it is finished

Birmingham-Southern College is shutting down.

I don’t know how to feel about this.

I stand by my previous remarks: BSC was the biggest mistake of my life. Fortunately, years of drugs and therapy have helped me understand how I made that mistake, and how much of it was not of my doing, and how much harm I did myself from years of trying to go back and keep fixing that mistake and the others that spiraled out from it. And I suppose thirty years after graduation, it’s far enough in the past that I’ve learned to walk around the broken step that leads to the black hole.

It’s hard not to feel weird about seeing a big chunk of your past detach itself, like a calving glacier, and disappear beneath the waves. The only people I can really talk about this with are one or two folks on Bluesky, people whose government names I don’t even know. When I left BSC, it was with essentially no friends but my psychotic girlfriend, and when she finally cost me my Vanderbilt career – or caused me to cost myself said career – I was left with a void that I spent literal decades trying to either fill with meaning or retcon into something else. At some level, I think I hoped that somehow BSC would do what Birmingham accomplished, and evolve into a place I would again be happy to claim and be associated with. I think they could have, and they were on the right track, but they had too far to come and started far too late to make it.

After hearing the news, I found myself out in the shed digging for some stuff I’d boxed up. A sweatshirt. A pennant. The ubiquitous opaque container. A few caps. The pewter engraved flask I bought myself because I didn’t have anyone else to buy it for me. The football jersey I had made for myself at a point when transitioning straight to Division III with football would have been a fun and interesting swerve and not a blindsiding comedown based on a fraudulent vision. And the class ring – not the bespoke design that was yet another dose of Vanderbilt envy, but the stadium-top 90s style with its degree that I never used adorning one shank. Except I suppose I did use it to get into Vanderbilt, do the resume laundering and collect an MA that would give me a leg up at NGS and Apple.

I mean, the things I was taught at BSC pale next to what I learned, and how I fell into a life lived on defense rather than offense, and how that manifested itself for a quarter century. And when I disavowed it in 2006, I felt none the worse for disclaiming it. And at some primal Celtic level, I am grimly satisfied that bad conduct has had consequences, even thought a lot of people are going to suffer as a result. I hope Miles can move in, or UAB can take the opportunity to establish a presence and a residential college, or something at least happens to preserve Yeilding Chapel and the planetarium.

The fight song didn’t have words, the alma mater was a direct word for word lift of Vanderbilt’s, and the only campuswide traditions were getting thrown in the fountain by your friends and having smoke blown up your ass by everyone in authority, but it was a thing that happened to me for four years and now it’s not there anymore, and will not have an opportunity for redemption.

So it goes.

without a light

If there were any doubt that Merrick Garland is a mediocre hack with banana pudding between his ears, I don’t know why, given the desultory reluctance to do anything about the events of the January 6 attack on Congress. But the announcement of an antitrust suit against Apple yesterday should have dispelled any questions.

There are plainly things that Apple could be dinged for. Mostly because they already have, by an EU determined to take a chunk out of the hide of American tech companies. And the things they have been dinged for are illuminating, as are the things they haven’t. The EU didn’t view Messages as an issue, because unlike the US with its fixation on “green bubbles”, literally everyone in Europe is on WhatsApp – which is in the App Store. They said nothing about “super apps”, because WhatsApp is a product of China’s authoritarian marketplace and nothing anyone in Europe uses any more than they do in the United States. They did say a lot about the App Store – and Apple is already deploying the framework for additional App Store options to be run by third parties. Whether that works has yet to be seen, but it’s in progress.

The problem with the DOJ suit is that it seems to have been whipped up three years ago by someone without any experience of tech, and not touched since. “Green bubbles,” about which some people are entirely too much in their feelings, are a product of carriers sticking with SMS and MMS to the point Apple felt the need to build their own superior solution (as did Facebook, twice, and as did Google, more times than anyone can remember, and as did Signal, which is the one you should be using). Things like the Amazon Fire Phone failed not because of anything Apple did, but because it was shit on toast.

In the macOS settings, you have three options for apps: install from the App Store only, install only from the App Store or from verified developers, or install anything from anyone. Option one is what the iPhone has now, option two is what Apple is moving to for iOS in Europe, and option three – which is not the default in Android at all, for what it’s worth – is asking for Ed Earl Brown to fling down his phone with the same disgust as his virus-riddled HP Pavilion running WinXP. I suspect that implementation of something similar in iOS – choose from these three levels of security and buy the ticket, take the ride – is probably inevitable and will disembowel a huge chunk of this case, as will the RCS implementation in iOS 18.

