Friday, November 23, 2012

The Sports Fan

He has flags, hats, banners and a little pennant he puts on the window of his car. He wears clothing with his team's logo on it even when the team is doing badly. He spends twenty minutes arranging food and drink around his reclining chair before away games are aired on television. When "his" team wins, he's happy for a day. When it loses, he's snappish but likes talking with his friends, who are as devoted to the team as he is, about what went wrong. Those conversations, in fact, are longer and somehow more bonding, despite their negative theme.
He holds the players in high esteem. In this team's case, he forgives the quarterback for having abused dogs as a matter of course for years. The fan loves dogs and he was uncomfortable with this for awhile, but it's now conveniently forgotten and neither he nor his friends bring it up anymore. He also knows that all the players make in one year many times what he and his friends combined will make in their lifetimes, despite all working hard, and that none of the players are products of his region. If offered more millions by someone else, they would give a heartfelt press conference, then leave without a second glance. The next year they would talk about how special and loyal the fans of their new city are with the same sincerity as they talk about the fan's city and its people now.
He knows all this on some dim level, a level similar to the one we all have on mortality when we're not seriously ill. He knows this, but he goes with the flow. He conforms.
fat man train station waiting room
A typical sports fan.

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