• 𝒲𝑒𝓁𝒸𝑜𝓂𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝓂𝓎 𝓌𝑒𝒷𝓈𝒾𝓉𝑒! 𝒲𝑜𝓌 𝓁𝑜𝑜𝓀 𝒶𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝑒𝓍𝓉 𝒶𝓁𝓁 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓌𝒶𝓎 𝑜𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓉𝑜𝓅 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓅𝒶𝑔𝑒, 𝓌𝒽𝒶𝓉'𝓈 𝒾𝓉 𝒹𝑜𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒? 𝐼 𝒷𝑒𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉'𝓈 𝓌𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝓎𝑜𝓊'𝓇𝑒 𝓌𝑜𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝒾𝓃𝑔. 𝐼𝒻 𝓎𝑜𝓊'𝓇𝑒 𝓃𝑜𝓉 𝓌𝑜𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓃 𝓂𝒶𝓎𝒷𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊'𝓇𝑒 𝓌𝑜𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓌𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝑔𝑜𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓉𝑜 𝒽𝒶𝓋𝑒 𝒻𝑜𝓇 𝓁𝓊𝓃𝒸𝒽; 𝐼 𝑜𝒻𝓉𝑒𝓃 𝓌𝑜𝓃𝒹𝑒𝓇 𝒶𝒷𝑜𝓊𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉. 𝒜𝓃𝓎𝒽𝑜𝓌, 𝒾𝒻 𝓎𝑜𝓊'𝓇𝑒 𝓈𝓉𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝓇𝑒𝒶𝒹𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝑒𝓍𝓉 𝓈𝒸𝓇𝑜𝓁𝓁, 𝓁𝑒𝓉 𝓂𝑒 𝒿𝓊𝓈𝓉 𝓈𝒶𝓎 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝒾𝓉'𝓈 𝒶 𝓅𝓁𝑒𝒶𝓈𝓊𝓇𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝒽𝒶𝓋𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝑜𝓂𝑒 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓋𝒾𝓈𝒾𝓉 𝓂𝓎 𝓌𝑒𝒷𝓅𝒶𝑔𝑒 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝐼 𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓁𝓁𝓎 𝒽𝑜𝓅𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒻𝑜𝓁𝓁𝑜𝓌 𝒶𝓁𝑜𝓃𝑔 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓂𝒶𝓎𝒷𝑒 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓃 𝒷𝑜𝑜𝓀𝓂𝒶𝓇𝓀 𝒾𝓉 𝓈𝑜 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝒶𝓃 𝓋𝒾𝓈𝒾𝓉 𝒾𝓉 𝓌𝒾𝓉𝒽 𝑒𝒶𝓈𝑒 𝒾𝓃𝓈𝒾𝒹𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝓌𝑒𝒷 𝒷𝓇𝑜𝓌𝓈𝑒𝓇 𝑜𝒻 𝒸𝒽𝑜𝒾𝒸𝑒. 𝐼 𝒶𝓂 𝒶𝓁𝓈𝑜 𝒻𝒶𝒾𝓇𝓁𝓎 𝒶𝒸𝓉𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝑜𝓃 𝒶 𝒽𝑜𝓈𝓉 𝑜𝒻 𝓈𝑜𝒸𝒾𝒶𝓁 𝓂𝑒𝒹𝒾𝒶 𝓅𝓁𝒶𝓉𝒻𝑜𝓇𝓂𝓈 𝓈𝑜 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝒶𝓃 𝒻𝒾𝓃𝒹 𝓂𝑒 𝑜𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑜𝓈𝑒, 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓁𝒾𝓀𝑒, 𝒻𝑜𝓁𝓁𝑜𝓌, 𝓈𝓊𝒷𝓈𝒸𝓇𝒾𝒷𝑒 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝑔𝑒𝓃𝑒𝓇𝒶𝓁𝓁𝓎 𝒿𝓊𝓈𝓉 𝒽𝒶𝓋𝑒 𝒶 𝓁𝑜𝓉 𝑜𝒻 𝒻𝓊𝓃 𝓇𝑒𝒶𝒹𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒶𝓃𝒹, 𝒾𝒻 𝒾𝓉 𝓈𝓉𝓇𝒾𝓀𝑒𝓈 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒻𝒶𝓃𝒸𝓎, *𝓈𝒽𝒶𝓇𝒾𝓃𝑔* (𝓌𝒾𝓃𝓀-𝓌𝒾𝓃𝓀) 𝓂𝓎 𝓅𝑜𝓈𝓉𝓈. 𝒪𝒽, 𝒶𝓁𝓈𝑜, 𝐼 𝒻𝑜𝓇𝑔𝑜𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓉𝒾𝑜𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉 𝓂𝓎 𝓃𝒶𝓂𝑒'𝓈 𝒥𝑒𝒻𝒻 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝐼 𝓁𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝒫𝒽𝒾𝓁𝒶𝒹𝑒𝓁𝓅𝒽𝒾𝒶 𝓃𝑜𝓌. 𝑀𝒶𝓎𝒷𝑒 𝐼'𝓁𝓁 𝓁𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝒶 𝒹𝒾𝒻𝒻𝑒𝓇𝑒𝓃𝓉 𝓅𝒶𝓇𝓉 𝑜𝒻 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓌𝑜𝓇𝓁𝒹 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒻𝓊𝓉𝓊𝓇𝑒, 𝒷𝓊𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓉'𝓈 𝓌𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝐼 𝓁𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝒻𝑜𝓇 𝓃𝑜𝓌. 𝒪𝒦, 𝐼 𝒻𝑒𝑒𝓁 𝓁𝒾𝓀𝑒 𝐼'𝓋𝑒 𝓉𝒶𝓀𝑒𝓃 𝓊𝓅 𝑒𝓃𝑜𝓊𝑔𝒽 𝑜𝒻 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓉𝒾𝓂𝑒 𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 𝑜𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓂𝒶𝓇𝓆𝓊𝑒𝑒𝑒... 𝒮𝑜 𝑔𝑒𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝒸𝓁𝒾𝒸𝓀𝒾𝓃' 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝓈𝒸𝓇𝑜𝓁𝓁𝒾𝓃'! 𝒞𝓁𝒾𝒸𝓀𝒾𝓃'... 𝒮𝒸𝓇𝑜𝓁𝓁𝒾𝓃'...𝒶𝒽, 𝒿𝓊𝓈𝓉 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒷𝑒𝓈𝓉 𝓈𝓉𝓊𝒻𝒻 𝑜𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝑒𝒶𝓇𝓉𝒽 𝒾𝓂𝑜. 𝒜 𝑔𝑜𝑜𝒹 𝓅𝓁𝒶𝒸𝑒 𝓉𝑜 𝓈𝓉𝒶𝓇𝓉 𝓂𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉 𝒷𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒹𝓇𝑜𝓅-𝒹𝑜𝓌𝓃 𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓊 𝒹𝒾𝓇𝑒𝒸𝓉𝓁𝓎 𝒷𝑒𝓁𝑜𝓌, 𝓌𝒽𝒾𝒸𝒽 𝒾𝓈 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓂𝑜𝓈𝓉 𝒸𝑜𝓂𝓅𝓇𝑒𝒽𝑒𝓃𝓈𝒾𝓋𝑒 𝓁𝒾𝓈𝓉 𝑜𝒻 𝒶𝓁𝓁 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒹𝓊𝓂𝒷 𝓅𝓇𝑜𝒿𝑒𝒸𝓉𝓈 𝐼'𝓋𝑒 𝓂𝒶𝒹𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒶𝓇𝓉𝓈. 𝐻𝒶𝓋𝑒 𝒶 𝑔𝑜𝑜𝒹 𝒹𝒶𝓎. 𝒢𝑜𝒷 𝒷𝓁𝑒𝓈𝓈. 💨🤢
   K E Y:  ✄= art ✎= lit ♪= music ✪= video;  = highly recommended content

