It’s more than just a game

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October 24, 2018 by adamburt13

Written by Adam Burt

Everybody has something that they’re deeply involved with or devoted to in life. For most people that something is usually their career they’ve spent an entire lifetime trying to achieve. But still, in the meantime, people find the time to enjoy hobbies and have multiple interests that they lean towards to free their minds of any life situation they may find themselves in…and everybody’s is different.

I somehow just so happened to be born into being in love with the one thing that can be the most up and down roller coaster of emotions on the planet; being a diehard sports fan. The topic of this blog has been something I’ve wanted to touch on for a while now and it seemed like the perfect time to break this out with all of the major sports being in season and with the Red Sox trying to win themselves another World Series title.

After that intro I know most people reading this are probably thinking to themselves, “Oh says the one who’s a Boston sports fan who’s really had it easy his entire life so far being surrounded by winning teams and multiple championships. You wouldn’t last a second watching the old Patriots or the old Red Sox.” Which is 100% true and I will never argue that. So far I’ve been beyond spoiled.

Some people wait an entire lifetime for one championship while I’ve been able to witness the Patriots win five Super Bowls, the Red Sox win three World Series (hopefully four) and even watch the Bruins and Celtics bring home a title. That’s most likely why it was so easy for me to follow along and become a fan at such a young age.

But there’s just something the average human won’t ever understand, or be able to experience on the inside, what diehard sports fans go through. First of all, when you google “diehard” the definition you will see is “A person who strongly opposes change or who continues to support something in spite of opposition.” And that’s really the mindset I feel like a lot of sports fans who are truly passionate feel about their sports teams. 

Whether your team is good or bad you’re going to pour all of your attention and devote your entire life to following that team because you’ve had that lifelong connection to it and it’s really all you know how to do on a yearly basis. I couldn’t change this lifestyle if I tried to in all honesty. I really couldn’t. And I’m writing this because sometimes I really don’t think people around me understand how diehard fans like myself and others work. 

Every fan is obviously very different and each individual is going to go about things and cope with things differently. But I can really only speak for myself here even though I know there are others that can relate to me by the end of this post.

I’m often asked why I care so much, or why I let big games get the best of my emotions. And, if I’m being 100% honest, it’s because I care more about sports and my sports teams than I really do anything else in life.

It sounds psychotic and that’s because it is, but I would be lying if I said I valued many things more than following sports and being a sports fan. And I know I’m not the only one like this. There’s thousands of diehard sports fans all over the world that have a different story about how they fell so deeply in love with this lifestyle. 

For me it was learning these games by playing sports growing up. Dating all the way back to the youth level and learning the basics. I think I was in 3rd grade when I started playing football and even before that I started tee-ball.

I’m obviously not saying you have to grow up playing sports your whole life to become a diehard fan of a sport. Just being around a family member or someone just as passionate about a sport can be just as infectious to you. I didn’t play sports my whole life and certainly wasn’t the greatest athlete, but I admired everything about sports at that early age and that’s where it all began. 

I don’t remember a single time in my life not playing for a team or being deeply devoted to one. It was an escape I craved growing up to escape any situation or any state of mind that I didn’t want to be in.

Whether it was watching a game, finding a friend to toss a ball with, reading stats off of sports cards or playing a sports video game. Those were just a few of the things that got me to where I am today where my escape is simply following sports every single day of my life. It will always be my escape that keeps me occupied and distracts me from all of the negatives going on in the world.

So when I watch certain games, especially postseason or rivalry games of high importance to me, people really shouldn’t take it personal if I don’t want to hang with any of them. I’ve never been the sports fan to go outside my comfort zone to watch big games at a sports bar or at a party to get drinks with friends for example, I’m just not about that lifestyle in the first place never mind when I’m trying to lock in and focus on a game where I enjoy paying attention to every detail.

When watching a game at home or by myself which I prefer in almost 95% of situations I’m really just making sure I’m in a good spot for whatever may happen during the game. If the game goes well then great, I’ll be excited, most likely following along talking about whatever game may be on with my followers on social media, and texting back and forth with friends and I might also be able to sleep in peace that night afterwards. 

And if the opposite happens and a game is going poorly well then I don’t have to debate with people why things aren’t going smooth, or I don’t have to get angry in front of people or in some cases like when I watched the Patriots lose two Super Bowls away from my house, I won’t have to show emotion in front of people. Because nobody wants to go through that.

It’s not like I haven’t tried going to super bowl parties or going to a pub to watch big games with people I’m just saying when I do, I don’t have a great time. So, in my mind watching away from home is a mistake I just never make anymore. I know, ‘what a nerd?’ 

Telling someone like me that it’s just a game is probably the worst thing you could ever do after a loss. I mean to most people yeah it really is just a game. But to me, and thousands of others, it’s way more than just a game to move along from so fast.

People like myself follow these teams and each individual player on those teams all year long. We keep up with all of the news and storylines throughout an entire season year in and year out to get to these big games and moments. To then be told at what seems like the worst moment of our lives that it’s just a game, get out of here with that because none of us want to hear it.

Losses never get easier and winning never gets old regardless of how much success you’ve been fortunate enough to see in the past. 

So, I guess If there’s one thing I’m trying to get at here it’s that all fans view sports very differently than others. Previous life experiences with certain sports and teams are the reason for this. To some people it’s way more than just a game – so to any casual fan reading this or any non sports freaks out there – all I ask is that you respect that diehard sports fan in your life, and never say “it’s just a game” because you really might not be aware just how impactful sports can be to a persons life.

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