I’m sitting here on New Year’s day playing around on my computer, listening to the never ceasing to amaze: TooL (the band), and compelled to go with the flow of inspiration that I’m feeling today. Couldn’t decide if I wanted to write, build upon my social networking-blogging infrastructure, make some photographic art, upload some art to promote, make & share videos of my amazingly joyful daughter Sydney Coleman, or share some pieces of my story of true love.
It seems I’ve settled on the writing/blogging aspect. So with that being said I was thinking about new year’s day a bit. Specifically what it used to mean for me, and what it is today.
What Happiness on New Year’s used to be.
In the past, New Year’s Day was strictly a day of College Football, and mindless over-indulgence. I am a reformed college football NUT. I can’t count how many years the entire day was dedicated to plopping my ass on my couch, drinking as many beers as my system could handle, and getting lost in the euphoria & excitement of an entire day full of intense games with crowds of 50k-100k people going nuts. Not to mention the anticipation of the later games in the evening, as they always saved the best for last. No doubt that football gets more exciting, the more alcohol you have in your system. I also had my lovely wife spoiling me all day with TLC and an assortment of sinful appetizers and treats for my taste buds.
Well here I am today, and the TV has not been turned on. The likelihood of it being turned on at any point today is as likely as the teeth suddenly & inexplicably falling out of my mouth. Matter of fact, I couldn’t tell you who the #1 team is, or who is playing in what bowl. I couldn’t tell you who won the heisman trophy or is in the race for it. I couldn’t tell you anything about this cfb season. The only fact I know is that Michigan finally beat Ohio State for the first time in 6-7?! years. I caught a glimpse of this through facebook from my sister-in-law, as my brother is a diehard Michigan traitor, ahem, I mean fan. Otherwise I wouldn’t have known. I wouldn’t have even known what day the game was on.
So what’s changed? Undoubtedly something in me has changed. I’m a different person, on a different path & wavelength of consciousness than I was at that time.
What prompted this shift?
The answer is corporations, and more importantly, PROFIT. Huh?! What do corporations have to do with New Year’s Day and college football? Well, everything, really. It all started to change for me when the corporations came in and completely ruined what used to be a sport full of spirit and tradition.
I have vivid, and pleasurable memories as a kid watching spirited battles, kids fighting for pride, honor, and glory in bowl games with super cool ass names that had purpose. The peach bowl, cotton bowl, orange bowl, rose bowl, sugar bowl, gator bowl, fiesta bowl, holiday bowl, and the list goes on. Let’s take the peach bowl for example. It’s called the peach bowl because it’s played in Georgia, the peach state. Started in 1968, and was the peach bowl for 30 years. In 1998, it became the chik-fil-a peach bowl. In 2006 Chik-fil-a paid $22 million dollars for naming rights, and stripped the term peach from the title. Now it’s just the chik-fil-a bowl. Seriously, the fucking chik-fil-a bowl?
It’s been stripped of any nostalgia, or any meaning it once had, in the name of consumerism and profit. I wonder how many families that $22 million would feed, or how many kids lives would be saved in third world countries. And I’m only talking about a buyout in one measly bowl game, in one measly sector of American industry. A drop in the ocean of the money that’s wasted in this society on things other than making this world a better place.
But I’m getting a bit off track. I went on a bit of a serious rant there. Let’s lighten it up a bit with some of the utterly ridiculous corporate sponsored names of bowl games for this year. I’ll try keep the list short, there’s too many to name, and they’re all completely absurd! .. Champs Sports Bowl, Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl (who here knows what the hell beef o’ brady is?), Maaco Bowl, GoDaddy.com Bowl, Ticketcity Bowl, and my personal favorite: The Meineke Car Care of Texas Bowl. But wait, there is a glimmer of hope here, as the bowl bought out by Kraft is titled the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. Hey, at least they tacked on an important social message that everybody will ignore.
Back to the main illustration of this writing. When corporations began taking over bowl games, it was unsettling to me. It just didn’t feel right. It felt like something was being taken away, being robbed from us in the name of greed. To say the least, it watered down the purpose & excitement of college football. The more I thought about the corporate influence on the game, the less interested I became. There are many other factors & reasons at work that have contributed to this shift, but witnessing it turn from a game of passion & tradition, into a corporate profit machine is the main factor.
With that being said, it ties into the bigger picture of how greed, profit, and corporations have undermined the spirit of our human nature, and stripped much of the purpose from our lives. Personally, I view sports in an entirely different way than I used to, and in saying that, I’m only scratching on the surface of how I feel about it’s overall role in our society. In a nutshell, I’ll just say that I see it now as a distraction from what I find to be truly important in this life.
Inspiration Replaces Indulgence
So here I am, no longer distracted, or feeding into a system that aims to keep us that way. I’m thoroughly enjoying a new year’s day filled with happiness, relaxation, peace of mind, inspiration, love & joy. Reflecting on who I am, what I used to be, or thought I was. I’m inspired to share my writings, art, and pieces of my journey with others. This year symbolizes a year of transformation, and growth, as I believe it does for all of us, whether consciously or unconsciously.
I don’t regret, or have any negative emotions attached to the person that I previously was on New Year’s Day. Just complete gratitude to be where I am, having experienced what I have, continually awakening to different aspects of our reality & consciousness, and sharing with the hope that somebody, on some level, is effected in a positive way.
Burke “Buddha” Coleman