I'm not much of a sports guy. I don't have a single team affiliation. But I can't watch a game for more than five minutes without taking sides. It's usually of the team losing at the moment. Probably get that from my Dad; he loves underdogs. Tonight, in a neighborhood bar, I rooted for the Cardinals. I don't care about their rivalry with Chicago. I'm not even entirely sure I know which Chicago team it's with.
Either way, I felt a compulsion to root for someone. I'll never understand Sweden. I don't know how to remain a disinterested party. Besides saying something minor about the human psychology on objectivity, it made me think about why I enjoy watching big sporting events. I couldn't care less about a regular season game, but a post-season or playoff game and I'm brushing my teeth on a bar stool. The gravity is magnified, the fabric that these people are made out of is out for all to see. We assume because they're paid more in a game than I make in a year that in some sense they're somehow an athlete in-itself, a perfect game playing specimen. But these people eat ice cream when they're sad and cry when their dogs die. They're regular people. That's why they're so fascinating. They walk a thin line between gods and men.
They get paid to be unaffected by pressure. I'm sure there are thousands of talented men and women all over the globe who can hit a baseball. But how many can hit a two out double in the bottom of the ninth in game six of the World Series? There were a combined total of five errors in tonight's game. The two best teams in baseball missed infield pop flys tonight. Pressure if fascinating. I want someone to trust me in that kind of situation. I want them to breath easily when they see the pop fly headed my way.
I think I might finally understand sports.