After every Cleveland Browns loss, I ask myself the same question: Why do I do it? Why do I root for a team that puts me through the same excruciating pain and anguish over 22 guys I don’t know? Why do I allow my mood to be based on my favorite sports teams?
As a die-hard soccer, golf, MLB, NFL, college football, NBA and college basketball fan, no weekend is perfect. I simply root for too many teams to be completely satisfied. However, this weekend was especially bad.
My favorite soccer team, Manchester United, lost in embarrassing fashion. My favorite college football team, Purdue, lost to Syracuse, my favorite NFL team, the Cleveland Browns, lost to their arch-rival and my college football picks went 0-6.
After the Browns lost, I struggled to sleep, and when I did, it was one nightmare after another. The point is I care, probably too much. But the funny thing is I lie to myself after every negative outcome. I think, “I hate sports, I hate the Browns, I hate football.”
I became a Manchester United fan last year. Why, you may ask? Because I don’t hate sports, and I hate losing. Sports are my favorite thing in the world. Yes, it hurts after a loss, but when my teams are playing, I am completely transfixed.
When I was 10 years old, I became a Blackhawks fan. Having lived in Chicago for multiple years (and the fact that Cleveland doesn’t have an NHL team), I wanted a connection with the city.
In my very first year as a fan, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, and I was absolutely thrilled. Something strange happened the next season: I didn’t care that much.
Right then, I realized something: being a sports fan isn’t about reaching the mountaintop; it’s about triumph in the face of adversity. As Michael Churrito said in “Heat,” “For me, the action is the juice.”
In extreme moments in sports, you make it out to be your whole life, but it’s only after your favorite team wins a championship that you realize what they really are: a distraction. After the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup, I still went to school the next day. I still wasn’t as popular as I wanted to be, as smart as I wanted to be or as funny as I wanted to be.
Sports don’t solve any of your problems, but adrenaline makes it the best distraction in the world for me. Winning is only as amazing as it is because of the relief of potential pain and anguish from a loss, and there’s only pain if you care.
I was so incredibly frustrated Monday night when the Browns lost, but I found resolve in one thought. No other silly distraction in the world could bring about such intensive emotion. That’s the beauty of sports.
Bobby Gorbett is a senior studying journalism. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Bobby know by tweeting him @GorbettBobby.