30th March 2009
I think we watch sports for the same reasons we read novels – to
provide our minds with dramatic stories which teach us lessons useful
in life’s various struggles.
I suspect that there is a great deal of truth in that. I find myself always second-guessing characters in books, and especially characters in movies — I remember the famous Mines of Moria scene in the first Lord of the Rings movie where Our Intrepid Heroes are surrounded by half of the free world’s supply of orcs and it looked like curtains … and then they all disappeared. Off in the distance we hear booming and see a red glow. I’m sitting there thinking “Hey, guys, now would be a real good time to start running. The orcs disappeared for a reason, and I trust their judgment.” But no, the Fellowship of the Ring (which I started thinking of as the Fellowship of the Clueless) had to stick around until the Balrog was damned near on top of them.
Same thing with the first Jurassic Park movie — after the systems failed and the kids and their Accompanying Grownup are wandering across the plain when they are suddenly surrounded by these cute running dinosaurs. My wife was somewhat surprised when I clutched her arm and said “What?”. I responded, “Herbivores don’t run for fun. What’s chasing them? It’s time to boogie.” And then of course the T-Rex shows up.
I’m sure we’ve all had similar experiences, times when we’ve wanted to shout at the screen “No! No! You fools!”.