Rooting Interest

Teams bring us together and set us apart—more than we realize.
Share |

We love teams. They become ours. Their fate becomes ever more crucial to our day-to-day well-being as the season—whatever the sport or activity may be—wears on to its inevitable conclusion. Then if “we” were good enough, it's on to the playoffs, and—if we're really blessed—to winning it all. Of course whether we win it all or not it all begins anew after a break of a month or three. The slate's wiped clean and we reinvest ourselves in the hopes of the ultimate outcome once more.

We live and die along with their waxing and waning fortunes yet we're not part of the team (no matter how many games we attend, how many exclusive, collector's-edition jerseys we purchase, or personal shrines we build to our heroes in the corners of our living rooms). The idea of a group of individuals coming together for a common cause is a deeply-ingrained value in America. We celebrate the many working as one, romanticize and mythify it even, on every sports channel, especially as the ultimate goal—the ring, the cup, the trophy—comes within grasp. But how many of us has ever truly been part of a team ourselves?

I've never belonged to one (aside from a couple of unfortunate months of after-school soccer, for which I'd have been hard-pressed to merit even a Participant trophy). I've worked at movie theaters, restaurants, art-supply stores, and taverns. I drove a taxi for twelve years and have tried to piece together a living from painting and writing. At none of these occupations has the concept of collective effort been stressed in the way we love it to be expressed in our sports. Occasionally in the cab I'd come across groups of corporate types roaming around Chicago's Loop. They'd cram into the back seat breathlessly and push a printed-out list of landmarks at me. They'd want me to take them to each place or at least tell them the fastest route to hit each one. These were scavenger hunts sponsored by their employers as “team-building” exercises. Out-of-towners would even be flown in to participate in these bonding rituals. Some obviously took part with gritted teeth, muttering sarcastic asides under their breaths, while others dove into the spirit of competition full-bore. It was about winning. Just like on TV.

Sports metaphors abound in our corporate world. Even a want ad for the lowliest fast-food position will cheerfully urge you to “come join our team!” Pulling together to crank out artery-clogging processed dreck to the masses can't help but bring us together, right? Being a good team player's something to aspire to, whereas as standing out or pulling your own way can be grounds for dismissal or demotion. Holding this concept of being a cog in the machine as a positive trait in a country that thinks of itself as a haven of self-made glory is an uneasy juggling act to maintain. We manage somehow though. In politics, for example, the Republican Party is simultaneously in love with Ayn Rand's heroic ubermenschen and able to martial a united, lockstep groupthink against those that might question its agenda. We pick and choose collective and individualist traits and champion them as needed.

We use the team concept to express our deepest inner feelings as well. In David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook Robert De Niro plays a father who displays his love for his son through fanatic devotion to the Philadelphia Eagles. It's easier and safer for him to profess affection for a squad of 300+ pound men in pads and helmets on the TV screen than to the all-too-real and flawed young man trying to have a heart-to-heart with him (and thus distract him from the big game). Focusing attention on one person is fraught with dangers; at least with a team if one disappoints you you can always go onto the next guy in line.

Sports, of course, is a great escape. On the day of the big game, we set aside our day-to-day worries and concerns and merge with our fellow fans to scream our team to the victory that we can't or won't attain in any other aspect of our lives. It's a simple goal and we don't even need to do much of the work to attain it. Every NFL Sunday, every March Madness, every playoffs, a large chunk of America's populace will be glued to screens from Bangor, Maine to La Jolla, California to live vicariously for an afternoon with everything on the line. Then, come the next workday, they'll be back at the office, likely lacking that feeling of camaraderie and common purpose they saw on TV.

Unless, perhaps, their manager had sent them on one of those team-building excursions, in which case they'll be firing on all cylinders, full steam ahead.

Illustration by Dmitry Samarov


Share |

Comments

I discovered your site ideal for me. It consists of wonderful and useful posts. I've read many of them and also got so much from them. In my experience, you do the truly amazing.Truly i'm impressed out of this publish
Judi Bola Tangkas Online

essay writing service
I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site

Your blogs further more each else volume is so entertaining further serviceable It appoints me befall retreat encore. I will instantly grab your rss feed to stay informed of any updates.
temple run game 2

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics , i will be always checking your blog thanks.

Judi Bola Online Indonesia

Rivercove Residences ec

Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one.

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics , i will be always checking your blog thanks.
streaming film

https://ashalesgaming.weebly.com/
Wonderful blog post. This is absolute magic from you! I have never seen a more wonderful post than this one. You've really made my day today with this. I hope you keep this up!

