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NOTES ON EARL CAMPBELL AND BEING RIGHT ABOUT SPORTS

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STOP CARING ABOUT BEING RIGHT

Earl Campbell - File Photos
WHY WOULD YOU EVEN TRY TO TACKLE THIS
Photo by University of Texas/Getty Images

  1. It’s August 1st, and that means we are all now in a month where there will be football. Congratulations. We hope you enjoyed all the good things summer brings: massive sinus headaches, child care woes, occasionally remembering baseball was on, boredom, heat stroke. Summer is boring and pointless and it’s going to be over one day, and that day is one day closer than it was yesterday.
  2. Sidenote: Fuck summer, the worst season. If we could be dead the whole time and crawl out of a grave intact and awake at the end of it, we would do it.
  3. We’re not ready at all for football, and that’s fine. Pretending anyone knows anything too specific about what will happen on the field once people start playing a game is generally a bad idea. There are a lot of ways to moron-spot and the surest one is if they are super-militant about a brand name item. Not jokingly militant, no. We mean like, 100% adamant about it, like an idiot neighbor who says “I’d slit my throat before using a blender other than a Vitamix!!!!” or “I’ll rather die than drive a Chevy!!!” Like, they mean it, because they’re stupid, this isn’t performative.
  4. The other way to moron-spot is to find a sports fan overly invested in being right. No one of any value watches sports to be right. People watch sports to see people play an unpredictable game at ridiculous levels of skill. They watch sports to be distracted, diverted from otherwise shitheap stretches of life. They watch sports to be anywhere else other than the present. Sometimes they watch sports to belong to a group — though boy, do we need to have a real clear understanding about what that group might mean, or believe, or support and/or oppose.
  5. Being right is easy, by the way. Overall, in most sports, there are clear favorites with better players, resources, and strategies than other teams. Otherwise, upsets wouldn’t be the gold standard of sports legends. No one writes retrospectives about a Patriots/Browns game. No one builds an entire documentary about the Warriors smoking the Nuggets on a random Thursday night. (We would, sure, but we’re incredibly stupid like that.)
  6. There needs to be less weight on being right, or being happy about being right about sports. At the very least, it should be given no weight whatsoever as a thing. Being right about being sports is not only easy, it is dull. David Attenborough would not have a job if he narrated a pack of wolves bringing down a caribou by saying “Well folks I told ya, that’s what champions do.” Fuck off, alternate world David Attenborough, seriously, that’s not even half-trying.
  7. In a month we’ll all be watching football and the reminder is: Be happy to know nothing about the outcomes, even if all things are not likely in the outcome. Otherwise, this would be filling out paperwork. This would be hitting “equals” and seeing what the machine spits out. This would be more summer, just more pointless heat. Fall’s about contrasts. Most of it will turn brown or gray, because brown and gray usually win this thing, have incredibly deep rosters, and are just better teams than orange, yellow, or fading green. That’s never the point.
  8. We just made Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson the natural cycle of seasonal death. You’re welcome.
  9. Anyway, that’s Earl Campbell up there. We wouldn’t have tried to tackle him with your car and six friends helping.