I felt let down again by Mike & Mike this morning. From almost the moment I turned on the radio, they talked about how somebody had a legitimate criticism of their show, and let this go for a couple segments. The suspense was killing me, probably purposely done. As loyal readers might guess, I have a few criticisms of Mike & Mike. That's going to be true of any show, of course. And Mike & Mike isn't a bad show (try listening to Colin Cowherd sometime), but I'm not sure I would say it's a good show. I've griped here about the show before. I struggle to call it a sports show. It's excellent if you want to hear football news. It's pretty decent for baseball during baseball season. Basketball? Not outside the playoffs. Hockey? I'm not entirely sure Greenie or Golic realize it exists. Are there reasons for this? Sure. Golic is an ex-NFL player. Football (unless a protracted lock-out really changes things) is easily the most popular sport these days.* So, yes, football reigns supreme. Golic does seem to be a legitimate big-time Indians fan, so I'm sure that helps along the baseball talk during baseball season. But don't expect much during the winter. Hockey, unfortunately, is not as popular in this country as I think it should be, plus ESPN lost that contract to Versus/NBC. So that gets sadly ignored. Basketball, though, I don't quite understand why it gets the short end.
*I've got my issues about this, too, but it is an undeniable fact. Maybe I'll write about that tomorrow.
The NBA is shown on ESPN and ABC, so it seems it would be good business for Mike & Mike to talk it up. And Greenie kind of got his big break covering the Jordan-era Bulls, so you think he would be all for talking basketball. But it seems to be totally ignored in favor of off-season football talk unless it's the playoffs. That's a big problem for me. If you want to call it a football show, that's fine. But let's be honest about what we're tuning into.
Another issue (which seems to have gotten slightly better) is the roles they play. Golic is not a dumb guy. He has his degree from Notre Dame, which isn't exactly Indiana St.* I would also guess ND Finance & Management isn't the easiest course of study. Again, I'm not an alum, maybe I'm wrong. But that would be my guess. Greenie is also not some pencil-neck geek. He's been around sports, apparently playing sports through high school. Even at a small high school, you have to have some athletic talent to play at that level. But, to listen to the roles they play, you would think Golic is just like every dumb jock you knew in high school, and Greenie had never set foot on an athletic field. It's just insulting to everybody.
*Sorry, Sycamores, but your academic reputation is not great.
I could go on, but I need to wrap up this story, as there's more I want to get to. None of these issues were tackled. Instead, as I was pulling into work, Greenie talked about an email a listener had sent him. To paraphrase, she said if you hadn't watched Lakers-Mavericks game last night (which Dallas won), you wouldn't think the Mavs had much to do with winning that game. Just one excuse after another about why the Lakers didn't play to potential. Greenie owned up to it, and gave a good rationalization for it. When we think something, whether it be a game or business deal or whatever, is going to happen one way and it doesn't, it's common to start figuring out why you were wrong instead of just reporting what your eyes told you. So, rather than to say the Mavs really clamped down their defense to facilitate their big comeback, you talk about how the Lakers went cold and panicked at the end. This isn't just a Mike & Mike problem, everybody does that. Good to Greenie to talk about it, but I was disappointed.
Now, the other thing I wanted to touch on, which inspired the title. Joe Posnanski, who you may know is my favorite writer going today, has recently started doing a podcast. Or Poscast, if you will. In his latest, he chatted with Ian O'Conner, who wrote a book about Derek Jeter. A very good book, by all accounts, though I haven't read it. As you might expect, most of the podcast focused around Derek Jeter and his struggles this year.* That, then, inspired Joe to write this excellent (if depressing) article. Basically saying you can rage against that good night all you want, but time marches on. And, eventually, time will march without you. And you never see it coming.
*49 hits away from 3,000. I'm a card-carrying Yankee-Hater, but I am rooting for Jeter to get there.
I have been going through a bit of an existential crisis. If you click on that link, it will take you to a Wikipedia article, and I can tell you that I'm a Case 2. I'm not exactly sure what triggered it. This is a big year for me. I'm turning 25 and getting married this year. I don't know if that's what actually got me thinking about morality. I'm sure it played a role in prodding me along, that realization that I am no longer a kid. Life is by no means infinite, and at some point will end. And then what? Well, nobody really knows. And, well, that's bothersome, to say the least. Sure, everybody's got their theories with varying levels of certainty. Most of them are religious and many have very strong conviction about this. The problem, though, is that's the reason it's faith. There is a reason it's called belief. You don't have to believe in gravity. You can see it at work. You don't have to believe your hand will get burnt if you put it on a hot stove. You can find that out for yourself. But, well, unlike the seafaring explorers of old, nobody comes back from death to tell us what is waiting for us. If anything is waiting for us. And that is what I can't bear.
I understand I do not have enough time. I do not have enough time or wealth to do everything, see everything, know everything. I do feel fortunate to live in a world rich enough that I will never claim its treasures or know all its secrets. Not even the great trees of the northwest that have been growing for millennia can claim that. But, to be denied that chance to see what I missed in life is too terrible to contemplate. Which, of course, I have been contemplating, which leads to the crisis. I comfort myself thinking this gets easier, but Joe kindly kicks me in nuts and tells me it doesn't.
So, how to end this. Well, that's kind of point, isn't it? There is no end here. It's that grand old human condition. Until humans can claim immortality, the only end does nothing to answer these questions. Of course, immortality wouldn't answer these questions, either. Just severely delay every individual's discovery. All I can do is keep my fervent belief that someday I will get to the great research library in the sky.