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  • Three grand essentials to happiness (and football)

       January 09, 2011

    I really like this quote from Joseph Addison that was used on the season premiere of Greek:

    Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

    In a weird way, I think sports help us find that something to hope for. Think about all of us Wisconsin fans. Sure, we were disappointed on New Year's Day, but we had the Packers to root for the next day. And, even if the Packers had lost today, well, spring training is just around the corner...

    But one thing to note is that that kind of attitude means that you won't take any game too seriously, simply because there's also a new game or new season on the horizon. Or, as Cubs fans say, "There's always next year."

    I actually really like that. I have a brother who is a big sports fans, but he takes the games so seriously that he literally cannot watch Badger or Packer football games. He'll tape it and watch it later (presumably only if they win). He can't stand the possibility that they might lose. So instead, he denies himself the thrill of watching them win. Or hell, even the fun of a good game.

    I found this video of three guys watching Zenyatta in this year's Breeders Cup Classic.

    After the race, the guy on the left is talking about what he just say. The guy on the right is a little delighted about seeing a great race. The guy in the middle, however, is just devastated. I can't pretend I didn't feel the same way and I think that's how my brother must feel after a big loss.

    But I think the thing is to find happiness in the anticipation. According to the quote above, we don't find happiness in the result, we find it in the process of living, loving and hoping. So it's not the Packers winning the Super Bowl that should make us happy so much as the daily act of being a Packer fan. If you don't buy that, talk to a Vikings fan. :)

    Posted by kris at January 9, 2011 09:06 PM

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    #  January 10th, 2011 10:26 AM      james
    Maybe the guy in the middle had money on the race.

    In Minnesota, the overwhelming sentiment following a loss seems to be "I hate this team for always doing this to me, I wish they'd just move to LA already." It's as if they don't view the team as part of them or their culture, but instead as something that should measure up to their already awesome selves.

    In Wisconsin, it's "Win or lose, I'm a Packers fan, but I hope they win." In Minnesota, it's "I am so completely and utterly awesome. This team had better reflect that."  
    #  January 10th, 2011 10:49 AM      kris
    The guy in the middle is heartbroken. If he had a lot of money on the race he would be angry, but he's not. I recognize the symptoms.

    You know, I don't think of Wisconsinites as particularly humble. I think we also think we're "completely and utterly awesome." The difference is that we're even more sure of it so we don't need to be validated by our sports teams. So really, the problem with Minnesota is that they're insecure.

    I wore my Rodgers jersey out Saturday and people either specifically stopped me to tell me they loved it or were like "uh, dumbass, the game is tomorrow...". It's funny - I've never had a Minnesota fan rip on me for Packer or Badger clothing. I wonder why that is? Do they just recognize the futility of dealing with our superior awesomeness?

    #  January 10th, 2011 10:55 AM      james
    It's hard to be humble when you're one of God's chosen people.

    Living in Madison/Milwaukee area for 20 years, I can probably count the number of times I saw someone wearing a Vikings jersey on 2 hands. Here in Minnesota, you see Packers clothing everywhere. It's gotta be demoralizing for them.  



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