Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don't be happy, just worry

Do you know what it's like to have no control over a relationship? You're anxious and sick to your stomach all the time. And even when you have a good day, you worry about what might go wrong the next time. Do you know what that's like?

Well, I sure do. I saw this quote online last week and found it really appropriate for my situation:

"What happens to you when you're like that is that you don't enjoy what you accomplish because you live in a constant state of anxiety with small moments of relief. And that's something that just doesn't change."

The quote is from one, Nicholas Lou Saban, relatively unknown in relationship guru circles but somewhat of an expert on the 3-4 defense and pattern-matching pass defense. Upon reading it, I immediately copied and pasted it in an email to Axl with the subject line "THIS is exactly how I feel...EVERY GAME!" I'm referring, of course, to my relationship with Alabama football.

"A constant state of anxiety with small moments of relief." Nothing could sum up my experience of watching a Bama game better than those ten words. I basically said as much last year, when I wrote that watching a game was "95% anxiety, 5% elation and relief." In hindsight, I may have overestimated the elation and relief percentage.

Saturday's game was an exercise in frustration. We couldn't score a touchdown. By the 4th quarter, I had pretty much stopped cheering. Everyone around me was cheering, but there I stood with arms folded, completely sick about how we had played on offense. I even asked my sister at one point in the 4th quarter if she was ready to leave because, quote, "I'm tired of watching this. This is pitiful." And this was when we were WINNING 12 to 3!

I also invoked a new rule mid-game Saturday, telling my sister I was no longer cheering for field goals. I want touchdowns! Then I forgot and cheered when we hit a 50-yarder in the 4th quarter.

"I thought you weren't gonna cheer for field goals," she asked, ever the observant one. And that is when I, ever the master of making up the rules as I go, wrote and passed the first amendment to the Field Goal Act of 2009.
"Oh... alright, I'm only cheering if they're fifty-plus yards or game-winners."

Why does it always have to be like this for me? Can't I just be happy that we scored at all, that we're ahead in the game? Apparently not. If we're not looking particularly good doing it, then I'm griping about the problems we're having and "well we might beat Tennessee, but if we play like this we'll never beat LSU."

But it's the coach's job to worry, not mine. I'm a fan. I should be enjoying this. So why do I continue to go through the same thing, every game, every season, every year of my life?

Things had been on the verge of turning disastrous Saturday night. Leading 12-10 with seconds to play, our opponents lined up to attempt what would have been the game-winning field goal. Then, as my mother would say (and probably was saying) the Bear looked down on us. Our defense blocked the field goal as time expired and sent everyone in crimson home happy.

Well, maybe not everyone.

All I want is complete and total domination for four quarters and for the other team not to score. Is that too much to ask?

I suppose maybe there's a 12-step program for people like me. The problem is I really have no desire to get better. I wouldn't know how to act without this thing to care about and pour every ounce of my emotion into. Sure it might be unhealthy, but I need this! And let's face it, with my deep-seated mommy issues this is more than likely the only kind of relationship I will ever know.

"And it makes me think there must be something wrong with me. Out of all the hours, thinking somehow I've lost my mind. I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell..."


  1. If this makes you 'anxious and sick to your stomach all the time' but its likely the only one you will have... you are in trouble!

    My stepmother married a fellow from Alabama... the grooms cake was football themed as he is such a huge fan. I wonder why the south is so into college football but the northeast is not really. It seems to be all about professional FB here (ok well not alllllll about it... but I havent ever been to a college football party at someones home in PA,NJ,MA,or DE, but in Florida I went to several Gators parties)!

    Happy THursday Bone!

  2. Welcome to life as an Alabama fan, son.

  3. you've got it bad, Bone. being a fan is hard work. have a great day.

  4. So you're a bit of a football masochist, eh? That's kinda hot.

  5. Oh, man you had me going! I thought you were about to unload a girlfriend problem. Sorry for your pain, but--I'm so devoid of any knowledge about being a sports fan that I don't know how to comfort you. Maybe you could switch beers. Guinness was once prescribed for tummy problems, no joke:)

  6. At least you guys can pull out a "W"! I'll take a win for my team any way I can get it right now - touchdown or not....War Eagle Anyway!

  7. Helene - I'm gonna go way out on a limb and guess that they didn't get married on a Saturday during football season, either? :)

    Yeah, the northeast doesn't have a lot in the way of college football. Well, you've got the Ivy League. And there's Penn State. Surely you know a Penn State fan or two.

    Happy Thursday, Helene!

