My earliest memory of watching sports goes back to January 25, 1998.
The Super Bowl.
The Packers vs. The Broncos.
Brett Favre vs. John Elway.
It is the “This one’s for John” game; John Elway had finally won his first Super Bowl after a long career and 4 super bowl losses.
I barely understood the concept of football at the time being a sheltered 7 year old. I liked the Packers because green and yellow were my favorite colors, the fans wore goofy cheese hats, and they had won the Super Bowl the year before. The game was on late for a kid my age but my dad laid a blanket on our basement floor, messed around with the bunny ears on the old TV and was able to find the signal for the game.
My only significant memory from that night was watching Brett Favre throw the game sealing incompletion at the end of the game. I was devastated, angry, upset, and I cried. I remember thinking it wasn’t supposed to happen this way. I thought of it as a movie where the hero always wins, the good guy always prevails. The Packers were supposed to win because I liked them, just like the heroes in the cartoons or children movies I watched. The guys that I liked always won.
My earliest sports watching memory was one of devastation and confusion. It was the equivalent of Batman getting shot in the head after forgetting to lock the entrance to his bat cave. Brett Favre was the good guy to me, he was Batman, he wasn’t supposed to make a terrible throw and lose the game. I didn’t know this at the time but Broncos fans experienced the same agony I was feeling four times before I felt it once.
Watching sports is painful.
Watching sports is also euphoric. It is a raw live experience. It is survival of the fittest. It brings out the innate primitive feeling of competition. As a species we crave competition and a desire to be better than others. Most aspects of life make that difficult or hard to identify. With sports, there is a clear winner and loser. One is better and one is worse. The Packers were losers and as an ignorant child rooting for them, I was in extension a loser.
I have consumed sports in various ways ever since that Super Bowl in 1998. Now I don’t have a favorite team. I watch sports for the competiveness and great feats of athleticism. That has dampened the highs and lows I feel when watching games; that might be a subconscious effort to prevent those emotions I felt on that January night in 1998. I do not remember a time feeling equally as hurt while watching sports, but when the Packers won the Super Bowl in 2011, I didn’t feel the excitement that I would have if I were a fan of the Packers similar to when I was as a child.
I am not a deer with antlers wandering around the woods looking to fight another male in which the winner gets to mate with a young healthy female. I am not a buff dude going to bars trying to be funny and attractive to “win” the attention of girls. I am a socially inept overweight 25 year old short white dude who works at a soul crushing office job in a field completely unrelated to the expensive degree I received from the cheapest State University in Michigan. I can barely afford the 660 square foot house that I live in. Every week day I stare at a computer screen in a cube for 8 hours, and every weekend I am in a fast food and alcohol induced stupor that fails to dull the pain of the emptiness of life.
Sports help fill that void where competition should reside in my life. I am not actually competing or rooting for a specific team, but witnessing the competition is enough to bring in some emotion, no matter how minimal it is.
That was a long winded and poorly written way of saying, my life isn’t great, but sports still are. Sports are one of the few things that I can muster any excitement over. I am going to use this blog as an outlet to express my thoughts on sports. The internet is filled with blogs, especially sports blogs, so I know I am not going to stand out and few people will read my long, depressing, unstructured entries but that isn’t my goal. My goal is simply just to write about something I enjoy.