Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Arena Football in the Baghdad Super Bowl

Game in Overtime. . .

From where did this dream or fantasy come to me in my early morning waking hours? The only antecedent that comes to mind is Secretary of Defense Gates's optimism, as he recently strolled the streets of the Iraqi capitol like John McCain before him.
I found astonishing signs of normalcy. . . I'm talking about professional soccer leagues with real grass field stadiums, several amusement parks, big ones, markets that are very vibrant. . . . It's a very mixed picture. . . It remains to be seen where we'll be in September.
Anyways, in this dream, I was a reporter in a poorly-lit Baghdad Bowl arena football game. Even though this was the final championship game, there were many teams contending. Only one team was wearing helmets, pads and uniforms. (Yeah, it was tricolors, probably red, white and blue.) This game was extremely physical with injuries, even fatalities, on every play. This didn't seem to be a problem for the highly partisan, blood-thirsty crowd. And, as far as the teams were concerned, there were always a supply of fresh replacements. Even coaches were frequently replaced. Of course, referees were dutifully blowing their barely audible whistles on all infractions. However, the penalty yardage assessed was never material because other barely noticed hooded field officials were always capriciously moving the line of scrimmage, ten-yard marker and the goal posts. The score board was the most erratic feature in my nightmare. Scores for all four or five teams were constantly being adjusted. And the time remaining? It was always the same: 6 minutes months to go.

I, as the sports reporter, was waking in desperation as to what to compose for my morning column. Not only would this grim contest not end before my personal deadline, but neither were there a stable score or notable turning points in this interminable scrimmage to report. I was about to settle for a description of the physical beauty and architectural features of the stadium. I reached for my camera and snapped off a hurried panoramic shot of my surroundings just as my faithful and merciful Dobie awakened me with his imperious cold wet nose.

Was a new day dawning? Or, was he just telling me it was time to wake up and smell the coffee?

16 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Blogging4Food said...

Please, someone, call this game on account of darkness.

6/19/2007 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger MadMike said...

This is superb writing Vigil. The dream device works quite well. I also suspect this is one case where your dream has come true. I really enjoyed this read and I think blogging4food is right...would someone PLEASE call this game.

6/19/2007 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger Urbanpink said...

Intense analogy, really alive writing! Too bad we have such a sad inspiration. I don't know why our politicians don't just start the process to bring our troops home today. Bush has got the funding to do it. I guess Gates was the intro to summer. I'm stunned that we're going into summer with this mess. I'm holding every Congressperson accountable for this.

6/19/2007 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger DB Cooper said...

Did I see an under-reported headline fly by the other day announcing that the United Nations renewed its 'mandate' for the U.S. occupation?

6/19/2007 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger Suzie-Q said...

I'm holding every Congressperson accountable for this.
--------------
That's two of us urbanpink!! Every single one of them!

6/19/2007 08:12:00 PM  
Blogger M.D. said...

The sun'll come out tomorrow.

Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there'll be sun.

6/20/2007 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Beach Bum said...

Like the others have already said, great writing. But I'm with m.d., things will get better.

6/20/2007 09:13:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

My friends, Hope & Faith alone, will not do it.

6/20/2007 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Vig, great post. For the game to end, we have to impeach the ref.

6/20/2007 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger LittleBill said...

Wonderful post, Vig, even for a nightmare!

6/20/2007 06:14:00 PM  
Blogger Boris said...

If memory serves me correctly, the day when this post appeared, the L.A. Times relegated its Iraq story to page 3, beaten out by two crime stories. If the Baghdad Bowl were actually a sports event, it would be above the fold on page 1 everyday. But it is not a game is it? We've lost 14 KIA in the last two days.

6/21/2007 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger LTE said...

How was this unwinnable war initiated in the first place? Why was the public not informed of what many knowledgeable people thought would be the likely costs in money and lives? Many, if not most, unbiased foreign policy experts regarded this Iraq war as a blunder from the beginning. Yet major social and government institutions either actively or passively supported it.

Was the public failed by the media, intelligence services, military and both political parties? And if we were, what do the American people need to do about it? Where were the checks and balances that are the foundation of our democracy? These are very traumatic issues indeed. However, if we do not have the courage to ask these questions, then this war will truly have been fought in vain.

6/23/2007 03:26:00 PM  
Blogger LTE said...

Moreover, more to the point:

Why should the American people believe that, once again, we should give it another few months, another six months, to see if this time things miraculously change? As the generals and others have stated time and again, there is no military solution to the problems in Iraq. Bush is just trying to run out the clock and pass off this failed war to his successor. The inevitable conclusion should be that it's time now for our troops to come home.

6/23/2007 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger skip sievert said...

Wrong Ite. That wrecks the special interest fun.
The Dems and Repubs have raked in billions for their groups with the fake 'war'
You Demo friends have seen their stock portfolios go up up up. Do you really think that something other than the war could have done that.
Wait till the 'war' expands again ~!!
Another shot in the arm for the stock market.
How naive are you ?
America runs on our war machine. Huge spending to fund it drives America and feeds the machine of business and industry.
A system like ours must grow.
War is the shortcut.
Divide and Conquer.

6/23/2007 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger Non-Partisàn said...

Loosen up Skip S. All this bowl game needs a little sprinkling of ladies. No cheerleaders? Maybe Iraq needs a Title IX?

6/23/2007 06:27:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Yes, LTE, just like you said it:

"Why should the American people believe that, once again, we should give it another few months, another six months, to see if this time things miraculously change?"

It's like déjà vu all over again. It's like déjà vu all over again.

You nailed it:

"Bush is just trying to run out the clock and pass off this failed war to his successor. The inevitable conclusion should be that it's time now for our troops to come home."

In both Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush is 0-2. He is sending our men and women top their death to keep this Iraqibowl game going so the final score will not be recorded on his watch.

6/23/2007 06:46:00 PM  

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