If there is one thing Americans are good at, it’s being loyal to their favorite sports teams. Fanatical, absurd loyalty. I can appreciate that, I have my favorite teams, and have had them for a while now. I am a fan of the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Buffalo Bills, Texas Longhorns, and Texas Rangers. However, my loyalty is waning.
I have decided to put the Bills on a two year probation while I search for a new team to support with my fandom. If they do not make the playoffs this year or next, I will abandon them. The Longhorns on the other hand I have already let them go. Unfortunately my wife found a Longhorns t-shirt for my youngest daughter to wear as a night-shirt. She loves to put it on and come show me that she’s wearing my favorite team. I must now live a life of lies to not break her little heart until she outgrows the shirt, or until it gets “lost”. However, I’ll be rooting for The Ohio State Buckeyes from this day on.
What I have done is anathema in the sports fan world. When you are a fan you can’t just not be anymore. “Some fan you are!” But I see it like this, aren’t sports supposed to be entertaining? Isn’t having a favorite team supposed to bring you some kind of joy? When it doesn’t, shouldn’t you ‘fix’ that? I think so.
Here’s what makes the whole sports team “lifetime loyalty” idea absurd. The fact that this loyalty and die hard commitment manifests itself in sports but not real life is as absurd as it is disheartening.
If a person can commit themselves to a team who brings them joy as well as repeated disappointment and frustration, then surely they can transfer that ability to their life in other more important areas. We don’t seem to apply this ability to ‘stick it out’ to our marriages or our friends, for example.
If friends let us down or frustrate us enough, we are able to distance ourselves or even dissolve lifetime friendships. We allow ourselves to grow apart often with little regret or sorrow.
Even worse, many people are willing to end their marriages for relatively petty reasons too. They get bored, annoyed, or just fall out of love. But what about the commitment??? The pledge we made to love one another through good times and bad?
Granted we don’t have to live in the same house with our teams. I just find it absurd in the areas where people choose to stick to their guns. Something as trivial as a sport team deserves their lifelong unwavering support, yet the important people in life can be replaced without looking back.