Why So Serious

Fans are passionate and they are loud.  True fans love their team through wins and losses.  They understand that to truly enjoy the mountain top of championships you have to suffer the valleys of many, many losses.

For all this love and understanding however, sometimes fans forget that this is supposed to be fun.  They forget these are games and to enjoy the ride.  They also start to believe the lover of their team is a moral choice and that because they like team X and you like team Y, they are superior to you.  This is where sports stop being fun and start being dark and painful.  It is falling in love with something and then becoming so obsessed by it that you lose touch with reality.  Ride or die turned bad.

This the thinking that leads people to start poisoning trees and going to away games looking to fight the other team’s fans as some kind of statement.  Let’s not worry about those people right now.  Let’s think about why we started playing and watching in the first place.

At some point, you fell in love with a sport or a team.  It was pure and wonderful.  Every day that you watched or played, it was like something was the best day of the week.  It was just the joy of reveling in the moment where each play and each shot made you happy regardless of outcome.

Then comes that first heart break.  That first big loss and it was the first time you knew this love of your life was not infallible.  It was the first time you noticed the other teams wanted to win just as much as you did.  This is the point where you either deepened your love or you ran off to another team.  If you stayed you were in for life, if you didn’t, well I don’t understand you.

Then you won again and lost again and lost again and won again.  The cycle repeats itself for the rest of time.  Kind of like love if you look at it long and hard enough.  You have your ups and downs and your fights and disagreements, but you stay in it because it is worth it.  That is where the difference ends, because love is actually important.

Unless you are on scholarship or somehow your paycheck is dependent upon the team, this is nowhere near life and death.  Cheering for people you have never met playing a game at a level that you cannot is not a moral choice.  You chose to cheer for this team because your personality meshed with the team’s personality, but that doesn’t make you better or more important than anyone else.

If your team loses it is not God judging you or some evil plan hatched by Satan himself to deny your team its rightful place in history.  People take all of this too personally after they have been a fan for a few years and lose the joy they had when they first fell in love.  They lose the sense of wonder and anticipation that comes from that first moment of discovery.

This isn’t about the money and the media crush, this is about putting things in perspective, not taking yourself too seriously and respecting each other as fans and as people.

Now I have to finish setting up my spreadsheet so that I can crunch stats that will help me win my tournament bracket contest.

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