    Shelby - This is my lot. These are my trials. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Michelle - It is hard work. But somebody's gotta do it.

    Murf - LOL Only you.

    Maybe instead of a 12-step program I could just be a guest on an episode of Maury with the theme, "Football masochists and the women who love them."

    Actonbell - Oh, no worries. I stopped getting that emotionally involved with girlfriends long ago :)

    Funny you should mention that. I was thinking as I was writing, "This would make anyone take up drinking."

    Small Town Girl - Well, I've been there. Way too many times in the last ten years.

  8. If Bama football was a girl, you'd have dumped her a lonnnnnnnnnnng time ago. But instead, you're thinking of ever-after with it, just without the happily.

    And they say girls are the confusing sex.

    The conversation with your sister just cracked me up. She proved right there that sisters are good for something ;)

    I'm not gonna say a word on the "mommy issues," other than that was a perfect ending...

  9. can't comment on football...must deal with snow!

  10. Our loss to Iowa this year was awful, but if there is any silver lining it's that I've been able to relax for the rest of the games.

  11. OK I conceed that the Penn Staters are like a breed from the south! lol I have friends going to the game this weekend (apparently they play Ohio) BTW they married on a Sat but in April! lol He did give up his season tickets for her and move to FL.. gosh it must be love! =p


  12. My husband is like this about Duke basketball (Duke football? HA ha ha ha ha!!!)
    It doesn't matter how good they are, or how far ahead they get...he is miserable if the other team scores a basket. MISERABLE.
    I told him he was the most selfish fan in the world.
    Now I have to rethink my statement.
    Hope you have a great weekend! :)

  13. Love the quote. It's so appropriate for life in general
    Football I don't know that much about.

  14. I feel your pain..... every ounce of it!!!!

  15. TC - But instead, you're thinking of ever-after with it, just without the happily.

    Hey, there are brief moments of elation! :)

    The thing is, my sister only remembers the things I don't need her to. Hmm, I guess we are related.

    Renee - And I was so looking forward to your insights on football :) Thanks for checking in. Please post pics.

    Susan - Good point. After that initial loss, the anxiety is lessened ever so slighty. And I remember seasons when we lost four or five games, by the end of the year I wasn't nearly so worked up. Well, except for the Auburn game.

    Helene - Gave up his season tickets??? Now I'm questioning just how big of a fan he was in the first place :)

    Mayden's Voyage - Oh, I love it! Thanks for sharing. So my behavior may not be normal, but at least I'm not alone :)

    I actually think we play Duke in football next year. Hopefully not in basketball.

    Pia - Thanks. As I recall, you have at least attended a football game before. Who was playing again? Dartmouth and Princeton? I forget.

    Mrs. R - And somehow, there's comfort in knowing there are thousands more suffering like me.

  16. I wish I could help you. I'm too busy stressing the Georgia/Florida game.

    And by 'stressing' I mean packing for a weekend in Savannah away from the crowds. :o)

  17. I too was thinking girlfriend story and then I realized it was football.

    My husband suffers this but his team wins much less and it is a pro team. Remember up north football not so much. He is a Bills fan and that expalins so much.

    Wait didn't I hear or read that Bama is #2 in ranking or is that the wrong school?

  18. This is a totally foreign phenomena to me.

    I will have to study you like a beetle, or maybe it's butterfly, pinned to the cardboard in some child's collection.

  19. And would you stay with a girl who only provided you with brief moments of elation? *er*

    I rest my case.

    (And just proved your comment on Murf's post correct, but whatever.)

  20. I laughed at Murf calling you a football masochist... Lately the same could be said for Michigan fans and I noticed that she doesn't root for the Lions

    Funny piece of writing, Bone.

  21. You are correct, Sage. I do not root for them. Go Steelers!

    As for UM...I am a masochist a bit. I keep hoping San Diego-bred Tate will suck it up and adjust to the cold wet weather here and be as good as he was earlier in the year when it was still warm. I also think UM's new indoor practice facility should have the roof removed. Why practice inside when you play outside?!?

    *rant off*

  22. Who'd have thought it was so complicated? I knew there was a good reason to be sports-celibate.

  23. I feel your pain. But, since Bradford went down, I'm taking what I can get!

  24. ...wrote and passed the first amendment to the Field Goal Act of 2009.
    HA! This made me laugh. Someday, I'd like to go to a football game with you. Can we make this happen?

  25. I'd like to go to a football game with you too. How about the Auburn vs. Alabama game? If you'll hook me up w/ a ticket - I'll be the one wearing Orange & Blue! lol