M & J-
If you really take the time to think about it, sports are completely absurd. The only difference between the national treasure that is American football, and the game you two play where you smack each other until someone cries, is a bunch of people who are willing to pay to watch.
I won’t force sports on you. It wasn’t forced on me… nor was it really encouraged. I became a sports fan because memorizing baseball stats was a fun alternative to reading the same books over and over again while grounded, and because of the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns.
Make no mistake, you don’t have to LIKE sports, but you will be a Suns fan. You don’t have a choice.
You don’t technically have to enjoy being a Suns fan (we rarely do). I went to a game last week where they scored 31 in the first quarter, and only managed to score 49 the rest of the way. It was miserable, and you need to get used to that. The life of a sports fan is 99% enduring heartbreak for that 1% payoff. As a Suns fan, we’re still waiting for that 1% payoff to come.
Back in 1993, the Suns came as close to a championship as I’ve ever witnessed, taking the Chicago Bulls, possibly the greatest team in the history of sports, to six games in a best of seven series. John Paxson hit a three at the buzzer to crush our dreams.
Sidenote: I technically don’t permit you guys to hate anyone… but you CAN hate John Paxson if you want to. Trust me, you want to. He’s like the real life Voldemort.
It was that heartbreak back in 1993 that got myself, and everyone I know, hooked on the Suns and craving an eternally elusive shot at redemption. Each literal season the Suns have played, as well as their metaphorical seasons of feast or famine, is intertwined with my own personal story. When I remember an important moment of victory or defeat, I remember who I was at the time as well. Sometimes the instances of good coincide (like their playoff run during my wedding/honeymoon), sometimes they alleviate times of personal discord, and sometimes life is bad while the Suns are bad.
I won’t get too into the history of OUR favorite team. They’ll be plenty of time for that in future letters- just know, as a Suns fan, there is one golden rule you must always follow. Our futility is somebody’s fault. Blame our owner, the players, the fans, the refs, the commissioner of the NBA- blame whoever you like, just know that losing can be explained scientifically, and exterior forces that contribute to losing can simply be chalked up to bad luck. We are not cursed. WE ARE NOT CUBS FANS. We don’t like losing, and we’re not lovable when we lose.
I know I said I wouldn’t force sports on you- but it’s important to remember, being a Suns fan isn’t a hobby, it’s a way of life.
I’m basically saying put on the foam finger or you’re grounded.