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Soup of This Day #261: Looking Like A True Survivor

October 31, 2012

Baltimores Marching Ravens
Baltimore’s Marching Ravens, the official marching band of the Baltimore Ravens football team. They’re not actual ravens – Birds in general are not crash hot at the marching band gig. Instead they are a volunteer force of people who make up a band that survived a team being moved from under them (The Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis) and then 11 years without a team at all to support, before the Ravens arrived in town – Photo: Kevin Galens, 2009. Kevin Galens is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

Armageddon an icecream.

And it might need to happen sooner rather than later – Apparently, according to a theory grounded in supposed Mayan prophecies, the world as we know it is ending on December the 21st of this year.

Which is a downer for the holiday season but the Mayans couldn’t have known that when they formulated their Long Count calendar, nigh on 5,125 years ago. I’m sure that if they had they would have postponed the apocalypse for at least a couple of weeks, or until the Chicago Cubs have won themselves another World Series.

Technically, given that the Cubs haven’t won a World Series for 104 years that may stretch extra-time to some length – It’s not like the Cubs are in form – They haven’t had a winning season since 2009 and went 61 and 101 in this last year, their worst 162-game winning percentage since 1966.

Please note that ‘last year’ is a past tense thing rather than confirmation that this is the ‘last year’ ever. Unless of course you are retiring and not planning to work again because your 401K paid out big-time – Then, this will be your last year. Of work.

Enjoy the sunset of your life.

Of course if the whole Mesoamerican Long Count calendar thing is on the money then it will be a short and spectacular sunset. Hopefully we’ll all get to see the green flash.

Or the Green Hornet. The actual masked vigilante, not the film with Seth Rogan, awkwardly playing the masked vigilante. Although now that I think on it, Rogan does have a vague connection to the proposed end of days in December. Early last year he met with cinematic legends, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I’ll leave it to Seth to explain what happened in his own words:

‘George Lucas sits down and seriously proceeds to talk for around 25 minutes about how he thinks the world is gonna end in the year 2012, like, for real. He thinks it.

He’s going on about the tectonic plates and all the time Spielberg is, like, rolling his eyes, like, ‘My nerdy friend won’t shut up, I’m sorry…’

I first thought he (Lucas) was joking… and then I totally realized he was serious and then I started thinking, ‘If you’re George Lucas and you actually think the world is gonna end in a year, there’s no way you haven’t built a spaceship for yourself… So I asked him… ‘Can I have a seat on it?’’

Probably not, now that you’ve gone public Seth.

Some folks might be forgiven for seeing evidence of Lucas’ cataclysmic closing credits in events like yesterday’s Hurricane Sandy touchdown on the east coast of the US. The monster weather event has claimed over 70 lives across Central and North America and has led to record storm surge flooding that at least bears some resemblance to a Roland Emmerich film.

The thing is though, the Mayans didn’t predict any majors storms – They did not specify what shape the cataclysm would take. Actually, they didn’t even specify that a cataclysm of any kind would take place. All they really did was draw up a calendar that stretched 5,125 years into the future.

And then they got bored with that, which is fair enough – Who plans 5,125 years into the future? I’m guessing that even the undead, such as vampires, aren’t really fussed what day their birthday is on 5,625 years from now.

This then, is clearly just a case of a calendar running out. There’s nothing too sinister in that – Hallmark have been ending calendars in December for years without an annual apocalypse on the 31st of that month. And to be honest we don’t even know that the calendar is running out this particular December – 5,125 years is a long time and we’ve surely blooped the count on a couple of occasions, including during the Dark Ages when we allegedly lost a few years. You know how it is – A little mead and it was pretty dark and all – Before you know it 562 has morphed into 564 and you’re suddenly behind on birthday presents.

