Monday, January 24, 2011

Addendum To My Moaning About My Team's Loss

Yesterday's game was really good, especially in the final quarter where 3rd string QB Caleb Hanie made a fantastic run (even more so when you realize this was only his 5th ever pro game). The excitement of that game is not enough to take away the rather bitter taste left with my team's defeat to their all time rivals. Now, I have to look towards next season, and hope the Chicago Bears can put together a similarly solid season, then hold out hope they can make an even stronger run in the playoffs. It is frustrating that my favourite team has only ever been in two Super Bowls and have only won one league championship in my lifetime (they've won several NFL championships prior to the existence of the Super Bowl, which was a few decades before I was even a possibility). But at the same time, there is some actual pleasure in rooting for a team that isn't a dynasty that gobbles up championships on a yearly basis.

I realize that previous sentence just comes off as a face saving measure. Sort of like saying, "It'd be boring to see my team become multiple champions and I prefer them scouring the bottom of the heaps." Yeah, that statement is equally ridiculous and not at all my true beliefs. Of course, I'd love to see my favourite sports team go on a two or three year championship streak, and I've actually had the pleasure of rooting for teams that have done exactly that. At the same time, there is something special about cheering on a team that struggles for a few seasons, but then slowly begins to develop and grow into a legitimate championship threat. You watch the players mature and refine their skills and begin to mesh as a team. You start seeing them compile more and more wins each season, until they finally clinch that play off spot and make a solid drive for the championship. I'd argue that there is truly an extra bit of sweetness when your dumpy team finally becomes the champions of the league. It gives you a bit more pride and excitement, when you can say that not only is your team the champions but you were a fan when they were the worst in the league.

I can say that about everyone of my favourite sports teams (maybe not to the extent of being the worst but at least putting up frustrating performances). I was a Toronto Blue Jays fan when they were consistently missing the playoffs or even being written off by the experts half way through the season. But it made the early 90s that much more grand when they captured two straight World Series championships. I was a Chicago Bulls fan the instant Michael Jordan joined the franchise, and I always felt they were destined for greatness. This meant I had to suffer through a few seasons where they were labeled as chokers or a team that wasn't meeting their potential. I remember watching them be knocked out of the playoffs by Detroit, and being so frustrated that they lost what seemed like their big chance. This all made it that much more awesome when the Bulls pulled of the 'threepeat' (a term which means they won the championship three straight years) twice in the 90s. I remember being mocked for being a New York Rangers fans because they had one of the highest salaries in the league, but often couldn't even make the playoffs. Putting up with all that teasing was worth it when I finally got to see Mark Messier lift the Stanley Cup high in the air. Of course, I've already talked about the pain of being a Chicago Bears fan, as I had to endure their horrendous run in the 90s. Now, they never won a Super Bowl this past decade, but I've got some enjoyable moments such as seeing them make it to the NFC Championship twice in the last ten years (one of which they won).

I can't promise the Bears will win next year or even within the next five. I am confident they will continually grow as a team and have several more strong runs. I do have faith that I will get my sweet moment where the Bears get to celebrate another Super Bowl championship (been waiting since 1986). It will make up for all the frustrating times I have had to endure as a fan, and will make that championship that much more satisfying.

Even if that doesn't happen, at least I'm not a Cubs fan, right?

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