I could just call this a Comment of the Day, but it seems more important than that.
It comes from reader lukedunphysscienceproject* in the Cardinals fan coping post. It’s also about the best advice I’ve ever seen with respect to keeping one’s perspective when it comes to sports. Which, in turn, makes watching and discussing sports with people way more fun.
Specifically, the biggest annoyance I find when talking about sports with people is the over-identification with the team for which one roots. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with rooting for a team. That’s the whole point. But being around people who literally fall into depressions when their team loses or who get way, way too excited when their team wins or who retreat to the bunker when their team encounters controversy is the absolute worst.
So, here’s a nice little mantra which, if you find yourself getting too wound up in sports — or of your friends tell you are — that you should print out and tape next to your TV or your computer:
If you are a loser, and your team wins, you’re still a loser.
If you are a winner and your team loses, you’re still a winner.
Your team’s accomplishments are not your accomplishments
Your team’s failures are not your failures.
That just seems so simple and so right. And will go a long way from keeping you out of dumb arguments about sports. Arguments which, so often, have their root in someone defending themselves just as much as their team, or at least feeling like they are obligated to. Well, you’re not obligated to.
Sometimes your team will suck. Sometimes they will not. It doesn’t reflect poorly or well on you in either instance. Just sit back and be entertained and then get on with the rest of your life.
*(if he/she would like to ID themselves by name, I’ll update this post to that effect to give them full credit)