As a sports fan and a sports writer, I have seen both sides of what sports can mean to a fan, community. I’ve seen the over the top fandom that leads people to do illogical things. But at the same time, I’ve seen how a sport can uplift a city and bring unity.
With that in mind, these past several days really showed me what exactly sports is all about. But do we get too obsessive with sports sometimes? Or do we undervalue the impact of what sports means.
This is part one of a two-part series in which I look at the sports and how we as fans are too crazy about it or how we’re not crazy enough.
The above video is the point I want to make with my piece today. Is that kid you? Is that kid someone you know? I know people like that. I was never that intense, but I’ve had moments where I’ve gotten really emotional after a game.
But I think now I’ve gotten to the point where people are too obsessed with sports. Maybe I’ll categorize these people in the “crazy” category. These people cry after regular season losses. These are the kind of people that spend three hours putting on facepaint before a game. These are the people that instead of going outdoors for a walk, rather stay at home and watch three games at once on their TVs and computers.
I think what people don’t realize that sports is just a game. A regular season win or loss against a rival shouldn’t make a person depressed for the rest of the week. And for sure, any loss isn’t worth crying over like that kid.
Maybe it’s the fact that I am in sports media and I see sports differently, but I can debate that I am still a passionate sports fan. I have never worn facepaint or dressed up, but I love my teams. Baseball is my favorite sport and the A’s are my favorite team. Every year it seems like I am buying one or two new A’s caps, a new jersey. In fact, the other week I bought stirrups to wear for a game later this year.
I am a huge sports fan. I go to as many A’s games as I can and shell out my good hard-earned money for baseball. But even after a loss, you don’t see me cry. Now after a playoff game, I’ll get emotional, but I won’t mope. I accept the loss and move on. After all, it’s just a game.
A loss doesn’t change my life. I still have to wake up, go to work and live my life. LeBron James was right (although very brash) when he said last year that people need to live on with life.
I watch sports because I enjoy it. It’s a nice escape from the other things I have to do in life. I don’t want my enjoyment to cross over into my life. I mean, I have my limits — unlike this guy, sadly.
I think this is part of my hope that I don’t become the “sports guy” among my friends. Being so obsessed with sports isn’t healthy. Especially since I have been in the sports media business for five years, I like to get away from sports. I don’t want sports to over-influence my life.
“It’s just a game.”
I used to get really angry when people said that to me. Obviously they weren’t sports fans so they didn’t understand. But they were right. It was just a game. It wasn’t like the outcome of the game meant I was going to jail or getting robbed. It wasn’t anything serious. It’s just a game. What these athletes are doing is what I do on my free time at the local park.
I guess this is my attempt to really take a step back and understand that no matter what, it’s really just a game. I enjoy playing it and watching it. I like learning stats and watching highlights. But I think I view sports as a hobby. It’s not my life. It’s a part of my life. But I would never get overly emotional about it.
I will feel sadness after a tough loss and joy after a big win. But that’s it. I enjoy the ride but won’t let it consume me. I’m a fan of sports but I don’t want to be categorized as a fanatic. I guess I am more of a realist on things.