Monday, May 19, 2014

Loser Talk

 It's supposed to be hard!
-- Gregg Popovich

I'm just about spent, physically and mentally. Watching the "LeBron Era" Heat can do that to a fan of Miami ball; and in this fourth consecutive Playoffs, and with the expectation of a third consecutive NBA title at stake, I'm feeling the wear and tear, almost symbiotically with the team, that comes from trying again to climb that mountain and reach its apex.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that, physically, the Playoffs take a toll on me. Before games I get nauseated and can't eat; my hands and limbs tremble; and during close games, especially with little time on the clock, my heart beats so fast -- and sometimes misses a few of those beats -- that I'm sure I'm in cardiac arrest.

Mentally, I turn bi-polar, depressed and lethargic after every loss, manic and ecstatic after every win. Clearly this isn't healthy.

But what is the alternative? Look at the bigger picture (it's only a game; there's more to life than basketball)?  I've considered it, believe me. I had a strange feeling today after the Heat lost in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals: acceptance. I was actually pretty okay with the loss. I was stone cold sober, didn't need a drink or a Valium* to process it; I was just exhausted.

How many peaks and valleys can a fan, an invested one, traverse before his body and mind start to tire? The answer, of course, is all of them. Even if he dies from oxygen toxicity on his way up, or misses purchase on a ledge and falls down.

Game 2 starts Tuesday at 8:30 PM on ESPN. I'll lace up my hiking boots.

* I have never taken Valium; but now might be a good time to start.

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