realized I'm not alone, that my condition is no different than dozens of my fellow B sport's fans. I realized that suffering is not the point of being a B fan, but merely a side effect of my free will choosing to root for them. For some reason, my understanding of choosing pain made it more acceptable. I'm done with the Inklings for now and as soon as I finish off this last gallon of unleaded I'll stop huffing, but I'm back believing that one day I'll kick the football or at least land a nasty stiff arm to Lucy's skull.

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4 Comments:

  • I just want the Bearmeat editorial board to know that I was accepted to the B's grad school today... I find it so appropriate that you put the picture of Lucy pulling the football away - I feel Waco calling to me once more, another year of not winning a SLC championship, another year of disappointing football and basketball teams, another year of some of the most beautiful women in Texas walking past me with cell phone glued to their ear!

    And then I begin to ponder the possibilities of a breakthrough year! Bowl games! Other things that might mean retribution from the 11 other tormentors of our league. I mean.... we can go 6-6 next year right?

    Right?

    We'll see what happens.

    Sic 'em

    By Anonymous Brandon Dean Price, at 10:44 PM  

  • Speaking of pain, Baylor men's basketball coach Scott Drew underwent an emergency appendectomy Tuesday. Drew expects to be on the bench (prone? supine?) Wednesday night, when his Bears play Kansas.

    By Anonymous Scamp, at 5:51 AM  

  • The Good Judge drops knowledge like a learned professor with a truth addiction - this post is now binding legal precedent in Texas.

    BDP: Waco We Do reliving your undergrad days in the promised land - welcome back. Your return is hopefully a symbol of the B's return to greatness - or perhaps a devolution to the Steele/Bliss years; we're not sure which.

    Scamp: Our prayers are with Drew. We will sacrifice a Pi Phi pledge to ensure his recovery.

    By Blogger Red Andrews, at 7:40 AM  

  • A return to Waco? How did you ever leave us? You will find that we have remained diligent caretakers in your absence. The wheat is plentiful and we have enough provisions to last through several more harsh winters.

    I wish Drew the quickest of recoveries. Iā€™m sure his illness was responsible for at least half of our deficit against the J-Hays.

    By Blogger Judge Baylor, at 11:27 PM  

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