There's a football on my head!
And yet, I couldn't help but contrast last night's elation, and this morning's joyous hangover, with the utter devestation I felt just four months ago watching the Mets' season implode, or the year before that, sitting at Shea, waiting for Beltran to hit that curveball. I keep coming back to a fundamental question about being a sports fan: why on earth do I care this much?
I am an adult, I have a job (usually) in a field that is totally unrelated to sports, I am intelligent, and generally pretty responsible. Eli Manning doesn't know who I am, and has no obligation or reason to care. Plaxico Burress will never ask me for my autograph. But despite all that, I am absolutely devestated when "my" team loses the big game, and numbingly elated when they win.
I am sure there is an explanation. Something about in-group/out-group theories in psychology, about wanting to feel part of a team, about the vicarious thrill we get from seeing others succeed. Or maybe it's the camraderie that is shared by fans in the stands or in the bar, the excitement of predicting, criticizing, and wondering. To be honest though, even though I wonder about it sometimes, when all is said and done, I don't care why I care. I just do.
It might be that it is a little silly to get so invested in it, to jump up and scream like idiots because some guy caught a football three thousand miles from here. It may not be worth getting so down when your team loses, which all but one of them is guaranteed to do every single year, in every single sport. It could be that there are better things to do with a Sunday afternoon than sitting inside a dark bar in a random town because there is just no way you are missing a game.
Maybe, but the Giants just won the Superbowl.