I’ve read more columns about the love of sport than I care to count. A change of pace to follow in the form of one examining exactly why I hate them. Or why I love to hate them. And you do too. The Redskins, my Redskins, the highest paid team in the history of the Western Hemisphere, are about to beat the New York Giants. All is well.
However, last Monday night, after a bitter loss to the Dallas Cowboys, I sauntered into my room, turned on Rage Against the Machine, and cranked out a five-hundred word essay attempting to sort out my feelings.
Here is the part that I can excerpt from it, sans F-bombs of course:
“What happens when you actually hate a large group of people you don’t even know because they lost a professional sports contest in a game you don’t personally play in a situation where nothing significant in your life hinges on the outcome and no literal harm could be truly reaped on you? Do you hang it up? Is it okay that I want to put my head through a wall? I’m insulting players on the other team for no reason at all.
Should I be allowed to follow a team anymore? Does anybody else feel like this? Okay, simmer, simmer. I’m being very undude. This is not life and death. The Dallas Cowboys were conscientious objectors to our gameplan. They’re very fragile. It’s like walking by a burning building. I have to stop and look no matter how painful it might be.” (Dickens, 5)
That was last week. Right now, it’s midnight. I have two papers due tomorrow. Neither, of course, can unseat the Redskins. I spent five hours in front of a television today for no reason at all. And I’m not alone.
This is the problem with having a favorite professional sports team. I hate them. I love them. My emotions rise and fall like an intro student at the Actor’s Center. But regardless of how I feel about the team that week, I still watch. To prove this point, and taking into account that the number of Redskins fans here would not max out fire capacity in Brooks, I will take the case of the Boston Red Sox fan.
There are plenty of you at this school, and I know your type well. You foam at the mouth with the prospect of full-time NESN access.
You know the names of the young guns in Pawtucket. You refer to Nomar in a dialect where R’s unbend to become H’s. Too much for some people. Your ashes will be distributed equally between the parking lot where Boston Garden once thrived and into the screen of the Green Monster.
Trot Nixon for Sammy Sosa did not look like that good a deal. A hot dog is a Fenway frank, and you are a wreck for at least six months a year.
And you love it. It is a rite of passage and ritual of misery.
“There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.” The Buddha, among other people, said that, and I have no idea what it means.
Bobby McFerrin said “Don’t worry, be happy.” I know what that means. But that song makes me want to beat up N’Sync. Unconvincing, smug concluding statement: It is fun to believe.
And I do know the way to happiness. The Redskins are currently 2-2.
At 17-2 with a Super Bowl ring around The Danny’s finger I’ll be there, man.