Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch is autobiographical, all about his life-long obsession with the Arsenal soccer team. After all, football is life to many Londoners. The book has been made into two different movies, an English version that stays true to Arsenal, and a US version that finds a common truth in Boston Red Sox baseball.
I look at fashion and high society sometimes, and I wonder how people can be so obsessed by something so entirely meaningless. Other people look at sports that way. But they’re both a form of art, imitating life, representing life on a stage, in caricature.
I had the pleasure of watching part of a Red Sox playoff game last weekend with a friend from Boston. Baseball is a game that takes dedication to really appreciate it. With so many psychological factors at play, if you don’t understand the subtleties, you won’t understand the art. On the surface, it just looks like a slow, boring game to be tolerated, and only enjoyed when accompanied by lots of beer.
But he made it fun. He talked about the rabid Red Sox fans, and we cheered when a Boston boy grabbed the ball just before it hit the opponent’s glove. He gave us full explanations of what was happening beyond the pitching and the batting and the running and the fielding, and through his words, I had a new taste for the sport.
I guess sometimes the best of life is in those details, in frivolous passions and common joys.
Oh, and one last thing? Go Cowboys!