(Written on 10/11/07 for my composing processes class... still not completely satisfied with it...)
Few feelings for sports fans can rival the moments when their teams accomplish great feats. The sport doesn’t matter; the team doesn’t matter. All that counts is recognizing the exciting road it took for teams to get where they finished.
Over the course of sports history, hundreds of different teams and millions of fans have had the opportunity to bask in the glory of their teams’ successes, victories, and accomplishments. When teams have strong seasons, such as ones that end in playoff berths or simply steps in the right direction, both fans and players are encouraged and excited. The highest level of achievement is accomplished when teams have everything clicking and have all their pistons firing in order to capture a championship. But when that moment is over, nothing can replace it but another season capped off with a similar ending.
The sports world is constantly changing, and one year’s champion may be next year’s big disappointment. Very rarely is anything guaranteed in sports and enjoying certain moments remains extremely important.
But most fans are greedy -- and deservedly so. If they can't have their own teams win, then they more than likely want to be surprised. They don’t want the same teams winning over and over again; they want parity.
To try and recapture moments of past glories, fans frequently latch on to any current underdog team or story. Not many people outside of a certain team’s fan base want to see a favored team win. Some organizations spend millions of dollars to form winning teams, and they’re expected to win. They’re supposed to roll over all competition along the way, but few fans may feel fulfilled when heavily favored teams do win. Who, after all, really wants Goliath to beat David?
Teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox still get pleasure out of winning games, but the rules are different for them based on the pressure from their fans and the sports world. The sports media also plays an important role by constantly discussing large market teams and adding even more pressure to the equation. These two teams have the highest payrolls in Major League Baseball, and if they finish with anything less than a championship, then the entire season is a lost cause. The journey is no longer important for them -- only the result.
For other winners in sports from previous years, including, to name a few, the St. Louis Cardinals, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, and Indianapolis Colts, the ride was just as important, if not more so, than winning the championship. These teams all have expectations to win games, but different and more difficult standards apply for the Yankees and Red Sox.
The Yankees, with a payroll over $200 million, are currently talking about making wholesale changes after being ousted from the playoffs by the Cleveland Indians. Their current manager, Joe Torre, may not return, and several players will test the free agent market and assuredly travel elsewhere. Red Sox fans, too, will feel devastated if their team gets knocked out of the playoffs. They will demand answers and wonder exactly why a championship was not delivered.
Winning, obviously, is the overall goal for every single team; however, doing so every year is impossible. When fans expect their teams to have a spectacular season every year and give them memorable moments every game, they allow disappointment to swoop in and bring anger and frustration along with it.
Sports should be fun to both watch and play. They’re challenging, especially at the highest level of competition, and they’re supposed to entertain and bring excitement to everyone involved. Instead of enjoying their teams’ success, some fans demand victory at all costs and are worried about nothing else.
Eventually for most teams, good experiences arise at some point or another. As a fan, hope for victory but never forget to appreciate the special moments that occur.
Some time may pass before they return.