Sandra Tsing Loh becomes a Baltimore Raven fan.
So, my 10 year old daughter and I decide to watch our first ever Super Bowl, because she felt she needed to be able to talk football in order to negotiate fifth grade.
I was prepared to be bored, but no.
Let me tell you, if you haven’t seen professional football recently, as I haven’t, in my life, like ever? Oh my God! Those guys run FAST! They’re big! And they can throw with laser accuracy—short or long—and leap up like big orcas and SNATCH that ball right out of the air!
Although ONE team was doing it MUCH better than the other one, I cleverly noticed, and within one hour I was a die-hard Baltimore Ravens fan. And here is why.
I don’t need much, when I become a fan of a sports team. All I require is that they win every game, super easily, with a giant lead. This validates my sense that I am an intelligent person who makes correct decisions about my world, that my point of view will always win, and that all—my business, my family, my home—will remain well. When I back a team, I immediately decide I like everything about them—their jersey colors, their names, their hairstyles. If a commentator notes that one of the players was maybe once suspected of a double-murder? Fingers in ears—la la la la.
I see sports fandom as a kind of spa treatment. It’s a place where you go to relax, let down your hair, take a load off. At the half, there Baltimore was leading San Francisco 21-6. Huzzah!
Of course, if you were one of the 110 million Americans who saw the game, you know what happened next. After Beyonce performed at half time—“Shy, that girl is not!”—the Ravens start strong again in the second half and then in a FREAK OCCURRENCE, the stadium power goes out for 34 minutes! Returning cold, the Ravens lose their momentum—they fumble, they drop, they spaz—and they give the other team 17 straight points. 17!
I become so upset, I kid you not, as I pace before the television, the arches of my feet are sweating! I had no idea I had the capacity to freak out over a sports team I had never even heard of in a sport I have never followed. “Oh my God!” I shrieked at my daughters, cowering under their Doritos bowl. “Block them!” I wailed at my Ravens. Grammy’s? Oscars? Who cares! This is FOOTBALL we’re talking about!