Wednesday, September 14, 2011

What September 14th Means To Me: I Hate When The Broncos Lose.

It's football season and the Denver Broncos, my favorite team, are shit again!  And, of course, two days have passed since the opening Monday loss, and I'm still not over it.  Why?  Because I'm a fan and I enjoy placing emotion into a bunch of overpaid athletes who couldn't give a shit about me, of course. 

Remember that Hootie and The Blowfish song with the lyric, "I'm such a baby cause the Dolphins make me cry?"   I should write a sequel to that song featuring a lyric about the Broncos making me want to commit mass homicide.

While crying.

But this touches on a bigger issue that I'd like to discuss: the relationship between a team and its fans.  And how people who are not die hard fans do not understand it.  I recently saw a commercial for some new sitcom called "Whitney," in which the "sassy Whitney" condescendingly questions why men wear football jerseys while watching games on TV.  She "jokes" that she doesn't dress like a dead hooker when she watches CSI as if 1) she's being funny or 2) thats an apt comparison. 

Life is incredibly complicated, but sports, in comparison, are fairly simple.  There are finite rules and it's easy to pour emotion into something where the results are completely black and white.  This makes it easy to either feel 1) happy or 2) sad, and there's something thats naturally compelling about the promise of a simple result (either good or bad.)  But the fanship of a professional sports team, for better or worse, is also a kind of religion.  We generally form alliances when we are quite young and stick with them straight into adulthood.  During this time, our lives change constantly and dramatically, but the sports remain the same.  No matter where I move to or what my circumstances are, I know I can pour emotion into the Denver Broncos because its a virtual guarantee that they will be playing football on Sundays in the fall. Sports are a natural, unpredictable drama where the fan feels that they play a collective role in the success of the team.  Now, this may or may not be true, but while watching the game, there is a sense of participation that is hard to explain. Sports also create communities of like minded people.  God knows I spend enough time on Broncos message boards, communicating with others on a subject I love.  I suppose this creates kind of an echo chamber, the more I discuss it, the more involved I get, the more I feel apart of something that's bigger than me.  And that's a nice feeling. 

So, Whitney, that's what makes sports different from watching some dumb TV show.  When someone wears a jersey, its a show of support for a community they feel involved in, it's a representation of an extension of themselves.  It's really no different than someone wearing a cross or star of David to show the world they belong to a religion. 

That said, an hour of church probably doesn't make you want to do this:

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