What is it with being a fan of a sports team that when they lose we feel like we were there on the field with them.
Being a fan for so many years ( thirty nine to be exact) of the Minnesota Vikings has not been a good investment of my time. Thirty nine years without a Super Bowl win is not a thing to be happy about. Losing the last five Championship games isn’t fun either. I think it could possibly be worse, only because my team didn’t get to play in the Super Bowl let alone lose it.
After this weekends lose to the Saints, I swore to myself that I was done. Too many years of wasted time, energy and emotions left laying there on the floor of my living room, has made quite a mess.
It seems so odd to think that our emotions can get so drained, that we can fall into a funk of depression ( if only for a day, if you are one of the lucky ones) and then the next year be so optimistic that our team will get us to that glorious game. How can it be that being a fan of a team can become so much a part of our being as love, hate or any other long lasting emotion? Think about it. I remember the feelings I had when I lost one of my early girlfriends. It’s really not that different. Its like a part of our life is taken away and that missing piece takes time to heal and grow back. With love, its just replacing a lost love with a new one. With sports, its just replacing one team with the next. Football is over but maybe this year my baseball team will win it all .It’s how we heal.
How about all those Steeler fans. Boy do I envy those guys. How lucky are you if you happened to become a fan of the Steelers in the seventies. You have had a pretty good run haven’t you. But even with that, you still felt that heartbreak when those Steelers tanked this season after starting so well. Lucky you though. You didn’t have to go through that agonizing loss like us Viking fans did last Sunday.
So what does a guy do? Thirty nine years of futility is enough isn’t it? Isn’t it time to step away from being a fan and live a life less stressed and emotional? Don’t we really need to find something better to invest our selves in that won’t let us down when it really counts? I for one have decided its time to try.
I have stepped back from baseball. I have found ways not to watch. As tempting as it is to read the back pages each day, I turn away. I figure it this way. Maybe if I walk away, my teams will find a way to win. Maybe they will do it without my emotional support. Maybe I can step away and if they make the playoffs, I can watch. Maybe then I won’t have so much invested in the team so that if they do lose, it won’t be so bad. After all I didn’t spend all season watching, so how bad can it be watching one game. It has to be better than watching every win or loss leading up too the big letdown.
Years ago when I was younger, it wasn’t as bad as it is today. Years of watching, reading and talking sports still doesn’t add up to the exposure we have available to us now. I can remember being lucky to watch a Vikings game on television. Usually it was a Monday night game. Living in New York, it was near impossible to see Viking games on Sundays. Today, we live in a different world. Directv has the NFL ticket. The NFL network now brings us games. Sport Center plays the tape over and over again every hour in case you missed it or want to see the replay until it makes you puke. And satellite radio, the Internet and pod-casts give us infinite ways to see or hear our teams games, even though they play in a different city then we live in.
Unless your head was buried in sand all winter, then you know that Brett Favre came to the Vikings. Because he did, I was able to watch twelve Viking games on television this year. That is ridiculous!!! I was in my glory. All because of the allure of Brett Favre to the sports writers, broadcasters and fans.
The stars were aligned for Viking fans. The time was now for Viking fans. All those horrible losses would be forgotten with a Super Bowl victory this year. ” The pieces are in place”was Brett Favres own words this year. KFAN radio in Minnesota, played that over and over everyday during their sports talk radio shows. They actually gave us fans hope that this year would be different. We all know how that turned out!
So with one more broken heart I go forward into the next sports season. Pitchers and catchers report in three weeks, but this time will be different. This time I will look the other way in hopes that I will remain strong enough not to fall prey to their catchy phrases and slogans of a better year ahead. On no, you won’t fool me again! You won’t break my heart again! Today I take ESPN out of my channel guide and hope that someday, someone calls me and says ” Hey, congratulations on the Vikings Super Bowl win!” ….
The Regular Guy