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Soup of This Day #141: We’re Seeing Things In A Different Way And God Knows It Ain’t His

February 21, 2012

Assorted potato varieties
Various varieties of potatoes, all of which would be nice as chips. Or chips – Photo: Scott Bauer, 2004. Scott Bauer is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

On the way to work this morning I got stuck behind a car that had a large message stuck to it’s back window. It stretched across the width of the glass and simply said:

‘Only God Can Fudge Me’

This caused me amusement for 2 minutes, followed by another 3 minutes of consternation. Why would God fudge people?

Maybe it’s ironic – I see lots of people driving around with stickers proclaiming ‘DILLIGAF’ which apparently is an acronym of ‘Do I Look Like I Give A @#$%’.

Ahem… Well, you did kinda go and buy the sticker… And then you stuck it on your car… So I’d have to say that YDGAF and that the sticker is laden with irony.

Meanwhile, back to gods and fudge and after 5 minutes it occurred to me that I wasn’t very good at reading cursive in peak hour traffic and that the message probably read:

‘Only God Can Judge Me’

Which makes sense but is nowhere near as fun. I had devised a sort of alternative church thing:

‘God has blown off the wafers and wine for today and instead it’s caramel soft ball candy fudge and Little Creatures Pilsner. Oh and Steve Tyler will be leading the choir.’

This in turn got me thinking about appropriate times to chow down on food with a nice beer as a chaser. This is topical for Red Sox fans right now because the Sox are back into spring training and in an effort to fill column inches we’re going back over the fried-chicken-plus-beer-in-the-clubhouse thing again.

For those who came in late – The Sox redefined the roller coaster as a piece of sports equipment last year – The media-anointed ‘Greatest Team Ever’ started in a 2 and 10 rut before getting seriously hot. By September 3 they were just 1/2 a game adrift of the Yankees for the AL East lead and crucially, they had a 9 game march over the Rays for the wild card.

And then September happened.

Bad September.

The Sox bombed, missing the playoffs, at least in baseball anyway – They did make the playoffs in Introspection, eventually reaching the World Series of Self-Destruction, principally by eating their young. By the time it was all done the Manager and the General Manager were gone and everyone was looking for reasons as to how it had all gone so wrong.

1 of the candidates and a prime target for the media was a clubhouse ritual amongst starters on their days off that involved them enjoying some fried chicken, beer and video games while the rest of the gang tried to win ballgames. The key part was that this was during game time. Baseball is a team sport and most sporting outfits I’ve played with require you to show willing for your team, even when you’re not involved – 1 football team in particular had a rule that when you were injured you still had to travel to games and even training – if only to support the lads.

Hammering the Xbox with some KFC is not supporting the lads. And not just because you’re gonna grease up the controllers for everyone else.

So the lack of respect for your guys is the problem and it’s a sign that maybe attitudes weren’t 100%. That’s not in of itself a major thing – It’s not the cause of the September collapse, more a small piece of a puzzle that has a World Series ring as a prize. So that gets fixed with some simple instructions, everyone has a good-natured mea culpa and we get on with that spring pre-season buzz. And heck, there’s little issue with the consumption of fried chicken as a nutritional thing – I’m presuming that the strength and conditioning guys were on top of that.

Personally, my brother and I used to warm down from a kick-to-kick session with a large bag of salt and vinegar chips each. And sometimes a beer. Some days we actually warmed up with a large bag of salt and vinegar chips.

And a beer.

Sidebar: In Australia the term ‘chips’ is used to refer to what some people call ‘potato crisps’. We also use it to refer to thick cut potato fries. This may sound like a bucket of potato-based confusion but the context usually straightens things out. For example, if I’m asking for salt and vinegar chips I mean potato crisps, while if I’m saying that I’m gonna get a regular chips from the local take-out I mean thick-cut potato fries.

And if I ask for a 20kg bag of chips that means that I need some pine wood mulch for the garden so that I can grow some more potatoes.

The problem with my plan to move on is that nobody seems to want to – The media is fixated on it and it keeps cropping up in interviews. Bobby V is with the troops down at the brand new JetBlue Park facility in Fort Myers, Florida for spring training and during 1 interview mentioned that he had made a decision on beer in the clubhouse but wouldn’t discuss it with the media until he’d chatted with the players.

Smart and respectful call Bobby.

It’s not just the media though either – Some Red Sox players are frustrated that this stuff keeps coming up and that’s probably fair enough for most. For some though there has been no sign that they get it – That they understand that fans want to know that this @#$% is done with and that we’re not going to be subjected to fried-chicken-plus-beer-in-the-clubhouse stories again for 2012. Yeah, we move on, but they have to understand that what happened in September doesn’t just occur naturally – There are reasons and they have just got to be dealt with or you’re going to head down that road again and again.

Adrian Gonzalez is 1 guy that fits the bill of denial – He’s never been a run-it-out-to-1st guy and maybe that’s not so bad – There is an argument to be made that those kinds of efforts don’t win games. I reckon though, that while they might not make the difference by themselves, they do make up 0.25% of what you need – Get enough of these little things together and you’ve got yourself a winning habit.

For 1 football team I turned out for we had a game that we had not prepared for. Actually it’s more correct to say that we anti-prepared – 2 of our players had been knocking back White Russians (Vodka + Kahlúa) in the warm-up and a 3rd was wacked out on… Maybe weed, maybe something else. We were a freaking mess and we should have been creamed like that Kahlúa.

We weren’t.

We won.

It finished something like 5-3 to us with possibly-stoned guy (We’ll call him Carl) netting a frankly brilliant hat-trick and at least 1 of the drunks finding the goals as well. The highlight though was a week later at our next game when Carl showed up just prior to kick-off. He was back with reality and was asked if he was going to play like he had the previous week:

‘I played last week?’ he asked brightly, ‘How’d I do?’

A-Gon doesn’t have that kind of issue (I hope) but his post-season assertion that the Sox de-planed in September because, ‘God didn’t have it in the cards for us,’ isn’t really the right level of self-reflection to encourage 2012 hopes. Elaborated Gonzo:

‘I’m a firm believer that God has a plan and it wasn’t in his plan for us to move forward.’

Here’s the thing Adrian – Maybe only God can judge you but I reckon he’d want you to run to 1st, even on low percentage grounders. And I reckon, if He is not too busy elsewhere, He might just want the whole team to be pulling as 1 unit from the dugout on game-day. You know, looking like they give a fudge.

Earn that caramel soft ball candy this year guys – Earn it or wear the questions.

We’re Seeing Things In A Different Way And God Knows It Ain’t His

3 Comments
  1. Bad September. Sounds like you are scolding it. Bad, bad September. (agreed…)

    • We haven’t actually blamed the month yet but now that you mention it – September 2011 was well below the September standard previously set and was ultimately a poor performance by a month that I think we’ve all come to respect in a sporting sense. I can only hope that it’s taking a good hard look at itself and maybe having a think about it’s place in the line-up. October is circling and I think has maybe looked good to move up a slot.

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