I read the following article from a friend of mine and I thought I’d share it with others. It is a nice read on how most of us felt after the gut wrenching loss against the Giants. If you wish to read more from Brandon check out his site.
Sports are littered with cliches. The one burning a hole in my brain right now is “the joy of victory/the agony of defeat.”
I hate cliches.
I’ve been an avid sports fan since I was a child; I’ve lived and died by my teams in a way that absolutely perpetuates the preconception that many have of sports fans: crazy, too involved in something meaningless. Last week I wrote about how sports transcend themselves; they become cultural events to which everyone can relate regardless of whether or not everyone watching is a fan.
Last week I wrote about the positive emotions that one can enjoy.
I can’t do that this week.
Last week I wrote about the revelation that the phrase “I felt like a kid again” is perhaps the most truthful, beautifully simplistic way to describe the high of a victory.
I can’t do that this week.
I follow plenty of teams in plenty of games; I’ve stuck with them since I woke up one day, suddenly interested in the outcome of a game from the previous day that I probably didn’t even watch. I followed my parents; they grew up Yankee fans, so I did. They loved baseball the most, so I did. They learned about what comes with being a fan, and now I have.
There is one team I love that has not tasted success since I invested an interest in them: the San Francisco 49ers. On some level, they’re the team I love the most. I remember being a little boy, watching my dad watch them on TV one day. He liked a couple of players. I mistook that to mean he liked the team; they became my team because I wanted to be like my dad.
I’ve never even been to San Francisco, but that’s surely where my heart has been for the last fifteen seasons.
Last week I felt an elation that exceeded language; I couldn’t describe it because it carried with it a sort of impossibility I couldn’t fathom. It overtook me in a way I know will remain with me until the day I die, and as an adult now, as someone who has learned so much about himself in the last year, it’s inserted itself firmly in my brain as something larger than “just sports.” It was a life experience.
Today I sat in my room, in a hermetic state that felt so appropriate, so necessary, that I took it to a level of physical paralysis. I refused to move except to breathe, and even that was hard to do. For a football game.
The last thing someone like me wants to hear is “it’s only a game.”
I felt like a kid again today, but it’s taken until now to realize that—the highs of winning a game like last week come with so many bumps, so many trips to a precipice that scares you to death before reeling you back in to safety, that when it’s all over and you can barely speak because your grin won’t allow your mouth to actually open, you forget those bumps were there. You forget that a kid reacts with raw emotion on a positive and negative scale. You forget you can lose.
We lost. I sat in my bed, refusing to move for a solid ten minutes. I couldn’t move, couldn’t care to move. Then I thought about how much fun I had this season. How I was reminded that one of my best friends and I became close by sharing a passion for this football team. I thought about how many of my friends cheered for my team and showed me support simply because they knew of my love for this football team. I thought about how it went from a game to yet another life lesson, a lesson in perspective; anything in life demands some sort of balance. There are highs and lows, but that undying support I feel for a football team is reflected back to me by my friends who know that they needn’t be as passionate as I am about a game to share some profound experience with me. I’m their football team, and just like the football team I already love, they’re mine.
It’s never just a game.