I just read this by the brilliant Bob Grant:
Itís Going to be a Bumpy Ride!
November 29, 2010
Thanksgiving 2010 has come and gone. And, before we know it, we will be saying the same thing about Christmas.
Inevitably 2010 will be gone and 2011 is going to include a great deal of talk about 2012 and the next presidential election.
I really donít know why we have so many organized sports in the United States. Just on the surface there is Major League baseball, professional football, the National Basketball Association, Major League ice hockey, tennis tournaments, all the professional golf matches, and I am getting tired already.
I havenít even mentioned the college games. But, you would have to be brain-dead not to know that this is a nation obsessed with sports.
I am not complaining. I would be a hypocrite if I did. Right now I am spending more time thinking about Mark Sanchez, the young, talented quarterback of my professional football team ó the New York Jets.
I have endured the wilderness with the Jets and the Mets, but maybe the fortunes for these two teams may be changing.
But, why should it matter to me whether the Mets win or lose? Why should it matter to me that the New England Patriots might beat the Jets next week?
Actually, I donít even lose any money as the result of these games because I learned the hard way, many years ago, that betting on anything is foolish, masochistic and painful.
It is a no win situation.
So, why do I feel such angst when my team loses? It is known as the pain of identification.
Yes, we fans identify with a team and once we are hooked, we canít break away. How many times have I said to myself,ďAw, itís just a game. Why should I care if Coach Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez and all the Jets lose?Ē
Well, it doesnít work. No matter how many times I say, I will just enjoy the game, and the outcome wonít make any difference to me, it does make a difference and I accept it.
Psychiatrists have been trying to figure out what makes so many of us fans. Even the psychiatrists are fans.
Maybe it is our way of trying to fill what otherwise might be an empty and boring life. Whatís the difference anyway? If we analyze everything we do, maybe we wonít have any fun and excitement.
Yes, thatís it. We are looking for fun. We are looking for excitement and since we canít go running out on the field ourselves, we experience the touchdown, the home run, the slam dunk, the eagle, the birdie ó any thrill that comes from actually playing the game vicariously.
We are all in the big tent, but very few of us are actually in the arena. And that is the way it is with politics.
Very few of us actually run for public office, but we all know we could run a better campaign than the person we are pulling for.
And so, all you sports heroes out there get ready for 2011. You are going to have to share the headlines with the politicians and the pundits who know so much more than all the rest of us.
Tighten your seat belts. As the great actress Betty Davis said in one of her great movies:ďItís going to be a bumpy ride.Ē