Why Do Some People Take Sports So Seriously?
That’s the message that Twitter user Javier Pasquel (@javpasquel) wrote on his Twitter page just minutes after San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams fumbled a punt return against the New York Giants on Sunday night during the NFC Championship Game and essentially cost his team the game. He wasn’t alone in his sentiments, either. Dozens of other Twitter users—and many Facebook users as well—took to their accounts, not just to express to their disappointment over the loss of the Niners, but also to wish death on Williams for the mistake he’d read. That’s right, death.
Earlier in the day, Baltimore Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff made a mistake in his team’s game against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game as well. From 32 yards out, he missed a field goal that would have sent the game into overtime. Instead, it sent his team home. And it caused one Ravens fan to completely lose his mind and go ballistic in a homemade video (see the extremely NSFW clip below) that went viral almost instantly. In it, he yells at his friends, badmouths several members of the team, and looks like a raving lunatic.
And both that incident and the tweets directed at Williams got me to thinking: Why are so many people taking sports so seriously these days? Don’t get me wrong. I’m every bit as passionate about my teams as you probably are about yours. As a Giants fan, my hands were trembling—literally trembling—for at least six hours on Sunday night. I’ve invested a lot of time, effort, and money into the team this season, so I was a little bit of a wreck watching the game. But had the Giants lost—or had one of the guys on the team made a crucial mistake—I wouldn’t have been devastatingly angry at them. I wouldn’t have cursed at my friends and yelled at people in my family. I wouldn’t have wished death upon anyone. I would have been upset and I might’ve had a little trouble sleeping Sunday night. But I wouldn’t have taken the game so seriously that I let my emotions get the best of me.
It’s something that other people need to keep in mind, especially young kids, teenagers, and even young adults. We always hear people say things like, “It’s only a game,” or, “There’s always next year.” But it seems like, more and more, people are focusing so much on the now that they lose sight of the fact that sports are not life and death. Even if you’re someone like me, who spends almost every waking minute watching ESPN, cruising the Internet for sports stories, or arguing about who the best players in the NBA are, sports are supposed to be for entertainment. So if you’re getting so emotionally invested in them that you lose sight of that, it might be time to find a new hobby.
Basically what I’m saying is that, if you’re one of those people that wished death on Kyle Williams or cursed at the TV when Billy Cundiff missed his kick, you need to know this: It’s only a game. And there is always next year. And, if you don’t believe me, try and think about who won the Super Bowl in 2004 or who won the NBA Finals in 2006 or who won the Stanley Cup in 1999. Can’t do it without Google, can you? And just like you can’t remember those teams, there’s a good chance that, sometime down the line, you won’t remember the team or player you’re cursing at and wishing death upon right now. Or, at the very least, you won’t be as angry at them in a few years as you are right now.
Time moves on. Things change. And life keeps going. So, please: Stop taking sports so seriously. Believe me, as someone who used to get a little too worked up over them, it’s for your own good.