Thursday, November 3

My Grandpa, the Cubs and Being a Fan

My maternal grandpa was a devoted Cubs fans for his whole life. He and Grandma were some of the earliest people I knew who had cable, and he watched most of the Cubs games on WGN. (He slept through a lot of the coverage.) They took us to at least two games at Wrigley. He never got to see much success.

I grew up a Cubs fan, but gave it up recently. It's a part of what I call My Bad Sports Life. In addition to the Cubs, I grew up a Vikings and Hawkeyes fan. Until yesterday, these teams had no major sports championships among them. (We also grew up Iowa wrestling fans, and there is a great history of championships there, but it's not the same.)

I realized a few years ago that being a sports fan was making me unhappy. Generally speaking, when my teams won, I felt nothing (beyond maybe relief). Usually those were games they were supposed to win. When they lost, especially games they should have won, I was disappointed. My negativity bias is just too strong. So I basically gave up being a fan. I followed the teams from a distance, but didn't pay close attention and stopped watching them.

And I have to say, I've been happier. I especially don't miss all the time I used to spend watching those games. (Don't worry: there is no posture of superiority here. I spend/waste time in other ways that also aren't particularly productive.)

The Cubs victory last night was great. I'm happy, especially for the true fans. But I didn't watch the game. I was sort of following the score and went to bed after the 9th inning. When I woke up and saw they had won, it seemed almost too good to be true.

I'm well aware that I have not earned this celebration the way true 'fanatics' have. It wasn't worth it to me to go through the lows, so this high is not as high.

That's ok. One of the teams I have rooted for won a championship. In a sense, My Bad Sports Life is over. But in a fuller sense, it ended when I gave up being a fan.

So I smile when I think about the Cubs. And I think about my grandpa.

I drank this glass of wine in his honor, too. :-)
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