Culture, Movies, NBA

Ricky Rubio, Faith, and Basketball

I shunned the Timberwolves for one night. I was so upset over losing Ricky Rubio for the season that I decided to rent a movie instead of following the T-Wolves-Hornets game.  I had wanted to see The Way for a while and I needed a distraction from the drama.

The Way is about an opthamologist, Tom (played by Martin Sheen) who goes to retrieve his son’s body after he dies on the Camino Del Santiago. The Camino Del Santiago is a pilgrimage trail in northern Spain that is traveled by thousands of people every year. The trail has spiritual significance. Tom ends up taking the trail himself and has a few adventures of his own. It is a beautifully done movie.

The Way doesn’t have much in common with Ricky Rubio other than the Spanish connection. However, the movie reminded me that dedication, whether to a journey, a belief, or a team is not without some sort of pain.

Although, the pain of a sports fan pales in comparison to that of a pilgrim, it is hard to deny the impact that sports plays in people’s lives. Football is now as synonymous with Sunday as is church. Fans propose at sporting events. Few things can deflate an entire city or state like the loss of their sports team. So when your team’s “savior” goes down for the rest of the season, it hurts.

The Timberwolves are my first sports team love. My first significant memory of them was reading in the newspaper over my dad’s shoulder that the team changed their logo. I thought it was the ferocious looking Wolf coming out of the pine trees was the coolest thing ever. I also remember how happy my brother, my dad, and I were when we witnessed the Wolves’ first playoffs victory.

I am frustrated and upset with the loss of Ricky. I know it could be worse. We could still be the laughing stock of the league. We could have lost Kevin Love after this season. We could still have Kurt Rambis at the helm. We’re still a pretty decent team without Ricky. I’m not worried with Luke Ridnour and JJ Barea stepping in for the injured Spaniard.

Faith in anything is not easy. Faith in Minnesota sports is especially difficult. Hardly any big name free agents want to stay there (well, other than ones that are there already.) It’s frozen there most of the year. There is no “larger than life” attitude like New York and no bright lights like LA. Egos are not cheered, hard work is. We Timberwolves fans can’t feel sorry for ourselves now. The team has already exceeded expectations.  The next few weeks will define the Wolves character. Will they quit, or persevere?

SPOILER ALERT. At the end of the movie, Tom releases his son’s ashes in to the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a cathartic moment for him after an arduous trek. I don’t know where the 2012 Timberwolves’ journey will end, but I’ll keep following, waiting, and having faith that good things will come.

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