By Magen McCrarey
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
When your “Big Blue” foam finger points upwards, but it’s not for the glory of God. How far is too far when it comes to being a fan?
I played sports when I was younger, and did it more for recreation than a lifestyle. The thrill of making a point, scoring a goal or finally getting the ball through the hoop is riveting, but not something to burn your couch over — especially if you are just a spectator.
I suppose I don’t have the “fan” gene in my DNA and don’t understand what it is like to be hyped up about a game I’m not playing. I can understand if you’re a player’s grandma, parent or relative going to watching with pride because of the great talent that ended up somewhere within the gene pool. But if you are a stranger off the street yelling at the unibrow guy to play, right then, you might need to check yourself.
It’s almost guaranteed that many in southeastern Kentucky had high blood pressure throughout the weekend and into the beginning of this week, more so than usual since we love our fried chicken almost just as much as the Wildcats. Blue hair dye was more likely requested at salons last week than in the 90s when one-hit-wonder Eiffel 65 busted out with “I’m Blue.” And work productivity plummeted on Tuesday because of a lack of sleep.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that our state is receiving some attention for once, and that we have something to be proud of. But I don’t think we should be so proud as to make international news for rioting, national news for gun violence and especially not local news for a physical brawl at a Kentucky dialysis clinic between a Kentucky and Louisville fan.
Praying for a pagan game to go the way you selfishly want it to rather than for your neighbor who is struggling with alcoholism, heartache, or gluttony is something you may want to reflect upon. Where do your priorities lie? Do you speak with such passion to a loved one as you do about your favorite team player? Perhaps we as a society find that by becoming a fan we can drop our spirituality and trade it in for something that makes us feel more worldly connected.
Humility is a tough thing to get, but take responsibility for how much you ate or how much excess alcohol you drank because of your fanatic behavior. Admit when you’ve worshiped a team more than you do your creator for life, and tell your buddy you’re sorry that you screamed profanities against him because he was cheering for the opposing team. Loving sports and living responsibly can go hand-in-hand, in moderation.