Sports are and always have been such a huge part of my life, that I've never stopped to think why me and millions others are so consumed with following them. Most of us played sports as kids. Some of us played in high school, even a few in college.
But there comes a point in every sports lovers life that you lose the ability to be a player, and become only a fan. There in lies the core of why we are sports fans. We are living vicariously through our teams and our favorite players. When our team does something good or bad, we do something good or bad. That is how we as sports fans stay connected.
It also has to do with wanting to feel part of something bigger than ourselves. I'm a Celtics fan and feel like I'm a part of the bigger Celtics community. When I go to bars and they're on TV, I feel like I'm representing them in a way. When I go into a bar in Boston I feel at home. It is almost like an extended family for sports fans. Sports gives us a chance to get away from the realities of everyday life for a few hours. When our team wins we feel a sense of accomplishment even though in reality we had nothing to do with it.
The problems come when you take it too seriously. I know first hand about this. I remember back in high school, anytime UNC would lose in the NCAA tournament I'd be depressed and angry for a week. It's ridiculous when you think about it. Does your life really change just because your sports team doesn't win? Nothing was worse than the Super Bowl 2 years ago when the Patriots lost. I thought I had slowly gotten over the stage of life when I let sports get to me that much, but I honestly couldn't watch or read any sports related items for two weeks. Yes, I am still kind of bitter.
The good news is, even though I'm nervous when my teams play now, I get over losses a lot better than I used to. Being depressed about a sports loss is similar to a lot of things in life. It does no use to regret what already has happened, you move on and hope for the best next time.
The Internet has created a whole new breed of sports fan. Now you have so much negativity and hatred between people. Go on any message board and you will see tons of hateful comments and most of it makes no sense. It is ridiculous to hate anyone just because they are on a team you don't like. Look, I've done it before and for that I'm a total idiot. But I've realized that you can hate a team, but you can't hate the players. It is dumb to hate Peyton Manning just because he is on the Colts and really good. I don't know the guy at all, and just because he is the best player on my rivals team doesn't make him a bad person. The exception to this of course is T.O who sucks at life.
I love being a sports fan, though it can be an extremely frustrating life. This is especially the case if you like the Redskins, who always seem to underachieve, and whose owner only cares about dollar signs. But for some reason we keep rooting for our teams. No matter how much they break our heart, no matter how many times the players change, a sports fan always cheers on their team to the end.Karl Dillinger 10/08/2009 12:20:00 PM Tweet