Why I continue to cheer for those that don't win
Let’s get the obvious out-of-the-way first. I want to win, I want those close to me to win, and I want my favorites to win. This does not mean, however, that I will run to support those that triumph over my favorite loser’s. I'm stuck in my current dilemmas because of geography and stubbornness. Now that we have the basics behind us, let me explain. I am highly qualified to claim myself as a cheerful loser. I have a tendency of fondness towards loser fandom. I’m from Minnesota. If you have any idea of the stress and anguish that goes towards Minnesota, then you are probably from Buffalo. The point is that we have very few championships despite being home to four major league teams in four different sports (I know all the WNBA fanatics will be jumping out of their seats to share that Minnesota has the closest thing to a WNBA dynasty...sorry). And here’s the kicker about not having championships, I will still be a fan of Minnesota teams each year.
My formal education in "loser" comes in the form of being a fan of sports, but it could be any number of other subjects that hand out first place awards. It could be in a classroom of students, the Grammy’s/Emmy’s/Teen Choice Awards, or even a job opening. I have and will always lean towards the underdog or the less-valued party. It’s not that I don’t want to win; it’s that I don't want to be held back by anything when it finally happens. I’ll jump back into sports for a second. If you cheer for the New York Yankees (they are one of the best sports teams in any sport but especially in baseball), then you literally have to celebrate a World Series championship every three to four years. Deep down in my heart, I would love nothing more than that. But also deep in my heart, I know that it’s human nature to have emotional diminishing returns every championship. I’ve bottled up my excitement since 1991 (the last championship in Minnesota by the Twins). If you are a Boston fan, then you’ve conquered the sports league like 5 times in the last 8 years. Nobody can tell me that it’s the same thing. I can’t stop smiling just thinking about a possible championship.
Last point, it’s a lot like walking through a school playground: the cool athletes hanging out on the basketball courts, the hip artists drawing chalk on the sidewalk, the popular kids talking around the playground, and other groups milling around. These are all groups that are winning through friends and activities. However, it’s the other kids that don’t fit in. The ones that don’t have friends and aren’t able to find their winning niche. Those are the kids that I gravitate towards. Why? Because when they figure it out and find the piece of themselves that makes everything fire on all cylinders, that’s will be the best. That alone will be worth it. You can fully taste winning if you’ve never struggled persistently with losing.
So I’m not discouraged as a sports fan. I know my time will come (I hope…). I will celebrate with more vigor and enthusiasm than I can probably fathom now. It’s all being bottled up with each passing day and just one championship by any sport will set it loose. This may just be my way of rationalizing my mindset. I’m sure Donald Trump or Kobe Bryant would say that I should focus on being around winners, but I don’t care. I’m acknowledging that I’m biased and persuading you to stay strong with whichever you root for. But I suggest that we all remove the word loser and replace it with pre-winner.