Do you ever sit back and think what makes you love your team, athlete, or whomever it is you root for? I mean seriously why spend the money? Why go through all the heartache and pain? We could easily pick up less emotionally draining hobbies and spend more time with our families & friends right??? The thought has crossed my mind a few times recently which is way more than usual for any particular thought in general. It probably stems from all the hype around my team the Oregon Ducks being in the hunt for its first official NCAA Football National Championship, I say official because in the 1917 Rose Bowl Oregon beat Penn 14-0 in a battle of the best from the west vs the best from the east...I mean who else was the National Champions that year??? Anyway what makes us care so much? I think for me its a few things. First off I remember as young boy running through the bleachers at Autzen Stadium playing catch with my friends. Yes the bleachers that are now filled to capacity every game were that empty. I'm not exactly sure but I think I was 5 or 6 at the time. I don't remember a ton, but I do remember the Washington Huskies put a pretty good whooping on the Ducks that day & other days where UCLA & USC would commonly put the smack down on us (notice I say "us"). I used to catch them on the radio because that was usually the only way to know how they were doing unless you wanted to wait for the local news to play the highlights. I remember sitting in my living room watching "The Pick" the most famous play in Oregon Football History to date, and coming to tears of excitement later that season when Dino Philyaw scored late in the Civil War to put the Ducks ahead for good to send us to our first Rose Bowl in the modern era. I also remember a time in the year 2000 when I was enlisted in the Army on a training exercise in the desert of California called NTC. I asked our Observer known as "OC"if the Ducks had beaten the Huskies. I remember he looked at me as if I was crazy because we had just gotten done with a pretty intense combat simulation and you weren't really supposed to talk to them anyway especially about things that didn't have to do with training, but I asked him again and he finally radio messaged a buddy of his and about 10 minutes later told me "Yes". Ah yes from waking up at 6am to watch them play Wisconsin in Madison to Staying up til after midnight to catch Sports Center highlights the roots are planted deep within.
I imagine this sense of ownership develops in a similar fashion for most people who are passionate about their teams. Its almost like a learned behavior or belief. I mean why else do people get in fights and banter back and forth at these events? I guess you could be like Jamie Foxx and "Blame it on the Ah ah ah ah ah alcohol" or other extracurricular activity associated with the games but I have seen guys nearly get in all out donnybrooks over sports teams. So does it start when you are young, when you go to college, is it different for everyone??? Is it like politics and religion? For some of you super freak athletes that actually had the privilege to play at a high level, maybe its because you played the game for that particular team or organization. But for the rest of us I pose the question, where does it start, why are you so passionate, and why continue to be a fan?
Thanks for reading,