I figured when the Miami Heat won the NBA championship in 2006 I would no longer care very deeply about sports. A team I rooted for had finally won a championship. At the moment of victory we had a good night where we cracked open a bottle of champagne, sat in the hot tub and chanted “Let’s Go Heat” a thousand times. But cities did not crumble and unicorns did not fly from the sky. I figured since the world around me did not change when my team was a winner, losses for teams I rooted for would no longer affect me either.
But since LeBron James signed with the Miami Heat in 2010 these games affect me more than ever. Whereas at one time I am certain I would watch games seated in a chair, I now watch nearly every minute standing up. Plays in the first quarter (which I know from a lifetime of viewing professional basketball are completely inconsequential to the final outcome of a game) kill me. After a close, troubling loss I find that I can not even sleep.
My love interest is convinced I am secretly gambling on the games. She can not understand why else a loss impacts my mood so much. I don’t get it either. But what I do know is if the Heat don’t win this championship, I will be a grouch. I will express conspiracy theories that the National Basketball Association is as scripted an affair as a presidential debate.
And no pillow in the world will feel comfortable enough.