I have never really understood the intensity with which people connect to certain teams. I get the love of the game, the thrill of the great pass, the heroic interception - but watching my normally even-tempered husband completely lose it if the Packers don't play well is a mystery to me. And, of course, he's passed this on to our kids, especially my son, who is a huge Packers fan, though he's never stepped foot in Wisconsin.
I am not completely immune to the excitement of a great football game - I loved every minute of watching my son play in high school, seeing him and his teammates working together. There was nothing quite as exciting for us as seeing his face after winning a hard-fought competition. But for me, it was about knowing the players, how hard they worked, how much time and energy it took for them to be ready to go on the field and succeed. It was personal. This connection to a team filled with players I don't know, in a place I've never been - I just don't get it.
Competition has never held much interest for me - I don't know why. When my kids were young and played sports in the community leagues - Adam played baseball, Katie played softball - I would cringe at the parents yelling and criticizing the players, as if their children's lives depended on winning of losing. For some, I suppose it did, as the parents pinned their hopes on college scholarships based on their children's athletic skills. I just wanted to see the kids have fun and feel good about being part of a team, but that inevitably was the last thing a lot of the parents - and kids - cared about. Winning was great, and losing was awful.