I’m a Boston sports fan, born and raised, I found the Celtics the year that Larry Bird was a rookie and I was hooked. I cheered hard from the living room floor while my Dad looked on in pride, at least one of his daughters had caught the sports bug.
I didn’t root for the Patriots though (then) because, frankly, they sucked and it just wasn’t any fun. Ditto for the Red Sox and what was the point of hockey anyway?
Then I met my husband and he slowly sucked me into the entire sports culture. 2003 was an ugly year for the Red Sox and my marriage. I screamed at him after the Sox lost ”you did this to me! You’ve sucked me back in!” He was almost inconsolable and threw out the hat he had bought in 1986 … the hat he vowed to wear until the Red Sox finally got their pennant. I fished it out of the trash the next day and framed it for him as a Christmas present. I couldn’t bear to see him lose all hope and the hat suddenly became the symbol.
Then it was 2004 and well, if you haven’t heard the story by now then you clearly aren’t a baseball fan and there’s no point. But it’s fun to say phrases like “the Yankees had the biggest choke in sports history” and “cowboy up.” My husband refused to be with me the night they swept saying he needed to be with “his people” and I didn’t quite qualify and his first phone call wasn’t to me, but to his Mom, who at the age of 73 had finally realized her dream too. By the time he got to me he was crying and so was I … we were both deliriously happy.
Our marriage recovered to the point that we’re season ticket holders for the Red Sox now and thoroughly enjoy going and rooting for the team, happily dissecting pitchers, batters, trade choices, etc. I also became a fan of the Patriots and even participated in a fantasy football league a couple of seasons ago. How far I’ve come.
Then I saw this in my Facebook stream from my good friend fitness pro Liz Dialto.
When I see people’s sports posts, I’m reminded that quitting being a sports fan is one of the best decisions I’ve made in the last two years…I never have to be upset about the performance of a group of people who don’t know or care about me anymore. Feels good!
Hunh. It stopped me cold. Do you know how much time I’d have back if I didn’t root for a sports team … any sports team at all? I’d have written that bloody novel by now! Or at least found the time to refinish the coffee table my feet are currently perched on. Then I thought about another friend of mine who I regularly see posting on Facebook about the trials and tribulations of his team, The Buffalo Bills and yeah I do feel kind of sorry for him.
So is being a fan worth it? I’ve gotten a lot of joy out of rooting for my team, I love going to Fenway Park and hanging out with the crowd, I love watching the Celtics make it into the playoffs and man I love watching Brady throw … but I also was swearing hard at the beginning of this season as the Patriots fumbled badly and the Red Sox were a huge disappointment … there was more action happening at the beer stand than the outfield, that’s for sure.
There’s also the family element. My husband, son and I are all fans of football and baseball and it gives us something to bond over.
What do you think? Is it better to be a sports fan or to avoid it completely? Is bonding with strangers who live near each other over-rated? Does the glory of victory outweigh the agony of defeat? What if you local team sucks and has forever? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.