I hate how much I love sports. I love the emotions that come with being a fan of a particular team. I love defending teams, and certain players. I love being hopeful, and I love being realistic. I love rooting for the good guys, and hating the bad guys.
I’m not the only one. Vancouver went nuts when the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup, causing over $4 million in damage. A quick Google search for “sports fans gone crazy” nets 46 million hits, including LA riots for Lakers championships (a good thing) and fans fighting with NBA players (Pacers-Pistons Brawl), just to name a few. After a big home loss, you can sometimes see fans standing at their seats, hands on their head, tears streaming down their cheeks.
We all have the guys that we love. The guys that we will defend to the death, that it hurts us when we hear bad things, because we feel their pain as humans. On the flip side, we have guys who we hate, we laugh at their failures. We all have our own reasons for this, be it the team they play on, jealousy, personality of that athlete, our desire to be right after an impromptu bet, or even us rooting for the underdog.
It doesn’t matter how much the talking heads hate our team, or how bad they think we are, we are not going to stop loving them. It’s like a bad relationship. Or, it could be a great relationship. Being a Denver Broncos fan sucks. Being a San Antonio Spurs/Texas Rangers fan isn’t too bad these days, although both teams have had their share of crappiness. I’m ok with knowing the Broncos suck. I don’t expect playoffs, so when we don’t make it, I’m not disappointed. But the worst part about being a fan is when you’re let down.
And that’s why I’m still reeling from the World Series this year. I thought we had it. We were so close. The bullpen had proved me wrong. During the season, I thought they sucked, and then they reeled off near-perfect games in the playoffs, surprising everyone, including the Tigers. After watching the wrecking ball/bullpen tear through the playoffs, I knew the Cardinals would be easy. I was mildly worried, but not scared. Then we melted. I have rarely seen such meltdowns. I won’t go into details, but it was painful. And then it was 2 years in a row that my team had lost in the Fall Classic. After never having been in 48 years, we go twice and lose both. Last year was the first time a team I cheered for had gone to their championship game and lost (I know the Broncos went to the super bowl 5 times and lost before they won, but I was barely alive during those times). I started thinking that instead of cheering and getting my hope up every year for a championship, I would rather my teams not make the playoffs. I would rather my hope be dashed quickly then to be disappointed. I know the buildup makes for a greater story, but I just wanna win.
But isn’t that the beauty of sports? Our teams test our hope game after game, season after season, showing glimpses of hope. Most seasons are going to end in failure. We, as fans, will be disappointed. But we keep coming back for more. We want so badly for success. I think, as I mix content here, that sports are a beautiful picture of our lives. Most of the time we are disappointed, but we all know that the hope that we carry is worth all the losing seasons.
Now on to my Top 10 for NFL week 10:
Packers- I truly believe the Pack will go undefeated the rest of the year.
49ers- Can they clinch the NFC West before Thanksgiving?
Ravens- Best in the AFC now that the offense is hitting it’s stride.
Saints- The Packers’ only true contender for the NFC.
Giants- Showed promise in the win over the Patriots Sunday.
Lions- Need to get the ground game back on track to continue the success.
Steelers- I have learned never to count them out, even after being swept by the division rival Ravens
Texans- Best record this far into the season in franchise history.
Bears- Winning a close game against a good (?) Philly team proves Chicago is a contender.
Bengals- Too soon to know if Cincy is a true contender, but their record says they are.