When we construct a connection to a certain sports team or player, we lay the foundations for something extremely volatile that controls our emotions in ways that few things can. Why do we get so angry when our team loses? Why do I get more angry when Liverpool loses in the English Premier League than I do when TCU, my alma mater, does? And for the most part, I could care less about other local sports teams–Cowboys, Mavs, etc. (Though I did enjoy watching the Rangers this season) It’s because the connection with Liverpool was a real CHOICE. I decided to follow them. I’ve put in the work, waking up at 630 AM on Saturdays, paying outrageous shipping fees to buy things from thousands of miles away. I put real love and investment into the team, and when that connection is battered by a loss, it feels like my sacrifice has been slapped in the face.
I don’t cry when I walk into Amon G. Carter stadium. Hell, I didn’t even cry when I walked into the Rose Bowl earlier this year. Sure, it was one of the greatest moments of my life–because I shared with every single one of my closest friends on this earth. But if I was alone, I probably would have been pretty bored and lonely.
But the connection I’ve built with Liverpool Football Club includes a worldwide community–I chat with fans everywhere from Washington to Indonesia. That’s why the tears that rolled down my cheek when I stood on the pitch at Anfield meant so much to me. Liverpool has become a part of me, I’ve taken a sliver of my soul and stained it bright red and etched the words “You’ll Never Walk Alone” along it.
When Liverpool wins, it’s as if that part of me has won as well. And it spreads throughout my entire being.
And when we lose, it’s a bigger slap in the face than almost anything else I’ve ever experienced.