So the apocalypse might not be this year. There’s certainly evidence to support that it’s at least a year off…

For a start there’s that whole Chicago Cubs drought. Surely they’ll be allowed another World Series win before the end of civilisation. Then there’s the Cleveland Browns – The National Football League’s (NFL) unloveable losers. They sort of deserve another shot at the big time – A chance to win just the 1 Super Bowl. This does not look like a sure shot in early 2013 as they are currently 2 and 6, having lost the 1st 5 games of the season, and would probably need to win every remaining game plus hope that other key rivals lose.

That would seem to be unlikely.

As detailed in Soup #111 I at 1 time flirted with the Browns as my pick in the NFL. The relationship tailed off badly and then was axed for good when then-owner Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore in 1996 and renamed them as the Ravens.

Now however I’ve found a reason to follow those Ravens. For a bonus, Art Modell is no longer involved, having sold out to current majority owner and local Baltimore product Steve Bisciotti in 2004. The controversial Modell passed away only a month ago.

The Ravens have had a decent start to the current campaign, going 5 and 2. Those 5 wins included an eye-catching 1-point triumph over the 5 and 3 Patriots and a 23-16 victory over the reconstituted Cleveland Browns.

On the flipside the Ravens got absolutely trounced 13-43 by the high-flying 6 and 1 Houston Texans last time out. Baltimore’s quarterback Joe Flacco got sacked 4 times and intercepted twice, including 1 that was returned 51 yards for a touchdown. It was the most points conceded by a Ravens outfit, who have over recent seasons built a reputation for tight defence, since 2007.

That’s probably not a good marker for the remainder of the season.

The good news though is that next up for the Ravens, after taking last weekend off with a bye, is a team wallowing at 2 and 6.

Yep, the Ravens travel back to Cleveland to face the team that replaced them as the Cleveland Browns… The new-ish Cleveland Browns.

It’s a crunch game for both sides, both in terms of notching a crucial win and for bragging rights. See, if George Lucas is right – And you wouldn’t bet everything against him because he was on the money with that whole Jar Jar Binks thing after all – then this will be the final ever match-up between these 2 teams who were once, or continue to be, the Cleveland Browns.

I’m tipping the Ravens to edge this Beige Bowl, partly because I reckon they will bounce back from that Texans mauling with some renewed pride and effort in their defence, but also because they’re Ravens and such creatures are often seen as the portents of doom. In fact the Ravens name was inspired by dark writer Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. Poe lived for part of his life in Baltimore and is buried there. He may even rise from there as a zombie, depending if that sort of thing results out of the December 21 apocalypse.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. I still maintain that we’re some years away from the end of our way of life. The Cubs need to rebuild and the Browns need to get good.

I also haven’t learned to moonwalk yet – I know, how hard can it be? You’re sliding and snapping your heels. I just don’t have the vibe, the feel for dancing on the floor in the round.

The really good news is that the end looks unlikely anyway and I should have some time yet to put some glide in my stride – NASA has a whole page dedicated to debunking the belief that December 21, 2012 will be it for us. That page contains a rather wonderful summation:

‘But scientists, both within NASA and outside, recognize that this hoax with its effort to frighten people is a distraction from more important science concerns, such as global warming and loss of biological diversity.’

Not to mention, the Ravens getting their defence back into gear, the Red Sox rebuilding for next year under new manager John Farrell, Liverpool FC pushing on for a shot at the top 4, the Perth Glory Women continuing their winning streak and maybe making the finals for the 1st time, the Fremantle Dockers winning a flag and Golden State flying the flag for mediocrity with style.

All of these things should be in focus.

Perhaps not for George Lucas though…

This morning brought news that George has sold his cherished Star Wars franchise to Disney for a cool $4b.

I think George Lucas is bailing on us.

Meanwhile $4b will buy a lot of icecreams. About a billion of them and with just 51 days to eat the whole lot if NASA is wrong. I reckon if I lobby hard enough, while I might not get onto George’s spaceship, he might just hand over a frozen treat – Yep, Armageddon an icecream.

Looking Like A True Survivor

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