Well, that didn't go well, did it?
Auburn is the national champs of big college football and the Oregon Ducks are flying home tonight having lost - another - big bowl game to an Eastern/Midwestern team.I'm not going to get all Oregonian about this; "Well, they had a great season...it was so close...they played so well...we love our Ducks!"
It was a good season, and that had what to do with the fact that Auburn pushed the Duck lines around like rubber fuckdollies around all night? Thomas had a mediocre game, and James was never really a factor. Oregon's offensive plays were poorly chosen and the lack of anything resembling blocking meant that they were typically ineffective. The pass coverage was weak, especially underneath.
Nope, the Ducks got pwned, and as a Viking, I can shrug about it. Yeah, sucks to be you, Eugene. Come back to me in a dozen years without a bowl and getting regularly run over 40-7 at Boise Fucking State; that's your basic Portland State season. Oh, well.
But there was an amazing thing to watch tonight, and that was the Peep.
He was rabid, fanatic - he didn't understand first downs, or incomplete, or possession, but he shrieked with joy when the Ducks advanced and moaned in torment when they retreated. When Oregon tied the game with just minutes to play he was practically manic, gibbering like a loon with predictions of humiliating Auburn defeat and bouncing on the sofa in eagerness to watch this public embarrassment. And when after choosing not to onside-kick (Gee, Coach, Auburn has been going through your D-line like a bunch of horny women's rugby players through a Tri-Delt house - what made you think that your guys were going to tighten up now?) the Ducks gave up the game-winning field goal the Peep was cast into the uttermost gloom; he fell like Lucifer, from the highest pinnacle of exaltation to the deepest pit of despair.He cried, a little. He hugged his knees and looked at the Auburn players celebrating on his television screen like Smokey the Bear watching every forest in America burn. He collapsed into his mom's arms.
"I don't want it to be over!" he wailed, "It's not fair, I don't want the Ducks to lose!"
He subsided in Mojo's embrace and went quietly into bed, but when I went in to kiss him goodnight I found him a little sniffly. I kissed his sweet-smelling boy hair and hugged him.
"You were a good Duck fan tonight, little man," I told him, "you cheered your heart out for your team, and that's all any fan can do."
"But they still lost..." he muttered, "It's not fair."
Ah. The ultimate betrayal of childhood; it's not fair.
How do you explain to a seven-and-a-half-year-old that life isn't fair? That good teams lose, that good ideas are ignored, that good people go to shopping malls and are shot dead by maddened ignorant fucktards?
That loving parents lose their jobs and lose the homes, that sweet children get cancer and die, that decent men and women are broken, bereft of hope and shattered by grief?
That airplanes fall from the sky, automobiles crash, bones shatter, bullets rend and tear, hearts break, lives, and hopes, and cities, and great empires, come to harsh and bitter ends?
I hugged him again.
"Sometimes life isn't fair, buddy. But that doesn't mean you don't stop loving and hoping and trying. It just means that you don't always get what you want for what you love and hope for. It's that you know that you did everything you could, and did your very best."
He gave a dissatisfied grunt and burrowed deeper into his pillow. And I kissed his brow and turned away.
Because sometimes it's not fair, and sometimes daddies can't make it so.