It seems like most of the DOJ’s case is based on vibes, like suing Apple because they should have built Messages for Android or because super apps should be a thing or because CarPlay shouldn’t be superior to the typical car infotainment system. It’s a piss poor case, honestly, but that means nothing with the right forum-shopping and a good jury draw. But the real dagger is that this case seems to revolve far more around the harm to Spotify or to Epic than any harm to the end-user, and the fact that this is rhetorical flagship case – rather than going after Google or Facebook – uncomfortably suggests that Puddin’head Garland is far more worried about the well being of companies than people. Which makes it just as well he didn’t wind up on the Supreme Court, really. Shame Doug Jones couldn’t also have wound up at the DOJ instead.

let’s get ready to rumble

I skipped the State of the Union for what feels like the 26th consecutive year, and am no worse off for having done so. To all accounts, though, Uncle Joe delivered the goods in a setting where everyone was primed to expect Weekend At Biden’s. Followed by a former Machine SGA president from the University of Alabama delivering the breathy baby voice horror stories of any Sunday night Baptist service. Between the two, we have begun the 2024 campaign in earnest: the first collision between reality and Cable News Make Believe, with democracy itself at stake.

Because there’s no hiding it anymore. No pretending there’s some kind of miracle get out of rematch free card, no matter how much CNN and the New York Times want to wish it into existence. Donald Trump will be representing the GOP for the third straight election in a world where his record of venality and incompetence has been festooned with multiple criminal charges in three separate jurisdictions, half a billion dollars in civil liability, and four more years of delusion and conspiracy theory that looks far more like dementia and decompensation than anything Biden has ever exhibited. And in most polls, he’s running neck and neck with the President.

And to make matters worse, the rigged judiciary is breaking things his way – the case that should be the end of him is in limbo with a judge he himself appointed, somehow, and he is being transparently protected, and the system shrugs. But then, when it took Merrick Garland two years for his pudding brain to cough up “maybe we should be investigating a a coup attempt,” it’s hardly surprising.

For some reason, we decided that investigating and prosecuting someone who was running for office was inherently a political act, without considering that in doing so, we basically grant criminal immunity to anyone running for office. And the instant someone worries about the implications for potential political violence, the terrorists have won. The most successful practitioners of terrorism in America have always, always been the racist right, from the Klan to the Birmingham bombers to Tim McVeigh to the January 6 insurrectionists. Yet we cannot devote one percent of the energy of post-September 11 to pushing back against a coup attempt by an anti-democratic mob.

I don’t know. Every Democratic win seems to just make the Enemy more intractable and the political press more supine. Things that would have been career-ending twenty years ago are blithely ignored now. Consequences are for people who aren’t rich or white enough. And even if Biden clocked 40 states and 370 electoral votes and 55% of the popular vote, does anyone think for a second that Republicans would shake their heads and say “well we got beat” rather than start back in on denying reality and threatening lives if they don’t get what they want?

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr, age 81…you have less than eight months to save the world. And even then, it still won’t be saved for good.

a fugitive looks at fifty-two

I know how Wile E. Coyote felt.

As long as you keep running and don’t look down, you won’t fall. As soon as you consider your circumstances, you’re cooked. On a day when the Supreme Court aided and abetted the Trump scheme to kick the can past Election Day at the same time New York refused to indulge his “appeal bond on layaway” scheme, it’s difficult not to consider that we are hanging by a thread in so many ways. If you state it factually, “a bad president who lost fair and square and attempted to use violence and fraud to remain in power is attempting to get re-elected to avoid the consequences of his actions, and could win” is facially insane. And yet.

In a year where I reluctantly acknowledged the God-shaped hole in my being and began working on filling it, it’s perhaps obvious to say that I’m taking a lot on faith – faith that the system can take the strain again, faith that enough people will pull the lever for the cause of democracy and consequences, faith that I won’t have to make hard choices about how to live in a world where America would willingly put that melting garbage turd back in the Oval Office. Faith that somehow things will work out. Faith without works is dead, so I will have to figure what I can do to help do the work of making sure it doesn’t happen. But that work is hard for me to engage with and not cripple myself with anxiety and fear along the way.

