Why Being a Sports Fan is Different

It’s a Tuesday night. You’ve had a lazy, unproductive day at work and find yourself dodging responsibility until it comes time to clock out. The one thing that keeps you going: your team plays tonight. It’s been nearly three days since that huge win on Saturday night and you’re itching for the next big game. Flash forward, it’s eight minutes into the first period, and we’re already down three. You’ve waited three days for this and they came out flat. Now what? Do you sit through this pile-of-garbage game, or do you toss on a crappy movie to get your mind off of it? Either way – you feel cheated. The waiting, the hoping, and the excitement of the past few days all gone. This is the life of a fanatical sports fan, and it’s not one to be taken lightly.

Now, it’s Bachelor season. I get the hype, I really do. Tumultuous, slightly stressful relationships provided to us in a packaged, easy-to-consume manner so that we can simply sit back and enjoy the drama. What’s not to love? The difference here, though, is that you know what you’re getting every time you sit down to watch. There might be a few unexpected twists or turns (he always goes for the wrong girl, right?) but generally, you get what you wanted in the few hours you invest.

I don’t mean to say that sports fans are better, or even more passionate than fans of shows like The Bachelor. I’m simply trying to say that the investment we make is different. We place our faith in a group of women or men who typically have a 50/50 shot at delivering the result we want. This creates a pretty unstable setting for a fan who shares the same passion I do for my Toronto teams. A full season brings excitement, anticipation, and frustration all together. But what separates the two is the reward of success. The difference between winning and losing is so minute – success is extremely fragile – and it’s this knowledge that makes winning so rewarding. I know, I know, I’m a Toronto sports fan, therefore I know very faintly what this feels like – but I digress.

Probably the most pertinent question is, why do we do it? Why not invest our time and effort into a program that almost guarantees satisfaction? The answer is difficult to pinpoint. Though this passion causes many ups and downs for a fan, what’s clear is that it also reflects the beauty of being a crazy sports fanatic.

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