Monday, October 22, 2007

The Agony of Being a Sporting Fan (reality vs. fantasty)

It's October. Which gets labeled "Roctober" seemingly by everyone in marketing these days, however October is the best month for sports. However I have been finding myself conflicted.

Let's start with baseball. In March 07, I predicted the Indians to be in the World Series. And as they took a 3-1 lead, I didn't want the Indians to win Game 5. Heck I didn't even want them to win Game 6. However as Game 7 I was totally torn. To go with my early prediction pick, or to be a second-tier Red Sox fan. I say second-tier because I always root for MinnE teams FIRST AND FOREMOST then Boston teams. Although with all MinnE players heading to Boston, it's messing with my reasoning. I don't know if I should be mad at Boston or except the fact that they can pay MinnE players big bucks. Sidenote: I'm totally rooting for Jacoby Ellsbury so that the Red Sox choose to not make an offer for Torii. But that's besides the point.

Let's just say Game 7, I found myself swept up in the virtual components of Red Sox nation. Because I believe in momentum and I think Red Sox vs. Rockies will be more entertaining than Indians vs. Rockies.

I digress. And stop the tangent. Here's the point. Between all fantasty sports these days and reality sports, I find my allegiances are a bit confused. Take Game 7 of ALCS. If I threw this bet down in Vegas -- Indians to reach World Series in March -- I sure as heck would be rooting for the Indians to not choke. Money would be invovled. But since it's just bragging rights, and at least I picked a team potentially correctly to get to the World Series, I'm already looking good over most of my male friends. But then, there is the second-tier Boston fan thing that makes me want to root for all thing Boston, when appropriate.

I know this isn't just me. Fantasty football has done that to thousands of folks. And your team can even conflict itself. Say you had Packer D and LT and their previous match up this season, people found themselves rooting for AND against themselves. Packers D should stop everything, except don't strip the ball from LT and let him at least rack up 100 yards.

So in all of this reality sports and fantasty sports, while I argue they make us (the mildly-obsessed fan) engaged more -- they also make us more competative, and occassionally more competative with ourselves or our allegiances.

Growing up, my family thought I was going to try and be a sports writer. Sure enough, I went to journalism school, but the thought of being a sports writer was something I never took seriously. Because it was too much of my passion and I didn't want the "business" aspect of things to ruin my love of sports. And in a little twist of coincidence, I find myself on the marketing/community relations aspect of things working with the business people of the local Twin Cities sports teams to create "partnerships."

And you know what, I wouldn't trade any of it. Because being a sports writer might have been the death of me at 32 from stress and quite frankly I want more out of the life than the next five years. I want a championship to come to MinnE and not be stripped down or a scandal. So I'm wagering the best bet will be .......
The Wild.
(now that is a REALITY not a FANTASTY prediction.)

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