Yes, Thursday was another tough day to be an Iowa basketball fan during the month of March. No sooner had Iowa become a trendy Final Four pick, they were then relegated to another victim of the so-called ‘March Madness’. Hawkeye fans were subjugated to another NCAA Tournament early exit, and their St. Patrick’s Day was officially ruined! I too used to take the losses of my favorite sports teams hard. But over the past decade, I’ve come to the realization that my suffering doesn’t help. Me, or the team.
Yesterday afternoon I watched as our beloved Hawkeyes crashed and burned against Richmond in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. My heart sank and I felt really sad for a group of young men who gave us so much joy during the season. Then, last night my phone lit up with people telling me that my favorite football team, The Green Bay Packers had just traded star wide receiver, Davante Adams. Double ouch. In previous years, a double dose of bad news like that would have crushed my sports-loving soul!
But as I’ve grown older, two things have changed the way I look at sports. One is the realization that these athletes we follow are human beings. They have families, feelings, and lives outside of sports. The anger and vitriol towards certain players sadden me. Sure, Jordan Bohannon had an off game yesterday. But do you think anyone wanted to win MORE than he did? Do you think anyone is more crushed than he is that his Iowa career is over? Listen to the emotions pour out after yesterday’s game.
The second thing that got me to look at sports differently is a quote from Colin Cowherd. Yes, Colin doesn’t think very fondly of Iowa sports programs, but he once said something that really stuck with me. I’m paraphrasing here, but the gist of his quote was to “like sports, and LOVE your life”. Colin is always quick to point out that fan is short for fanatic. Don’t be one. Enjoy sports. Root for your teams and celebrate their wins. But never dwell on a loss for long. Life is too short to worry about things out of your control. So wear your Iowa gear with pride. And put that Davante Adams Packer’s jersey up on eBay now.