The rewards and punishments of following a baseball team are many and infinitely varied. If your team isn't expected to do much and ends up competing, you can celebrate that; if they're expected to win it all but end up barely breaking even, you can bemoan that. But what if everyone predicts they'll be bad and they turn out much, much worse?
My t-shirt was soaked in sweat and my hands were covered in axle grease, but I couldn’t resist the urge to check on the Stanley Cup celebrations via Twitter. I read reports of smashed storefronts and packs of marauding bros in Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville as I walked up the quiet, tree-lined streets of Beverly. The only celebration I witnessed was the dog barking like a maniac. He does that every time I come home, Stanley Cup or no Stanley Cup.
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.
Most times, you go to a baseball game hoping to see something you've never seen before. But what happens if the game is sponsored by something you've been forced (pardon the pun) to see before and didn't really enjoy the first time?