Meanwhile, we can stay in the house for the foreseeable future…but who knows how long we can afford the property tax in retirement. We dodged a bullet on needing legal assistance for the last 12 months…but who knows when someone will appear out of nowhere to make trouble. I’m still working 100% remote…with no agreement, no policy, and nothing to say they couldn’t shitcan me at any time for not having come into the office for months. Nothing is promised to you in this life, but it’s difficult to think about how much that actually means. For someone who’s always running around trying to find certainly, it is an exceptionally challenging way to live.

And I haven’t had much to say on here for a while. Baseball might get me back into sports, but aside from being dragged along into the Super Bowl, I haven’t kept up with Vandy basketball or even watched that much Saturday morning Premier League lately. I’ve been skipping podcast episodes rather than contemplate American politics. I feel decent, mood-wise, as long as I don’t think too much, but I also take longer getting out of bed in the morning or bringing the laundry in to fold or remembering to shower and shave. Missing a trip to the pub is a shrug rather than a “when am I going to make this up.”

I’d like to want to do stuff again. I have assembled all the pieces to do stuff, just not the motivation and desire. But a good chunk of that could be the cocoon, the effort to preserve my sanity by not allowing myself to be too much in this world again. I’d like to believe we could reach a point where better things are possible. I’d like to believe the best days are still to come.

For now, I’ll take as consolation that I still want to believe.

sic transit gloria Saban

More fool me, I gave up on Alabama football when Mike Shula limped out of town and the Tide went through the foolishness of dancing around RichRod for a month before wildly overpaying for a floundering NFL coach who’d won a title at LSU a few years earlier. And I thought that even if he did have a ring, hell, I’m not sure Bear Bryant was worth $4 million a year.

Well don’t I feel like a jackass.

Six national championships, the same as the Bear, and in fewer seasons. Four Heisman trophy winners, where previously there were none. At all. The first 14-win season, the first 15-win season, and most importantly, success in an era unlike anything the Bear ever had to deal with: 24/7 sports talk radio, social media, a conference title game and then a four-team playoff (fully half the Bear’s championships were awarded before the bowl game!), and recruiting 365 days a year with the kind of scholarship limitations and NCAA scrutiny that simply didn’t exist before the 1980s.

Saban did it with recruiting, obviously: schematic advantage is nice but if you can put 20 new five-star players on the roster every year, talent will eat schematic advantage alive. Not that they couldn’t scheme; Alabama started off with the man-ball Neanderthal smashmouth game and when the spread-hurry came in he asked “is this what we want football to be?” and tacitly answers “aight, bet” before turning Alabama into a lightning offensive powerhouse. Much like the Bear – and in a decade less time – he pivoted his entire philosophy and won just as much with the new one as the old.

And to be honest, that’s probably a big part of why he’s getting out now. Starting next year, it’s going to be a longer road yet to a title – a 12 team playoff, meaning possibly 16 games to a finish, which puts you where the NFL was for years. And speaking of the NFL, the players get paid now, but there are no multi-year contracts, no salary cap, no cost containment or long-term certainty, and now you have to re-recruit your entire roster every year and hope that you can poach more from everyone else than they’re poaching from you. And while Bama spent wildly on the things you could legally spend on – assistant coaches, facilities, equipment, stadium improvements – now there’s an entire new level of spending required, which means more fundraising and glad-handing boosters and activity that takes away from the recruiting and game day prep and actual coaching to win those now-16 games.

College football shifted hard and broke something in the BCS-CFP era. The game in 1991 was very different from where we got to by 2014, never mind now, and at some point, when you have your own Crimson Infinity Gauntlet, what more do you possibly have to prove at age 72? It’s time to call it a day. Bear was three years dead by your age.

Have a Coke and a Little Debbie and hit some unsuspecting kid at the Publix with a Deez Nuts joke, Coach. You’ve earned it.

time to face the guns

The last time the Republicans took a loss with anything approximating grace was 1976, two years after Watergate with a candidate who had never won anything bigger than his Congressional district in Michigan, and with the party in turmoil over which was was up. Since then, they have dismissed Bill Clinton as illegitimate because he didn’t win 50% (despite having the most votes), Barack Obama for being a secret Muslim and not a citizen (despite being Congregationalist and born to a US citizen in a Honolulu hospital), and Joe Biden for having the temerity to get more votes than Dear Leader Trump after four years of incompetence harnessed to Russian cuckoldry.

