Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Optimistic Realist

The Urban Dictionary defines an "Optimistic Realist" as "someone who is able to look at the positive side of life while maintaining a realistic viewpoint. Although seemingly contradictory, it clearly is not due to the fact that realism has no positive or negative association, only a focus on the realistic elements of a situation."

Now few would describe me as a "glass half full" guy (and by "few," I mean "none").  On the other hand, I've never stepped onto a field, court or tee box when I was not sure in my heart that I was going to win and I always assume that the teams I root for are going to come through .... even when my brain is telling me "you have no fuckin' chance kid."  (So does that make me an optimistic realist or a realistic optimist?)  If you had made me bet my house on whether Joe Flacco would drive the Ravens 92 yards for the game winning score Sunday night, I probably would have gone against him but, in my heart, I believed he could do it.  And that is how I reconcile my position of last week with the following:

"If you don't breast-feed him, he'll
hate you for it later.  That's why
we wound up on the Steelers."
Sunday night Ravens fans had a dream.

We dreamt we were as light as the ether a floatin' spirit, visitin' things to come.  The shades and shadows of the players of the NFL wrestled their way into our slumber.

We dreamt that Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu had decided to retire. Probably that's just as well.  We’d seen enough of that hair and that "punch me in the face" smile.

And then we dreamed on, into the future, to a Christmas Eve in a Baltimore stadium, where Colt McCoy was throwing touchdown passes....to Ed Reed.

We saw Tom Brady a few days later, still havin' no luck winnin’ a game in the playoffs.  
"That Welker's a smart one,
already knows his ABC's."
Maybe he did one Uggs commercial too many.  We don't know.

But still we dreamed on, further into the future than we'd ever dreamed before.  Watchin' John Harbaugh's progress from afar, taking pride in his accomplishments.  Wondering if he ever thought of us and hoping that maybe we'd broadened his horizons a little even if he couldn't remember just how they got broadened.

But still we hadn't dreamt nothin' about us and Joe, until the end.  And this was cloudier, because it was months, months away.

But we saw a young quarterback holding the Lombardi Trophy and all his teammates too.
And we don't know.  You tell us.  This whole dream.  Was it wishful thinkin'?  Were we just fleein' reality, like we know we're liable to do?

And it seemed real.  It seemed like the Ravens.  And it seemed like, well...our home with the blue horseshoe on the field.
"The Steelers and the prejudices of
others conspired to keep us titleless."

If not Baltimore, then a land not too far away, where all quarterbacks are poised and consistent and accurate and all the fans are happy and beloved. 

We don't know.

Maybe it was Dundalk.

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