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

buy cannabis coconut oil
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!

buy ak 47 online
I would also motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite assistance to assist posted the appearance.

Anarkali dress images
I don’t have the time at the moment to fully read your site but I have bookmarked it and also add your RSS feeds. I will be back in a day or two. thanks for a great site.

Angora rabbit for sale
This is cool post and i enjoy to read this post. your blog is fantastic and you have good staff in your blog. nice sharing keep it up.

25 ml volumetric flask
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.

Buy marijuanaUK
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.

Pharmacy technician course
I'm now not sure the place you are getting your information, but good topic. I must spend a while finding out more or understanding more. Thank you for fantastic information I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

Jennifer Lawrence body paint
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

Jennifer Lawrence body paint
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

Jennifer Lawrence body paint
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.

Modafinil 200mg buy online
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.

wieliczka salt mine
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.

hampton bay
I ‘d mention that most of us visitors are really endowed to exist in a fabulous place with very many wonderful individuals with very helpful things.

hampton bay

I would also motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite assistance to assist posted the appearance.

palak paneer
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.

Star Sports 1 Live Stream
I would also motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite assistance to assist posted the appearance.

High spec gaming laptops Msi
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.

hampton bay
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.

Cranial nerves
Really impressed! Everything is very open and very clear clarification of issues. It contains truly facts. Your website is very valuable. Thanks for sharing. It's late finding this act. At least, it's a thing to be familiar with that there are such events exist. I agree with your Blog and I will be back to inspect it more in the future so please keep up your act.

Blue waffle images
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.

blog posting service
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.

Guest post service
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.

Casper mattress coupon
I love the humor your post has offered. I enjoyed this site a lot. Keep posting article like this. It is fun. Nice photography too!

Chiaki Nanami death
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

Sbobet Terpercaya
such an interesting article here.I was searching for something like that for quite a long time and at last I have found it here.

sbo222
I would also motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite assistance to assist posted the appearance.

Money Lenders
We keep up with the latest techniques of building and have qualified tradesmen to ensure that your job/project is carried out safely. We also make sure that we keep to the highest standards on projects and everyone who works for us is health & safety trained.

Garage sale finder
I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the excellent work.

Communication skills for the healthcare professional
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.

Mandala flower tattoo
If there was an award for the 'Best Article of the Year', I am 100% sure that this article would've taken that award in a blink. This article is compromised of the perfect knowledge, 100% legible writing and everything else is just perfect. They should make that award just for this article.

guest blog posting service
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

link alternatip
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

Free football prediction site
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.

copypower
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!

voyance par telephone
Amazing knowledge and I like to share this kind of information with my friends and hope they like it they why I do.

Airconditioning
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.

Zwembaden Le Bain D'or
Very informative post! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign!

Zonnepanelen Kopen? Zonnepanelen-centrale.be
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

Airco Installateur Airco Installatie in 2018
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

Warmtepomp
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.

Wordpress Website
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

Zonnepanelen Kopen
I have browsed most of your posts. This post is probably where I got the most useful information for my research

Webdesign en Online Marketing
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

detangled hair appointments
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.

ways to grow your Business
We keep up with the latest techniques of building and have qualified tradesmen to ensure that your job/project is carried out safely. We also make sure that we keep to the highest standards on projects and everyone who works for us is health & safety trained.

buy onax
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.

Model mayham
I simply wanted to write down a quick word in order to say thanks to you for those wonderful tips and hints you are showing on this site.

Beard quotes images
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.

Hd landscape wallpaper
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!

voyance directe
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!