During Opening Day, I tweeted that my new Cubs fan followers made a poor choice because I would piss them off, to which one of my old Cubs fan followers added, “Kiki enjoys losing baseball. Beware.”
There’s a point in this statement that I have to argue. I don’t enjoy watching my team lose. I enjoy watching them win. I’d like them to win. I root for them to win. I do, however, enjoy my team despite a loss. It drives people mad (which I enjoy).
And it makes me a bad fan.
There are a lot of perks to being a bad fan. First of all, my day isn’t wrecked by a Cubs loss. I get bummed out, sure, but the boys losing 2-1 isn’t a disaster of epic proportions that results in me needing to drink. Hell, the guys losing 13-1 isn’t enough to make me require alcohol. They lost. Bummer. I guess I’d better get dinner started. Put on The Monkees.
Man, that pisses people off.
It drives them insane that I can enjoy a team that’s not very good. I’m from the school of “dance with the one what you brought”. This isn’t fantasy baseball. I have no input in who ends up on the Cubs this year, last year, or next year. These are the players I’ve got. I’m going to get to know them, cheer for them, praise them when they do well, and enjoy whatever they can bring to the table, even if it’s just a cute face.
Now, sports fans, don’t think that this sort of attitude means I can’t have an intelligent discussion about baseball and about the Cubs, that I don’t like such things. I do. I’m as realistic as the next fan when it comes to assessing my teams talent in the form of statistics. I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to know just how well I interpret the implication of David DeJesus’s OBP and James Russell’s flyball/grounder ratio. I can dig discussions about what the Cubs need, what trades they should make, the best use of a player, etc.
What I can’t stand is the gloom and doom whining about a team YOU predicted to be a 100-game loser back in January. What is the sense in that? Why bother punishing yourself by watching the games of a team that you don’t even like? It’s akin to watching a TV show you despise and then complaining about how terrible it is. There’s just no logic in it. No one will think any less of you for checking out fewer games in a crappy season. Consider it. It might improve your health.
Or you could be a bad fan like me.
The trick is to not attach so much of your ego to your team and to change your point of view. If all that matters is winning, that your team isn’t worth shit unless they win it all, then I’m afraid you’re going to have make due with a lot of disappointment. However, if you enjoy the game, and the winning that comes with and is hopefully the end result of it, then your season dramatically improves even when the team is garbage. Call me a Pollyana, but even in a blow-out loss, I can find something to be glad about (and usually in blow-out losses, that’s Len and Bob and their ramblings).
In addition to detaching the ego, it also serves you to get over yourself. I don’t think this team owes me anything. They don’t owe me a World Series championship. I would love for them to win one. But they’re not winning it for me, I don’t care what they say. They’re winning it for themselves and they should. When I pay my money to see a game, they don’t owe me a win. They owe me a good game. And so far, at least for me, they’ve come through on that.
Of course, if they happen to shirk on their end of the deal, I can still find a way to have a good time in spite.