One day when I was at home and I got a phone call. I was surprised because I never get phone calls at home, or anywhere else for that matter. I picked up the phone using my most bitter voice, since I was so rudely being interupted from doing nothing.
“Hi, this is Chris* from Sports Illustrated and I see you have a subscription.
“Whoa, how do you know that? Are you psychic or does your computer tell you that?” what I wished I said..
“Since you are such a valued subscriber, we would like to offer you a fancy book that features pictures of people doing sports.”
“Oh, no thanks.”
“So what, you’re not a sports fan?”
I thought I was, because I had a subscription to Sports Illustrated, but because of this call I recieved from Chris*(the name has been changed not to protect his innocence but because I can’t freaking remember his name!) I now knew that I was a failure as a sports fan. If only I would have purchase that book, I and the 27,000(the number has been changed because I have no idea how many people actually bought this sports book) other people in the universe then I might have qualified to be sports fans. I was bitter to realize that I wasn’t, but I also realized that athletes are even bigger failures.
The best basketball players of all time shoot 58% for their career. That means the best of the best in basketball has the same percentage of doing things right that I did in math. And not only did I not pass, I didn’t even get an F. It was an F-.
Maybe that isn’t a good example. How about getting a hit in baseball? Hitting for a .400 average in the major leagues hasn’t happened since before I was alive. In fact, it hasn’t happened since the year my dad was born and he is really old (Statute of limitations for getting in trouble for calling your dad old happens after they turn 70. Sorry dad.) People in baseball aspire to hit the ball 40% of the time. If you told your boss that your goal was to do 40% (in your wildest dreams) of the work he gave you by a deadline, would you be bragging that you were one of the all time greats and expect that your agent demand a 200% raise? Would you not only be laughed at all the way to the door with all your stuff in tow, but be told that you would never work in this town again?
But some may say that it isn’t about the individual, but the team. Working together to achieve a goal. To win a championship for a town and a fanbase. Okay, fine. Give me the winningest team in the history of sports. Let’s take the Celtics of the late 50’s to the late 60’s. Perhaps the greatest run of championships we have ever seen. They won 11 championships in 13 years. Sounds good on paper, right? That is a percentage of 85%. That a pretty solid B in school. But what about the two championships they didn’t win? How much of a failure were they in the two seasons they didn’t win? How must the Celtics fan in 1958 felt when they didn’t win? How about the old 1967 fan? They probably bought sweatshirts, and banners and paid for popcorn and drinks and paid all that money to go to a game, and all that time watching them on TV and pouring over the box scores and investing in them emotionally that year, only to see them lose. Again and again to a team that they had beat before. They probably watch the Celtics miss shot after shot, when they should have been making them. How hard is it to make a basket professional athlete that gets paid millions of dollars more than me to do only that. Why are you failing me?
When I got excited about the Spurs being in the Finals again this year, my daughter got excited too. At one point she asked what the prize was if they won the championship.
I said, “Well, um, they win a trophy.”
Her: “Oh, okay. Anything else?”
Me: “Well, they would win a championship ring next year. But it is really fancy.”
Her: “Anything else?”
Me: “Oh and some more money too.”
Her: “Don’t they already get that?”
Me: “Yes. They actually get paid a lot of money just to play. Like millions of dollars.”
Her: “So even if they lose they get paid money?”
Me: “Yes, in fact some of them get more than a million dollars a month.”
Bitter Not a Sports Fan Ben