Expectation is one of the most confusing elements of fanhood. As a fan of multiple sports you can experience a series of emotions in a single day. In the morning you could be cursing the name of Raul Meireles and Ramires for not finishing their chances, and in the afternoon you could be ecstatic about the effort put forth by your scrappy, upstart NFL team against the most felonious group of NFL players this side of the Bengals. 1-0 to Chelsea against Sunderland is an undignified result, but 20-13 in Baltimore is something that may not necessarily sit well but can be seen as a moral victory taking into account all of the injuries.
Perhaps 1-0 isn’t a horrible result in the age of technocratic, defensive-minded soccer, but big margins should be expected between two teams whose wage bills are so drastically different. No one’s trying to pay Lee Cattermole shit. Swatting aside the little people and those less worthy should be accomplished by organizations that drop millions on salaries, transfers, and signing bonuses. But, huge expenditures don’t automatically mean wins. The Dallas Cowboys have yet to turn the corner or recover from Quincy Carter. The Red Sox and the Yankees have won in the free agent market, I guess, but have yet to string together the championship runs they so often crave. Is it even worth it? I’m not asking about the spending. I’m asking about throwing your support, your hours in the stadiums, the couch, the bar, the arguing. Is it worth all that? So much effort for a title here or there. Bragging rights? Really?
It’s the Patriots, Packers, Steelers, recently Manchester United, and San Antonio Spurs that have given professional sports globally the blueprint for sustained success. Buy smart and have faith in your system.
In sports, it’s easy to succumb to emotion from fan to owner. Haste is often quickly followed by disappointment in professional sports. Haste and short-sightedness fuel deals like those for Fernando Torres to Chelsea, Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Barcelona, anything the Mets have ever done, Ryan Leaf, and Nnamdi Asomugha. Expectation, reality. Our postindustrial consumer capitalistic propensity to throw money at problems, like dictatorships in the Southern Hemisphere, the Western pursuit of the conquest of nature, or to not bother parking our own cars, makes fans loco, especially as extraordinary amounts of revenue flood professional sports leagues around the world. It drives people to hang themselves during halftime of the Champions League Final. People in strange lands to start roaming gangs ready to beat up the opposition. It informs the minds of sick people that it’s okay to get outrageous tattoos of trophies and club crests. It makes me irrationally resent whomever my friends are dating.
The problem is cyclical. $$$ in. Disappointment, irrationality out. It’s inevitable because fans and owners don’t really know what’s good for them. It takes a special mind to be able to control the funds and personnel decisions especially in this period of boisterous and threatening popular opinion, against the ebb and flow of speculation and pressure. Often, in the tumultuous world of overspending, dictatorial organizations, the most qualified aren’t given enough power, are turned against, and proceed to move on to greener, more trusting pastures (See: Mourinho, Belichick).
Fortunately, the day-to-day operations of a multi-million dollar sports club are not up to us. However, we are subjected to the whims of the Jerry Jones, Mark Cubans, and Roman Abramovics of the world.
Why do we even bother? The same reason the last thing a Kardashian did is the most talked about thing on Earth. It’s the reason why we care about what Ricky Gervais is going to say about people we have no direct relation to. It’s because we have no control. It’s because we can turn off our minds and froth at the mouth. We can judge from our pedestals and feel like kings casting judgment while being swept up by the imaginary relationships we have with people. CUT THE BABY IN HALF! Perspective has no place in celebrity and sport.
We all have the solutions, of course. The Rockets would win the championship every year, if I were in charge! The idiots running the club are the ones that don’t have it figured out yet!
But, seriously, who runs a draw play on 3rd and 20?
Just remember, when you’re screaming at Tony Romo for doing something in front of tens of thousands of people that you couldn’t even do in your backyard, you were never in the position to bench him, start him, or even touch him. If you were, you’d be a tiny native-born Los Angelino with a terrible plastic surgeon and too much money. Calm down. Breathe deeply. Thank the Lord you don’t play quarterback for the Cowboys, and don’t be the insane, irrational fan that everyone talks about behind their back. There will be a next year. I have finally learned this.
Try to find happiness in something that doesn’t involved a strange man’s proficiency with his expensive upper or lower extremities. Even porn stars have to get pretty liquored up for that.