Monday, September 14, 2015

[R] [U]

I was playing Scrabble™ with my wife Saturday night and the first two tiles I picked were "R" and "U" but let me back up a little bit because context is everything.

I root for Rutgers athletics, primarily football, and also basketball to a lesser degree^. I hopped on the bandwagon in 2006 as a return student to the university, going for a second degree at Rutger's design school. I was 25 years old, I believe. So while I was––and, I guess, still am^ ––a bandwagon-hopper, R.U. is still my alma mater. So there's that. I'm allowed a little more slack in the very dumb world of sports fandom rules and regulations, thank you.

I like rooting for R.U. because they were and are the perennial, NO eternal underdog. Almost literally so. They have the distinction of being the undisputed first college football team. They've also been mostly horrendous for nearly all of those ~150 years of hot football action. The Law of Averages have never caught up with R.U. Despite a decade of more competitive play and relative success, they've still come up short when it mattered most, time and time again.

This has sucked, but it's allowed the R.U. fan to maintain his Chicago Cubsian, sad-sack demeanor. In general, I am going to go hard for the underdog, and in 2006, it felt like I found the perfect NCAA football team^. So for going on ten years, I've cheered on some pretty decent teams, usually going to one or two home games a season, and it's all been fine and dandy. As the sport of football, in general (both pro and college), has been outed as a cesspool of corruption, full of vile, bad people on nearly every tier, it was OK so long as your team(s) stayed relatively clean.

When it was announced before this season that five players––a couple really important ones, among them––had been arrested for assault and kicked off the team, it seemed like the jig was finally up. What was even the point of supporting this crap? Maybe this type of scandal is easy to brush off at the schools who always win, but not for the lovable loser. It can't be both.

But a funny thing happened. I was able to brush it away. I didn't watch the opener but I was happy they were able to blowout Norfolk St. despite the 'distraction' (puke). I checked the score on my phone constantly. I was and am that guy. Willfully ignorant. A fan.

I was hooting and hollering at the TV screen during this past weekend's heartbreaking loss to Washington St. in the final seconds. Because this is what I do. I am true to my school. When I picked that "R" and that "U" out of the Scrabble™ bag, my fate was sealed ad infinitum. The cosmos have dictated that this must continue, that this is the only way. NO MATTER WHAT.

This morning, as I was driving into work, my buddy texted me about star R.U. wideout, Leonte Caroo, far and away Rutgers' best player. There was an incident. I like reading the NJ.com comments sometimes because it keeps me grounded. If I am willfully ignorant then I'm not sure what you would call some of the superfans who only seek to frame incidents like this in terms of next year's recruiting class.

Sports fandom is a sickness. I have a low-grade infection, comparatively. Bring on Penn St.!