this point last week, when a violent thunderstorm struck the Patriots' complex,
tearing asunder the media tent on the practice field but leaving the tent next
to it--reserved for the friends and families of players--unscathed.
Some of this
country's greatest thinkers have embraced indolence, from the writer Jerome K.
Jerome ("I like work. It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for
hours") to the comedian Jerome Seinfeld, who often went to work with his
father to experience "one of life's great pleasures: watching other people
work." The appeal is at once voyeuristic (a keyhole into another person's
life) and Sawyeristic (it's fun to watch someone else paint a fence).
In his memorable
soliloquy denouncing Wrigley Field fans, former Cubs manager Lee Elia said,
"The [bleepers] don't even work. That's why they're out here for the
[bleeping] game." At the Patriots' afternoon workout, fans lay prone near
the practice fields. Many were clearly playing hooky from work: They were
loafers in loafers, slackers in Dockers. Eating, drinking and staring at the
field--slothful, gluttonous, envious--they were multitasking their way through
the seven deadly sins.
On a football
practice field a thin white line separates players from public, American idols
from American idlers. Citing his job, Dolphins coach Nick Saban last week
declined to join the President of the United States for dinner in Miami, and
Pats coach Bill Belichick said that accepting a presidential dinner invitation
"wouldn't be very high on my list right now."
Against such a
work ethic, I can't help but feel like dead weight, an inert object. Leaving
Gillette Stadium, I follow a sign that directs me to the exit through--this is
perfect--the PRESS/FREIGHT ELEVATOR.
? if you have a
comment for Steve Rushin, send it to email@example.com.