Monday, January 24, 2011

I (Almost) Quit the Cubs

[...I'm quitting sports. It's a matter of self preservation.

An anecdote: At 10:00 pm EST last night, I called on the phone my younger brother Reece, 15. Upon answering, he immediately asked, "Why did you do this to me?"

The phone call took place shortly after the New York Jets fell heartbreakingly short in the AFC Championship Game. My brother was begging to know why I had made molded him into a Jets fan, why I had influenced him from an early age to have such a fervent passion for an often hapless football team. Why had I inflicted such suffering on him?

...I had created an addict, in my own image. And once again, with a Ben Roethelisberger first down pass, our hearts had been broken, our spirits crushed.

Why do we do this? What sense of joy, beyond fleeting adrenaline rushes, does it bring us? Nightly, six months out of the year, I tune into my New York Mets...

The sum total of what I received in exchange: a soul-destroying loss in the National League Championship Series...

Of course, that loss of self and love was followed by two summers of crushing late season collapses, and two subsequent seasons of misery, so the baseball injuries have only gotten worse.

Johann Santana, the Mets' best pitcher, had surgery on his elbow last year. I check in on his status more than I do my own. And I'm a heart patient.]

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