'Possession Arrow': Badgley->Razook

From: John Razook
To: Shawn Badgley
Time: 4:30pm, Jan. 17


I am laid low today, my thoughts suddenly turned far from the innocent fun that is sport, particularly college basketball and the game for the ages that went down in my hometown of Stillwater, Okla., last night. You see, Shawn, I watched Why We Fight, a stunning documentary that exposes the horrible sickness running through our society in the form of the military-industrial complex.

We’ll get to that foul subject soon enough. First, let me address last night’s game. My nerves were shot by the end of the third overtime. I had been pacing back and forth since midway through the second half. Near the end of the second overtime, I vomited, the pressure apparently too much for my fragile system to handle. Perhaps it was the high-stakes nature of the game: OSU vs. UT has become a thrilling matchup, year in and year out, and this game would determine who has the early-season grasp on the Big XII South (with A&M surely having at least something to say about that). More likely, it was the large bet I’d placed on the Pokes prior to tipoff with a notorious shuffleboard player and Horns fan who claimed “Texas will turn the entire state of Oklahoma into a weeping den of doom.” He shall, for now, remain unnamed, though you can be assured that as soon as I get my car running, I will be at the Horseshoe Lounge, claiming my well-earned winnings.

Yes, this winter storm caught me unprepared. Not really, of course: As an Okie, I am used to much worse treatment at the hands of Mother Nature. But it is true that I had no bourbon on hand. And it is true that the battery in my car died, of my own fault (kids, be sure to turn those headlights off when you run ‘em during daylight hours!), stranding me at home, where there is no cable and thus no way to watch ESPN’s presentation of the game. I was forced to once again rely on Sirius satellite technology, tuning in to the Oklahoma State broadcast of the game. Forgive me, UT fans, but I can only handle so much of Eddie Oren’s good ol' boy babble on the KVET radio broadcast.

After the game, when I calmed down and cleaned myself off after the second vomiting, which came midway through the third overtime, I fixed myself a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich and began Why We Fight. If you haven’t seen this documentary, I urge you to immediately – and then suggest it to everyone else you know. I am finding it hard to think of anything else today. Now, I am known, in certain circles, as a doom-and-gloom kind of guy, the dark and brooding pessimist who only sees the worst in all situations. I prefer to think of myself as a realist. And let me tell you, we’re in trouble, my friend. This terrible war in Iraq is only the tip of the iceberg, and the blame doesn’t fall, as so many like to think, only at the feet of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz. No, there is so much blame to go around it is truly staggering. My stomach sank watching this film. Physical illness overwhelmed me, and I nearly vomited for the third time.

I am an American – a proud one at that – and I am disgusted by what is going on in this country. My outrage extends not only to the president and our miserable failure of a Congress (ever so closely tied to the defense industry), but to the U.S. media and to the people themselves: fine, if lazy, citizens who have fallen asleep on the job. This movie is the most important film I’ve seen perhaps in my entire lifetime. I’m not exaggerating. Not even slightly. Forget global warming. Forget “terrorism,” that big, scary word. There is something far nastier and sinister at work behind the scenes with our military.

Of course, as an American, my attention span is dreadfully short. My disgust will probably pass soon, or, if not pass altogether, and will be supplanted by something else ... perhaps this weekend’s AFC & NFC Championship games and the fourth annual chili cook-off that will be taking place at my house. I plan to make use of the homefield advantage and dominate. My chili will reign supreme. But, for now, football, basketball, and sports in general seem far less important than they did last night.

Ok for now,

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More by John Razook
Notes of a Football Addict (Vol. VI)
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NCCA Basketball, Why We Fight

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