by Tyler Hobbs
ESPN’s commercial campaign “It’s Not Crazy. It’s Sports” may be slightly over the top, but it drives the message home nonetheless. The commercial shows several die-hard sports fans having team themed funeral ceremonies (caskets, tombstones, etc.). Crazy, right? As “Uncle Daniel” so eloquently put it, sports is more than just a game. It is a reason to wake up in the morning, especially when your team is good. To the more obsessive fan bases, sports keeps us sane, even though we scream at our team for not following our coaching instructions from the couch or the stands. Nothing drives me crazy more than when someone tells me “They can’t hear you” when I am yelling at the TV. I usually just yell back, “Well maybe they should start listening!”. Either that or several expletives. I get it, I am screaming at an inanimate object, leave me alone.
Sports allow us to break away from everything, whether it be school, relationships, or whatever may be ailing you, sports cures all. I pity the people that do not understand the relationship between a person and their favorite sports teams. It is a beautiful companionship, filled with mutual love, hate, and curse words, lots and lots of curse words.
Cheering on your favorite sports teams is a full time job. You always have to back them up and be there for them when they are down. For example, as an die-hard and unapologetic Dallas Cowboys fan, I always have Tony Romo’s back, no matter how many interceptions he throws or how times he fumbles. When he fumbled the snap in the heartbreaking loss to the Seahawks in the 2007 playoffs, a famous picture captured Romo sitting on the field, weeping. He couldn’t have known it, but I, along with millions of other Cowboys fans, was weeping with him, hundreds of miles away. The job can be difficult at times, but our teams need us. If my team suffers a loss without me in attendance or on my couch watching, I have no one to blame but myself. I didn’t do my job as a fan, and I let them down.
Loving your team is the one of the key components of fanhood, but hating your team’s rival is almost just as important. I hate the Louisville Cardinals, point blank period. They allegedly have a good team this year but I would never admit that. Instead, what I will tell any Louisville fan is that they A) Suck, B) Are overrated, C) (Insert your favorite Karen Sypher joke here) and D) We are going to kill you on New Year’s Eve at your ridiculously named arena. As fans, hating a team blindly is what we do. After Kentucky wins or Louisville loses, I get on Twitter to throw some jabs at friends that are Louisville fans. Just doing my duty as a proud member of the Big Blue Nation.
For those that are not sports fans, don’t waste your time trying to convince us that it is just a game. Tell me, what have you loved longer than I have loved my team? For as long as I can remember, I have loved my sports teams, and nothing and nobody can change it. I was brought into this world an avid sports fan and I intend on leaving it the same way. I get through the week knowing that my reward is a cold beer, a comfortable chair, and watching my team try to bring home the victory for me on the weekend. So save your breath, non-sports fans, because you aren’t changing our minds. It’s not crazy, it’s sports.
Tyler Hobbs can be reached on Twitter @Tyler Hobbs5