For the Love of the Game

26 09 2011

Being a sports fan is tough.  Seriously.  It’s like work sometimes.  Sports fans, the real kind of sports fans like e have here in Philly, we put effort into being a fan.  We know our players names, their numbers, their strengths and weaknesses.  From our armchairs, we’re part of every pitch, every hit, every snap, every pass.  We participate fully and we care deeply.  After a tight game, we’re tired and after a gut-wrenching loss… we’re heartbroken.  Or livid.  Or both.

We hold our breath when our quarterback goes down waiting for him to get back up.  When one of our guys is on fire flying around the bases and suddenly goes into a gimp, we grimace and our whole being chants, “Please just be a cramp, please just be a cramp.”  And when the quarterback stays down or the player doesn’t take the field when it’s time, our hearts sink and in one agonizing exhale we moan, “Oh no…”

It’s brutal caring so much.  Being that invested.  Game after game and week after week.   It’s agonizing, soul-sucking and downright painful.   So why do we do it?

We do it for moments like this:

And this:

 And, of course, like this: (which still makes me tear up)

These moments are why we do it.  The moments that we can say we saw.  We saw them happen.  From the stool at our local bar… from our couch in the living room…  right there in person.  In those moments we’re all one.  Joined in a single moment of absolute joy.  We were there.  In our own way, in our place, breathing life into the moment and knowing at once that we’ll never forget.

That’s who we are.  That’s why we put up with it all.  We know that we must go through the agony of defeat to get to the thrill of victory.  They both combine to make the experience worth the struggle.

We’re fans so we do it and we will continue do it.  We’ll always show up.

For the love of the game.



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