We are where we are because a plurality of Republicans would rather embrace Nazis than have to take the L.

The conservative takeover that took off like a rocket in 1980 was in many ways the product of the end of the postwar boom in the 1970s. Time was, everyone was swimming in money, and a top marginal tax rate of 70% was not so much of a big deal – especially if it means guns and butter and free in-state tuition and that one high school graduate could support a family and home ownership and even a pool all the way to his [sic] pension-fueled retirement. Then the economy turned south, other countries caught up to us, and we embarked on our long fifty-year experiment in using bigotry to protect wealth. And with every reversal in fortune, the wealthy and bigoted doubled down.

Because this really is an existential crisis for them. If you can’t accumulate all the money you want without having to do your bit for society, if you can’t shit on everyone who isn’t just like you, then what is the point of living? It was a lot more quiet in years gone by, but then, once forced to admit people of color were human, gay people were human, trans folk are human – well, the reason the arguments sound the same every time out are because they all boil down to “I shouldn’t have to acknowledge that there are other people if they aren’t just like me.”

There’s no easy way out. There are obvious moves that could be taken if there were enough votes for it – the Wyoming Rule to expand the House (and thus the Electoral College, and thus cripple the rural chokehold on politics), the expansion of a rigged Supreme Court to 13 (one Justice per circuit, as was the original aim), the admission of new states – we are currently in the longest stretch of our national history with no new Representatives, Supreme Court seats or states. But for this to work, something like two-thirds or more of the country would have to agree that no matter what, shoring up democracy and breaking the impact of an authoritarian minority is the most critical issue in American politics and everything else – nationalized health care, lower taxes, foreign policy, whatever – has to be subordinated to making sure that the person who the most people voted for is the one who wins. No more gerrymandering your way to control of state courts, no more electing the person with millions fewer votes because they had a football stadium lead in three specific states.

Because if it happens again – if more people vote for a Democrat but a Republican wins anyway, and is allowed to start doing what these current Republicans do – you have to consider what happens when the levee breaks. A system that doesn’t work any more is not worth saving, but you may not like what comes after – or survive it. And yet, no matter how ugly the prospect is of starting over, sometimes you don’t have a choice.

The reason why every election is the most important election of our lives is because all the Democrats can be right now is a finger in the dike. They need 218 in the House, a reliable 51 in the Senate (with votes to remove the filibuster), and a majority on the Supreme Court, or all the President can be is the last line of defense. People ask “well why come the Republicans can do things?” Because they don’t actually want to do anything. They want to leave the states alone to be as backward and bigoted as they please, they want to go on Fox News and own the libs, they want to raise infinite money and they want to appoint judges, but actual policy work of the sort that has to get through Congress? Nothing. They couldn’t even overturn Obamacare with no filibuster possible and a majority in both houses. Making something, fixing, something, requires more work than breaking it.

But we have to do the work. Not just in 2024, but beyond. The work will always be with us, and what is at stake this year is determining what that work will consist of.

muddle through somehow

I accumulated a lot of stuff this year. The old friv-o-list is empty, more or less. I bought a new pair of loafers, my first new pair of cowboys boots in two decades, a jersey-knit blazer suitable for cooler weather without having to revert to tweed, a summer-weight cotton version of the new Barons hat (and was sent two), a neopixel lightsaber, a stealth plaid version of my beloved work shirt, an actual hoodie from American Giant, a one-liter Yeti mug, and – earlier than I wanted, thanks to legal encumbrance – an Apple Watch Ultra 2, which will become the shutdown night phone as soon as USMobile implements support for it sometime in Q1 of 2024 (allegedly). And that doesn’t count a new work laptop or the flannel robe-and-pajama set my wife bought me or any actual gifts (three different Ken Burns series on Blu-Ray, against the risk of losing Internet connection again). Oh yeah – we also finally got fiber service to the house this year.

I have realized that all I want out of 2024 is to be typing this post again in a year knowing that I have not lost anything I had. Still have our jobs, still working remote, still securely in this house, able to afford it, and still living in a democracy with a known good President being sworn in come January. I have assembled as many pieces of things as can be done. Buying stuff is not going to get me through the next thirteen months. But I have everything around me to create my bubble, to live the kind of life I want to live, barring something coming along to change that.

