FOR A flawed sports fan like myself, this is probably about as good as it gets. For all I know, my favorite team the Boston Celtics (please remind me to explain why they are my favorite, in a New York minute) will lose the momentary advantage they’ve preciously scraped away over their conference rivals the Miami Heat, you never know when the unpredictable Heat will turn things around and regain composure on the way to the NBA Finals, and even if the Celtics win their best-of-seven series, who knows if the Thunder or Spurs won’t overachieve and walk all over whoever their Finals opponent will be?
But as usual, I am getting ahead of myself. Please hear my explanation of why I’m a flawed sports fan. I’ve forgotten my idolatry of the Toyota Super Corollas / Ginebra San Miguel superteams of the 1970s/1980s led by the Big J (Robert Jaworski), El Presidente (Ramon Fernandez), Mr Clutch (Francis Arnaiz) and the departed Arnie Tuadles, my faintest memories of Ginebra (besides the Big J) are that of the Bandana Brothers Caguioa and Helterbrand; decades later, I rabidly rejoice and drown my sorrows in the wins and losses of the New Zealand All Blacks, Wellington Hurricanes, Wellington Phoenix, Wellington Firebirds and Wellington Saints, though I know little about the intricacies of rugby union, soccer football and cricket, but remain only mildly interested, if at all,in following whatever local sports that are showcased in supportive media. But that’s not why I’m a flawed sports fan.
It’s because to my very core, just as I’m interested in watching my favored and favorite teams succeed, it’s just as easily about watching the other team lose. It could be any other team playing against the teams mentioned above. I ooh, ahh and gasp as my teams deftly maneuver their way in and out of tight fixes, score through the best defenses, and combine specialties and talents to produce the transcendent and universal beauty of team effort.
But I also snicker and chuckle at every stumble and miss, the bickerings among the enemy as they are left befuddled after every successful foray by my teams into their own territory. I love it especially when they stack karma against their own sides when they declare themselves the favorites to win when they have nothing but empty boasts to back them up, when they have nothing but the support of their home crowd, who of course are expected to back them, who else? Lastly, I am particularly incensed when what I perceive are dirty tricks, below-the-belt techniques and shortcuts to success are employed by rival teams, although logic dictates that nobody, least of all my teams, is immune from this reality of professional sports.
Just in case you missed it in my diarrhea of words, I’m flawed because much as I love to see my team win, I’m even more gratified to see the other team lose.
I can’t explain the reason behind the reason. On statistics alone, in a league of a dozen or so teams, you can’t expect your favorite to win it all on a regular basis, or even half or a quarter of the time. In a game where out of a bunch of teams, equally talented and equivalently staffed, only one emerges champion at the end of the season, it’s folly to believe that your team, exulted and adored as they are, will be king of the hill every year. But against logic and reason you do so, and cry your heart out nearly every time.
Then there’s the injury paradox. As your team progresses further and further towards the championship round, or as the pundits say, deep into the playoffs, the probability that your regular contributors, or as they say, starters, star players, or just stars, succumb to the spectre of injury, after playing so many games at such a high level of peformance, increases correspondingly. Until the time when just having intact your basic core of dependables around whom the rest of the team is built, by the final few games of the season, is already an unexpected bonus. For the unwritten rule of professional sports is that elite players have a limited shelf life during which they had better earn the best money that they can. And so added to the injury paradox is the Team or Me paradox : I’m the best paid player in the team, and so I have to justify my pay and my stature, so sorry if in the process the team suffers ?
But for now that’s just a tempest in a teacup issue, because my Boston Celtics have just gained the upper hand, against all expectations, against the Miami Heat, who just happen to have the Best and the Second Best player in the league, playing together. Now how fair is that? All is fair in love and money talks – wars. And that’s why the current tide of the Celtics-Heat series is particularly sweet, for me.
It will be a Venus transit sort of month for me, if the trends continue. A Celtics appearance in the Finals, no Lakers or Heat (sorry Lord Chancellor Thor 🙂 ), and the possibility of the Hurricanes in the Super 15 Rugby playoffs ! Note that I have not totally lost control of reality : you can’t discount the Heat returning with a vengeance and salvaging what remains of their season, they did so against the Indiana Pacers and can certainly regain their composure against Boston; and even if Boston gains the Finals, standing in the way are the powerful Oklahoma Thunder, who have youth and momentum on their side. Also, this was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Wellington rugby franchise, but they have exceeded all cautious expectations and have produced a fighting team.
Which again leads me to my flawed self-image : in an activity where human achievement is supposed to raise us above our petty selves, why do I continue to love it when the other team stumbles? All I can say is, it’s too much fun.
Thanks for reading !
PS. I forgot to add why the Celtics are my favorite team. They manage to weave individual excellence into the team concept, are the perennial underdogs despite owning the winningest tradition in American professional sports, their fans never say die, and the team colors/ parquet floor are unrivalled in basketball quaintness. If those reasons aren’t enough, Ninoy, Cory and Noynoy, a national hero and two presidents, once lived in Boston. That should be enough. 🙂
- NBA Playoffs: Put On an Extra Pot of Coffee (blogs.wsj.com)
- Boston Celtics resilience is key in dramatic Game 5 win (miamiherald.com)
- Celtics take 3-2 series lead, could clinch at “The Garden” (1070thefan.com)
- !@!@!@!@!@!@!!!(NBA) Watch Boston Celtics vs Miami Heat Live Stream NBA Playoffs 2012 Online on 5 June (jahangir3.typepad.com)
- Game Recap (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- Luck of the Irish? Nope. (thefastbreakdown.wordpress.com)
- Media Roundup: Mike Breen And His Evident Dislike Of The Boston Celtics (boston.sbnation.com)
- Boston Celtics Paul Pierce And Rajon Rondo Have Moments LeBron James Wishes For (rantsports.com)
- Some Celtics Fans Will Be Wearing Tim Donaghy Masks Tonight [Boston Celtics] (deadspin.com)
- Celtics blow best chance, will get another in G7 – Boston.com (boston.com)
- don’t hate me because i’m a deeply flawed sports fan, cuz i am 🙂 (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- why do Pinoys get so carried away by sports fandom? (ylbnoel.wordpress.com)
- Thank You, Celtics. Thank You, Fans (boston.sbnation.com)
- How I Became A Celtics Fan (charlotte.cbslocal.com)
- You: Boston Celtics 2012: A Team for the Ages That Should Never Be Forgotten (bleacherreport.com)