Here are the writing goals for this abandoned blog for 2023 and beyond:
- To get more involved in tennis commentary. As far as I know the sport was a bit twisted going around in circles not sure where to get off, which direction to go etc. Part of it is simple Covid result and shit that is life in general at the moment attention and inattention for health we all assume; in essence, it is a personal and political discussion about health, freedom, humanity and many other issues that one wants to throw into this cauldron of perspectives and divisions. Covid has thrown the sport of tennis into a loop (around the aforementioned roundabout). Cancellations, illness, new rules and regulations, bans and so on. All of these affected players differently. We finally came back a bit. Let’s hope we have enough control over this persistent virus to end the various diseases and bans. No doubt, Novak’s case is exemplary.
- If there is something in me (it is both a strength and a weakness) it is that I have a lot to say about life, about people, certain trends, certain events. I’m going to extend the comment beyond tennis, starting today with some thoughts on the heart injury of American soccer player Damar Hamlin. Everyone knows what happened to this kid on Monday night at the Bills-Bengals MNF game. I will expand below.
- I want to engage in a more personal dialogue on this blog, use this space to reflect on my own life. I have my own hobbies, sports activities, my own health issues, and my job as a professor of rhetoric and writing (critical thinking) at a local university, which give a lot to talk about. There are certain things in my life I need to get more involved with, so keeping a journal of some sort should encourage me to dig deeper into those “certain things.” Personal finance is one such topic. I am actively saving, but are there better, smarter ways to develop this aspect of my life? And what the hell is going on with the market, now and in the future; where should we put our hard-earned money and whatever else we have to fund our future and those who depend on us?
I’ll leave the “outline” in three parts because I love number three, and I think I’ve covered just about every conceivable direction this mind is going in this blog. To be honest with these kinds of New Year’s resolutions (I’m not a fan of such predictable yearly pledges and aspirations), I need to write as much as possible on this blog. We will see how it goes.
When it comes to tennis, I am excited to start the 2023 season. And yes, I am happy that Novak has been given the green light to play in Australia. We can’t wait to dive into these warm-up events. I think at the start of this season a few Americans have some staying power on the road (a nice feature given the lack of talent in this particular country over the last few years coupled with our rich tennis heritage). Time to find some tennis to watch, which can be a bit of a pain considering how people in the streaming world, I’m talking about tennis channels and YouTube TV, sometimes make it difficult to access live tennis. I can watch some matches live in the TC app and I have (I think) full access to recorded matches in my TC app. Yes, YT and TC do not coexist. In this crazy and evolving world of streaming, there will be these kinds of challenges (if we want to call them that).
Adelaide International 1 event loaded. Djokovic plays later today against young Frenchman Halys but the draw is littered with big rackets so this should be a good first look at some form in Melbourne.
Here’s what I have to say about Damar Hamlin’s injury. First of all, a heart attack is more than just an injury, so I want to clear that up. I believe he is still in critical condition, but it looks like he will survive this event.
It was interesting to hear the reactions from the wide, saturated 24-hour news cycle on this subject, but most, if not all, of these reactions are just repeating what we all think about it, mainly about how tragic it is that a young person he falls into such a real danger of losing his life. It is sad. This is the main reaction we should all have. A subsequent or parallel reaction is frustration and anger at the sport, leadership/management of American football; this recorded and now widespread discourse has been present in the general public, sports and football culture for many years. Most of this involved a history of head injuries and scandals (evidence for all of this is quite available, but this is a good examplean essay I taught quite often in college).
Damar Hamlin’s injury did not include a head injury. Without going into medical detail (because I’m not trained in such matters and will provide a rather inaccurate explanation), this guy suffered what (almost) amounted to commotio cordis, which is “sudden arrhythmic death by impact to the chest wall”, which is described as occurring mainly in male athletes in contact sports. I’m probably already here because the term commotio cordis appears to refer to death by such a heart attack. His heart stopped due to the blow he sustained while tackling, and fortunately he had professional medical attention as soon as possible, which saved his life.
Most reactions fit the description above, as do sadness, shock, frustration, etc. I’ve listened to many “expert” sports commentators and former athletes express themselves in predictable ways. We all felt that way again.
But I have a feeling that a lot of football smarties, people who just love this extremely brutal sport, are apologists, which is actually not that surprising or revealing, they structure their reactions in such a way as to limit criticism of a sport that has been well documented and now, in the aftermath of this terrible injury, it has come to life. Yes, their horror and compassion are pragmatic in nature, as a way to wash away the scandal of this inherently violent sport, the ongoing hysterical popularity of American football (mainly here in the states).
I’m not a big fan of the sport. I have reasons other than unbridled violence and human degradation that flourish in the heart, in the heart of this sport. No need to elaborate on my reasoning, but widespread violence, ignored by criminals, is the coup de grâce of the sport’s failure, a failure that includes many fans and apologists who advocate minimizing these horrific injuries (and deaths: see CTE for more info about the deadly nature of the sport).
I repeat: much of the wave of shock and sympathy, sadness and horror over the event that nearly killed Damar Hamlin, is an attempt to divert attention from the criticism of the sport.
When the league (under clear pressure from the entire culture) decided to suspend the game (they will almost certainly complete/replay this game given its importance to the league’s playoff picture), it was unprecedented. In other words, it shows that perhaps realizing the depth of the deadly violence in this sport is too much to ignore. They have never stopped play due to injury or death of a player. Chuck Hughes died while playing in 1971. They finished this game.
So maybe that’s progress, some level of recognition of the sport’s unbalanced marriage of brutality and violence.
Then again, probably not.
And let’s end with the thought that the logical extension of what I’m saying is that we shouldn’t be surprised by Damar Hamlin’s injury. In fact, aren’t we surprised that these kinds of events don’t happen more often? Would gamers be willing to reconsider their participation in the sport due to more frank and extensive discussion of this unsustainable threat to human life?
Many would not; they consider danger part of the game. Other vocations, occupations, and occupations carry similar inherent risks. Players know what they’re getting into, they’ve signed up so to speak.
My main point is that a lot of this “shock and awe” reaction to Hamlin’s near death experience is part bullshit subconsciously part apologists part advocates like wow look at the spectacle of this amazing sport and the men who give their lives for this extremely fascinating and lucrative form of entertainment, bathed in American patriotism and primitive conservative values.
Chat with you soon!