When I was younger, I used to live and die on the results of my favorite sports teams. It wasn’t so surprising, many of us identified strongly with our teams when we were little and invested a lot of our substantial emotional capacity on their hoped-for success.
There would be days, sometimes even longer, where I would remain depressed from a critical loss. There would be corresponding times of euphoria and high energy after stirring victories, but I remember the losses taking a greater toll on my psyche. Having to go back to the “real” world after those losses, be it school or work, was unbearable. I just wanted to burrow in my bed and not come out until the next game (or season) had started.
Over time, that earth-shattering impact has lessened dramatically. In some cases, the effect is measured in mere minutes, although occasionally it can last a few hours. I would like to chalk it up to age and maturity, but based on TV images of rabid fans and calls into radio shows, I don’t think that’s a safe generalization. I guess it’s just that the sports stuff is in a smaller box now, with other things giving me more pleasure (and occasionally more dismay).
Which brings us to the big NBA finals game tonight. “My” hometown Heat are on desperation setting 5 (on a scale of 5) and it’s possible that tonight or Thursday could spell the end of their attempt to win back-to-back championships. If they fail, it would be ignominious, considering their fantastic season. Yet, only two outcomes remain…win or lose.
Nothing I do can change that. No “lucky seat” or special charm will make a difference to the outcome. If they lose, I will be depressed, though not for as long as I used to be. It will actually be “worse” for me if they win, since I will be too charged up to get sleep (and these games end oh-so-late).
Win or lose, I’m long past the result making or running my day.