Thursday, September 20, 2007

'Tism Such as We've Rarely Seen

We’ve already noted the surging ‘Tism levels that were observed in the week leading to the Miami game. The surge has only grown since then. To put it in scientific terms (since all of us took science in high school, and possibly college, and at least one of us loves the Sci-Fi Channel), if the everyday background level of ‘Tism in the DC area was physically represented by, say, a football (perhaps a football gracefully falling into the waiting hands of Chris Cooley in the corner of an end zone), then the week-prior-to-preseason level would be a wheelbarrow full of such footballs. The current ‘Tism level, then, would have to be represented by enough footballs to cover the continent of North America in a layer of synthetic pigskin 20 feet deep. Where are these unquenchable vibes coming from? Let’s review.

Admitted-and-reformed optimism hater Mike Wise goes so far as to call the Skins’ victory an exorcism, presumably one that banished all demons ever encountered who wore ridiculous wings on their helmets. T-Boz continues his return to form in urging us all to ignore any nagging negatives and embrace the cold, uncompromising, utterly objective 2-0. Did he really invoke 1991? Yes. We’ll keep it at that…for now.

Wilbon scores big points for highlighting the staggering early season success, basically saying the Skins have found the formula to go undefeated, and scores even more points for referring to the Giants as “laughably pathetic.” We’d also add “pathetically laughable” and “imminently self-destructable.”

The Washington Times is already bringing on the expectation-exceeding angle. This sounds familiar, wouldn’t you say?

How out of control is this rapidly spreading wave of ‘Tism?, never a bastion of Redskins-loving, features Jason Campbell in the first slide of its Week 2 photo gallery, showing us how big of a deal it really was to go to Philly and beat the Eagles, who were crowned as NFC East champions by experts too lazy to think of another team who could possibly win the division. Dr. Z, who himself has recently shown a distaste for optimism-hating, ranks the Skins as the seventh-best team in the NFL (though he does need to re-think that #3 rank he bestows upon the Tank-Johnson-signing Cowboys).

That’s a helluva lot of optimism, and while 2-0 may be a prime catalyst, there’s more going on here.

United: in the playoffs, on track for yet another title.

Nationals: “hurting someone”, as Manny said they could. Mark the Mets as hurt after dropping 2 of 3 in pathetic, non-competitive fashion. The beauty of 2 of 3 cannot be understated, as the situation simultaneously hurts the Mets as they grasp to hold their lead in the NL East, and the Phillies, who need New York to lose every possible game as they try to catch up. Thus are the Mets left less confident in their lead and the Phillies left wishing there could have been more ground to gain. Yes, one of them ultimately has to win this thing, but that doesn't mean they should be able to enjoy it.

Capitals: suddenly wondering where to put all this prime talent. Backstrom in the center or on the wing? Kozlov on the first line or second? 'Tism cannot be contained within the walls of Kettler. Ben Clymer feels it, and we couldn't be happier, since we know how much he loves our piercing and insightful questions.

Wizards: Wait until training camp. It's going to be glorious.

Bask in it, people. Like a total solar eclipse, optimism such as this just doesn't happen that often. And like an eclipse, don't stare directly at it. Just drink plenty of 'Tism-aide and enjoy the ride.

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