Slow Turning

Like the song says, you can learn to live with love or without it

Big Fan

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It’s something I’ve thought about for awhile, but hearing about the movie Big Fan really got the wheels spinning.  It’s a movie about a diehard sports fan that has nothing else in his life.  He doesn’t just enjoy the Sunday football game; he lives it, breathes it, owns it.

In some ways I can really relate to a character like that.  To be so wrapped up in something that I have nothing to do with, no connection to.  Well there’s a connection, but the signal is travelling down a one way road.

The first time I thought about my obsession with sports was after reading an article about how Jerry West watched basketball games as a General Manager.  The story that unfolded reminded me of, well, me and how I am while watching my favorite team play.  It’s nerve racking.  I don’t like to talk to other people and get easily agitated.  Pregame preparation, in addition to food and drink, includes a warm up to get me ready for an emotional rollercoaster ride. 

I think I’ve always been obsessed with games, although I’m not sure why.  Neither of my parents were ever huge sports fans.  Even my best friends, while athletic, were never die hard sports fanatics.  Maybe it was the one thing I could do, since I was not athletically gifted.  What I could not contribute on the field or court, I could do from the stands.  I could learn the game, the rules, and support all of my friends who were blessed with the physical abilities I lacked. 

My fanaticism was well hidden in high school beneath my pleated cheerleader uniform.  It was the perfect outlet for my enthusiasm.  It was actually a bonus to be interested in the game.  I knew rules, plays, and what I thought should happen.  Lucky for me, my high school football team was good.  They were undefeated which meant cheering them on to back-to-back state titles. 

At the next level, my enthusiasm adapted well to the college atmosphere.  My school was on the brink of being competitive on the national stage so every game was exciting and every moment played into my fanatical inclinations.  College also introduced me to something new, something I had yet to experience: March Madness.  What’s better than a whole month dedicated to elite college basketball controversies and championships?  It really does have everything that any sports fan desires: tremendous moments, Cinderella stories, and the creation of legends.

Diving into professional sports after college was like coming home.  While it became harder to attend every game, it was easier to find my favorite professional teams on tv or online.  And rooting for a local professional sports team is unlike any other experience, especially when they play into the post season.  The city, and even state, swells with pride and goes into celebration mode.  Store fronts promote their spirit, and everyone is excited and talking about the game. 

What I love most is just watching the game.  I don’t get excited about prospects or preseasons or stats or fantasy teams.  There isn’t any one specific aspect that I love; it’s all the little things that add up to make a game a game.  The anticipation of knowing that any given play can affect the outcome of the game is intoxicating.  That one play can define a game, a season, a career is powerful.

The biggest pull for me towards sports may not have anything to do with sports at all.  I think it may be hope.  It may sound cheesy and a little bit too romantic, but what else can it be?  No matter how expensive the tickets are or how much time it takes, I always believe that it’s the best thing I can do with money and time.  Even when my team is struggling, I still believe that they are just a play, a time out, a game away from turning things around.  There’s a delusion, or rather hope, of believing that my team can beat anyone, if only they play up to expectation.  Maybe it’s not the action in a game that I love so much, but rather the hope that each game brings to my day.


Written by rachel

October 10, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Posted in Life, Movies

One Response

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  1. Good stuff! I can relate, though I get wrapped up in the stat nerd stuff. Gotta say, though, that I’m finally reaching a point where each game affects me a liitle less than it did. Maybe it’s perspective, maybe it’s protecting myself from emotional breakdown.

    Keep writing!

    Jon Loomer

    December 6, 2009 at 10:12 pm

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