Saturday, March 28, 2009

I follow a lot of sports, and I like a lot of teams. Yet amongst these sports, my fandom of college basketball is unique in some ways. In fact, two ways in particular that I can think of at the moment. First, my following of college basketball as a sport is more predicated on the success of my favorite team, Syracuse, than any other sport. If Syracuse is having a down year, my following will slack off, and after a bad Syracuse loss I sometimes will avoid reading about college basketball for a few days. With regard to baseball, on the other hand, even if the Mets are having a lost year, I'll play close attention to the goings on in baseball. Second, for as long as I can remember, I am the only Syracuse fan I know. Almost everyone I know are Mets fans, and I know plenty of Knicks fans and Rangers fans, and even a couple of Bills fans, but no other fans of the Orange. In a way, I think I take the team's performance more personally than I do the success or failure of my other teams. It's almost if - when the Mets fail, they're speaking to all the fans I know, myself included - we can comisserate together, complain about the player acquistion and the poor defense, and everything else, and pretty much share and spread out out bitter feelings.

Syracuse losses, on the other hand, are mine alone. I have to deal internally with the suffering. Of course, if you're not a sports fan, suffering sounds like a ridiculous overstatement for feelings based on something that you have absolutely no control over. And it's true, it is ridiculous. And by no means am I comparing to real suffering of poverty and hunger and disease. But it is suffering, be it of a much lesser, and different degree. After a loss, I don't want to talk about it, or want to find another subject to talk about, like a husband who doesn't want to talk about a bad day at work. It's difficult and it's frustrating and by now I'm probably talking about all sports but it really is inherently irrational to stake such a significant amount of your mood on something over which you have no control. This is veering on pop psychology, but it's probably something about being part of something, and you know, can't get the joys of victory without suffering the agonies of defeat. That, and each sport has their own individual charms, but that's something else entirely.

Anyway, to sum up, I'm pretty bummed that 'Cuse lost, and more over got killed by Oklahoma. Let's hope Johnny Flynn comes back next year. Go Big East anyway.


waldinho said...

well, you were a syracuse fan before i was, but i did go to every syracuse home game in 2002-2003. that's got to count for something, right?

AndrewEberle said...

I was going to say that Jesse is a 'Cuse fan too, you drunken idiot. Mocking you when Syracuse loses has to be one of my top 10 favorite things to do, and I even like them. (When they don't have a gay ass white guard anyway, which hasn't been often recently.) If Flynn actually comes back next year I will buy the first beer the next time we meet.