It Hurts So Good
Growing up during the era of Boston dominance, I’ve learned to love winning. When the Patriots won their first Superbowl in 2002, I was 14 years old in 8th grade. Since that time, Boston teams have won six other major championships (2 more Superbowls, 2 World Series, 1 NBA Championship and 1 Stanley cup). Boston is now the only city ever to have championships in all four major professional leagues within a ten-year span. Not a bad time to grow up in Boston. However, I’m now 24 and have a completely skewed view of how difficult it actually is to win.
I expect Boston to win every year, in every sport. That isn’t just unrealistic, it’s ludicrous. If a Boston team makes a playoff exit, my mood is legitimately affected for days. For some losses it’s far worse. Even today, I can hardly watch anything related to football, out of pure fear that I may see a Superbowl highlight. What’s strange is that I know perfectly well how insane this is. The morning after the Aaron Boone home run in 2003, I couldn’t get out of bed. My Mom kept yelling, “It’s just a game Andrew!” I know it’s just a game MOMM! I know that I shouldn’t care as much as I do, but unfortunately there’s no stopping it.
The good news is, I think I’ve realized why I have this sickness. It’s not winning that we love as sports fans, it’s losing. We are addicted to losing. That devastating, stomach-churning, empty feeling you get when your team loses a big game in the last few minutes (see 2011 editions of Red Sox and Patriots…or anyone from Buffalo) is what keeps you coming back. I may still have to squint during football highlights today, but I guarantee you come week one, I’ll be right back on the bandwagon, yelling at the TV even louder than I was last season.
While this blog is likely just another one of my pathetic attempts to hedge my emotions in case of another devastating Boston loss; hopefully it sheds some light on the topic we always come back to; why we love sports. Losing has to be a reason. It just hurts so good.