There are days I miss being a fan. Saturday was one of those days, and it reminded me what’s different about my chosen profession and most people. I’m not a fan, no matter how hard I try.
I’ve tried to keep rooting interests in some sports, although not really those I cover. I went to the University of Georgia and enjoy Georgia football. But I don’t know how much of a fan I am anymore. This past weekend when the Bulldogs were playing our biggest rival, instead of watching the second half of what turned out to be a Georgia victory, I was at Target buying diapers. And I was fine with that decision.
It was odd that even though I checked in on the game on the radio between errands, it took a text from a friend for me to know the game was over and the Bulldogs had held on to a hard-fought win. But I had other things going on, and in a way, it’s kind of unfortunate.
As someone who has spent his entire professional career catering to fans, I’ve lost touch with actually being a fan. When I go to a baseball game as a fan, I don’t stand and cheer. I don’t get upset at the umpire, instead I watch it in the stands as I do in the press box, looking for stories and trends.
There’s a certain freedom in that — I don’t have that sinking feeling, that depression and devastation after a loss. I also don’t have the euphoric feeling after a win. And thinking back on my life, I miss that. I miss watching Robert Edwards run all over the Gators in 1997. I miss skipping school to watch the two Cowboys Super Bowl titles in the early ’90s (I lived in Japan, meaning to watch the Super Bowl, I had to play hookey for the first part of the school day on Monday morning to watch the game).
I miss, as a 9-year-old, staying up late to watch the Royals win the World Series.
I don’t get that anymore. I’ve tried — I’ve tried to adopt soccer teams, and still get excited about the United States national team, but when they lose, it doesn’t bother me. I just can’t get upset about it.
I once set a 15-minute cooling off period for myself about a sporting event that I didn’t participate in — after 15 minutes, I no longer allowed myself to be upset about an outcome. When you let a game ruin your day, I’d say, all you get is a ruined day. And it makes sense to me. It’s a mature attitude and probably healthy, based on what I’ve seen from some fan behavior. But yet, it’s not as fun. If you don’t allow yourself to feel the lows, you can’t feel the highs.
And while we’ve seen plenty of lows, recently, remember each low makes the high even better.
Thinking Out Loud
From everything I’ve seen and heard so far, Mick Cronin’s Bearcats are going to have a heck of a season and could be one of the surprise teams in college basketball this season. At this point, it may be a disappointment if they don’t make some serious noise in March. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves — there’s going to be plenty of noise to make starting this month. UC opens the season Nov. 11 against Tennessee Martin. The only negative to the Bearcats season is that the preseason home schedule is devoid of star power, meaning some will be slow to come around to the Bearcats this season. Still, by the time the conference season rolls around, UC could be a Top 10 team. ... If you’re missing baseball already, check out the Courage and Character Foundation event Nov. 3 featuring Johnny Bench, Pete Rose and seven Hall of Famers. Bench and Rose will be joined by Wade Boggs, Lou Brock, Rod Carew, Paul Molitor, Mike Schmidt, Dave Winfield and Robin Yount. The organization is dedicated to providing baseball resources for kids with disabilities or other obstacles to playing baseball. The event takes place at the Savannah Center in West Chester; tickets cost $200 and are available at characterandcourage.org or you can call 513-984-4192. ... Louisville’s football team is now ranked No. 10 in the BCS standings. That only highlights the chances UC has blown, losing to Louisville and Toledo in two very winnable games. The Bearcats will still find themselves in a bowl, and maybe even a bowl they want to go to, but the way to a BCS game was clear. ... Perhaps the best athletic program in the area, Miami University hockey, is underway in Oxford. The RedHawks are 4-1, losing to Michigan, but beating them once during the two-game series at home. If you haven’t been up to Goggin Ice Arena, make sure you check it out at some point.
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