Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Its More Engaging When You Don't Know"

The National's Matt Berninger tried to describe the lyrics to "Bloodbuzz Ohio" in a veiled string of words and then ended it with, "Its more engaging when you don't know." That really sums up my draw to The National and more specifically, his lyrics. The same can be said about most of my favorite things, I like not knowing exactly what the intent is. I like having the space to fill in the blanks.

Nothing kills a movie for me like seeing 5 different trailers, each one getting increasingly more revelatory about the plot and showing "all the good parts". You could get me to see just about anything, or at least be excited about seeing it, by not showing me much more than the name of the film and some shots of each actor in the movie. Beyond that, you're giving me too much information and my interest wanes. Again, its more interesting to watch it unfold.

The same goes for sports. If I have a game on the DVR and I mistakenly catch the score before I've seen the whole game, I won't even bother. Its not that I don't want to watch the game, but it takes away my main motivation for watching; answering the question of who is going to win. The NBA Playoffs this year have been surprisingly entertaining. Sure there have been plenty of no-shows and series sweeps, but that is going to happen and even some of those series were entertaining (Phoenix/San Antonio).

I've enjoyed the suspense of the games, but I haven't enjoyed the hyperbole surrounding the cast of characters involved. THis goes back to the need to not know. Every announcer, writer, analyst and goofy-dressed reporter has used up their lifetime allotment of exaggeration in this playoffs alone. Rajon Rondo is the best point guard in the game. Rondo made the greatest play in Celtics' history. No he isn't and no he didn't. But does he have at least 3 exciting plays a game? Yes. Can't we just leave his place in history undefined until he strings together a couple seasons, yes I said SEASONS, full of the play we've seen from him recently? LeBron James is the greatest athlete in the history of the game. Wherever LeBron goes will turn that franchise around. You have to say something nice about Early Exit LeBron but both those comments are way off base. Great Athlete? Yes. Franchise Player? Yes. Beyond that? Lets leave it open for debate. Don't just sling hyperbole for the sake of needing to say something. The list goes on and on. Pau Gasol, best bigman in the game. Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, best young tandem to team up with. Knicks, best opportunity to become a legend.

Say anything like this, and I'm immediately disengaged. I'd rather wonder how good someone can become and how good they are than see them ranked "all-time". I'd rather hear the questions than the answers, and don't think I'm alone.

No comments: