“I don’t like red, but I root for the chiefs.” – Phoebe, during the Chief’s collapse…
28 point lead in the third quarter… It has been twenty years since the Chiefs won a play-off game. I went into Saturday expecting the team to lose. I am from Kansas City – home of the Royals. I am conditioned toward depressing sports results. Plus Jamaal Charles was injured on the first drive… a loss was inevitable. Only the team didn’t miss a beat without Charles. And Indy, after a strong first drive, looked incompetent. By the third quarter the Chiefs were leading 38 to 10. And I believed they would win, how could they not? …
Every time we drive past Kauffman (Royals) stadium my girls will cheer, “Royals, Royals, Royals!” A few weeks ago, no one said anything until Darcy saw the stadium and her little “woyals” chant started up. I have indoctrinated them… but after Saturday I wonder what I have indoctrinated them to become?
Over the decades this town has continued to produce sports depression. The Royals have not won or been to the playoffs since 1985. The Chiefs have not won a playoff game since Joe Montana (94). Twenty years.
In cities with at least two major sports teams Kansas City holds the longest playoff victory drought. The second? San Diego last won a playoff game in 2009… oh wait, the Chargers won yesterday… (from Grantland)
The image is a heat map of how emotions effect our body (from Atlantic Monthly). In happiness we are literally warmed everywhere – even our fingers and toes. But depression brings cold. In the span of two quarters the Chiefs were able to move me to both extremes (true torture gives hope first). But the general trend in Kansas City sports is dominated by blue – Royal blue. I sat down to the game on Saturday expecting to lose – this is my natural sports state.
Sports do not really matter, but I wonder – how does sports depression affect the rest of life? Has being a KC fan taught me to be cynical – to expect the worst from life and people? I have always thought of myself as a realist, but this means I am often a “half-empty” sort of person. I believed this was part of my personality… but what if this is really just a condition of constantly rooting for losers?
Is it possible that sports could change my outlook on life?
It is too late for me to change my allegiance, but what am I dragging my girls into? Phoebe told me she did not like red, so maybe I should teach the girls to trust their instincts. Find winners. Be happy… Just as long as you don’t root for the Yankees…
Or maybe I just need to teach the lesson my mom taught me. At the end of every Chiefs game, if the game was about to be a loss, mom would start baking. So with the final seconds ticking off the game clock, the oven timer would ring. I found it hard to remain blue, when eating warm cookies. And I am pretty sure my girls will agree… Go woyals!