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Passion Overfloweth

Where did it all start?  That's probably the first question you'll ask.  I'll tell you.  The Boston Red Sox broke my heart for the first time in 1986.  I was just shy of my eighth birthday.  Being of the impressionable age of when sports allegiances are formed, I liked Boston because they had a good team.  They had Roger Clemens.  They had Wade Boggs.  There was Dave Henderson, Dwight Evans, and Marty Barrett.  Okay, I suppose you get the point.  (Spike Owen, Bill Buckner, Rich Gedman, Jim Rice.  That's an entire starting lineup.  Don't mean to brag, but I just did that all from memory.  Somebody fact check me on this please.)  I respected that team.  I celebrated with them when they beat the California (now Anaheim) Angels and I cried with them when Bill Buckner made that error.  Then I cried even more when Game 7 rolled around and the World Series was lost.  Thus began the journey of my passion for the Boston Red Sox.

Now, I've chronicled my love of the Boston Red Sox a few years back.  (http://jrhask.blogspot.com/2010/02/long-toss.html )  I'm not going to delve much more into that today.  Plus, the Red Sox added a third title in the past ten years this last fall.  Very close to a dynasty, if you ask me.  I can no longer be considered a long suffering fanatic.  Now, I'm just a fanatic.

That's what I'm here to talk about today.  The passion that a sports fanatic has will often be carried with him through life.  A non-sports fan might not understand this passion.  They watch a sports fanatic make time every Sunday for a football game.  Or the fanatic will constantly check the scores of a baseball game on the phone or the internet.  To the non-sports fan, this may seem silly or even a waste of time for the fanatic to devote so much energy to their respective sports team of choice.  The non-sports fan may be even right in this regard.  In a way, it is silly to put our faith in athletes who make millions of dollars to play a sport.  Professional sports are simply another form of entertainment, some will say.  For some, though, the passion exuded for a certain team runs through our veins.  It's like me with the Boston Red Sox.  Or a person that has infinite love for the San Diego Chargers.  Or the fanatic that show devotion for the Boise State Broncos.  Or people that have unquestioned faith in the Oregon Ducks.  I could go on forever with examples, but you see my point.  Sports fanatics are fiercely loyal and will continue to be this way not only in sports but in life.

"Jason," you might say, "It's just a game.  You have no control over the outcome.  Why invest so much time into it?"  That's a very good point.  I have no control over the games.  Superstition dictates otherwise.  If I'm watching a game and my team is losing, I will turn off the game.  If I come back to the channel and they are now winning, I'll turn it off once again.  The theory goes that if I was watching the game and my team is losing, it's my fault they were losing.  So if I don't watch they will continue to win.  Now, I logically know this theory is not true.  That's the beauty of superstition.  That's why my friends and I will continue to eat hot dogs before every Boise State home basketball game.

In a broad spectrum, a sports fanatic carries the same passion for his team that someone else carries for their favorite musician or band.  Perhaps it is not to the same rabid extent, but it's still inherently present in a person.  You love that band's music, you soak in every lyric, and you might even be disappointed if a new album doesn't live up to par.  If that band is your favorite band of all time, you'll stick with them through the thick and thin.  Even if that passion you have is for an author, a playwright, a movie series, or even the love of a guy or girl, everything that was said here applies to all of this.  You, like a sports fanatic, will most likely feel the elation, the ups and downs, the bad decisions, and the rejuvenation in wherever the passion lies in life.

I have experienced passions that spread across all of the previous mentioned spectrum.  Out of these, though, the one constant has been the Boston Red Sox.  Even if they don't win another World Series in my lifetime, I will be fine.  Because in baseball, like life, there is always hope.

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