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Everything matters: the eternal torture of a fan

Gameday when it matters is nothing but nerves on nerves.

NCAA Basketball Tournament - First Round - Nashville
Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

I ran this poll this morning because it encapsulated how I felt then, and even more how I feel now. A day full of upsets has done nothing to ease that feeling at all.

The problem is that it seems like every little thing matters. In real life, my job matters, as do a lot of ours out there. On days like this, though, focus comes hard and perspective harder. Did I say something I shouldn’t have? Was I rude to someone? Did I glory too much in someone else’s loss? All of those things can accumulate karmic debt and, of course, impact my team.

In reality I don’t believe in karma at all. At no other point in time do I worry that something I do will somehow impact someone else’s free will because of the universe, or whatever. On a game day, though, I become like Mother Theresa, only nicer. Doors are held, words that are even mildly profane (don’t worry Mom, I still don’t swear) are bitten back. That guy who cut me off? Undoubtedly having a bad day and worthy of benign forgiveness. As the complete absurdity of this psuedo-bodysnatching builds up, the rational part of my brain laughs at the wreck of a person I have become.

Because none of this matters. It doesn’t matter where I sit, or what shirt I wear, or whether I really, really, really want to drag every single UC fan on Twitter right now. None of that makes the slightest iota of difference in whether Trevon Bluiett’s jumper falls tonight. A world of nervous energy builds up and, especially for who did or does still compete, there’s simply nowhere for it to go but into the sublimely ridiculous.

So go for it, Xavier fans. Be super nice to everyone, sit in your lucky seat, wear only Xavier blue clothing, send consoling tweets and texts, not the ones you really want to, smile as your children yell at decibel levels more appropriate to a rock concert. Just know that none of it matters. Xavier will win or lose tonight based on what Quentin Goodin does to initiate offense, on how well they convert the cheap points available, and on how well JP, Tre, and a team full of stars carry them. We all know that. Logic dictates it.

But I’m just so nervous.