Astute readers of this here blog may have noticed that I’ve barely mentioned the current season of The Biggest Loser. I am still watching it pretty regularly, if not quite religiously, because it still fulfills its primary function of giving me something to do on Tuesday nights after the little guy is becribbed while I’m waiting for my wife to get home from work, something other than raiding the fridge (in fact, something which actively makes me feel bad about even looking longingly at the fridge). I will no doubt settle in to watch it tonight, eventually, but I might miss the beginning and/or ending, neither of which would strike me as a devastating loss.
So clearly I am not as into it as I was a mere eight months or so ago, and that knocks it down several pegs in the bloggable estimation; another way of looking at it is that not much is going on there that is worth blogging about, even if it were still taking up predictably huge chunks of my free time you could set a clock by. The personalities in the current season seem a lot more subdued than Crazy Tracy, Saint Abby, Wild-Eyed Okie Danny, and others from seasons past. I’m not as invested in the outcome this time around. (And do not even get me started on how infomercialriffic the show has become; namebrand product shilling is up, by my calculations, about 7000% this cycle.) Without the human melodrama drawing me in, the only thing about TBL I still find entertaining are the competitive challenges of fat-thleticism.
But then there's real athleticism, as we’ve also reached another one of those magical times of the year when professional sports hold a particularly strong sway over my household. I was pleased that I had the opportunity to watch the Yankees play baseball over this past weekend, doubly pleased that both the Saturday and Sunday games were televised, triply pleased that the Yankees won both games, and pretty much out-of-the-park over the fact that I taught my little guy how to yell “home run!!!” Unfortunately the Orioles are off to a slow start, which is already causing a bit of the old mixed-marriage tension to resurface; ultimately a lot of that tension is my fault because I might very well be physically incapable of modulating a question like “So who’s the number one guy in the O’s pitching rotation this year?” in such a way that it does not sound like I am a condescending douche who plans to follow up whatever-the-answer-may-be with something along the lines of “It’s so freaking cute the way Baltimore thinks they’re a real team!” Again, for the record, I don’t actually think that – I just always somehow come off like I think that.
But helping to buoy my wife’s spirits is the fact that the NHL playoffs are about to begin and the Pittsburgh Penguins are the four seed in the East. In an ideal world the Pens would run the table and by the time they were repeat Stanley Cup winners, the O’s would have recovered from their out-of-the-gate stumble and be fun to watch and root for again. (In MY ideal world, to get a little more specific, the O’s would claw their way out of the AL East basement up the backs of the Rays, Jays and Sox by whooping them all mercilessly, but leave the Yankees unscathed, but, you know, time will tell.)
The overlap of the Boys of Summer and the players of the Winter Classic in the late spring is a turbulent confluence, but at least it’s loaded with potential to be interesting. And it leads to conversations like one my wife and I had a week or so ago, when we flipped to a random hockey game and heard the announcer talking about the youth hockey career of a Canadian player named “Molson”, if my ears did not deceive me. A Canadian hockey player … named Molson. My wife and I quickly realized that we – we as a nation, that is, our beloved U.S. of A. – need to close this Living National Symbol gap and produce a baseball star named America Hot Dog.
Dare to dream!