Thursday, June 10, 2010

Get Off My Lawn!

Apparently I have become the grumpy old man who yells at the kids to get off of his lawn. At least when it comes to the world of sports. I have enjoyed sports all of my life and yes, when I was younger I was a bit of a zealot when it came to rooting for my favorite teams. But I am 53 years old now and whether the Brewers or Packers win isn’t priority one anymore. Sure I pull for my teams to triumph when they play their Illinois counterparts, but life goes on if they don’t. I just make it a point to avoid Chicago sports talk radio afterwards. Evidently I have to start avoiding facebook as well.

Let me explain. It started out innocently enough last night. The Blackhawks had just won the Stanley Cup Championship and the celebration had begun. At the Wachovia Arena in Philadelphia. In the bars around Wrigleyville in Chicago. And all throughout facebook.

I can fully understand the joy that the fans of the Blackhawks were feeling. Hell, it had been 49 years since they were last able to raise the cup. The team was outstanding the entire season and continued its excellence into the playoffs. I can understand how proud their fans were at this moment.

What I fail to understand is all the “We” talk. “We” won it! “We” played so hard, "we" really deserved this. “We” won it, the Cup is ours!

No, the Blackhawks won it. Wrong, the Blackhawks played hard and really deserved it. Once again, the Blackhawks were the ones that won the Cup and it belongs to them for the next year. You are their fans. You didn’t score one goal, make one save or lose one tooth.

After reading status after status proclaiming what “We” had just accomplished, I decided to have a little fun and wrote the following status – “Can't get over all the "We" talk.”

To which my friend Jamie replied, “Didn't you want the Hawks to win P? Cause WE are excited about it…”

My comeback was, “I guess I am becoming an "old guy" J." Things don't mean what they used to. Everybody and their brother was on the ice becoming part of it. Lost are the days when the guys that actually earned the greatest trophy in pro sports would skate around the ice hoisting it high.

I guess that I don't begrudge those people for doing it, but to me it somehow lessens the accomplishments of the players that worked so hard. The others were reporters, politicians or some other type of pseudo-celebrity.

I shudder to think what will happen if a certain baseball team from the Northside should ever win the World Series. Oh wait, that will never happen…”

Jamie, good naturedly answered with, “It could happen...well. Probably not. Damn curse!

I had a laugh and that was the end of it. Or so I thought.

Early this afternoon another friend of mine, Randy posted this status, "Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup, White Sox win handily, and last but not least, the Cubs took a trip to their summer home (Wrigley North) and spanked the "Squatters" LOL. Especially galling to the "Squatter " faithful was seeing the hated BIG Z get the win. "Squatter" fans have always hated him, but after Z went to his summer home and tossed a no-no, the hatred has been amplified. I LOVE IT."

Before I tell you how I responded, you should know that Randy is an ardent fan of both the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Cubs. Even with these personality flaws, I still consider him a friend. So with that in mind, I wrote, “And people wonder why so many Chicago fans are easy to despise. I do give you credit for not using the "We" word…”

Randy shot back with, “If Chicago fans are despised, Brewer fans are pitied.”

Not to be outdone, I countered with, “The defensive exhibition the Cubs displayed today is what needs to be pitied. A walk-off error on a bunt. Sweet…”

He retorted, “Kind of hard to brag about that when the Cubs have still won 6 out of 9 this year, with 6 games @ Wrigley north.”

This war of words ended by me saying, “Hey, I am not bragging about anything. There isn't really anything to brag about. Sure I enjoy seeing the teams I like do well, but I have no vested interest in them. I was just making a few salient points after you went on your Chicago screed.”

My exchange with Jamie was fun and good spirited. Initially the back and forth with Randy started out tongue in cheek. At least it did for me. But as it progressed I realized how this stuff just isn’t that important to me anymore.

Admittedly I still watch way too much sports and listen to copious amounts of sports talk radio, but I don’t let it have an affect on the way I feel emotionally. Of course I yell “Shit” when Prince Fielder strikes out with runners in scoring position, but moments later I am over it. There are far more important things to worry about.

Nowadays sports is merely a form of entertainment. A release from real life problems. I guess I really am becoming that grumpy old man. Oh well, until next time…get off my lawn!


Leplume said...

Listen Mr. Grumpypants, haha! You have to consider the fact that without fans no team in any sport really would have a reason to do what they do. Sure, they could play for the love of whatever game it is they're playing but with no one to watch, buy the tickets, purchase the doo-dads, and do the wave, it just wouldn't happen! And any athlete will tell you that hearing the roar of the fans just spurs them on all the more. So, yes, we are a WE! My hopes, and stress, and cheers and boos meant just as much as any effort by any guy on the Hawks. Sure, I never executed a perfect slap shot in real life but in my sports loving heart and mind, I'm right there with 'em!

So, gimme back the ball that went over your fence, Mr. Grumpypants, or I'm tellin' my mom!! Hahahah!

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

I can't believe that I have no reply. Here's your damn ball, now get out of here you young whippersnapper!