No guts, no glory.
To attain greatness, especially in the field of sports, (ha) you gotta have the balls to show up when it matters. And to show up when it doesn’t. To put in the work when the lights are on you, and put that shit in even harder when no one’s watching.
No guts, no glory, right? Wrong! Not if you’re a sports fan.
If you’re a fan then you just get to lay your sloppy ass right on the sofa – Mountain Dew in hand, Dorito crumbs laid across your flabby chest – and soak in all that ripe and juicy glory like you were right down in those trenches beaten and bloody kicking names and taking ass.
When your team pulls in that sweet victory you get to roll into work the next day repping your squad’s gear and talking non-stop shit to all the dumbasses that screamed, yelled, and got into fights with their wives over a different group of grown men throwing a ball around on the TV than you did.
“We smashed on you guys. We look like we’re gonna take it all.” Yeah. I mean you just dominated those guys that yelled and screamed at different guys than you. You totally had a hand in the beating that they didn’t at all actually endure.
And then the guys who yelled and screamed and got into fights with their wives over a different group of grown men throwing a ball around than you did actually feel bad about this. And before anyone gets all offended, look, I’m a sports fan. I don’t have a wife but I would definitely get into a fight with her over grown men throwing a ball around on the TV, trust me.
But let’s get serious now. It’s all fun and games until someone’s team loses in a playoff/championship scenario.
Look, even though as a sports fan you have about as much control over what happens as you do of the sun rising and setting, there are real emotions in this shit. Like, when your team loses a big game, like say, the Superbowl, (hint, hint) it actually feels really bad. It feels like you were out there suffering with the players, toughing out those grueling practices, running those laps up and down the field, hitting those weights in the gym until you puked just so you could get the smallest ounce of an advantage over the opposition. It tastes like real defeat.
It’s like you get yourself stuck in this shitty sports make-believe paradox. You put in zero real work but you feel all the pain of a real defeat. You’re humiliated, afraid to go outside. You slip off your jersey – the thing you wear with another grown man’s last name emblazoned across your back – and bury it in the bottom of the hamper, going with the excuse that your wife’s seven layer dip stained/ruined it. (Commence heated argument.)
You get a sick pit in your stomach every time you see the logo of your once proud franchise. The one that you have played exactly zero part in the existence of and would be in exactly the same state if you were to have never existed.
Some of your friends sympathize with you. Which somehow makes you feel even worse. How dare they patronize you? Some friends choose to kick you when your down, unaware of how dangerously close they walk to the edge of the valley of severed friendship. You get pats on the back and “maybe next year”s. Forget the players, who, you know, actually played the game. This is about you now. I mean, you were the one making sacrifices, right? All those times you could’ve played that video game, or rented that movie, or went to the gym, (yeah, that’s why you don’t work out) and instead you sat your dedicated and disciplined ass down on that couch and yelled at that TV as loud as your out of shape lungs could yell.
I mean, all those times your nerves of steel were put to the to the test? Those playoff games where the clock was running low, the score was almost out of reach, the temperature was nearing zero… and you sat there past your bedtime on that warm recliner, heart working harder than you ever have in your life, just so you could see that last minute touchdown to seal the win. I mean you earned that championship, right? You deserved it.
At least that’s what you try to tell yourself, because you know that the reality is much darker than that. You didn’t do anything. You didn’t sacrifice anything but DVR space. You worked, sure. But it wasn’t on the field or in the weight room, it was in the yard. Pulling weeds and edging the grass. Yet here you are, feeling like the world came crashing down on your dreams of sports super star glory.
And somewhere in between all the Facebook trolling, the office bullying, the dark urges that no one wants to admit they have about jumping ship to a rival, this is when you realize that you played yourself. You realize that all of the athletes that you’ve yelled and screamed at all season through the TV have millions and millions of dollars and all the women and fame you could imagine, and that you should probably stop crying yourself to sleep every night over the fact that they didn’t throw the ball around as good as the other millionaire ball throwers.
You realize this and after some deliberation, you sack up. You wipe off the Dorito crumbs, you order that treadmill on Amazon, and you start to pick up the pieces. You return to the real world.
Until next season that is.
Disclaimer: This isn’t about me. This is not about me at all. I’ll prove it, I mean I don’t have an office job, I’m not married, I don’t even have cable, I mean I’m— Dammit Jimmy G, why’d you have to overthrow Sanders?!?!?!?!!