There's a scene in Forrest Gump when Forrest has once again found his long-lost love, Jenny. She had been living the free love, San Francisco lifestyle of the 1960s to the extreme, was burned out and sick, and in desperate need of someone to look after her and nurse her back to health. So she showed up on his doorstep one day, and he was overjoyed at the opportunity to reconnect with her and take care of her in her time of need. When she finally gets better, he professes his love (again), a love that he's felt ever since he was a small boy and she was his whole world, and asks her to marry him. Of course, in typical Jenny fashion, she rejects his proposal, crawls into bed with him later that night and has sex with him, then leaves the next morning without saying goodbye.
Welcome to life as a sports fan, folks.
In a world full of manipulative sluts who toy with the emotions of good-hearted men, there is no more egregious example than Jenny Curran/Gump.
Now, before I get into the depths of this analogy, let me first say how much I utterly loathe Jenny. In a world full of manipulative sluts who toy with the emotions of good-hearted men, there is no more egregious example than Jenny Curran/Gump. Throughout his life, Forrest protected her, defended her, cared for her, and just basically loved the shit out of her. She knew all along how much he worshiped her, and yet she did nothing with that love beyond what she needed from it.
While he was off in Vietnam and writing letters to her nearly every day, she was flitting around California doing countless drugs and even more guys, not paying him a second thought. She only showed up in his life when she needed something from him. Even in the final act of the movie, when she is supposedly finally ready to accept his affections and settles down with him, she only does so because she knows she's dying of AIDS and needs someone to raise her son. (And come on, are we really supposed to believe that Haley Joel Osment is his kid? Of all the guys she banged over the years, the ONE time that she has sex with Forrest is when she gets pregnant? Not to mention that he looks nothing like his supposed father. And the kid is smart despite having a drug addict trollop of a mother and mentally handicapped father? Sorry, not buying it.)
Anyway, when you think about it, it's really not that different from what we all experience every day as sports fans. We fall in love with our teams at a young age and worship them throughout our lives, through good times and bad, but at the end of the day it's a very one-sided romance. We support them emotionally and financially, but there's that ever-present feeling that they hardly even know we're alive, and if they do, they certainly don't give a crap.
Now, if you're like me, you were sucked in at a very young age by at least one team (in my case, the Mets) that was destined to disappoint you. Sure, every now and then they'll tease me by letting me into their dorm room and showing me their boobs, but that's as far as it's going to go. Still, it's enough to convince my stupid self that as long as I stick around, eventually they're going to reciprocate what I feel for them.
Of course, it's not all bad. Once in while our teams will give us the utter jubilation of a championship victory (corollary: the embrace in the Washington Monument Reflecting Pool, which always manages to coincide with me getting dust under my contact lens). And like Forrest, it can be the happiest day of our lives (seriously, the Giants' Super Bowl XLII win is the best day of my life, bar none). But no matter how great that moment and the subsequent grace period are, when we walk arm-in-arm with our team through the nation's capital, they're just going to walk out of our lives again the next morning with their abusive asshole boyfriend. Or in my case, not win a playoff game since.
Now at this point, I've come full circle and am more or less resigned to my fate. I've fallen in love with the Mets, Giants, and Rangers; I've been teased in their dorm rooms (World Series/Super Bowl/NLCS losses), I've embraced them in the Reflecting Pool, and now I'm stuck raising their freaking kid. And you know what? I'm not going anywhere. Even though the vast majority of the time that I've invested in the relationship has been thrown back in my face like undelivered letters from Vietnam, I'm still here, and I'm still enjoying it. And on top of that, I'm doing it without millions of dollars from a ground-floor share in Apple.
In other words, I make Forrest look like a rocket scientist.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
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Michael T Carr May 16th
Another good article, Craig Lowell.
Charlie Lobosco May 1st
This is a very compelling story because Mr. Collins is a very passionate, tough, intelligent, athelete taking on some additional responsibliity to help others as…
Scott Cohen May 1st
Charlie.. very well said.. he does have guts
Scott Cohen May 1st
but it shouldn’t require guts. .like you said it’s nobody’s business but his own
Hisham Zameeth April 30th
best player ever…..
Kareem Musa Mayowa April 29th
We don’t need to be hopeless about the situation bryant his. Because even david villa situation also up to the level of his own to…
Maritess Lim April 28th
I still believe in KOBE’s power…… He is still the best…… He will make it possible no matter what……
mimi_aragon84 April 28th
I feel no pity for him. First of all, it is EAGLE, COLORADO, not Eagleton, secondly he enjoyed success and adulation from fans from 2003…
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