Few things in life play on passion like sport. Few things are as polarizing. Few things pull at one’s every emotion as does the ebb and flow of the successes and failures of one’s favorite sports team or player. The sports fanatic lives vicariously through his or her teams and players. It is in fact possessive in nature and scope. It’s my team. We need to … We should … We suck. We kicked their asses. I’ve been an avid sports fan since the early 1970’s. Emotionally I live and die every year with the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Capitals, Washington Redskins, and Washington Wizards. For the first time in fifteen years, the Orioles were exciting. Every play of every game was worth watching. That’s what makes being a fan through the rough seasons worth it. The Capitals may or may not play a game this season. I love NHL ice hockey. I’ll miss it if it isn’t a part of the sports calendar. The Washington Redskins have themselves a quarterback for the first time in twenty years. Moreover, they have a franchise quarterback for the first time in forty years. While the team still has much work to do the play of Robert Griffin III alone is enough to give hope to the future. Were I a fan of another team, RGIII would still be exciting to watch at every opportunity. The Washington Wizards have themselves a shooting guard. Bradley Beal has looked solid in his first few games. The jury is still out, of course. Without John Wall and Nene it is virtually impossible to know how the team will play for the balance of the season. Certainly they are a better team than their record indicates. Competing in the NBA is incredibly difficult due to the system itself. There are the haves and the have-nots. The Wizards are not yet amongst the haves.
One might think it would be easy to walk away from sports, given the teams I follow. It is very much like living at the Heartbreak Hotel. Who needs it, right? Well, that is what separates the casual fan from the true fanatic. One can tell a lot from language. Younger fans often tend to use terms such as “x-team-fan-forever” or “die-hard fan.” There is no forever. It’s all about the moment. Die-hard defines itself much as does the Republican Party: “One who stubbornly resists change or tenaciously adheres to a seemingly hopeless or outdated cause …” Sports teams change and adapt every play of every game, or at least they try to. If they are liquid, so too should be their fans. These are poor terms for sports fans. Specifically, they are poor terms for this sports fan. I don’t define myself that way.
How do I define myself as a sports fan? Insane. The condition of being insane; a derangement of the mind. Synonyms: dementia, lunacy, madness, craziness, mania, aberration. psychosis. extreme foolishness; folly; senselessness; foolhardiness. a foolish or senseless action.
I would suggest that defines sports fanaticism about as well as it can be defined. I’ve literally become sick to my stomach over games. And player performances. And injuries. And poor management and ownership decisions. Sick to to point of violent illness and regurgitation of my last meal. Why? Sports doesn’t pay my bills, put food on my table, feed my children, clothe anyone, feed the pets. In fact it costs money if it does anything. Game tickets and merchandise, parking and concessions. Pay Per View. My life continues on regardless of the outcome of games. So, why am I so affected by sports? Because it is life. Life imitating everything. Art. Science. Life. And because I am insane …
If you can relate to this brand of insanity, tell me about it at http://www.sportsbomb.co