Football & Pets
I have a friend who refuses to own pets because, she says, "they always break your heart." Fair enough.
I've had my heart broken by a horse (the one who took my toe!), a couple of cats, a hamster, and half a dozen dogs. They were all flawed by having short life spans, and I grieved for them in ways that must have aggravated everyone around me.
In fact, I could read the thought bubble over people's head when my stories about the greatness of my pet went on too long. I could practically hear them thinking, "it's only a pet, get over it!"
Apparently they had never seen Marley and me.
Still, I know every "pet person" in the world understands me; they all have to (or will have to) face loss and grieve for their animal. They are willing to take the pain because the potential for joy is so great.
In a "similar" (i.e., non life/death) way, there are sports fans who LOVE their teams and cheer for them with so much energy and passion that others think they are crazy. Non-sports fans think, "it's only a game, get over it!"
But for those in the thick of a game, winning and losing feels like a pretty big deal. They take the pain because of the potential for joy.
After all, we fans do "fun" things like paint our faces with itchy paint, wear colors not normally found in nature, and make bets designed to embarrass the loser most. We brainwash our children about the "good guys" versus "the bad guys," and some nuts even make their children have Halloween costumes from their alma mater.
Then, when we suffer through a season where we get throttled by what feels like everyone except our biggest cross-town rival (BEAT 'SC!! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!!!--Sorry, I can't help myself!), we still hold on for redemption during the bowl game.
But redemption never comes.
What comes is a 49-26 drubbing at the hands of a Texas school (which shall not be named).
One of my earliest posts featured a great video that captures it all. For those of you who, like UCLA fans everywhere, experienced heartbreak this week, let this fan's rant relieve some of the pressure.
Wishing you a Happy New Year and a bowl victory - unless you're USC.
I'm more than OK with the loss Georgia Tech handed you...