My particular mix of anxiety and pessimism is not a good combo for sports viewing. I really want my teams to win but doubt they will. I balance this dysfunction with enough sports apathy, however, that I don't get too excited by a win or too upset by a loss. It is especially buggy when avid fans of opposing teams feel the need to rub in their victories. I smile and feign more disappointment than I feel and hope that my forbearance will bring their silence. Really? Who has enough mental and emotional space in their brain and heart to have more than 3-1/2 minutes of post-game life affected by something you have exactly zero control over? I prefer to spend my energies berating myself for skipping a run or cussing my dirty house not on choosing the wrong group of athletes to support.
Knowing that friends and acquaintances would ask about the Olympics being held in Canada, I watched a lot of the coverage so that I could participate in 17 days worth of small talk. Doubt and distress ignited when the cauldron didn't at the opening ceremonies. My apprehension grew as U.S. commentators dwelt on poor Canadian performances of the Olympic past. I suffered many a cardiac arrhythmia and near suffocation from holding my breath that the motherland would pull through. I hated, hated, hated that the U.S. men's hockey team beat Canada in the first round of tournament play. A friend at work made sure I knew his feelings on the topic and I didn't have to feign dissatisfaction this time. My mental status sustaining apathy had evaporated. Over the next several days, I was buoyed by other great Canadian performances but couldn't erase the burning hope that Team Canada would spank the U.S. in the final hockey game. I checked the internet throughout the game knowing I couldn't watch without risking my heart's health. Finally, with 43 seconds left in the last period, I turned on the TV and cheered confidently for 19 seconds...until the U.S. tied the game. Hopes dashed I debated staying tuned for the overtime period but decided to see my team through. When we scored, I reservedly cheered until Todd informed and assured me (three times) that it was a sudden death overtime. A swell of relief filled the part of me that normal sports fans cram with rejoicing. I wasn't nearly as happy as I was freed from the angst of wishing for something you can't control. Blech. I hate sports.
My mild in-your-face celebration was wearing a Canada shirt to work on Monday and painting my fingernails like this.
(Hmmm. Maybe this is a Gang Canada sign. Yikes.)
On a related note, the women's team did great and caused me no worries at all. :)