There was a national lottery recently that had a huge payout. As the coverage grew, I read/heard many [smart] people describing the lottery as a ‘tax on the stupid’. This shows a serious lack of perspective. The lottery is a tax on the poor. If you are so fucked that you see no chance of ever digging yourself out…playing the lottery is very reasonable. It gives you a miniscule chance where otherwise there is zero.
Fandom is playing an emotional lottery. It’s more complicated; we can choose [to some degree] our level of investment to a team or player, and relegate them depending on our investment. I don’t refer to the teams I cheer for with a ‘we’. I am well aware I am not a member of the Bulls/Sox/Bears/Hawks/etc. organization. But…they’re a member of my team: Team Chris [we probably need a better name]. I care about the Bulls in the abstract as well as the players, coach, etc. Derrick Rose going down was losing someone from my team. I bet on this team, and these players, and this coach, with my heart. And now I’m fucked. If you’re more than a casual fan, even of the NBA in general, you’re fucked too.
The risk/reward of choosing the level of your investment in who you cheer for is pretty fucked [especially if you're around my age and have a history of following Chicago teams]. When the Blackhwaks won the Stanley Cup a couple years ago, it brought old fans back [who had relegated the team because of shit ownership] and brought in the bandwagon. The fans who stayed with the team were understandably pissed about that playoff run. In the end, it didn’t matter because the ‘Hawks won and decades of torment were lifted.
Derrick Rose is looking at a 6-9 month window before he can do…well, anything. No Olympics. No off season workouts with Westbrook and Love. Rubio had a similar injury months ago and isn’t sure if he’ll be back for the preseason. Derrick Rose won’t be Derrick Rose next year. Odds are, he never will be again. If he can adjust, maybe the Bulls are back in 2 years. 2 years. 2years.
I gambled a lot of my emotions on this Bulls team. I will continue to do so. If I cheered for Ron fucking Mercer, I can do this. If the Rose-less Bulls make it to the conference finals and lose to the Heat [still plausible], I’m going to slap every kid I see in a Wade or James jersey in the face. I’m taking this pain and anger with me until the Bulls win another championship, and if it happens, it’ll be way better than winning the lottery.
Thanks to the BaB community for being group therapy throughout.