Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A Cinderella Story

I am more excited about Penn's matchup tonight against #1 Duke than I have reason to be. The NBA factory is favored by 22 points. But, as far as I'm concerned, anyone who lets a spread detract from excitement is not worthy of being called a college basketball fan. You know, come to think of it, I'm not a big fan of anybody or anything defeatist in this world.

Holding aside a fanatical devotion to Penn basketball, I find something incredibly compelling and inspiring in an underdog. It's the thread that runs through my favorite movies. Braveheart, Rudy, Rounders, Scarface and Rocky all trace eventual triumph through peril and adversity.

I'm inspired when Rudy runs through the tunnel and on to the field of Notre Dame Stadium.

My heart beats just a little faster when Stallone climbs the steps of the Art Museum in Rocky's training montage.

I well up when the Scots charge the fields of Bannockburn to recapture their independence from the English. Seriously. I don't think I'll ever tire of seeing Hamish's sword barrel through the darkened sky.

Now, I agree movies and sports are trivial examples of this theme. Though, I don't think that makes the emotional appeal any less salient. These stories are uplifting and comprise modern day mythology. But, if it's real life struggle you're after, there's no need to look all that far. It may not be particularly dignified or stylized, but the same tales are all around us. And often, these everyday heroes don't get to choose their adventures.

That's why I'll be there for Mom every step of the way during treatment. It's just another set of Rocky steps to climb.

That's also why I'll be heading to the only semblance of a sports bar in Palo Alto this afternoon. It's just another platoon of English troops to ravage.


At 8:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

tell your mom a former student is thinking of her and wishes her luck in her battle - she is a wonderful teacher.

At 9:56 PM, Blogger NYC Guy said...

that really means a lot to me to hear something like that. though, since mom doesn't know i write a blog (or, probably, what a blog is), it might come off as strange that a random student wishes her well.

thanks for thinking of her. i will pass it along.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger Darth Weasel said...

Cancer sucks and I feel for you and her and wish her the best.
As for the Yankee thing...I would hate them if they never won another game simply because of the reverance so many people have for New York. As if the town itself is too cool, worthy of love and devotion and should be the Holy Pilgrimage for every U.S. citizen. I have come in my cynicism to hate everything about that city and actually bristle every time someone says anything good about the city or any of its towns. Illogical? Probably. But then again, the emotional investment in sports so many of us have is illogical also.

At 12:15 AM, Blogger NYC Guy said...

i appreciate the thought. as for your new york state of mind, i suppose i'll just leave it as a case over which reasonable minds may differ.


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