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The Frustration of Football

by Tyler Bennett

September is the perfect time to be a sports fan. The nation’s favorite sports,National Football League and college football is heating up and Major League Baseball winding down and with that, their exciting playoffs are getting closer. While National Hockey League  and National Basketball Association teams are making their final moves to get ready for the upcoming season.

The English Premier League and the Major League Soccer is trying to capitalize on the recent rise of soccer’s popularity here in the states.

But why do some people take sports seriouly to the point of yelling, getting into fights, and destroying things. Now I am not going to look down on those people, beause for a long time, I had the same midnset.

With having a big passion for sports for what seemed to be my whole life, I took sports like I was a part of House Stark and people who did not agree with  me was with Lannisters.

If your favorite team lost that week, I would rub it in your face. Even though I had no ties to the team that beat yours, and not in the way where I was giving you a hard time, I got enjoyment thinking that your day was ruined when the game was over.

With this mindset, I thought there was no in between when it came to rooting for teams growing up. You were supposed to hate your teams rivlalry, no matter the locaton.

With being a huge Marshall fan at the time, I despised WVU for the longest time.

During my senior year of high school, at the height of my hatred, WVU went on the Final 4 run in 2010.

They played against Duke, who was my favorite college basketball team at the time. I was pumped for this game, so pumped on the Friday before the game. My high school held a WVU day, where students and faculty would wear gold and blue for support.

While I was one of the few that wore Duke clothing. I was so confident in Duke winning it, I wore the same shirt to a watch party my friends had set up.

That night, the following Monday, and on social media I was a jerkface to every single WVU fan I know.

While I could dish it out with the best of them, I simply could not eat a slice of humble pie when it was thrown back in my face.

I was so involved with sports, that if my favorite team lost, there was a chance that I would just stay inside, rather than getting what was coming. I missed out on some good times with the people I care about.

A perfect example was in the Fall of 2010. A couple of my  friends were attending WVU, so we planned to head up on the first weekend of sclass and do typical college freshman “things”.

All summer I was looking forward to it, until I realized on that week, was also the Marshall/WVU football game in Huntington.

I did not have tickets to the game, I was not even a student at Marshall, so what was the problem?

I knew that if Marshall won I was going to be a tool, and a chance to get a beat down. But if they lost. I felt every single resident would give me a hard time. So bad, I would proablaly drove home late at night.

My breaking point came during the Marshall/Ohio game in 2013, I was so frustrated with how the Herd was playing.

I messaged my older brother all of the rage that was building up in me. Like a drunk texting their ex, I immediately regret sending those messages.

I felt like I went to school in my underwear and my crush was making out with my most hated person in front of my locker. But looking back, I am glad I sent him those messages.

I was crazy about sports until what felt like scene in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, where the elevator going through the glass ceiling.

Since then, I am not as passionate about sports and I enjoy it even more. I realized that when my favorite team wins or loses, it is not going to change my life other than that moment in time.

I still enjoyed the season the Cowboys had in 2014 and Tottenham Hotspur surprising run at the Premier League Title. But I didn’t lose sleep last fall when Dallas had the worst season in my life nor did I when Tottenham folded under pressure like they have done in the past.

After realizing this, why do we take sports so seriously? I understand that the real time entertainment of a real game is exciting, but why do fans of a sport act different than most fans.

If someone who likes The Walking Dead asks for my opinion, I tell them I do not enjoy the show, they will not question my existence.

However, if someone asks me whose my favorite NFL team, and if they do not like it. It is like I just gave their mother a Mike Tyson uppercut, and they are ready to throw down.

Why is that? Why is it for some, they acted like what Warriors Stephen Curry is doing this season is the second coming of Jesus Christ?

Why is that athletes get more praise for playing a game, compared to people in science, medicine, or charities?

Why is that more Americans watched last year’s NFL season opener with a 17.7 millions rating, while the recent Democratic and Republican debate with a 5.5 and 11.85 respectively?

Is it because we can tell people that we were there from the start? Is it because athletes are themselves and not playing characters. So it feels real if we like that person or can not stand them?

Or is it because we have a religion like mind set when it comes to rooting for a player or team?

When asking questions, the common answer I get is cheering for their local or favorite team. I understand teams need us cheering them on, and that does have an effect. But why is it when something goes wrong, people go ballistic on social media?

When something goes wrong, check the team’s Twitter or Facebook account, and you will see fans saying everything under the sun bad mouthing athletes. How is someone going to get  in playing, when they constantly get hate messages on social media, even if something goes right?

Something coming from fandom that I never understand was when a team won the big one, we celebrate like we did something.

Everyone on the team has the right to celebrate because they worked their entire life getting to that point. While us fans sat on the couch eating Doritos,saying that we were there from the start.

Did the Detroit Pistons winning the 2004 NBA Championships play a huge role of success in life? When Tony Romo muffed the snap that cost the Cowboys the playoffs in 2006, was this a way for punishment?

During that time, I seriously thought that was the case. Thinking it was God’s intervention or karma for all of those positives or negatives that I done during my life.

In some areas of the world, sports is life or death for some. Recently in London, before what some say is the most intense rivalry game in soccer.

Arsenal and Tottenham fans were involved with violent clashes in the streets with several knocked out and one with blood gushing from a head wounded.

Here in the states, in 2011, two Los Angeles Dodger fans gave a San Francisco Giants fan beating so bad, they gave him permanent brain damage.

Why do people act as savages and think that these sports are the only thing that matters in such a matter of life and death. Especially when people care so much about a simple game, they spend so much time on those who are playing a simple game,rather than caring about more important things, such as family, friends, work and school.

So as WVU or your favorite team gets ready for hopefully a long run, just remember to sit back, relax and enjoy, and remember that no matter who wins and who loses, it is just a game.

Take it as entertainment that it is meant to be, and no matter how it ends the sun will come up tomorrow.

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