Saturday, June 09, 2012

Celtic Pride

Well, that was fun while it lasted, but all things do have to come to an end.

There's a fundamentally dualistic aspect to sports.  To enjoy watching a game, you really have to pick one side or the other and cheer for the victory of one and the defeat of the other.  Theoretically, it's possible to watch a game and just enjoy the athleticism and grace of both teams without picking and choosing one over the other, but if we're honest about it, it's not really the same experience as cheering for a team.

Case in point: I turned on the television this morning and came across what appeared to be a re-broadcast of a Boston University-Boston College hockey game.  On a summer morning, watching the players slide around on the ice seemed kind of surreal, almost abstract, a refreshingly chill reminder of other seasons and other latitudes on a Georgia morning, but 30-year-old memories of the intense loyalty I once felt for the Terriers and the fierce rivalry between the two teams quickly returned.  I turned it off, not because of those memories but rather because there were many things I'd rather be doing with a June Saturday than watching a taped hockey game.

But I apparently had nothing better to do with a June evening than watch Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Championship.  My team lost, despite a terrifically played first half, and still hung in there for most of the second half.  But as any Red Sox fan will tell you, it's watching your team lose that makes the eventually victories all the sweeter.  Winning and losing are really the same thing, the two sides of a single coin.

Before I start sounding like Rosie Perez in White Men Can't Jump, I'll just note that in my experience, I've never seen sports fans most blase about their team than Braves fans here in Atlanta, despite a near continuous string of Division championships in the 90s and 00s, and I don't know of fans more fiercely loyal  than Red Sox fans, despite going from 1912 to 2004 without a World Series Championship. 

But really, I would have preferred to have seen the Celtics win tonight.

1 comment:

Steve Reed said...

Maybe that's why I never got into watching sports. I never really cared who won, so I was missing that aspect! (And it wasn't out of any sense of non-duality; it was just plain apathy about sports.)

People in the South (I grew up in Florida, very near the home of the Tampa Bay Rays) just don't have the same attachment to baseball that northerners do. I'm not sure why that is.