There’s a good case to be made that for most of my life, that’s what happened – I didn’t have any particular ambition or aspiration, I was good with just what I had until circumstances changed. You have to graduate. You have to pass your prelims. My big decisions to make my own change have not exactly been great since 2006 or so, and for someone who relies on the devil he knows and has lived his whole life on defense, this coming year feels like the last goal-line stand. Which is what 2020 felt like, honestly, and even if everything works out for the best, I suspect it’ll be more of the same in 2028 and 2032 and for the rest of my days until the last boomer is choked to death on the entrails of the last Reagan Democrat. The idea that I could make my own change for the better…well, as with most things, it would entail making things worse before they get better. And I don’t have it in me right now to deal with worse.

So on to 2024. Go to the gym. Do the weights. Get on the meds again, whatever is required to help me function. Keep pursuing this spiritual development and see if I can find peace and perspective. Somewhere, some way, find the strength to muddle through somehow until next year we may all be together if the Lord allow.

Onward. The only way out is through.

festivus again

One big thing this year, my great Airing of Grievance: too many people have forgotten that there is such a thing as right and wrong and that the difference is not very difficult to see. One country invading another is wrong, even if it began two years ago. A terror attack that kills hundreds of people is wrong. Indiscriminate bombing of civilians is wrong. Singling out a minority of less than one percent and building your entire politics on shitting on them specifically is wrong. Making no distinction between the people who cause a problem and the people who solve that problem is wrong. And biggest of all, in this last ten years, lying is wrong. It just is. You can’t have a post-truth society for the same reason you can’t have a wire mesh ferry boat.

This was supposed to be a year when I could try to focus on the now, live in the moment, enjoy life before another miserable election season. Instead, people who insist on their own false reality made it a misery almost from the beginning of the year. Thanks to them, we incurred legal fees, battled COVID infection, rearranged plans one after the other, and got a crash course in adjusting expectations and radical acceptance.

Because the biggest lie of all is “oh you don’t need to worry because it will all work out somehow.”

ghosts of christmas past, part 14 of n

The first blue Christmas was 1986. I was 14. I was too old for toys, but I didn’t have any idea what I actually wanted for Christmas. I had started high school four months earlier and still hadn’t found the space I fit in, and was homesick for the misery of junior high. And as it happens, by the time the 25th rolled around, I already knew every gift I was getting before I opened it. A very 80s gray leather jacket, an electric razor that i didn’t actually need, and that’s about it. And I was so miserable by lunchtime that my mother actually noticed and tried to sympathize, which should be a sign how bad off I was. It was a rotten capper on a rotten year.

I suppose you could argue the bluest Christmas since was 2007. Sure, in 1998, my father was newly dead, but the shock and grief of that blotted out anything specific to the festive period. There were some intermittently tough ones in between, but nothing so bad as this – I had left my job at Apple, which in retrospect was an incredibly stupid thing to have done, and was working two part-time jobs slapped together into a single federal subcontract. No benefits – even less than I have now, which is saying something – and no prospects for any sort of growth or development. Just sat in the blockhouse of a building, alone in a cold room, staring at the display of a laptop that Apple had discontinued before I’d even left for California that had been handed to me as a workstation three and a half years later, with partial internet access that meant I couldn’t stream anything or surf where I wished. And for the first time in my life, I was depressed enough to say “yes, I need the medications now.”

I suppose in a way 2008 was the last genuinely good Christmas – things in Alabama mostly all right, before the great family disruption, the traditional California festivities with Mass and bourbon slush and white elephant exchange, enhanced by Vanderbilt in a bowl for the first time in a quarter-century and me finding a new job just in time to celebrate. A sense that life was on the way up, that better days were possible.

Then the family trouble. Then the beginning of a bad decade of work. Then the bad years leading to the election of 2016. Then we lost my in-laws, four months apart, and then trouble within our found family, and so we come to 2023, in which we are alone in this house for the holidays for only the second time. In 2020-21, there was the overarching presence of recent death, and last year, the uncertainty of the situation drowned out everything else (and the Christmas party took the edge off it) but this year, it’s just the two of us, staring down the barrel of 2024 from the precipice of dubious health, dubious employment, never quite enough money to feel secure and a world on fire that teeters on the brink of the unthinkable.

