Football season was depressing for me this year. College. Pro. Whatever. Sports probably shouldn't be, in the grand scheme of things, a terribly important part of life. Nevertheless, I have been known to get a little intense about my teams.
The Chicago Bears sucked. The Illini football team collapsed into a pile of wobbly goo in the second half of the season. I often ask myself why I don't choose some other team: a team that wins everything all the time. Maybe I should be a Tennessee women's basketball fan. Pat Summitt just won her 1000th game. Dang.
2009 has given me reason to hope, though. If nothing else, I can feel joy about the fact that the Illini have now swept Purdue(our, geographically, closest rival) in Men's Basketball. It feels good to dominate every once in a while.
An underlying question leaves me wondering about the validity of my sports passions: Isn't it really just utter silliness to care so much about a game? Why does it matter at all? Look at the picture of Coach Bruce Weber above. Geez! Look at that intensity! Is he just asking for an ulcer, or has he connected with some healthy, pure, human desire? Is there something genuinely noble about competing in athletics? Or is it merely some primitive, grunting impulse that requires an evolutionary escape?
I guess I don't really know. I exult when the Bears beat the Packers. I am sickened by a loss to Northwestern in any sport. I've been known to let spittle fly as I yell about victory or failure on the Ultimate frisbee field. I once barely limped across the finish line of the Chicago marathon, my knees and feet screaming in agony.
I love it all.