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Confessions Of A Sports Pollyanna

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I don’t think we should burn it down. This season sucks but for the moment my Manning support is still staunch. I dislike anger in sports. Why? Let’s talk.

Wake Forest v Duke Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

So basketball sucks right now. 5 losses in a row, several of which could and probably should have been wins. Baffling lineups. Boneheaded guard play. Bryant Crawford, much as I love the guy, tanking his draft stock in incredible fashion. So why am I not mad?

Well, I am mad. Especially in short term, I RAGE at sports. Swear, cast aspersions, lose all public dignity. I hatewatch sports more than I probably should, reveling in the failures of the Alabama Crimson Tide, New England Patriots, and Golden State Warriors. I freak out, swearing off sports when someone I hate succeeds (looking at you, AFCCG). Sports can often ruin my day. But here’s the thing; I get it out, and then I’m mostly at peace.

Here’s the thing though, folks. I have a whole lot of negative feelings in my life about things far, far more consequential than a sporting event. I’m not saying anyone reading this doesn’t. We all have our challenges, especially these days. I use sports as an escape, and thankfully my sporting rage and sorrow is something relatively easily purged. Not so for the more consequential things in our world right now.

I do genuinely believe we’ll be alright. I think next season will be significantly better, and if it’s not, well then we need to revisit this question. But we can’t tell the future. Sure there’s smart money, but this season is so freaking weird and the entirety of Wake men’s basketball has been such a quagmire for such a long time that it’s hard to know where certaiin things begin and end. Could last season have been a freak accident with John Collins balling out in spite of both coaches and teammates? Yes. Could this season prove to be a bump in the road on the way to much brighter days? The odds on that are probably a bit longer but I believe it’s possible and I’d say the odds aren’t super long one way or the other.

I could go on and on about how why I think firing Manning and/or Wellman is risky at best and potentially a big mistake at worst, but I won’t. I’m just going to do me. I NEED to believe it’s going to be alright and accept that many things, including staffing decisions, are mostly out of my hands anyway. I cause myself existential frustration about things I wish I could change about our world on a daily basis, from my non-blogging career to watching or reading the news to my personal life. I guess I just made a decision a long time ago to make sports the smallest piece of that dread pie, as much as possible. Doesn’t mean I’m blind. Just means I choose to have a little more hope. If you think that makes me a moron who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, feel free. You can’t please everybody, and you can disagree even with people you like and respect. I disagree with Riley a fair bit these days, he’ll tell you, and Riley’s a good friend.

There’s only one more thing on this issue that I want to address. Emotions are running high, and in that, really ugly things get said, even around here, which is a hugbox compared to some of the more ruthless corners of the internet. We’re all Wake fans for crying out loud, and if somebody doesn’t attack you personally, why does it go there? I’ve been guilty of it myself in the past, but seriously, there are lines, and lately some have been getting crossed. I’m sure we can all agree that that’s unfortunate.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Plenty is wrong, but I’m gonna continue to do all I can to be a voice focusing as much as possible on what is or will be right, because hope can be in short supply lately. Thanks to everyone for reading, to quote ska stalwarts Reel Big Fish, I’m going to leave you with this.

I know everything sucks, yeah, but this is gonna be the last time you hear me complain.

--SF