Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I'm trying to break your heart

Yesterday was a pretty weird day for our hero. Early in the day I had read a bunch of stuff about how it was the tenth anniversary of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco. Of course I was irritated by most of what I read, big surprise. I just don't think that after a mere ten years one can proclaim an album to be classic and wax nostalgic about it. I also think that so much of the hype about YHF isn't based on the album's greatness (it is a great album, not debating that) but more focused around the crazy story about how it got shelved by their record company and the way Wilco had to fight to get it released. This is a long way of saying that I listened to the album a few times yesterday and as I watched the Blackhawks lose to the Coyotes in the worst way imaginable I heard Jeff Tweedy repeating "I'm trying to break your heart" in my head.

After I came home from watching the game at a dive bar I couldn't get the song nor the actual heartbreak dealt by the Hawks out of my head. I kept thinking about the idiocy of throwing so much of my well being into something I can't control in the slightest. The fact that my entire day was ruined by a bunch of millionaires inability to hit a frozen chunk of rubber past a behemoth millionaire goalie is moronic. As much as I hate to admit it I'm an adult. Why do I care so much about such completely trivial things? I don't have a good answer.

The amount of time I invest in shit that doesn't matter is mind blowing. I read everything I can about the teams I love, I watch as many of the games as possible and spend many hours over many beers arguing over them. For what? What's the end game? Most years it's me feeling like complete shit for a couple of days after the season. Odds are that my team isn't going to win a title and I'm going to get that miserable feeling. Even if I was the biggest front runner of a sports fan (Yankee, Laker, Red Wing and let's say Packers since they look like they could be dominant for a while to come still) I would still spend most years disappointed in the end. And I would be an asshole and a horrible human being to boot.

I've been spending all winter trying to get over the atrocities of last September (I'm a Red Sox fan). I spent the entire winter getting my hopes up that things would be different and better this year. I had planned out an entire summer of watching winning baseball. We're not even a month into the season and I already know it's not to be. They are terrible. TERRIBLE. Do I give up? No. I read more articles online hoping to get some insight into how they can fix the problems, I watch the games with extra intensity hoping that one good at bat can turn the whole season around. When I am already confident that there will be no successful payoff in the end I should back away from the season, fold my cards so to speak. Instead I'm completely irrational and invest myself even deeper into the season. Despite claiming I have given up 15 times in the last week I found myself buying tickets to go see the shit show in person tomorrow night.

Why do we enter into this whole charade of fandom in the first place? We all know that in the end we're going to end up with a broken heart. I make fun of my buddy Mike all the time for being a "sports slut." While he loves sports more than just about anyone I know he doesn't have any strong team affiliations. He just likes the games and all the players. Sure, he roots for some teams more than others, that's only natural. Yet he has no problem rooting for the Bears in the early game and then the Packers in the late game. Nor would he consider a 2-10 Purdue football season successful if the 2 wins were Indiana and Notre Dame while I would deem it better than losing in the Rose Bowl. It really seems like he has it all figured out in a lot of ways. Except it still feels wrong. It's like he's not putting his heart out there in the way that an obsessive fan does with his favorite teams. Kinda like the guy who is a playa and goes through a lot of chicks but has no serious relationships. While he may never have the crushing heartbreak that causes him to sit in a dark room for a week listening to The Smiths (2003 ALCS and Aaron Fucking Boone) he also won't get to experience the ecstasy of finding true love (2004 Dave Robert's stolen base and beyond.)

You know what? I can handle a couple of days of feeling miserable at the end of each sports season. It's the price I pay, right? If it wasn't for the heartbreak, and goddamn there has been a lot of heartbreak, moments like this wouldn't be so tremendous.

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