I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site
Ludo Game Online Free

prediksi bola
A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a one.I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.

essay service
Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one.

bandar poker
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

Be professional, or at least try to be the one, if you have zero writing skills in this respect. herald global

Be professional, or at least try to be the one, if you have zero writing skills in this respect. herald global

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
check my blog

check pf balance
Wonderful blog post. This is absolute magic from you! I have never seen a more wonderful post than this one. You've really made my day today with this. I hope you keep this up!

In this age of hypocrisy, the writer has written every word with all his soul poured into it.brian holm lawyer san diego

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
college paper writing services

tangkasnet
I regularly visit this site to check out the events and functions and sometimes for resources. However, it has been a while that you have shared some news about latest or upcoming events.

pro forma template
I’m excited to uncover this page. I need to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and i also have you saved to fav to look at new information in your site

This is a great high resolution screen which you have shared for the users. Making a website is not an easy task but managing a good website is really a hard work. As far as this website is concerned, I am very happy. this content

I am glad to discover this post Very valuable for me, as it contains part of data. I Always like to peruse The Quality and happy I discovered this thing in you post. Much appreciated enutrition

I like viewing web sites which comprehend the price of delivering the excellent useful resource free of charge. I truly adored reading your posting. Thank you!
merry chrisrmas in erent languages

Great info! I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have. ingredients

Situs Game Poker Online
I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog!

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. Great work. facetiming santa claus

Regular visits listed here are the easiest method to appreciate your energy, which is why why I am going to the website everyday, searching for new, interesting info. Many, thank you! jewelry

I discovered your site ideal for me. It consists of wonderful and useful posts. I've read many of them and also got so much from them. In my experience, you do the truly amazing.Truly i'm impressed out of this publish

chá de hibisco emagrece

auto likes instagram
I discovered your site ideal for me. It consists of wonderful and useful posts. I've read many of them and also got so much from them. In my experience, you do the truly amazing.Truly i'm impressed out of this publish

voyance audiotel gratuite
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog!
Off White

curso php
Incredible posting this is from you. I am really and truly thrilled to read this marvelous post. You've really impressed me today. I hope you'll continue to do so!

Stone Island

I’m happy Many thanks for the exciting blog posting! Simply put your blog post to my favorite blog list and will look forward for additional updates. Simply wanted to write down a word in order to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips.

As a person who hates dentists-- this whole office makes you feel like part of the family! Making you comfortable and explaining everything.蔡小煒

instagram likes

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

cunyfirst

so happy to find good place to many here in the post, the writing is just great, thanks for the post.

poker lobby
A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a one.I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.

Experts reportable that this twelvemonth Create of Banking Personnel Action Questions were solon moment intense and stubborn in comparison of sunset year. IBPS PO Result

stopwatch and timer
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

Positive webpage, where did u think of the data on this posting?I have perused a couple of the articles on your site now, and I truly like your style. You rock and please keep up the successful work. hinesville air duct cleaning services

mutilateadoll2game.net
A good blog always comes-up with new and exciting information and while reading I have feel that this blog is really have all those quality that qualify a blog to be a one.I wanted to leave a little comment to support you and wish you a good continuation. Wishing you the best of luck for all your blogging efforts.

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.
csudh blackboard

SEO PASLAUGOS
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article.

It's effortful to explicate the phone calls, which is why I rely mainly on text messaging in composition my job schedule with my administrator.. Dubai

Portal Militar
Wonderful blog post. This is absolute magic from you! I have never seen a more wonderful post than this one. You've really made my day today with this. I hope you keep this up!

Incredible posting this is from you. I am really and truly thrilled to read this marvelous post. You've really impressed me today. I hope you'll continue to do so!
3.sınıf matematik tablo ve şekil grafiği konu anlatımı

saç dökülmesi
wow, great, I was wondering how to cure acne naturally. and found your site by google, learned a lot, now i’m a bit clear. I’ve bookmark your site and also add rss. keep us updated.

The down to earth approach of the essayist in this blog is commendable.
http://www.muscleseek.com/tips-for-losing-weight-and-keeping-it-off/

I need to to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new things you post… instagram online web viewer

It is imperative that we read blog post very carefully. I am already done it and find that this post is really amazing. instagram web viewer

Very nice article. I enjoyed reading your post. very nice share. I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks !. Instagram web viewer