The Delicate-Minded Sports Fanatic
If you don't have a friend or several friends who appear overly sensitive when it comes to a favorite sports team, then you must not be a sports fan. Either that or your friends are robots who are incapable of expressing emotion.
I'll be honest and state that I once exemplified this term. I'm a huge Dallas Cowboy fan. During the early 90's, I was on top of the world.
You remember, right? Oh, don't be bashful. How can anyone forget?
This was the age when Troy Aikman was the lead conductor of a devastating offensive attack that consisted of Micheal Irvin, Jay Novacek, Daryl 'Moose' Johnston, and one of the greatest running backs ever to step onto the gridiron, Emmitt Smith.
At the time, I was an adolescent who lived vicariously through the Cowboys' success. After three Super Bowl victories, I was arrogant and rightfully so. I supported a team that was later labeled a dynasty that contended for the NFC crown on a yearly basis. I will openly admit that I thoroughly enjoyed their notable feats and, in retrospect, broadcast those accomplishments on an obnoxious level.
Side note: When you live in Washington Redskin territory and you're a fan of their historically rich NFC East foe, you have to gloat when success seems overwhelming easy, especially during that time frame.
As the years rapidly went by, the Cowboys lost that competitive edge and my happiness, well, plummetted. I've seen the worst with Quincy Carter and I've heard Jerry Jones place unrealistic expectations on what, to date, has been underachieving Dallas Cowboy teams. Even when a young phenomenon by the name of Tony Romo was supposed to save the Cowboys from the unforgiving wastelands, nothing positive has yet to surface. After three consecutive subpar seasons with Romo at the helm and years of failing to execute, the Cowboys are in a well-publicized drought without a sign of rain remotely near the horizon.
Therefore, I'm stuck in a doldrum of mediocrity.
Fortunately for me, I don't live and die by the Cowboys' success or lack thereof anymore. I now take a short-lived approach. If the Cowboys lose, I may become upset, but I don't let that vicarious agony dictate how I feel for more than a few minutes. In fact, that emotion doesn't even resurface when I discuss the Cowboys in a public or private forum. The same can be said if they win.
However, NFL fan reactions are tame compared to those in the other football world. Look what happened when Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United's legendary manager retired:
Be thankful most of those countries have rigid gun control laws.
I've discovered that many fans want to be a part of something exclusive or meaningful, something bigger than themselves. What best way to accomplish this than to support a professional or collegiate sports team? With millions of supportive fans, you have a uniformity of people who think and act in accordance with how well their team performs.
I can't discredit this behavior because I'm automatically intrigued whenever I encounter Dallas Cowboy fans. I talk to them and acquire as much knowledge as I possibly can before our conversation concludes.
I've found a good number of fans take losses rather personal. Negativity surfaces and hatred ensues. Fans can be quite harsh, especially when their team losses.
A co-worker of mine exhibits this type of behavior. I've noticed his pattern during the NFL regular season. Whenver the Cowboys lose, he typically calls in the subsequent Monday. He's usually a menace whenvever the Cowboys lose, anyway, so I'm actually relieved whenever he decides to avoid the public. Unfortunately, he takes the games 'way too personally and his behavior reflects that.
Whatever happened to the saying that football is just a game?
Apparently, for many, it's much more. Of course, this isn't really new behavior. Just know help is there for you, either on your own or professionally.