I don’t know what happened to the Dodgers that year. I have no idea whether Brooklyn did well or badly. So if someone can contrive to play the radio broadcasts over the week and send me newspaper clippings at the appropriate intervals, I can live the entire season with each inning, each game, and the season outcome as a complete surprise. Within certain limits I can experience the Brooklyn Dodgers of 1955 as if I had found a seam in time, stolen back in history, and managed to come upon these boys of summer as they played a season completely unaware that there was a time traveler in their midst.
Thank god for the death of "living memory." None of this makes any sense unless the knowledge of the season is completely extinguished. But happily it is. Unless someone blurts out details or, horrors, the season’s outcome, I will be listening to the 1955 season as innocent of its outcome as the fans of 1955.
I am assuming someone has the tapes of the radio broadcasts. I am assuming someone could send my the newspaper clippings each morning. I am assuming that someone in the video game industry could actually mock up a street card ride to the stadium and that I could watch various parts of 50s Brooklyn passing by. You could scale this up to be as absorbing as a fan could want.
I love the idea of sharing New York City with people who are playing an Area/code virtual game as a result of which the city takes on new drama and urgency that completely involves them but remains invisible to me. (Come to think of it, this is often true of life in the city, area/code or no.) And I really love the idea that I could be watching some guy listening to a game in emotional time and historical time simultaneously. Is he rooting for the Denver Broncos now or the Bears many years ago? There is something charming about the possibility that he is agonizing over games that have the intensity of the emotional moment but are played by athletes now turned to dust. I love the idea of having the spring and summer of my 2009 commandeered by a season that happened a half century ago.
I understand this approach splices reality and history in a weird way, but there is now a plenitude of experiential realties out there now, why not this?