Last Thursday (Chiefs vs Raiders – Thursday Night Football) I devolved into my 13-year-old self.
Let me explain.
I think there is some sort of “maximum emotional investment in a sports team” type of continuum.
And I think many of you can probably relate, based on where you are on this continuum.
Here is my theory… there is a limit… a cap… a max… as to how much one can emotionally invest in a sports team.
When you are young, and just becoming an avid sports fan, your world tends to revolve around your local (or favorite) sports team… for me that team was the Kansas City Chiefs.
From the time I can remember, until I was around 13 years old, my world WAS the Kansas City Chiefs. If they won, it was a good day and would be a good week… if they lost, it was about a week in a foul mood.
My family watched every game on TV (or listened on the radio… it was the era of TV blackouts), whenever we played sandlot football (every day) I was Otis Taylor, and any time I could attend a game in person, I was there!
My family had two season tickets to the Chiefs games… but I was 1 of 6 kids (plus my Father and Mother), and next to the youngest. Which meant that I always drew the short straw… I normally only got to go when the games were cold and wet… but that was still fine by me.
When I was 13 the Chiefs won the Super Bowl.
That was about when I started playing football in Junior High (Ervin) and then High School (Blue Springs).
When you start competing and playing on your own team, the amount of emotion you invest in your local (or favorite) team typically begins to wane, as you pour more of that into your own team.
I know that certainly was the case for me.
As I participated in High School, then College, then began coaching, my own teams were where I made the majority of my emotional investments… and remember there is a max as to how much one can invest… which meant my emotional involvement with the Chiefs became much lower… nearly non-existent.
When I was coach at the University of Central Missouri, my wife, Jamie worked at the local Hospital. Each week they would have a football pool, and her co- workers would come to her each week asking if I had given her any “inside skinny” any insight to the upcoming games. She inevitably would laugh and tell them that she had more idea what was going on in the NFL and with the Chiefs than I did… which was absolutely correct.
Now flash forward.
A few years ago I found myself edging back towards where I was during the 60’s on the “maximum emotional investment in a sports team” continuum.
No longer needing to invest everything I had, 24/7, into my own team, freed up more “emotion” that could be invested elsewhere… namely back into to my Chiefs.
And that brings us back to last Thursday night… my de-evolution was complete.
Chiefs vs. Raiders
But instead of Curt Gowdy and Al DeRogatis calling the game,it was Jim Nantz and Tony Romo …. Smith and Carr instead of Dawson and Lamonica…. nice big color TV instead of watching on a small, snowy black and white.
I was sitting, (standing, pacing) screaming at the TV like my 13 year old self… emotionally exhausted after the conclusion (Sam Mellinger from the Star summed it up best… The Chiefs won the game twice, but the Raiders won it three times) … replaying the “what-ifs” in my brain while attempting sleep after it was over.
Back to the Future… back to 1969.
I guess the one good thing is that I did not have to get up and go to Ervin Jr. High School the next morning!
Remember – You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!
Jeff Floyd – firstname.lastname@example.org