And so it goes, when your Favorite Football Team You Like the Best loses the first two games of the season by sucking on levels only seen in quantum vacuums and black holes.
And so it goes, in Week 3, when your favorite team—let's call them The New York Compliants (because they comply with the will of their opponents)—loses 38-0 to a team so lousy that it couldn't get into an end zone if the end zone was a stripper's vagina and the team had a fistful of hundreds and a reservation at Red Lobster.
And so it goes that your 0-3 team makes the diehard in you wonder why he can't just die already, because being a fan of this Football Team I Like the Best this year is like being a fan of crucifixion.
And so it goes, today, I declare myself a fair-weather fan.
It's quite an epiphany, really, because I was once like many of you. I used to think that fair-weather fans were the sea cucumbers of the sports world and that the worst crime a fan could commit, with the exception of blowing air horns in the stands, is to support a team only during winning seasons.
Well, to that I say, ballhairs! What am I, an enemy combatant? I'm supposed to spend my oh-so-valuable Sundays being tortured by my Favorite Team I like the Best? I'm supposed sit there and watch them commit five penalties, two fumbles and four interceptions in the first quarter as my intestines wrap around my organs like a python trying to strangle a litter of weasels?
The average football game takes more than three hours. That's three hours of straight-up suffering if the Football Team You Like the Best happens to blow ass-bubbles. And if that weren't bad enough—take a guess at how many minutes of actual playing time occurs during those three hours. A hundred and 20? Ninety, maybe? Sixty? How about 11 minutes? Yup. If you added the duration of every play, from when the ball is snapped to the whistle, you get about 11 minutes of action. The rest is commercials, replays and close-up shots of players adjusting their cups for pleasure. Yet I'm the douchebag because I don't want to donate any more of my precious Sundays to an 11-minute game that causes me to anguish for three hours, not counting the 36 hours of post-game wallowing?
So, I'm sitting here wallowing in the 35th hour after that 38-0 loss, thinking, I'm 51 years old, man! I have only a handful of Sundays left. Yet like so many Eli Manning passes this season, I'm just throwing them away.
Incidentally, the term "fair-weather fan" is an oxymoron. As most of you know, "fan" is short for "fanatic," and you can't be fanatic and fair-weather at the same time. Oxford defines "fanatic" as "a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause." It derives from the Latin fanum, meaning "temple." Turns out the word originally described a religious maniac or possessed person. It's not very flattering.
So, how did it come to be that it's a bad thing to not have "excessive," "extreme" and/or "single-minded zeal" for your shitty team? We don't see this sort of unconditional devotion anywhere else. I'm not going to continue using My Favorite Deodorant I Like the Best if it makes my armpits smell like fish bait. Should I buy tickets to Black Sabbath concerts even though Ozzy's voice sounds like that bat he swallowed has been eating its way up his throat since 1982? Let me ask you a question: If you hate the column you're reading right now, and then you hate the next one, and the one after that is so bad, I mean really bad—we're talking the equivalent of losing 38-0, bad—how many more of my columns are you going to endure before you start emailing CityBeat to bring back Aaryn Belfer? Even I would welcome another "Oh no, I broke my heel on the way to the parent-teacher conference!" column after suckage like that.
Unconditional support?—pffft! The truth of the matter is, we are all only as good as our last column, our last album, our last big sale, etc., but for some reason, not our last sports performance.
The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908. Nineteen-oh-eight! That's nine years away from 1899! That means the Cubs have not won a World Series since almost the 19th century, yet still their bovine fans sit through season after excruciating season twisting in agony. Well, I'm sorry, but I ain't gonna blindly moo for my team no more.
No longer will I watch My Favorite Football Team I Like the Best after they lose three games in a row without a fight.
No longer will I watch any given game if they fall more than 24 points behind.
And the second My Favorite Football Team I Like the Best is mathematically excluded from the playoffs, I will drop them like a greasy bowling ball.
Now, before you judge me, it should be noted that I am not, nor will I ever be, a bandwagon fan. A bandwagon fan is a fair-weather fan who takes the additional step of switching over to a different team. For me, this is a step too far. Most fair-weather fans loathe bandwagon fans. They're the sex offenders of the penitentiary system. "Um, sure, I may have murdered my entire family and stored their dismembered body parts in the freezer for later consumption, but sex offenses? Now, that's wrong."
Yes, I'm a fair-weather fan, but at least I ain't no bandwagoner.
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Edwin Decker blogs at www.edwindecker.com. Follow him on Twitter @edwindecker or find him on Facebook.
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