I am a sports fan since I was like 8 or 9 years young. It's a family tradition really, everybody had there favorites almost in any sport, no matter if it was in the country or foreign.
The sports broadcast opened up our world, and each year we can see more and more professional teams and players competing with each other.
This is my short ramblings about some of the feelings I have as a sports fan, whose favorite teams are really far far away.
Being a football fan is an interesting thing, especially if you are living in a country where that sports is shit (football) or not too popular (like American football).
People tend to choose the successful teams, like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, etc. It's easy to be a fan of these teams, because they have a consistent team thanks to the money making machine. Football is one big business, a global circus that millions of people enjoy.
People want to feel positive things and to belong to that success, and so they find a team that can make them feel this way. I think that's why many of us choose Manchester United instead of Aston Villa, or the New England Patriots instead of the Oakland Raiders.
However we are certainly just pretenders. We don't have real connection to them. We are thousands of kilometers away. Sometimes we are not even on the same continent. Why do we even care about them?
Why should I care about Aaron Rodgers' new contract extension, when he is living his life on the other side of the world? He earns enough money for several lifetimes by throwing a stupid ball around. How silly is that itself?
What's strange that after a while we adapt the behavior of the local football supporters. We start to hate the local rival(s), like I did with Liverpool and Manchester City, when I became a United fan. Or with the Vikings and Bears, when I became a Packers fan. And yet I've never met a Liverpool fan from the UK, or a Bears fan from Chicago. Why would I hate them, based on just geography (again, I am not even in the same country)?
It's so easy when you read about the team's history, you are starting to get closer them, get emotionally invested, yet you are so far away. You spend some time on forums, reddit or even with fellow supporters IRL. You start to form a relationship with your team, unconsciously.
The only sports where I am more of a fan of the whole than the individual or a team, is snooker. I just love to watch that sports, and even if I have some favorites, I am not mad or sad after a game. Also it's a sports where I can enjoy both offense and defense, I don't mind longer games at all.
Supporting somebody or a team is also a social norm in certain circles and you kind of an odd human if you are not interested in watching sports. And you feel left out if you say - "oh, I don't watch football."
In the past few years, I am more disillusioned with everything around sports and I certainly became a casual fan, who occasionally watch the matches, and try not to take it seriously at all.
Yet last week something broke in me during the Man United-Tottenham match, and I was really mad. I don't think I'll be able to watch a game again. You can be sad or happy, but apathy is a killer filling, when you are just dead inside.
On the Packers side, we have new players, new management and coaches and a hope, the team can turn around.
And that's the silliness of being a fan. No matter what happens to our favorites, we are just the same stupid people sitting in front of the TV every week, hoping some good things happen...