Someone remarked about the coming of Hannukah: “they didn’t know the oil would last for eight days. They didn’t know how long the oil would last at all. But they lit it anyway.” The whole point of Christmas is that it represents the coming of hope into the world. The reason why the early Church dropped it on top of the winter solstice is because the light is coming back. This is a time for hope where there is darkness. The problem is, it’s not easy to imagine sunrise at midnight, and when you don’t have a watch and no way of knowing how long the night is going to be, it seems impossibly far away.


The final four team college football playoff has been set and no one is happy. In: undefeated Michigan, champions of the Big 10 [sic], undefeated Washington, champions of the PAC-12, and two 12-1 teams, Alabama, (champions of the SEC who lost only to Texas) and Texas (champions of the Big [sic] 12 [sic] who lost to…I dunno, Oklahoma or somebody). Out: Florida State, 13-0 undefeated champions of the ACC, who for their trouble will now face Georgia, coming off back to back national titles and sour at being the first team in God knows how long to be undefeated, lost the SEC championship game, and not back into the playoff anyway.

Inasmuch as any of this is actually a problem, it will go away next year. A 12-team playoff will be enough to take every power conference champ, every near-miss team with name ID (get ready for Bama and Ohio State in every playoff), and still have one spot left to throw a sop to Central Florida or Boise State or whatever lesser undefeated team is clamoring for a place at the table. Then you can expect the bitching and moaning to turn to who got a bye and who deserved to be in the picture because their three losses were better than someone else’s.

Two things.

First, as always, if this were 1991 we’d have an obvious national title game: Michigan and Washington in the Rose Bowl. (In fact I’m not sure that wasn’t actually the game on 1 Jan 1991.) Florida State would still be left out, partly because of the bowl tie-ins but largely because of the uncomfortable but true fact that Florida State was champion of what was the weakest of the power conferences this year. They would have a case if they beat whoever wound up in the Orange Bowl with them convincingly, and meantime you’d have Texas-Georgia in the Cotton Bowl and Bama-Ohio State in the Sugar and everything would be just fine.

Secondly, the battle lines have already been drawn, and they are obvious. Next year, Washington will be in the increasingly-innumerate Big 10 and Texas will be in the increasingly geographically illiterate SEC. The Committee has hung out its shingle: these are The Two Best Conferences, and teams with a better record in lesser conferences will not be held equivalent. And Florida State – which joined the ACC three decades ago specifically to have an easier path than a 12-team SEC would have afforded them – now finds itself locked in place through 2036 unless they can find some way to buy out their grant of rights to the ACC, which I can assure you all the best lawyers in Tallahassee are currently engaged in finding a way to do.

The problem the ACC has is largely perception: for the last decade or so, it’s been Clemson’s private playpen, and an undefeated Clemson won two national titles in that span, so they had to be taken seriously, but as long as Florida State was down, there was no other team in the conference to make up for the impression of Clemson and the Twelve Dwarfs (or however many teams they’re on now). Now Florida State is hot again, and the bottom has fallen out of Clemson. In the last 20 years, the PAC-12 had alternately had top-10 performances by U$C, Cal, Oregon, Stanfurd and Washington. The SEC has produced Bama, Georgia, LSU, Florida, and occasional flashes from Auburn or Tennessee. The Big 10 [sic] has mostly got by on Ohio State, with recent efforts from Michigan and sometimes big years from State Penn or Iowa. But the ACC has yet to produce two simultaneous contenders, and the Big [sic] 12 [sic] has yet to turn out anyone beyond Texas and Oklahoma (who are decamping to the SEC).

So next year, we will have a 12-team playoff, to be populated by two first-tier conferences, two second-tier conferences who will be lucky to get a second team in, whatever legally remains of the PAC-12, and a pity slot for some G5 team, while Florida State desperately looks for Gulf oil money (no, seriously) to try to buy their way into something else. And within about 5 years, Texas will be whispering to Bama and Georgia and LSU that they shouldn’t be carrying all this dead weight of Vandy and Kentucky and the Mississippis and why don’t they form a real super conference with Clemson and Florida State, and before you know it, boom, the college football premier league is a reality.

I look forward to being left behind. At that point I think it might be possible to enjoy this sport again.