October 29, 2020

Are Americans too emotionally invested in sports?

I was feeling pretty good on Sunday night. My Super Bowl party was a success, my mom’s famous mini-hotdogs were on tap and the Colts were on a drive sure to put them in the lead.

But then the unthinkable happened — Peyton Manning, the unsackable quarterback who could be voted into the Hall of Fame tomorrow, threw an interception.

And Tracy Porter ran 74 yards to make a Colts’ victory improbable.

But there was hope. It was the Indianapolis Colts after all. They won the Super Bowl in 2007. They went undefeated for a large part of the season. And they have Peyton Manning.

But Manning threw another interception, making the score 31-17 and thus making a Colts’ victory impossible.

Well, I wasn’t happy.

I may have stalked off to my room. I may have thrown a mini-hotdog. I may have shed a tear (okay, many tears).

But here is the question I pose to you, dear reader — why did I care so much?

Because I am not a Colts fan.

I’ve been a Giants fan my entire life. Almost as long as I’ve been a Yankee fan (I became one before I was conceived).

So why did I care so much?

Yeah, I’m a Manning Bros. fan, but not to the extent of physical pain (my heart hurt a little). And the Saints played valiantly. They deserved to win. New Orleans needed this.

But I was still upset. Devastated, even. Why?

Because I decided I wanted the Colts to win and I emotionally invested myself in the game.

Bobby Oliver, Signal Editor-in-Chief, and Garrett Rasko-Martinis, Signal Sports Editor, agree that they find themselves too emotionally attached to sporting events on a regular basis. As do I. When the Yankees won the World Series last year, I was more excited than I will be at my wedding and the birth of my first child. Combined.

It is the same for many Americans. Why do we care so much about something that basically has no effect on our lives? Could it be that it’s easier to invest ourselves in something that can’t hurt us then something that can?

Is it surprising that more people watched the Super Bowl last weekend then watched the “Hope for Haiti” telethon? If everyone who watched the Super Bowl donated money to Haiti … well, damn.

And if the amount of people who cheered the Saints on because “New Orleans needs relief” actually offered relief when New Orleans needed it …

Well, then we wouldn’t be Americans.

Because the Yankees winning the World Series was the single most important event of the last decade. The Giants’ defeat of the Patriots was one of the most epic upsets in sports history (perhaps second to the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team’s defeat of Soviet Union). And the Saints beating the Colts was devastating — to me.

And that’s all that matters in the end.

— Caroline Russomanno

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