Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Diagnosis: Drowning Rat Syndrome

I've been pretty lax in posting recently. There's a reason for it. You see, I've been dealing with a personal illness that has simply limited my ability to care. Doctors don't have a name for it, but I've decided to call it Drowning Rat Syndrome.

Here's how it works. Let's say you are emotionally and physically tied up in the ultimate success or failure of your favorite football team. Now let's say that your team appears to be solid, has a good D and an offense that leads or is near the top of the league in most important categories. Now let's say your team has exploded all over a hated division rival, and is up 17 points on that division rival with 10 minutes to go in the game. Then assume that your team just stops playing.

Being up 17 points with 10 minutes to go and then losing, see, that's what I liken to a rat -- drowning in a toilet -- who has almost made it to the top, and is juuuust on the cusp of being able to clamber out and save it's own life. But then, it slips back into the water, forced to try that awkward climb once more... Let's say the rat tries this several more times. All the while, that favorite team is playing supposedly inferior opponents like New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and the Jags. As a fan, you get up, you have hope in a victory (reasonable or not), before each one of these games. Even when the team gets off to a shaky start, you tell yourself that they're notoriously slow starters, they can pull it out in the second half.

Now, assume that that favorite team teases its fans and comes close to beating all those inferior teams. The defense does a pretty steady job of keeping the team above water, and the offense gets countless opportunities to put some points on the board --keeping you just on the edge of that proverbial toilet bowl leading to freedom, happiness, and life-- but then keeps slipping you back into that toilet as a fan to drown. Each time that rat has to gear itself back up for another climb. Each slip during each climb, that rat has to tell itself that it's just a minor setback, it's going to make it to the top.

But there comes a time when the rat just has to give up, and prepare itself for the afterlife. Worn out from swimming, and climbing, and slipping to the point of death by the effort of trying to climb out, trying to stay afloat, trying to keep from drowning... At a certain point, it just gives up, and lets the water overtake it.

That's where I am in the season right now.


Blogger Dave Popstar said...

I feel you. Welcome to Negadelphia, my friend. It's about time you came over to this side of The Force...

Anyway, I dig the drowning rat syndrome. It's kind of like my Eagles Fan Syndrome, which is essentially similar to battered woman snydrome, a form of post-traumatic stress disorder. But EFS goes more to explaining how and why we remain faithful fans year after fateful year.

At this point in the season, I believe DRS is a great description for a huge chunk of us.

But riddle me this: in a recent philly.com poll that asked if Reid can actually get the team headded back towards the playoffs, 32% of the respondents actually said (or clicked) yes. As of this writing, that's 956 people out of 3017 total. Who are these 956 delusional people?


10/31/2006 8:31 PM  
Blogger Paulomon Grundy said...

The question you need to ask, JDubs, is how did the Rat end up in the toilet in the first place? Maybe it wants to be there? Maybe...it insists upon itself?

In any case, I too welcome you to Hell that is Negadelphia. It's been a comfy little place to be for the last 30 or so years.

11/01/2006 9:07 AM  
Blogger J Dubs said...

Popstar, Bush is still polling at 37%. The point? There's always going to be some 30% of people who do not live uin the reality-basde world. For them, Reid is Christ reborn in the flesh, and he will rapture them up to that Lombardi trophy.

Now excuse me while I ride this flush to wherever it sees fit to take me...

11/01/2006 11:14 AM  
Blogger Dave Popstar said...

Good point, but I think that W's people (who include not just his staff, but the myriad of conservative pundits, talk show hosts and the entire Fox "News" network) do a better job of spinning W's failures than anyone could do spinning Reid's failures. I mean in football, there's no question who lost. You can't hide the score in confidential documents or claim executive privilege or try to invoke some type of war powers justification. So I think it's even more shocking that there are 32% of the respondents who think Reid can actually turn things around, given his recent history. That's alls I'm sayin'.

11/01/2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger J Dubs said...

True. I guess there's just a lot of dumb Eagles fans out there. Us included.

11/01/2006 11:32 AM  
Blogger Dave Popstar said...

Well, I believe ALL Iggles fans are at least hard-headed by nature. We must like pain.

It looks like ALL Philadelphia sports teams are heading into a nuclear winter. How could such a great sports city have such horrible luck?

11/01/2006 11:37 AM  
Blogger Paulomon Grundy said...

It's not luck. A negative cloud hangs over this city, bringing down our sports teams along with the general populace (like Mike Schmidt's quote). Philly is a tough place to play - not a lot of positive commentary from fans in general. Ever notice we rarely have miracles work in our favor, but rather teams routinely pull off miracles against us (like 62 yard field goals). Behold, the Essence of Negadelphia.

11/01/2006 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't talk. Drowning.

11/01/2006 4:24 PM  

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