Sports Gravy

"Few situations in life evoke the full range of human emotions quite like sports, except for maybe a conjoined wedding/funeral ceremony. But possibly the largest stage for that passion and loyalty is college football's Bowl Week, at least for a few months until college basketball's March Madness sets in. The football games are an emotional roller coaster as fans display pride and exuberance when their team wins, contrasted by quietness and binge drinking when their team is a chronic loser. Believe me, I know. I grew up a WSU fan. But everyone feels excitement before a game, no matter how big of a point spread their team is predicted to lose by. The pregame festivities are more than half the fun. The days and hours of analyzation leading up to an anticipated matchup are often better than the game on the field, which can be over after the first half, thank you Oregon State University. (Four years ago, if my psychic friend would have told me Notre Dame would be blown out by the Beavers in the Fiesta Bowl, I would have asked for my wallet back.) During the 60 minutes of actual game time, feelings in spectators can range from nervousness, to hunger, all the way to sharp gastrointestinal pain. Personally, I experienced irony Monday when the Don't bet on college sports, fool commercial came on as I was exchanging a friendly wager. Even fear is displayed this time of year. Not so much by players facing stressful situations, but by Internet companies hoping the bowl they sponsored will be played before their dot-com goes out of business. But everything feels better if your team comes out on top. This year I even experienced the feeling of a deserter, as location and free tickets swayed me to become a Husky supporter. Hey, I've never been one to miss an opportunity to jump on a band wagon. To me, loyalty is as disposable as toilet paper when it comes to getting behind a winning team. But of all the emotions that go along with sports, I'd have to say vengeance is my favorite. UW's Rose Bowl win over Purdue was not only satisfying because of the Huskies well-earned victory, but because it meant all the folks wearing ugly black and gold Purdue sweatshirts had to experience the agony of defeat. Purdue knocked my beloved Gonzaga Bulldog basketball team out of the NCAA basketball tournament last March - and I've liked Gonzaga even before people knew how to pronounce it. Since then, I have hated the Boilermakers from the greater Purdue metropolitan area, wherever that is. And what kind of a mascot is a Boilermaker? A stupid one.So now with the college football season wrapped up, my attention will turn to my other favorite sport, skiing. Although it requires buying a ticket, there are far fewer scalpers. And best of all, I don't have to see any people from Purdue. "

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