“If you have sinned, you should tell each other what you have done. Then you can pray for one another and be healed. The prayer of an innocent person is powerful, and it can help a lot.” - James 5:16, CEV
I have carried around a deep shame in my life that few know.
One that has ruined many parts of my life.
One that has broken friendships, hurt close relationships and left me untrustworthy to many.
Shame is a terrible thing.
Especially, when it my case, this confession is not as deep as my opening words have made it out to be.
You see my confession is this:
I am a negative sports fan.
I am a downer at parties, an easy target for “that didn’t age well” tweets and a walking bad luck charm.
Why is this important?
It is important because tomorrow at 9 PM EST (I am super dating this post now) the Toronto Raptors have a chance at winning their first NBA Championship and I cannot get excited because I have absolute dread!
I fear that Kevin Durant will come back and that his team will win three straight games and cement their legacy. I also fear that he WON’T come back but the idea of him coming back will get into the heads of the Raptors and that they will give up three straight to cement the Warriors legacy. I worry that DeMarcus Cousins is due a big game, that Curry will Curry it up or that the Raps will simply not show up.
(NOTE: Just before posting this, ESPN shared that Kevin Durant has been cleared to practice and will likely show up in game 5. What is life?!?!?!!?)
I shouldn't have to worry, right? The Raptors have been the better team the whole series (13 of 16 quarters have gone the Raps way). But here I am, nervous as a kid at their first dance, waiting for the shoe to drop. How nervous am I, you ask? I am scared that posting this will set of a set of karmic events that will cause my team to lose*. How SICK is that?!?!!?
Now Kanye once said “No one man should have this power^…” and trust me, I don’t believe that I do, but that is the pain of my life. Wifey will laugh and roll her eyes as I watch games, leave the room, come back, leave again and tweet that my team will lose because the other team scored a basket. And then my friends on twitter will either:
Make fun of me mercilessly.
Retweet me for their own entertainment.
Mute me until the season is over.
Unfollow me until the season is over.
I was the same way in 2015 when the Toronto Blue Jays were down to the Texas Rangers. Once the game started I…
Left a viewing party at work because my stress level was too high.
Turned off the game in my car when Texas scored the first run.
Sat in my kitchen while Wifey watched the game and relayed the info to me. I would walk in and then back out…
Saw Texas go up 3-2 on a dumb play and figures that the sports gods didn’t want us to win
Lost my voice when I walked in and saw the bat flip and then praised the sports gods.
I was the same way when Canada played the States in Vancouver 2010 and even more when the 49ers would play the Seahawks or Ravens in the NFL playoffs.
That is my shame. My curse. My pain. I want to be hopeful, but years of sports heartbreak has left me lacking. My son, 7, is full of hope because he is young and doesn’t know any better. He doesn’t know pain like I do. But I don’t wanna rob him of his sportsinnocence (not a type). So tomorrow, if you tweet and we happen to follow each other, be nice to your boy. I’ll be trying to dream. To be hopeful. Just don’t blame a possible loss on me and my negative way of being.
I don’t have THAT much power.
While my confession is silly in nature, confession is a hard thing in any case. Many have used prose to open up about deeper issues than mine as sports fan. Shout outs to them for either confessing their sins as teaching moment or opening up a past wound to show how they’ve overcome. Y’all are the real MVPs.
*(Note: I do not believe in karma in the least. I just use that word for dramatic affect. Please do not email my Christian employer to worry about my theological stance on salvation…)