Monday, 21 March 2011


We're a curious bunch us men. What is about us that makes us so prone to obsession?

Sure, women can be capable of the same proclivities, try Valentino, The Beatles, Take That, shoes, but ultimately women have a stronger grasp on the ridiculousness that true obsession brings. Maybe it's the fact that they can grow new people inside them or something. No, to truly grasp the horror of obsession we need to look to the male.

Certainly many men avoid the curse of the obsession too, wisely continuing on with their lives as if unimportant transient things were just that, but for the rest of us? Forget about it.

The soon-to-be Mrs. L will gladly tell you of the months spent eating Italian food, drinking Italian wine and trawling Bristol for cannollis during my Sopranos phase and my recent trip to LA was marred somewhat by my need to tick off 'Entourage' locations.

I wont even begin on Liverpool, That is for a whole blog of it's own (once and only once I promise).

For those of us with the curse there is nothing to be done, whether it's Dylan, Zappa or Neil Young, a sports team or sport itself (cyling, mountain biking, snowboarding, climbing, you get the idea), traction engines or the complete works of Alan Moore, once gripped a man stays gripped.

My formative years had a few: Spiderman, The Smiths, The Doors, 2000 AD, alongside the aforementioned Liverpool, but I thought in my later years I would be free, or at least able to free myself.

Apparently not.

My new obsession is all-consuming, ludicrous, wonderful, exhilarating. It has taken over. It is baseball. Major League Baseball. A new world designed perfectly for an obsessive.

RBI's, the bullpen, pinch hitting, strikes and balls and bunts and grand slams. ERA, boxwrap, National league, American league, relievers and closers, fly balls, pop ups, ground outs, double plays, wild cards and walks, bench clearing rucks and reversing the curse.
There are no end to the rules, the history, the rivalries, the players and coaches, the wonderful ballparks, and the not-so-wonderful (Tropicana Field anyone?).It's the obsession that keeps on giving.

I know it's daft, I know it's ridiculous, I don't care. Sure, you can trace this new obsession back to me getting a Blackberry for the first time, with its built in MLB app, or you can point to the future Mrs. L letting me keep ESPN America on the Sky package. You might even, if you knew me well, see that the pain, consternation and utter contempt in which I hold my old true love, football, has left a chink, a door ajar, in need of exploration. My obsessive nature needed somewhere to go. Whatever. I am hooked and the very fact it is slightly mad only adds to the joy.

Obsession should be unfathomable to everyone else, that's the point, that's one of the best things about it. Only those obsessed with the same thing get it. It's a club, a secret society, something of our own.

And as for Fenway, the Green Monster, Yawkey Way, Pesky's pole, Sweet Caroline and Dirty Water, the Curse of the Bambino, winning it all after an 86 year wait, Schilling's sock and Manny being Manny, staying faithful, and everything else Red Sox: I'm in.

Someone once said, love the game and it will love you back, I agree unconditionally, whole-heartedly and without reservation. Take me baseball and do with me as you will.

Listening to: Neil Young - Le Noise
Reading:Bright Shiny Morning - James Frey

1 comment:

  1. All sounds perfectly normal to me!

    Have resisted blogging about the Sox so far. How much longer can I resist, especially after that litany of iconography? Welcome to the blogosphere and the Nation. Go Sox!