Many of us use sports as an outlet for life's frustrations, big or small. As we follow our favorite teams, we often lay expectations on them to provide us with some measure of happiness or bragging rights. Over time, it becomes a love/hate relationship. As with any relationship, occasionally we get more than we asked for, and we feel grateful just to be in their presence. But more often than not, it's the opposite.
Why? Because we expect a lot out of our
relationships sports teams. We have to work hard for everything we get in life. For the "old" folks, every little morsel on the table is thanks to our efforts (between video games). For the youths, every grade we get in school is because of our tireless work and sacrifice (between video games).
So when we're tired and beaten down and we turn on the TV/computer/phone to watch our favorite team play, the LEAST they can do is win the damn game for us at the end of the day! (Seriously, I hate that phrase "at the end of the day", but in this case it fits in a literal sense. The Suns play games at the end of our day.)
Too often, they fail us.
And when they fail us, with our wits and vigor already sucked dry by life, we find ourselves in a quandary. Do we jump to their rescue, aggressively defend them against all comers? Or, do we freak out and obsessively vilify them to anyone and everyone within ear/screen shot?
Such is the lot of a fan.
Fandom becomes most impactful when we lose perspective. We attach our own happiness to their success or failure on the court/field/pitch. When the team wins, we feel like we can conquer the world. When the team loses, we feel like we just got slapped in the face.
The Phoenix Suns are slapping us all in the face right now. Three times in the past week, as a matter of fact.
But rather than fighting back by bludgeoning each other and the team, we should try to regain proper perspective. It's just a game. Our lives are not actually impacted by the Suns' wins and losses.
Rather, our lives are impacted by something I call real life. The birth of a daughter. The grade on a test we studied so hard for. Gaining or losing a job that pays our bills. Hurricanes. Floods. Death.
When I found out yesterday at lunchtime that my step-father of more than 30 years had passed in his sleep, I regained perspective. No longer did I sit at my desk wondering why Goran Dragic hadn't taken more shots against Orlando. Over night, not one dream involved the Suns in some fashion or another. And when I awoke this morning, I cared more about getting to his wake and funeral than getting to the Suns next home game.
My step-father endured a really crappy ending to his life. A decade of physical and mental decline took a fatal toll on him, and laid vicious blows on his loved ones from which they will not soon recover. He left a legacy of love and caring. None of us are better with him gone from this world.
So as I distract myself from life this morning by mechanically perusing the internet for Suns stories, my perspective is clear. Whether the Suns win or lose, I am still spending the weekend with my family. I am still a very fortunate individual with a bright present and future. I have a great real job. I have a great fake job (BSotS FTW!). I am surrounded by loved ones near and far.
Yet I know for certain that I am still a fan. I will still log on to BSotS to check on things, good or bad. I will still follow this team all weekend on my phone.
So win a damn game for me this weekend, Suns! You got that? I deserve it, you know. ;)
Here's a few articles i found on the Suns this morning:
NBA power rankings 2012: Suns drop in rankings across the board - SB Nation Arizona
Phoenix Suns' Kendall Marshall a shooter? Never say never | CharlotteObserver.com
Preview: Phoenix Suns vs. Charlotte Bobcats - Sun-N-Gun - A Phoenix Suns Fan Site - News, Blogs, Opinion and More
Phoenix Suns turn to defense in effort to fix woes