Life is short. Hakuna Matata, baby. Cue Bobby Ferrin. Don’t worry, be happy. There’s plenty to worry about in life. It will find you. Or maybe it’s just that check I recently wrote to the IRS. But the thought occurs, we should be looking for reasons to remove the stress from our lives, not add to it.
That’s why I don’t get the way we go about being sports fans.
I can’t tell you why you’re a fan, in general or of a particular team or teams. I only know why I am. It’s fun. I enjoy it. I enjoy the strategy. I enjoy feeling part of a community. I enjoy the exhilaration when my team wins and even the disappointment when it doesn’t. I don’t enjoy the disappointment as much, but I appreciate it as the way to tell the difference between that and happy.
Experience has taught, among many lessons, that we don’t know the whole story when we’re standing in the middle of it. It’s why I don’t get the way we insist on overreacting to everything on the sports landscape. Seems like a way to create unneeded angst.
Remember way, way back in the good old days of last April and May? When we tried to be happy about the Mavericks being in the playoffs, but we weren’t sure why, because we knew they were going to lose?
Remember that Portland series, when they blew a big lead on the road and we all wrote them off? And then they went and ruined all that perfect good despair and won the championship. Tsk, tsk.
If for you, part of the enjoyment is the jumping off the ledge every time the other team hits a three or makes a first down or knocks out your pitcher, then my apologies. I certainly don’t want to steal your enjoyment. But enhancing our enjoyment could be as much the goal as looking for a reason to tear our hair out. I’m looking for ways we could do that.
Here’s my extreme example: I’m a Cubs fan. (I know – bless my heart.) In waning April they gave evidence of being the worst team in baseball by a long ways. Not mediocre. Spectacularly unwatchable. But I’ll watch ‘em anyway, because that’s my team. Being a Cubs fan (I’m Cubs #1, Rangers #1-A) has taught me to find ways to enjoy my fandom other than just the winning.
So if you don’t like the Cowboys’ draft, take a deep breath. There’s a good chance it’s not going to turn out the way it looked to you on Draft Weekend. (Remember when there was only Draft DAY?) There will be some picks in there that don’t work out. Hopefully they won’t be as ruinous as a 2nd round Jacob Rodgers. Hopefully they won’t have a 1st round exploding cigar like some of the pre-’89 Cowboys, or have you forgotten Kevin Brooks and Rod Hill?
Remember, Jason Witten was a 3rd round pick, Jay Ratliff a 7th. Miles Austin and Tony Romo, undrafted. Stay away from jumping to conclusions.
That works two ways, incidentally. What a start to the season the Rangers have had, huh? At one point when they were beating the Tigers the other day, I sent a text to my buddy Eric Nadel, the Rangers’ 34-year radio voice, “Holy crap, Batman.” He responded: “They will never lose again.”
Remember the old sports adage: things are never as good or as bad as they seem. Don’t overreact. Accept what is and hope for more and better. But don’t be swayed by the early results. Hakuna Matata.