My experience with The Onion has always been positive. Most of their pieces teeter back and forth between plausibility and ludicrousness, eventually depositing the reader at the latter destination. I recall with fondness the first Onion article I read: it was so subtle and ironic that I didn't realize it was a joke until about halfway through.
Today, however, their article on enjoying professional sports caught my attention in a much different way. Rather than yet another foray into the "Fake news that—oh-I-hope-it-is—might be real; no, it's not, very funny" arena, this is a much more salient piece of writing.
Sarcasm still abounds, but this sarcasm isn't rooted in creating a faux event. It's more along the lines of a mockumentary: ridiculing a social phenomenon that nearly everyone experiences. It could only be written by someone who feels the same way as me, feelings summarized in this excerpt:
Whenever a ball is hit, put into a hoop, or carried to a particular point of significance, my mind instantly races to consider all of the action's possible ramifications: "How will this affect future hittings, throwings, and carryings of other, different balls?" I wonder to myself. What a joy it is to closely follow a random group of men thrown together in one geographic location working together to win contests of athletic ability. Each and every victory of a team full of people I'll never meet over another team full of people I'll never meet is a complex web of nuance and metaphor to contemplate at great length.
When my favored team or athlete defeats an opposing team in a sporting contest of some sort—be it the Super Bowl, or the playoff games leading up to the Super Bowl—I am full of thoughts, and eager to share these new thoughts with others who enjoy thoughts about sports.What could be more nourishing to the intellect than spending as much time as possible discussing scores and statistics with people?
I know my distaste for professional sports isn't the majority opinion, but I'll stick to it nonetheless. I'll be reading, coding, or playing video games this Sunday afternoon because all of those things appeal to me more than "spending as much time as possible discussing scores and statistics with people".