Finding Inner Peace By Not Giving A Flying Fig About Professional Sports

This should have been illegal because the player’s ego was overinflated. (Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports)

Hello, brother. I couldn’t help but overhear you on this beautiful morning yelling at that squirrel about NFL officiating. If you would stop kicking gravel at the pigeons for a moment, I feel I can help you. Come, sit with me on this bench. Let me move my half-eaten Reuben sandwich. Mind the dill…

You see, brother, I was once like you. I too invested considerable emotional energy in professional sports teams I had no real affinity with other than, at best, a shared area code. I built my identity and an inordinate amount of fashion choices around these teams. Their wins were my wins, their losses my losses, their trades my detailed analyses on sports-radio call-in shows.

Then I hit rock bottom. For you see, my friend, I was a 1986 Red Sox fan. That was not merely a ball that dribbled through Bill Buckner’s legs but my very soul. My sanity. My mortgage I had inadvisably wagered. The following decade was a blur of me angrily confronting vendors at sports card expos, binging on Gatorade and lightly stalking Wayne Gretzky.

But one day, while out of my mind on Rub A535 and muttering about Pete Rose, a man approached me and told me about Finding Inner Peace By Not Giving A Flying Fig About Professional Sports.

Don’t jump so, my friend! You have disrupted the kraut in my Reuben! Sit. Let me share with you the wonders of FIPBNGAFFAPS. For I can see that you are troubled by the results of sporting contests that have no bearing on your life other than the odd digestive matter. Am I also safe in assuming you use “LeBron” as a verb? As I suspected. Here: cradle my pickle while I tell you about my Monday morning.

I awakened gently with the sun and greeted the day with reverence. “Thank you, Giver of Life, for all good things: mattress covers that don’t get all bunchy; itches that can be easily reached; pastrami.” Then I ate my breakfast, showered my teeth and made my way to the bus stop.

It was there that I heard men speaking about a football event in tones normally reserved for long-simmering family grievances. I knew nothing of this match between the Los Angeles Boy Goats and the Swell Guys From New Orleans. I did not catch all their conversation – the referee failed to penalize the quarterback for illegally soaking his hands in Palmolive, or some such; the rules have changed so since I last paid attention. The names they spoke were just sounds to me. I continued to wait for my bus in bliss. And rubber boots.

No, no, I don’t need to hear what actually happened. I’m sure it seems a tragedy of Greek proportions and it is no doubt unjust. But because I do not Give A Flying Fig About Professional Sports, I would be able to offer no more emotional support than if you were to recount a dream in which Ed Asner was rummaging through your chest freezer in search of his spats.

You see, brother, FIPBNGAFFAPS renders all professional sports meaningless. It does not deny the existence of professional sports, for player salaries in the millions prove it must be so. Instead, FIPBNGAFFAPS transcends you to a state wherein professional sport is not an entity in itself but a part of all creation, no greater or lesser than all things – except the New York Knicks who are consistently lesser.

I see you are coming to an understanding. Oh, you’re just eyeing my Reuben. Help yourself. For it is only half a sandwich, still satisfying though not the whole, just as you can eventually watch an occasional sporting event without investing your “whole” self in it. Merely enjoy the spectacle without truly giving a flying fig about the outcome. And this pickle? It’s a Beyonce halftime show. Actually, green and bumpy? It’s more of a Paul McCartney.

But before you can get to that point, my Swiss-cheese-loving benchmate, you must turn away from all sporting events. At first you will Wonder Anxiously About Professional Sports, then you will Participate Halfheartedly in Conversations About Professional Sports. As you free yourself, soon you will Stop Posting Aggressive Memes About Professional Sports, before moving on to Not Knowing Who Was Traded Where in Professional Sport. Finally, with dedication and Monday nights reading a damn book for once, you will Find Inner Peace By Not Giving a Flying Fig About Professional Sports!

The Oscars, on the other hand, that’s a big deal.


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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31 Responses to Finding Inner Peace By Not Giving A Flying Fig About Professional Sports

  1. markbialczak says:

    You are a wise man, Ross. I cannot follow that lead, even though I am a Mets fan. Sorry about 1986.

  2. pinklightsabre says:

    Yeah, cradle my pickle. One step above Mad magazine, Ross Murray! One step!

  3. I’m ready to become a Flying Fig acolyte, already following the Flying Spaghetti Monster, so it’s going to be rather busy overhead. I’ve learned basic Sportese because it is the lingua franca (do they say langue véhiculaire in Canada?) of our times – – you cannot negotiate a bar, bus stop, or business without it, so I’ll throw out a “That ref is toast” and then just nod along. So your sports apostasy doesn’t concern me, but DILL IN A REUBEN has really cranked up a righteous rage. Good grief what’s next, mayo on a hamburger???

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Come on, man, it’s on the side. I’m not a savage!
      When my son was still home, we followed the Raptors and NBA closely. It was worth it to bond with him but then I was like, “Where did my evening go?” P.S. Never watched hockey. Our secret, ok?

  4. ksbeth says:

    like mark, i do enjoy sports and all (most) that goes with them. i don’t live or die by them, but sure enjoy the contest. how about if you don’t watch and every so often someone just sends you a thumbs up or thumbs down, and you’ll know someone has won or lost or not?

  5. Gavin Keenan says:

    Sports just ain’t sorting anymore.

  6. I like your attitude. Now, help us out with that assjack in the White House please, Zen Master Murray.

  7. List of X says:

    I’m already a committed FIPBNGAFFAPSer. Last professional game I watched was, I believe, in 2011. One before that, in 2004, and mainly because an important comedy skit I was involved in writing hinged on the game’s outcome.
    I do occasionally find myself in a bar or a restaurant where a game is played on TV, and my eyes do wander off toward the onscreen movement, but I’m sure that’s forgivable.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I won a pair of really good seats at a Montreal Canadiens game but gave them to my daughter and her Turkish boyfriend. It was his first ever NHL game. A couple of days later he received his permanent residency papers. He just had to pass that last test, you see. So some good can come from pro sports.

  8. I couldn’t give a fig about this year’s Super Bowl. It’s a team I’m indifferent about vs. a team I can’t stand to think about. I can’t tell you how liberating it is. But, yeah, the Oscars. And the Tonys.

  9. says:

    I myself go back and forth. I love the camaraderie with my friends on our fantasy football league, but other times, I can’t deal with the moral dilemmas that surround it at times. My favorite sport was always “whatever my kid was playing.” I do miss that!

  10. cat9984 says:

    Did you have to turn in your Canadian ID to be that passionate about anything other than hockey and curling?

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