I can’t help myself. The season is wrapping up, the Timbers are somewhat improbably top of the conference, the Sounders are imploding, and what do I do? I concentrate on losing. I think you can only properly enjoy victory if you have a thorough understanding of defeat and failure- and I suppose I mean that categorically, across all life venues.
When your team is in a rut, when the style played is best simply labeled as “mistakes,” you dream about victory. Similarly, when your team is cruising, when they seem to have a permanent grace, you should dream about defeat.
The Timbers just beat Dallas 3-2 in the Open Cup- their unbeaten run just keeps on going. I saw a little bit of the game- the last part of the second half where the Timbers battered away at Dallas’ goal- but then sadly I had more pressing things to do.
What struck me as I watched it, was how I was watching it, which sounds dumb, but anyone familiar with how livestreams like this can relate. It was on FC Dallas’ website, and had the narrow-scope feel of a home recording. Weirdly, the bleachers on the opposite side of the stadium were completely empty, and I’m not sure why because I didn’t have the sound on. Which was also weird, but my fault- I have a Heisenberg uncertainty thing where I add weirdness to whatever I observe.
But the weird icing on this strange cake were the super-retro instant replays. They were sponsored by Advocare, which must be a Texan corporation that really cares about its customers/clients/patients. The logo above would flip in over the screen like a bad Powerpoint transition, and then there’d be about a 5 second replay of the action you just saw, from the same angle you just saw it at. They made me feel like I was time traveling.
Be aware that I’m not complaining. I think this is awesome. It’s refreshing to see a game unpolished and unadorned with gimmicks- or at least, as the case was with Advocare, an extremely cheap gimmick. In the sporting world is there anything worse than those damn NFL robots? I mean, besides John Terry?
Low-rent streams like this are there so those of us that are interested can watch. In a funny way, this sort of thing radiates a vibe of hard work that televised games do not. It’s there because someone wants us to be able to see it- not because someone wants to make a buck off it. At least for now.