All the little worlds
This past weekend I went down to the NBA summer league games. While we (two great friends came with me) were watching the games, we saw the close knit family of basketball. Everyone knew everyone. We saw Gary Payton, Vlad Divac, Amare Stoudmeire, Sam Cassell, John Wall, Brandon Roy, Tyrike Evens, and most of the top rookies in the league. It was interesting to see that they all were more or less friendly. The NBA is a living, breathing family. The family is made up of players, coaches, assistants, trainers, agents, the media, officials, security, marketers, promoters, owners, investors, and fans. We heard a variety of conversations, from agents talking about deals with no name guys, players trying to make a splash, to scouts assessing players. The whole thing got me thinking about all of the worlds that exist within this world.
We all belong to a sphere, or multiple spheres. Different hats, or rather, attire is required for each one. Each one has a different language. Essentially a different culture. There are certain rules that are obvious, as well as the unstated. Not only must you look and act the part, you must back it up, cause no one likes a poser. There must be order to these worlds. These worlds are something like a clock. There are many parts, each having their own function and responsibility, making up the whole. People have to jump through certain hoops to get into anyone of these worlds. Admission is never free. Loyalty is expected as well.
I think it is fair to say that in the professional sports world, the rules are generally the same. You must be wearing name brand clothing. No one is wearing some faded glory shirt. Making a statement is critical, and nothing says, "I have the cash," more than a pair of throwback Jordans, covered by some Armani jeans, topped off by a Dolci and Gabbna shirt. These are our modern day, real life, super heroes. They preform amazing feats of athleticism and get away with murder (if you're an athlete, you are better off killing someone than fighting dogs). And you have to have a dang good looking chick, no matter where you are on the depth chart. What the world and the media deems "cool" is definitely embodied in these over-sized men. I'm no expert by any means. This is just what I see.
Seeing this world of professional athletes got me thinking about the many worlds that I have dipped my fingers in or have been apart of. I am sure we can all think of the worlds that we have been apart of, but what about the ones we have never even thought of. The ones that strike us as extreme, odd, stupid, disgusting, or just impossible.
Take for instance the world of mountain ironing. These people hike to the top of a hill... excuse me, mountain, and iron some sort of clothing material. What kind of conversations do these people have? "Rob got the new 300CX Iron. The battery power lasts up to 65 hours. Put him back a few hundies, but he can iron for days. Lucky guy. I guess his mom chipped in." Or is more like, "Goodness, it is just so good to be out of the house. This is the best excuse to get away from the kids and Spencer. I brought every single piece of bedding I own. It should last me a long time." They actually hike up a mountain with an iron, ironing board, and something to iron. They actually do this to release stress. I hope they bring starch with them, that would make it just that more intense.
What about these people over in England that do the wife carry or the shin kicking? "Hey Spencer, looks like you put on weight, and so did your wife. How do you think you'll fair?" (Hearty laugh by all of the spectators) "Just fine. I could carry your mother as well and still beat you! You lousy wanker!" says Spencer. Spencer then smashes his brute hand into the other man's face, and later takes 3rd. His wife weighted 250 lbs. Not a bad showing. Then the Shin kicking... They actually shove straw into their pant legs and kick each other until the other one quits. Saw it on ESPN. Oh, and this is not a sport. In the dictionary it is called STUPIDITY. They are obviously a primitive race that has not developed a language. No conversations could be recorded or even made up. After a series of tests on the winner of last years competition, it was determined he was brain dead. Doctors still are not sure how he has managed to live, let alone go to shave his face without cutting his throat.
Finally, here is the group, called free riders, or something like that. They go around and dumpster dive. They are dedicated to liberating the world from pollution... going green, the extreme style. They do not purchase any furniture, clothes, appliances, etc. whatever you find in a dumpster, they use. They live off our trash... The adage "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is true. Pretty amazing that they choose that life style and world. Not that I really admire it. Nothing that thrilling about choosing to be a bum, and not even a real bum. I would at least ask for money.
The different spheres are endless.