I want to clear something up, because there seems to be some confusion.
OK, here I go.
I don’t care whether your team wins or loses.
When I say “I don’t care,” I TRULY don’t care. Kansas lost to Washington tonight—don’t care. The Jets beat the Chiefs a few days ago—don’t care. I’m not rooting for X to beat U or Y to beat X. I’m not down, I’m not rejected, I’m not dejected. When @evans1371 asked (below) whether I’m “butthurt,” the answer is a very sound, “No, I’m not butthurt. I’m still not even sure what butthurt means.” Actually, perhaps I am butthurt—if that’s some sort of compliment. Which it doesn’t appear to be.
What I am, truly, is fascinated. By the irrational adult fans who live and die with college athletes. By the dad who ignores his kids on Sundays to sit on the couch and scream at Eli Manning. By the old Southern gentleman who wouldn’t allow his kids to date African-Americans, but loves Auburn’s tailback to bits. By the recent behavior of Tennessee fans, who (and I’m not exaggerating here) provided loads of comedic material for a nation in need. It’s all so weird and quirky and funky and jarring. To observe irrational sports fanaticism is to understand (to a degree) Roy Moore loyalty. You wed yourself to an ideal, then refuse to let go.
So why do I write about sports? Simple: The stories. The people. The narratives. It’s gripping and fun. Most important, come day’s end it’s neither life nor death. It’s a beautiful distraction.