The biggest game of all that no one wins

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The urge is to compare today to some ultimate or galactic Game 7. The gnawing pit in the stomach, the visions of doom in your head, because no sports fan ever allows themselves to think about victory, at least for any more than a fleeting second, in such a thing. You spend the whole day or days steeling yourself for disappointment and its aftermath.

Of course, this isn’t sports. It’s far bigger than that, with actual lives in the balance, millions of them. Though the feelings may have similarities, the depth and bottom of these make any comparison to a sporting event juvenile and dismissive. Though juvenile and dismissive is basically what I do, and having spent most of my adult life writing about sports makes it my first instinct/lever-pull.

The spilling of sports, its coverage and emotions, into our politics is of course one of the huge problems we have and one of the reasons we got here. The fact that everything has to have two opposing forces and be argued at the top of everyone’s lungs. The graphs, the analytics, the winners and losers, which is the real problem because in a game, the losers simply go home. In life, everyone still has to actually live and work together, which has been impossible of late considering now there is only the chase for wins instead of progress.

And today, there is no winning. The best outcome is only that the slide into the abyss can be arrested. Maybe even only slowed, considering the size of the problems we already have and all that we’ve already lost. There is no glory to be dreamed of here, and if there is it’s far off in the distance. And we may all be doing this again in two or four years. And of course, there is the widespread feeling that nothing will be decided today or anytime soon. It’s a Game 7 pregame show that could last weeks.

Yes, the dread is similar. The slowing of time feels familiar. There are elements that feel alike. It’s just all the bad stuff with very little glimpse of any of it being worth it, if any at all.

Oh, but the drinking will be the same. That’s for sure.

Anyway, shifting back into the toy department, the rumblings are that the NBA could be headed for an ugly fight between owners and the players’ union that we’ve seen in MLB and elsewhere. Adam Silver and the owners wanted the season to start before Christmas, and the players are pretty set on starting in the middle of January. There’s talk of bleeding into the Olympics, or voiding the CBA, or having the calendar disrupted for the 2021-2022 season and beyond. When you start throwing terms like “escrow” and “spreading players’ losses” around, you can be sure this will get contentious.

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