Tuesday, April 27, 2010

It Still Doesn't Make Ten Goals Acceptable

Jason had the gall to ask me on Monday why I keep supporting a team when they have been consistently bad for a number of years. It's a fair question, kind of, and one with two possible interpretations. First is why I don't support a different more successful team, second is why I keep watching football if it's only going to bring disappointment. If you would like to read an enjoyable treatise on the topic, I recommend Fever Pitch. If not, read on.

The first interpretation can be answered with a simple "Eff you buddy, that's why. Bombers rule!" then hoping there's a fellow fan around to chest bump. The second one is a bit more interesting. I could just not watch the games and avoid the inevitable disappointment. But I don't and here's one of the reasons why: closure.

When you go to primary school you are working towards the end of each year and ultimately the end of grade six. After that it's each year of high school until grade twelve, then each subject at university, then your graduation ceremony. Every year or less you get a nice portion of your life closed off nicely, often with a certificate, score or holiday to celebrate the fact. This feeling of closure entitlement is reinforced by every book you read, every movie you watch, it's something that people generally take great comfort in.

Work doesn't happen like that. Sure, the project gets delivered but it's not finished. There's those outstanding defects, the support contract, all those change request documents to make sure you get paid for the work you've already done. Even if you get moved onto a different project the new guy will need to know how something works or it's just easier for you to deal with something than explain it to the support team. It's only when you change jobs that you get any true sense of closure, and unless you have a regimented career plan you don't know when you're going to leave a job until quite close to your final day.

A sports league is custom built to provide you with regular doses of closure. To start with there's the season story that you get to follow afresh at every year with a promise that 22 to 26 weeks later it will be over with a result, even if you have to accept that your team's result was to fail dismally. Then every week you get to see a match unfold, a little drama that is not going to have loose threads and unfinished business at the end of it. You can analyse it and complain about it safe in the knowledge that there is no 'one more little thing', no 'could you find that email?' waiting to come out and bite you. Just a simple, undeniable finish and the six number epilogue.

COL 18.12.120 def. ESS 8.7.55

Damn. Maybe next week.

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