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23 November 2010, 12:00 pm No Comments

Sports Chat: For NFL Fans, More Excitement in the Stands than on the Field

This post was submitted by Art

Just me and my fellow poor investors

Oh dear, we seem to be in another dreaded sports lull. Just as well, perhaps, as I can start to decorate for Christmas (no, seriously, my all Star Trek ornament tree is a hassle.)

The NBA and NHL are in full swing, the NFL just hit the halfway mark and yet I feel nothing. The entire NFL is just a blob. No one team stands out over any other. Sure, the Bears might have a better defense than I thought, but the Steelers looked awful the last two weeks and the Patriots vacillate between looking good and bad. The Jets keep winning….Here, look. If YOU can figure out the NFL, I’ll read YOUR columns.

I recently had a chance to go back to Ann Arbor, Michigan and attend a U of M football game (the outcome of which wasn’t pretty). I watched my wonderful Wolverines get their asses [rightly] kicked. Wisconsin, our Big Ten rival, beat us over, up and out of the stadium. I loved every minute of it. My seats amazing. After all, Ann Arbor has a great House in which to watch football. I was with two great friends. The weather was gorgeous. Someone had just introduced me to the Miley Cyrus/DMX “Party in the USA/Party Up” mashup (trust me, you’ll thank me). Life was good.

And it had little to do with sports (uh-oh, here he tries to do another ‘sports + emotion’ one). Well too bad, because that’s correct. The shared emotional experience of a large-scale sporting event is a fascinating study. Being part of a teaming mass of 110,000+ trying to will a group to success is….well, beyond words. It truly can only be felt, not described.

This is not just because I went to Michigan. These same things happen every Saturday across the country. Florida, Ohio, Texas, California, Oregon, Alabama, Georgia, New York…The cheering and love for one’s school team goes to every corner of the country. And it should. You should love your school, be proud of it. Be proud of the experiences you had there. I’m proud everyday to have been a part of not just Michigan, but the Big Ten.

Yes, I have made an irrational, illogical connection to an athletic and marketing conference. Just like my irrational emotional investment in three professional sports teams. But human beings make irrational emotional investments all the time, about any sort of subject: Animals,  games, trivialities, music, movies, theater.

Nothing is wrong with investing in things that in fact, give you no real return. It’s about respecting what other people like, continuing to like what you like, and always, no matter what, saying, “Go Blue.”


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