Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sporting Emotions

Why do you build me up (build me up) Buttercup, baby
Just to let me down (let me down)
This is the song that the UCLA marching band plays every time the football team messes up on a big play. Today, they must have been playing that song a lot because UCLA lost horribly to Utah, an unranked team.

After thinking about how riled up I was during the game-- I yelled and walked away from the television several times-- I thought about how interesting these "fan emotions" can be. I am still somewhat upset by the game, and I am not even as intense as a fan as many other people. The fact that others and I can let something that really has no impact our lives affect us is so irrational it is funny.

But as the girl who has tried to rationalize everything, I have realized that emotions are not rational. Whether it be love for another person or a sports teams, sometimes it just does not make sense. We let things affect us that should not. And we do silly things, like praying that USC would lose their game, even though that would make the Pac-10 look bad overall (unfortunately they won).

Obviously there are limits to sporting emotions. The fact that fans kill each other (primarily in other countries, primarily regarding soccer) is well, horrifying. However, I do think that vicarious competitiveness has its benefits. Besides the entertainment value of cheering on your team, there is also a sense of camaraderie that fans share with their fellow fans, both during wins and losses to unranked teams.

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