Commentary

A week, in review

Updated: September 14, 2013, 9:25 AM ET
By Jeff MacGregor | ESPN.com

Tribute in LightAP Photo/Mark LennihanNever forget.

Another bad anniversary, and the Osprey flying up the river is just another piece of information. Matte gray and loud, unmarked, the chop of the rotors heavy in the late-day heat, the V-22 beats low and fast above the bridges and the tunnels and up past the U.N. Happens a lot in New York City this same week every year. Sometimes it's a flight of Black Hawks or a couple Sea Stallions. Down on the water the tugs and the gulls and the gunboats come and go.

You wait for the week to pass and the week passes and the stories go by online like the river, unbroken. Rafa and Serena win in New York. New York loses Derek Jeter and it loses Mark Sanchez. Maybe New York is better off. The Yankees win a couple. The Mets lose a couple. Like water, the Jets and the Giants seek their own level. The primaries come and go, and somehow Dennis Rodman is ambassador to North Korea.

The America's Cup incises San Francisco Bay. The only thing dirtier than international sailing is college football. The only thing dirtier than college football is professional football. Or NASCAR. Or maybe cycling. Or boxing. Or the World Cup. Or the Olympics. Or the Olympics. Or the Olympics

[+] EnlargeDennis Rodman
Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon "Ambassador" Dennis Rodman leafs through his diplomatic scrapbook.

Next stop, Sochi.

And on to Tokyo.

Understand that cheating in sports goes back past Homer and into darkness.

Three big redesigns came and went. A fourth is pending.

Vlad Putin tried a makeover, too. Oscar went to rehab. And conjunctivitis never looked better.

Things flood. Things burn. Things flood and burn. But things aren't always, or even often, what they seem. The East River isn't a river at all, it's a tidal strait. It ebbs and flows in both directions, and a couple times a day it stands completely still. The real ospreys nest farther out, on Jamaica Bay.

All at once, everyone noticed black quarterbacks. We finally left the solar system.

Israel scores an assist from the U.S. And maybe Syria cost Turkey the Olympics.

We all lost our smartest friend five years ago this week. He had some thoughts about loss and bad anniversaries and about gunboats on the river.

The lights came on again downtown. And it felt like history hadn't moved. Like watching a river that isn't a river at all. It was just stories. Information. Ebb and flood and stasis. A loop of constant return.

Which of these things was a metaphor? Which was a parable? Which a morality play? A warning? Which are the symbols, which are the lessons and what are they meant to teach?

The big fight happens Saturday. But there will be no answer in it. Boxing isn't a metaphor. It is the thing itself. The big fight is forever.

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