Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Zooms and Pans

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Zooms and Pans

Article excerpt

What hope did we ever have against the virtual? Where's the will that might have jammed the spell? The ball glides under the outstretched glove with an immaculate serenity we couldn't have dreamed,

the hook shot swoons and rips the net, the uppercut sends the thickly aging champion into the annals of cauliflowered oblivion from seven elegant and omniscient angles.

The shivering crossbar, the sand-trap save, the unparalleled pike, the textbook bunt - in the booth there are knobs and buttons, men expressly wired to convert dubious commotion

into sequences rich and epic, fixed beyond dispute, instilling the sense at last that our bodies too, rewound in avid slo-mo, would surely disclose a telling pivot or a clinching move.

The father and son have scarcely budged a muscle. The game wears on. The season ends today. Their hearts belong to the side in red and gold, the father's school. The son is small but knows

the rules like catechism, knows the mechanics of erupting heroics and the stratagems essential to offset the accidents of fortune. And when the quarterback wheels and completes a rocket

or when the ball squirts free like a wet seed or when two lunging bodies meet savagely in midair, he knows why the screen must run it over: the revealing, the lingering, the penetrating second look. …

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