Being a sports fan is a bittersweet experience for all the same reason that a sport itself is bittersweet: If there is a winner, then there has to be a loser.
Yeah, the process is a little more nuanced for the NHL and NASCAR, but at the end of the season, one team is a champion and the rest...are not.
Thankfully, this tension generally makes being a fan a mostly awesome experience, on average—with some exceptions—because it’s in our nature to always have a thread of hope or at least embrace the futility with gusto. Chicago Cubs fans have turned losing into a lovable identity, so there has to be some incentive to keep going to the ballpark even though the outcome is all but guaranteed.
However, there are plenty of things that make your pride—your tireless dedication—more of a curse than an act of chivalry.
The fact is that you are not going to be cheering on any ticker tape parade in 2013, not because your team doesn’t have a shot, but because of the cold, heartless force of probability (or in the case of a lockout, maybe no season at all).
Falling short, or way short, of a championship is only one crappy element of being a fan. The sports universe is nothing if not sadistic; if you’re resilient, it will find new and creative ways to break you. Just ask a New York Jets fan.
These are the 20 things that stink about being a sports fan.