What stands out, Patrick, is that you don't seem to like sports very much. Like a man who goes to a Disney movie and complains about the unrealistically happy ending, you seem to be missing the point of the show. Namely, that it's a show, dude. Sports are theater. The heading at the top of this page, you will notice, reads "Entertainment," not "Real Life, Where Things Often Suck."
Right, the NCAA is corrupt. We know this. Taylor Branch's story was unquestionably a huge moment in 2011. But so was getting to see Boise State and TCU play a wild, wide-open game on a stunning fall day in a dazzling Rocky Mountain setting. For this fan, anyway. The same goes for attending the long-awaited opening of glittering Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, a roaring, electric, and surprisingly emotional night. So was, in a cheap and dirty way, watching the Chiefs beat the mighty Packers at Arrowhead.
Yes, Patrick, some Major League Baseball players have used performance-enhancing drugs. We know that, too. Guess what? The final night of baseball's regular season was still, quite simply, one of the grandest, most deliriously entertaining moments in the sport's epic, only sometimes-sordid history. And MLB followed that up with a relentlessly thrilling World Series, including a storybook ending for a Cardinals' hometown kid that even this jealous Royals' fan had to love.
Lighten the hell up, man. You're damned right we use sports as a coping mechanism. And I'll thank the good Lord we have it, too. Maybe you are strong enough to never need a break from the real world. Maybe you never need three hours on a Sunday to willfully ignore all of life's bitter realities. Good for you. I'm weak. I need the escape. What you sneeringly call a mass delusion, I call a saving grace.
How about it, Jake? Did you manage to squeeze any fun out of 2011? Or, like Patrick, was it just twelve long months spent dodging pieces of the falling sky?