Posted by: coloradokiwi | March 7, 2008

Time-Space Vortexes with High Relativity Fields Are Really Bad for Hail Mary Plays

Barack Obama was poised to maybe, just maybe, put Clinton away last Tuesday.  Granted, in order to seal the game he had to nail a 55-yard field goal, and he almost did it:  having essentially tied her in Texas, but coming away with a handful more delegates, he pulled the equivalent of basically donking the ball off the upright:  SO close, but not the game clincher, and providing a bit of spark and momentum to the other team.

In game terms, Clinton’s team has under a minute to move the ball 70 yards upfield, with no timeouts, only one challenge left (MI and FL delegates), needing a touchdown to tie the game, and key players bickering with each other in the huddle.  Clinton’s already made one first down, because Obama’s team was playing prevent defense.  Note to Barack:  don’t do anything foolish like put yourself in man coverage.  Take a page from the Giants’ playbook and send in the odd blitz!  Cripes man, you need a turnover on downs, not run out the clock!  If she gets close enough, a single blown coverage or referee’s decision could change the game.  Sure, it looks unlikely, but it can happen.

Anyway, all this metaphor is a way of saying:  this is very exciting, and just like other big games (this is the conference championship, not the Super Bowl per se), it is among one of the rare ones to be a truly excellent game and not a blowout decided by the first few minutes of the third quarter.  As non-committed fans watch our teams play, they hopefully will acquire some appreciation, maybe even fandom, for one team or the other.  We are watching history unfold!  Yay!

Except, there is a problem.  Now, as Clinton’s team has the ball and is desperately trying to move up the field, we are metaphorically caught in a bit of a time-space vortex in watching the endgame.  What should be a tantalizing, exciting thing to watch is kind of ruined by the fact that in this age of blogging and the 24-hour news cycle, we in the crowd are going hyper-speed, while the game is still being played according to an old school primary calendar.  So the effect is that to us the game appears to be moving in such ultra slo-mo that we can see every particle of grass kicked up, every hand movement, every nuance of every player in high definition.  Given this level of detail, the crowd is groaning, cheering, and hyperventillating over the equivalent of a wrongly placed foot-plant, hand to the face, clutched jersey, badly run route, and so on — all the stuff that happens in any given play, but is taken little notice of were we to see it unfold in “regular time.”

As a result, the partisans in the crowd are getting really raucous and ugly, screaming at the other side, “Did you see that?!” in alternately accusatory and haughty tones.  The players themselves are stuck in the same mental space we are, but can only actually move their bodies in super slo-mo, while the game clock tics with excruciating slowness.  The result is that things in the stands are starting to simmer, and there are small-scale brawls breaking out that could spread across the stadium.  Meanwhile the players are doing what they do normally:  playing the game, and doing what they can to gain advantage without drawing any penalties.  It ain’t perfectly clean, but that’s the game.

My point is this:  qua Atrios, Big Ink, and others, it is the partisans in the crowd who are making this thing uglier than it needs to be, and rather than rooting hard and enjoying a damn fine spectacle that will leave the winner the better for having come through victorious, we are ruining the game for ourselves before it is even close to actually over.  And the partisans of that other team, the real fucking evil bastards, watch us bloody ourselves and our candidates so as to undermine our chances for winning the big one in November.   We want our conference champ to emerge victorious, hungry, and looking really damned dangerous.

So, you know, pour over the minutiae of this spectacle if you like, but don’t get carried away by the nastiness of a hard fought final drive.  Whoever ends up with the victory, we need the conference champ to win the Super Bowl — that is far and away the most important thing.

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Responses

  1. I like the metaphor…well done! To take it a step further, superdelegates = shady officiating staff?

  2. Hehe, could be. Although in practice, the superdelegates are a nefarious cabal of officials, gamblers and boosters. Or to switch metaphors for a moment, they’re like the judges at an Olympic swimming or gymnastics competition, back in the good ol’ days when they had them divided between NATO and Warsaw Pact countries, with the occasional random unaligned country like South Africa thrown in (man, not even the Soviets wanted to touch Appartheid).

    …(in Soviet Russia, candidate elects YOU!)


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