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Ben went to the University of Oregon for one year before transferring to our small liberal arts college in Washington. That one year bred a forever-Oregon Ducks fan and as an unaffiliated, non-sports person, I picked them up as a "when I have to" team. In college, we followed the Ducks a bit. Catching a game at someone's house that had cable when we could. Sitting at a sports bar on special occasions (the Rose Bowl, the Civil War). But it was then that we realized that we were not cut out for sports fanning. When they lost, we felt too depressed, too invested. And it took four hours to feel depressed. Too long, too sad.
So tonight, we took a chance on watching the College Football Playoff Championship with the Ducks predicted to lead by 7 points. Posted up at a neighborhood sports bar with a true Ducks fan accompanying us, it seemed like something we could reinvest in. Beer + cheering + an awesome and local football team = fun. Unfortunately, the Ducks played terribly. The Buckeyes played better. And two beers later (against my diet), before the fourth quarter was out, I left the bar and went home to shower while the Ducks lost in a really crummy upset. Ick. I'd chewed off a few of my fingernails (against my bad-habit breaking), gotten stressed about a game (on top of a million other stresses of the day), and I felt crummier (I'd already felt crummy after work).
I wasn't raised in a sports-watching household. I don't remember more than one game being on in my entire childhood and I don't recall understanding others that got into the games. Sports has always seemed like a massive waste of time and a "who cares" hobby. But once you get into the game, or a team, or a player, it gets very serious. All the sudden the entire day is spent hoping for something entirely our of your control. You get emotionally and physically wrapped up in something that means absolutely nothing in the long-term. You spend countless hours investing in a massive, multi-billion dollar complex that rewards all the wrong things. And at the end of the day I always find myself without four hours, poorer, and sadder.
Not for me. I think this may have been my last hurrah (minus the Superbowl - a day when I don't know the teams, don't care, and can eat Lil' Smokies). No more sports bar cheering until my voice gets hoarse, no more biting my nails in anticipation, and no more 22 point losses for a favored team. Time to dedicate my spare four hours to something more productive.