06 January 2010

The Game

Last night I executed my plan that I set out here a week ago. I watched the University of Iowa football team play in the Orange Bowl in Miami. The little gal at Manolo's put it on the big screen for me. Everyone else in attendance was nicely neutral.

It was an object lesson. Again, my only objective going in was to prevent the Hawkeyes from embarrassing and humiliating themselves through the force of my own will. At the outset I really did not care whether they won or lost. I simply wanted them to play well, and I was concentrating on that. My head was in the right place in other words.

Then, much to my surprise, they jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead. They were playing very well. That is precisely when I started to backslide into my old counterproductive mind set. Suddenly, I was not satisfied with the fact that they were playing well. Suddenly, I wanted them to win. And as soon as I started wanting them to win, all hell broke loose. In the blink of an eye, it seemed, the score was 17-14 and the game was very close.

Thank goodness I realized what had happened in my head before it was too late, and I was able to readjust my frame of mind at the beginning of the fourth quarter. The Hawkeyes won.

Now there is a pretty example of how a solipsist partakes of spectator sports. He actually believes that he can affect the outcome of an athletic contest with his own mind. And that is precisely why he must be very careful about how often he partakes of this. It is more seductive for him than heroin after the first pop.

I shall now leave spectator sports alone until the beginning of the World Cup in South Africa. . .

On second thought I might take in one or two basketball games this winter. Just to keep my hand in while I await the World Cup. I do not see what harm that could do.


Bloggerboy FFM said...

Bravo and Congrats. Dale Carnegie would be proud of you. The power of positive thinking or somesuch. It was amazing to me to see how quickly I descended into a world of superstition when rooting for my alma mater. Unberable the thought that something one did might jinx the team.

Great Hunter Thompson quote on the side, too. Too bad Hunter let fear get the better of him, too, in the end.

Four Dinners said...

Football??? Football???? Good grief.

Soccer is football and American Football is for pansies mate. - I remember one of the Superbowl winners refusing to play The British Lions as part of the deal was no padding!!!!


(Actually I do like it...I'm just sulking cause The Dolphins are useless right now)...;-)

John said...

There is a school of thought that says that if you think positive thoughts into the universe, the universe will reward you with positive things. With that in mind, please solipsize the Hawkeye basketball team.

Anonymous said...

This is one of the oldest pitfalls one runs into while watching an event they care about. Right up there with mentioning how well one's team is performing or wearing one's newest team shirt/accessory to the match. These are laws which have a scientifically verifiable basis. They are not to be confused with superstitions, which are best dealt with a; "Screw it. If (insert team) have such fragile karma that they can't even overcome the fact that I didn't (insert ritual), then the bastards don't deserve to win in the first place."

On a side note, a blog is begging to be written about cultural differences in sports event attire. Like answering the question, "What compulsion drives so many southern white men to insist on wearing khakis, dress shirts, sweater vests, and loafers to a college football game?"