Well, the Mighty Ducks got bumped out a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals on Saturday by the Edmonton Oilers.
Why is it about people and sports? Why do some people feel the need to connect themselves with a team by becoming fans? Why do some people seem to act like the fact that they are fans means they had something to do with the accomplishments of their team? And why will these same diehards "turn" on their team when the team doesn't do well? People are funny.
In David Mamet's book "Three Uses of the Knife" he talks about how we need drama in our lives. When we don't get enough of it from movies and books we create it in our lives. We look at the world around us and have a natural tendency to see it as a drama that revolves around us.
I can't find my copy of the book (if you have mine please let me know!) but I remember a great passage where he talked about how we view sporting events. It's natural to assume that when we watch our favorite team, we just want them to come out and dominate, completely steamrolling and humiliating their opponents. But we don't. What we really want is to see a three act drama, just like we expect to see in a movie. I'll try to paraphrase what I remember from the book:
Here's the perfect game, for a fan: in the first "act" of the drama, your team comes out and does well. Things seem great. But all of a sudden disaster strikes! A player from the opposing team makes an underhanded move and injures our star player, who has to leave the game on a stretcher. The evil opposing team surges forward!
In the second act we have what the call in our business "Progressive complications". Everything goes wrong for our team. We get all the unfair calls. Are the crooked refs throwing the game? Our players get hurt at every turn by the opposing team, who refuses to play fair. Even our promising rookie is held scoreless. Our team falls further and further behind. At the end of Act 2 (like in most movies) it seems that all hope is lost.
Now Act 3 begins. Our star player returns after a miraculous recovery! He closes the gap between our team and theirs. Suddenly our team is firing on all cylinders again! They are coming on strong but the clock is ticking. Can they catch up?
As the final seconds tick down (in slow motion, at least to us) our star player makes a fancy move that ensures we will win...but his scoring chance is blocked illegally as the final seconds wind down...and suddenly the rookie comes out from nowhere and pulls off an unbelievably amazing move that wins the game by one point just as the buzzer sounds! We win!
So that's what you really want to see, right? Even if my team is winning in a lopsided game I start wishing the other team would surge back just to keep it interesting. Especially if you're there in person. When you're watching from home you can turn off the TV if the game stinks. But if you're sitting in the stadium in an expensive seat you always wish you got a good show for your money, and agood show means great drama.
All of David Mamet's books on Film and Acting are fascinating reading. I don't always agree with him but he always has a really interesting take on things. I highly recommend "On Directing Film", "Three Uses of the Knife" and "True and False."