Hard Knock Life: Being a Sports Fan

This one hurts. It’s 6PM on a Saturday night and I’m currently alone at a Starbucks in San Diego. I just watched my Xavier Musketeers take an absolute beat down from Gonzaga. And just like that my hopes and dreams of seeing my team in the Final Four next week in Phoenix are gone. For the last 2 days I’ve been day dreaming nonstop about the trip. How would I get to Phoenix? Who would I go with? Where would I stay? How much would tickets cost? What would I do if Xavier won and earned a shot at the title game? But in the end all these thoughts were for nothing.

In the past 48 hours I’ve experienced all the emotions of a die-hard sports fan. The high from a huge win and the low of watching a humiliating defeat by myself in a Hooters restaurant located in the middle of a San Diego shopping plaza. It’s only fitting that I watched Xavier at the wrong end of a blowout loss from a Hooters in San Diego. The last time the Muskies played in the Elite 8 was 2008 and ironically I watched them get manhandled by UCLA’s Kevin Love and Russell Westbrook from a Hooters in San Diego. The next time Xavier plays in the Elite 8 remind me to stay away from a Hooters in San Diego.

But today’s loss stings. Even my mom knew because she instinctively sent me a simple, yet reassuring text: “sorry about the game.” It cuts deep because I truly felt Xavier’s magical tourney run was destined for the Final Four. The odds were stacked against them, but they kept on winning, so I felt like destiny was on their side. But I was wrong. And that’s why sports are such an emotional roller coaster ride. In many ways sports are a microcosm of life. You have your good days, you have your bad days, but the key is to try and keep a level head. It’s like they say “life goes on.” The sun will still rise the next day and pizza will still taste delicious. So I’ll have to temporarily forget about the game because in 2 hours I have to tell jokes. The strangers in the crowd at my shows tonight won’t care about the outcome of the Xavier. They’re at the comedy club to get away from the real world, which is exactly my job for the night.

So while they’re at the club to laugh I’ll be there to tell them jokes so I can forget about my Muskies.  It’s actually a perfect partnership if you think about it. Those few minutes on stage talking about dating and my crazy family are just the relief I need. But I know during my 2 hour drive back to Los Angeles tonight that Xavier will be on my mind. I’ll be playing the “what ifs” game in my head that every sports fan does after a heartbreaking loss. And while I’m bummed I won’t get to cheer on my team next week in the middle of 50k crazed basketball fans I remain upbeat. Because it’s like they say: “There’s always next year!”

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