It’s been another Rivalry Week here in Southeast Michigan (I can never say that without sounding like Elmer Fudd). The Michigan vs Michigan State trash talk has reached epic levels. This leads me to ask the question, “Why do sports matter so much?” I can understand if you are an alumnus of one of these schools. However, people like me, who never attended either school, can be rabid fans as well. For the record, I am pulling for Michigan tomorrow. Crazy stuff always seems to happen in this game, so we’ll see what happens. (Michigan won 21-7, boo-ya!)
I used to let my obsession with our local sports teams eat me alive. The Red Wings, Tigers, Pistons, and of course the pitiful Lions, all had the ability to drive me crazy. My wife would hear me screaming at the TV from the other room, and I could almost hear her roll her eyes. Then one day, I had an epiphany and I realized I was taking it all way too personally. How could something like a last-second goal, that beat the Red Wings again, affect my life in any way? The answer was, of course, it couldn’t. I ceased to care about any of our teams, It took many years, but I have finally kicked the habit. However, I still root for Michigan Football and Hockey. Hey, I’m only human.
I remember the day I stopped caring about the Lions. It was December 30, 1995. The Lions were heavily favored against the Eagles in the playoffs. After the Cryin’ Lions were down 21-0 on four plays, it hit me. Why am I getting so upset over this? Life’s too short! So I turned off the TV and took a nap. After I woke up, I went outside, raked some leaves, and enjoyed the cool fall evening. The freedom of not being a slave to the outcome of a silly game was liberating. Don’t get me wrong. I still occasionally watch a game with my wife, but I don’t block out three hours of my life to watch the Tigers lose in dramatic fashion, again. It’s really liberating. Give it a try. There’s a whole big, beautiful world out there! Go spend some time in it!
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