There is a side effect to sports that fans worldwide do not want talk about, much less acknowledge: sports make you bipolar. A cold, hard truth that is as much a part of the games as the wins and losses columns.
We look to sports events to provide entertainment and excitement. Yet, it often leads to heartbreak and despair. Single games can provide one with incredible highs only to later crush us with a metaphorical foot to the groin. Tell me this: while watching your favorite NFL team have you been happy one minute, completely depressed the next? Well, you might be a redneck…oops, wrong schtick…..you might be bipolar.
A Bipolar World Series
Let’s take a look at a tale of two teams from last October’s World Series. On one weekend, Texas dominated St. Louis. The Rangers won two of three games against the Cardinals to take a 3-2 series lead. Only one victory separated the state of Texas from its first World Series trophy.
Flash forward to the next weekend, the Cardinals were World Champs, beating the Rangers the last two games.
Game six was not only one of the greatest games in Series history but it also provided the ultimate in sports bipolarity. Imagine being a Cardinals fan. Twice, your team is down to its last strike. You are sickened by your team’s errors and resigned to losing the Series. The dream is dead. But suddenly miraculous hits tie and then win the game. You have been pulled from the whirlpool of defeat to play game seven which of course the Cards won.
Now imagine being a Rangers fan. Twice your team is one strike away from winning its first world championship, only to be denied by miraculous Cardinal rallies and eventually lose the World Series. Fans such as those who follow the Red Sox know the sting of needing only one strike and losing a Series. It happened to them in 1986 and the pain for many wasn’t erased until the BoSox won it all in 2004. However, no team before the Rangers had ever been one strike away from a Series championship twice.
Sports are cruel. And too bad many of us fans are addicted to them.
Fans: Fantasy & Frustration
Sure, every player and coach has bipolar feelings too but rarely are they fans who have a lifetime of emotional investment with a team. Plus, professional players and coaches get paid. The only compensation for the fan is the euphoria following victory. Crushing heartbreak in defeat. Try taking those to the bank.
How about antidepressants? Would Prozac help the average sports fan? Is Prozac a lineman who can sack the quarterback with ease? Zoloft? Isn’t that the Russian center with the Red Wings? Paxil? He’s that great three point shooter with the Blazers, right? We’re helpless.