usually when the steelers win on sunday, i write loquaciously about it on monday, complete with pictures and overwhelming joy. when they lose? i typically just pretend it didn't happen and forget to mention it all together. the pain is just too much for me to deal with.
but today, i feel like i need to mention it.
yesterday was an uncommonly bad sports day for me. i had a free afternoon/evening (which is a rarity), and both the steelers and yankees were playing. it had the potential to be a really great day. however, the steelers lost, looking generally awful in doing so. then, the yankees lost game 2 of their ALDS against the detroit tigers. not only that (as if that wasn't enough for me), my gators got manhandled by alabama on saturday night, and the hated ravens dismantled the jets on sunday night. heck, even my fantasy team is getting beat unless i have a huge night from josh freeman tonight. after the way this weekend has gone, i won't hold my breath.
all of this begs the question though, why do i care? believe me, i've asked this question many times myself, and it's hard for me to come up with an answer that will make much sense, at least to others. as i continue to uncover the layers that make me me, i have discovered that at least part of the reason for my fanaticism in sports is my intensity in everything. i have a hard time just caring a little bit. i either care or i don't, and when i do, it's all in. i can be a pretty intense person (i've been told that 'milinovich' means 'intense' in croation. however, i've also been told it means 'fast,' 'quick,' 'loud,' 'sexy,' and 'let's eat right now,' depending on the circumstances, so i guess i can't really count on that), and that intensity permeates its way into every area of my life. i am in intense sports fan (see my mancave for exhibit A), and it's not that i logically think sports is that important in the scheme of life, or at least in my life, but i can't surrender my passion and charisma for the games.
even going into yesterday's steelers game, which i had a bad feeling about, i tried being nonchalant. i said to myself, "self, relax. the steelers have a good chance of losing this game, and you don't really care. it's no big deal. just a game, blah blah blah. yeah right, i was sweating and clenching and yelling and feeling every hit and tackle in my own physical body as if i were on the field. and at the end i felt like 1. i had just been through a heavyweight fight, and 2. i could use a good cry.
so, after blowing my nose and wiping my eyes (just kidding?), i determined not to wear the same steelers socks next week. of course, that's just silly fan stuff; i mean, do i really believe that what socks i wear affects the outcome of the game? you bet i do! next week it's new socks, new underwear, and i won't light the steelers candle that i lit this week in my mancave. hey man, i'll do whatever i can for the team.
and there you have it. alas, sports, for me, involves all sorts of ridiculous superstitions and raw emotion (good and bad). but it's quite simply just a part of who i am. if that was all that i was, that would be a problem. but as it is, i am intense in everything: most of all, i hope, in my loving. at least that's who i want to be. i want to live and die with my love at a level of intensity a thousand times that of my football fanaticism. i want to love strongly and wildly and fanatically. i want to be bummed when those i love are bummed. i want to jump around and scream when those i love succeed. i want to rejoice and weep and dance and sing and live deeply in every way. i want to reject the trendy apathy of my generation and instead rise up and care. about more than just me. and if it means that i wear my emotions on my sleeve and have to journey through valleys as well as hilltops and mountain peaks, so be it. i don't want to be a flatlander. and if someone asks me, "why do you care?," i will simply say, "because 'milinovich' means 'to care intensely.'" it won't be entirely true, but the real answer is a little long and hard to explain.