Fanatics

Last night, an incredible New York Yankees season, that included the emergence of several young stars, a comeback mentality, and a genuine appreciation of the game, came to an abrupt end. And while it still stung a bit to watch the Astros celebrate a trip to the World Series, I’ve never found it this easy to move on.

Dig up any old notebook or binder of mine, and you’ll likely find a crudely drawn “NY” carved into its cover. Find any old photo or t shirt, and I’ll bet you’ll find the logo there too. Despite being born and raised in Central Texas, I’ve rooted for the New York Yankees for as long as I can remember. Not because they were the best, or because my father’s side of the family originated from the New York area, but because he liked them, and so I did too.

But recently I’ve begun to see fanhood for what it is. From setting my television volume to “27” as the Yankees chased their 27th World Series Championship in 2009. To literally praying for them to win it all, my lifelong obsession with the Yankees has led me to try several truly silly and ineffective ways to influence their games. And while they did eventually hoist a trophy at the end of that 2009 campaign, I can now say with confidence, that my residual loss of hearing thereafter had no effect on this outcome.

As a fan of baseball, or any sport for that matter, it can be easy to fall into the delusions of control. But, ultimately, you have none. Baseball is played on a field, with 9 men on each side. And while the excitement of the crowd has been known to help bolster the spirits of these men, the outcomes of the games ultimately comes down to their successes and failures, not yours.

Some say our lives our chosen for us, others say we make our own. But regardless of your beliefs, life requires action. And while it may feel like you’re doing something when you watch “your” team(s), staring at a screen for hours isn’t exactly action.

As citizens of the freest nation on the planet, our lives our filled with choice. Sure, some have more than others, but we all have the opportunity to influence our own existence is some way.

So am I suggesting that we all abandon sports? Not at all. But, I think it’s important that we learn to put them in perspective. So watch that game, share that joy, and maybe even feel some defeat. But when it’s all said and done, know that their successes are not yours, and their failures aren’t either. Because true satisfaction cannot be purchased, gifted, or witnessed. True satisfaction comes only from fulfilling those desires within.

You can waste a lifetime watching the lives of others, or you can make it your own.

 

“Fan” short for “Fanatic”

Fanatic- a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal, especially for an extreme religious or political cause.