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Seamans: A Little Relief

11/11/09 7:55AM By Bill Seamans
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(HOST) Today's news is full of sad events and memories, so commentator Bill Seamans decided to offer a little relief.

(SEAMANS) We the people are suffering some of the saddest of days as unspeakable tragedy weighs down on us.  An available therapy , it seems, is an escape into the world of Fandom - a special consciousness that takes us, however momentarily, away from our daily battle with our extreme problems.  To help soothe our spirits we have just been through our World Series session and now we are ticking off the days to the Super Bowl as our next big dose of Fandom therapy.

Fandom can be so overwhelming that it has become a part of our lives alongside our families and our jobs.  Whatever bad news the media serve up, it is tempered over coffee with the latest scores and predictions for the next game or by an occasional sensational story like Andre Agassi's drug addiction revelation.

As a spectator of considerable longevity I thought I had absorbed just about everything a rabid fan had to know until the other day when I caught a headline in the Washington Post that asked: "Do you want your remains scattered on your team's home field?"  I learned that more and more super-fans are requesting that their cremated remains, or "ashes", not be stored in the traditional urn but instead be dispersed on their favorite sport's field of honor.

So many fans are asking that their ashes be scattered at the pitcher's mound, under the goal posts, or on a favorite fairway that a heads-up entrepreneur founded the International Scattering Society, a kind of travel agency for the deceased to help the super-fan score his final point.  CIose to home, I understand that some requests to mix with the sod at Fenway Park have struck out.  While I'm unaware of any alternative Fenway might have offered, NASCAR's Bristol, Tennessee, Motor Speedway, which had waved off pleas to scatter ashes under the checkered flag at the finish line, set up a super-fan cemetery outside the oval's high-banked turns.  Big-time football colleges like Ohio State, Michigan and Notre Dame have turned down the requests of some Big Bucks alumni citing local burial laws, religion, sanitation and the health of the playing surface.

But Fandom is irrepressible - In Chicago a super-wealthy super-fan bought a plot in a nearby cemetery and build a brick replica of Wrigley Field's center field wall which can hold three hundred urns in niches called "eternal luxury skyboxes" - the Cubs fan's ultimate resting place.  But so far I hear no word that Red Sox Nation fans are contemplating setting up a duplicate of Fenway's Green Monster.  However, as a cautious second thought, I might be speaking too soon.
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