Don’t Talk to Me
I started following sports when I was about 5 years old. I was 6 when my hero Steve Largent retired. I was 9 when the Seahawks went 2 and 14 despite having the league’s best defense. I was 10 when the Sonics were the first #1 seed to lose to a #8. The next summer I lived and died with the Mariners. The year after I watched injuries rob the Sonics of a chance to upset the greatest team in NBA history. In high school I was prepared to see our suffering end but our record breaking team lost their way in October. In college I was forced to watch officials rob us of our first title. Then a couple years later my heart was ripped from my chest when the only team to win a title, albeit before I was born, was stolen from us and there was nothing we could do.
If I had grown up in Chicago I would have seen the Bulls, Black Hawks, and White Sox win titles. In Dallas I would have celebrated Super Bowls, Stanley Cups, and an NBA title. In New York the Yankees and Giants have both been champions multiple times. In this new millennium I could have reveled in 3 Super Bowls, 3 World Series, an NBA finals and a Stanley Cup if I was a Bostonian. St Louis, Los Angeles, Miami, Detroit, Denver, and San Francisco have all won titles in multiple sports. Fans in Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Oakland, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis can remember recent times when they danced in the streets because one of their teams brought a trophy home to their city.
I haven’t felt that. I’ve never been able to hug a stranger in a bar or skip work to be at a parade because my team won it all. So when people tell us to calm down or win with “class”. All I have to say is kiss my ass. Unless you’re from Cleveland or Kansas City, you don’t know how it feels to be on the edge of breaking the spell. You don’t know what it feels like to care so much and support for so long. To wear your team’s colors every game day of every week of every year for your entire life. To watch your team do great things and then listen to everyone ignore, discredit, and disrespect them. In two weeks all that could be gone. In two weeks I could begin to heal the wounds of a lifetime. In two weeks I could have a memory that I can tell, teary eyed, to my children and to their children and to their children for the rest of my life. So don’t tell me to calm down. Don’t tell me how to act or what to say. You’ve had your day, so shut your damn mouth and let me enjoy mine.