I was watching the NBA Finals last night, so here's a TBT post I wrote while watching the Western Conference Finals last year.
I am writing this post on Thursday night while watching Game 5 of the Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder series. Currently the game is tied and I don’t know if I can take it. The Warriors had the best regular season of all time and now they’re on the brink of elimination.
(The Thunder have the lead now, by the way.)
Sports are weird. Five years ago I couldn’t have cared less about the Warriors. I didn’t know who Steph Curry was and I wasn’t entirely sure in which city the Warriors played. Fast forward to tonight, though, and I’m sick to my stomach at the thought of the Warriors’ season ending prematurely.
I don’t personally know any of the Warriors or their coaching staff. I don’t even have any friends that are Warriors fans. But five years ago I arbitrarily chose them because I liked their logo and wanted to get into basketball.
My friend and podcast cohost, Ron, couldn’t care less about sports. It’s nights like this that I envy him. The Warriors could get blown out on their home court and Ron would sleep like a baby, while I would be tempted to drown my sorrows in an adult beverage.
(The Warriors just committed an egregious turnover and I’m lucky my daughter didn’t learn a new, offensive word.)
At its best, watching sports gives us the opportunity to feel connected to a larger community. Whenever I wear a Warriors hat or shirt, there’s someone who comments on it or says, “Dub nation” to me.
(Another turnover. And another one. WTF?!)
At its worst, watching sports turns us into angry and agitated individuals whose attitudes are impacted by something over which we have no control. I can’t count the number of times I’ve lost my temper, sulked around the house or shouted obscenities at the TV because of something “my” team did.
(Harrison Barnes just hit a huge 3-pointer and the Warriors have a 12 point lead)
All of that anger and anguish: for what? Last year the Warriors won the NBA Championship and I didn’t even get to watch the clinching game; in fact I didn’t get to watch most of the series because I was in Guatemala on a mission trip. I was happy that the Warriors won, but that happiness has faded and now I’m just worried that they won’t live up to the potential of their regular season.
I’m not going to give up watching sports; it’s pretty much how I choose to spend the free time I have. I’ve also had so many great nights watching sports with my friends. For all of the questionable additions sports have brought to my life, I still think I’m over .500. At some point, though, watching 82 basketball games and 162 baseball games may be impossible, but until then I’ll try to enjoy the wins and not get too down about the losses.
(The Warriors won. Now I’ll be miserable until Saturday.)