Last night my wife and I watched the movie Fever Pitch, starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. My wife likes this movie because it has Drew Barrymore and it is 75% a romantic comedy. I like this movie because Jimmy Fallon’s character Ben is an overly passionate Red Sox fan and there is some quality footage of the 2004 Red Sox curse breaking championship season. I am not a Red Sox fan but I have often been accused many times of being an overly passionate and ridiculously loyal fan.
There are a couple of lines between Ben and Drew Barrymore’s character Lindsey that I especially like when Ben is describing his fandom to Lindsey, and I especially like Lindsey’s response.
Ben: I like being part of something that is bigger than me, than I. It’s good for your soul to invest in something that you can’t control.
Lindsey: You’re a romantic. You have a lyrical soul. You can love under the best and worst conditions.
I have never heard being a sports fanatic described as good for your soul or a sign that you are a romantic or have a lyrical soul but loving under the best and worst conditions definitely describes a loyal sports fan.
I have rooted for the Chicago Bulls, San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Cubs and the Michigan Wolverines since I was eight years old. Some of those teams won more than their fare share of championships (Bulls and 49ers) while others have offered nothing but misery (Cubs). I’ve also been a loyal and avid supporter of Utah State and Gonzaga, my under-grad and law school alma maters, respectively, since my days as a student.
All of these teams have definitely provided both the worst and best conditions as a fan. You are definitely not in control of your team’s fate as a fan and it is definitely an emotional investment. It is very rewarding to be loyal to team in the worst of conditions (49ers from 2000 through 2010) and watch them become a contender once again (2011, 2012 and 2013), even if at the end of those three seasons they broke my heart each time. I don’t know if the emotional roller coaster is really good for your soul but this I do know:
If the Chicago Cubs ever do in fact win a World Series after decades and decades of suffering and futility, the emotional high that would come with it would make all the years of suffering worthwhile. If that makes me a romantic with a lyrical soul than so be it.
Posted by Hatch