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Obsessiveness And Other Fan Traits

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Now that it's the offseason and we don't have daily game threads to discuss, nor has there been much action (yet) on the free agent/trade front, I thought I'd post a few random comments about a topic I first wrote about last July -- "Why Are We Here?"

First, a tip o' the cap to my SB Nation colleague Mike at Fish Stripes, the Marlins blog, for pointing me to this New York Post article (registration required; you can, as you may know, get free 'registrations' here), in which columnist Mike Vaccaro speaks for all of us, I think, when he says:

As a fan, all it takes is one championship to justify everything you put into the chore of being a fan. All the raw emotions, all the heartaches, all the time you invest, all the sleep you forfeit staying up for West Coast games, all the times you spend checking the Internet for score updates (or, back in the day, all the times you flooded SportsPhone with panicked calls).

All you really want is one payoff.

All you want is The Season.

Which is, as Vaccaro states, what Red Sox fans experienced last year, what White Sox fans just had, and what we want very, very much.

Mike (I know too many Mikes!) e-mailed me yesterday with similar sentiments:

Strange, how much emotion and identity you can invest in things you have no power over and which mean, in essence, absolutely nothing. But how you react says more about you than about the achievement. No fan dreams are any more worthy or more deserving than any other.

All the dominoes are falling; the Red Sox, the White Sox, the Angels in '02, the Astros, the Indians went to the Series twice. No more about curses, karma, whatever you have a mind to call it. Just put a good team together, and set it loose. Baker has always been a winner, give him the material. But, realize how difficult the task is, this is the hardest sport of all to play, and in which to win titles. As they say in the collectibles business (an apt comparison, I think), invest in what you love for its own sake, sometimes the return comes in, sometimes it don't. But the joy will still be there.

Finally, I came across this post from a Mets fan who makes it his life's work to get as many baseballs as he can at the ballgames he attends (over 600 games and 2700 balls in total). I e-mailed this link to Mike under the subject line "And you think we're obsessive", to which I got the reply:

I give. However, I think we each have one more home run ball than he does.

True.

Hey, why not: discuss amongst yourselves.