Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Every Tear A Basketball

Earlier this year, as Coldplay announced a new album and tracks from it started making their way around the internet, there was a rumor that one of the new Coldplay songs was a rip-off of a Peter Allen song. There was outrage. "How can Coldplay do something like that? Can they not write their own songs anymore?" "Coldplay is a fraud. Everything they have ever done up to this point is a sham." "Chris Martin is the worst thing to happen to music since the Day the Music Died. How does he sleep at night." "Coldplay lost is as soon as Chris Martin married an actress. They are just in it for the fame."

Then the buzz died down. The album came out and the themed tour began to roll along. The dialogue shifted from critique on the songs to condemnation for the stage show and band's thematic uniform couture. Glow in the dark punk. Blacklight homelessness. Their SNL performance looked like a redux of Ke$ha's set from last season. How dare they.

Amid all this Coldplay discrediting I noticed something. I couldn't hate Coldplay. I turned up the radio or the TV anytime a new Coldplay song of came on. I got the songs stuck in my head. I set the DVR for any late-night performances. I did everything short of cover my jeans in fluorescent nail polish. Part of me wanted to break-up with them and move on and to have some disdain for Chris Martin. But I just couldn't do it. Despite having all the reasons to Coldhate, it wasn't within me.

I found the same kind of rhetoric coming at me this wek as the NBA and its players wnet "nuclear" with their labor negotiations. "I'm done with the NBA. How dare they do this to ME." "Without the fans, you are nothing. Stop being so greedy and think about US." "I'm boycotting the NBA...let's go college Basketball!" "Go ahead and bicker over billions of dollars. I won't be here when you get back." "I'm switching to hockey. NHL is so much better. I've always loved it."

I'll admit, I was defeated for about 24 hours after the decertification/disclaimer/disbanding. I was ready to #occupy the nearest NBA arena, write my local congressman, boycott the nearest business of an NBA owner, and burn my Dwyane Wade t-shirt. But as I held the match up to the shirt, I realized I would regret this. I realized the league would play again and I would want to put that shirt on before every televised game and then take it off if the Heat fell behind because I was jinxing them. And then put it back on after they made a furious comeback. I would miss wearing it during the playoffs and hopefully the Finals. I wouldn't be able to hold my anger towards the league. I wouldn't be able to boycott the NBA any better than I was boycotting Coldplay.

Sure, I'd rather be devouring analysis of the Heat/Celtics matchup that was scheduled for tonight. I'd rather Coldplay have made an album more in line with Parachutes or A Rush Of Blood To The Head. At the very least I wish there had been a labor agreement already in place, even if some games were missed, just as I would rather enjoy Mylo Xyloto without the black light psychedelia. But this is where we are. Those decisions aren't mine to make and I can only hold it against them as long as my heart will allow. Turns out it's not very long at all.

Some time from now there will be a montage of LeBron cocking back for a dunk, Dwight Howard blocking a ball into the 4th row, Kobe hitting a turn around, Chris Paul whipping a behind the back pass in traffic, Dwyane Wade making some circus shot and one, and Kevin durant knocking down an effortless 30 footer. It will likely be set to "Para, para, para-dise" and I will likely get a smile on my face as the music fades to Stu Scott setting the stage for Magic, Wilbon and Jon Barry.

I can't hate the NBA. I can't hate Coldplay. And deep down inside, I don't think you can either.

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