Friday, August 24, 2012

Thoughts on "Fever Pitch"

For a long time, I've known that I'm not the type of fan that your ho-hum, casual fan really likes. I can be unpleasant to be around during the most important games of my teams due to an obnoxious fervor, I tend to sink into either a deep depressed state after an initial phase of rage when things aren't going well for my guys, and I'm unapologetic when I shed a tear or two for a particularly big win or an historic loss.

Fever Pitch -the novel, not the cheesy movie - scared me. It scared me in just how closely I could relate to the author. An account of Hornby's lifelong obsession with the Arsenal soccer club in England, detailing everything from the tears of joy during Arsenal's most glorious moments during Hornby's life to the bouts of real-life depression that mysteriously seemed to coincide with poor Arsenal seasons, Fever Pitch is an explanation of what it means to be an obsessive fan.

More than anything else, Fever Pitch illuminated to me that it's gonna be this way forever. The way it has been for Hornby and Arsenal, it will be always for me and Michigan and the Red Wings.

"I had discovered after the Swindon game that loyalty, at least in football terms, was not a moral choice like bravery or kindness; it was more like a wart or hum, something you were stuck with. There have been many times over the last twenty-three years when I have pored over the small print of my contract looking for a way out, but there isn't one. Each humiliating defeat must be borne with patience, fortitude and forbearance; there is simply nothing that can be done, and that is a realization that can make you simply squirm with frustration."

Anywho, the point is that the obsession that is fandom lasts forever. The point is that, like Nick Hornby, life often makes more sense in the stadium for people like us; like Nick Hornby, my biggest dreams have nothing to do with my own life, but rather my biggest dreams revolve around a bunch of twenty-year-old strangers one day playing for a national title, or a bunch of European-born hockey players wearing the Winged-Wheel hoisting the holy grail of hockey.

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