I will never have my moon landing moment. However, I have my JFK and/or Pearl Habor (9/11). Every moment that is great during my lifetime is sports related. If you were to ask me to name the first memory that pops into my head from my earliest years; Phil Simms going 22/25 as he led the New York Football Giants to their the first Super Bowl victory in their franchises history in Super Bowl XXI. And I’m miserable because of that.
My parents never liked each other, let alone felt love for one another. Convinced they only had sex twice during their entire marriage: 1) Night of their wedding. Married in October, born in August. Do the math. 2) To save their marriage. My mom refers to my brother as a miracle. You can figure out the rest. Moral of this; I was never taught what love is. At least for a person with affection. For a bunch of guys, twice my size, black, and have no interest in ever meeting me; the outcomes of the games they played determined my meaning in life.
The New York Giants and the New York Mets. I remember sitting in my bedroom praying with a rosary that the Giants would do the impossible and defeat the heavily favored Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV. Those that can’t remember exactly which one that was, aside from the fact there were no turnovers or penalties in the game…It was the Whitney Houston/Persian Gulf War game. Also infamously known as the proof there is a God and he was happily answering my prayers that night; Scott Norwood wide right. As I was kneeling in front of my television on my 8th Hail Mary, my father was sitting on the couch and wouldn’t say a word to me. And he DEFINITELY wasn’t saying a word to my mother, his wife. We Hannigan’s HAD to be focused. I hope this is the exact moment you are truly picking up my cynicism about how absurd our behaviors were…Are.
For some it’s wealth, some health, some religion, ours was Giants and Mets. That is what our happiness was contingent upon. This is by no means a unique situation. Christ, I grew up in Rutland Fucking Vermont, not Green Bay, Wisconsin.
The thing is though, I’m coming to the conclusion more and more every day as to how ridiculously foolish this is.
How in the hell is my life better if the Giants or Mets win? I don’t know, but what I do know is for some goddamn reason it’s worse if they don’t! A shithoused drunken gambleholic on ecstasy in Vegas wouldn’t make that bet. But I do, every year, for 16 weeks of the fall/winter and 25 weeks during the spring and summer. And it makes me loath tomorrow.
Do me a favor, for those of you that read this and want to try a test of your own well-being; Tomorrow morning, listen to talk radio. Now, successful talk radio is at least 75% negative (A guy yelling at you and bitching about the absolutely most pointless, meaningless shit) and 25% of a “straight guy or gal” being the voice of reason. But what the guy screaming at you like a televangelist trying to sell you steak knives that are so sharp God would use them is trying to do, is get you, the listener, to become you, the caller. Just so I, the listener, that won’t call, is privileged to hear Barry in Putney bitch about the lack of the Yankees farm system.
And the day after that, listen to music.
See how you feel that morning, day, and night. Juxtapose it against the previous day. Chew on it, taste it, then digest it, and then think about how many people that YOU know that listen to talk radio. Then think about how pleasant they are.
Now, one could blame talk radio. But how many people on this earth watch a fucking pro football game? Soccer match? 150 Million people watch the last NFL game of the year. i.e. the Super Bowl. 1/3 of them could tell you want a touchback is. Everybody is intrigued by sports. I feel I’m one of those that’s obsessive fascination with it may have already impacted my life in a negative light.
But my love of sports is only the superficial subject, the deeper analysis should have the first inquiry of: “What is important to me?”
Aristotle wrote in his “Nicomachean Ethics” of eudaimonia. Eudaimonia is essentially translated as:happiness is doing well and living well.
Is wellness subjective? No. Being healthy is a fact. Which I am physically, but mentally? Those fucking Mets…True story, Bryce Harper just homered to put the Nationals up by one in the 4th as I’m writing this. As soon as that happened I wanted to slam my laptop shut and eat some Ben & Jerry’s. Of course, Gary Cohen had to say: “The Mets have handled Harper quite well over the past couple years”. Thanks douche.
And this is why I can’t have nice things…
My brain hurts too much trying to figure out what happiness is, let alone what makes me happy. But what I do know; my go to every night is what is going on in sports, and every day I wake up sad. Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but my point is, or the sole inquiry that needs to be made: Is watching the NY Mets and the New York Football Giants worth it?
Ask me when the Mets win the World Series…