"I love the Tigers"
"I love Randy Moss"
"I love my girlfriend"
So what is this word love? And how did it come to pertain to virtually everything in our lives as sports fans?
When you kiss your wife or husband goodnight and say "I love you" then the next day say "I love the Patriots" does the word lose meaning? The sentiment behind it? Why does a new boyfriend/girlfriend shy away from the word with you but will readily use it to describe how they feel about their favorite sports team? Has the word become generic or is it's use appropriate only in certain circumstances?
It's a simple four letter word that evokes strong emotion in the mind of the person saying it as well as the one hearing it. Much stronger than most four letter words, actually. Yet it's a word tossed around so casually when it comes to sports.
"I love Alex Rodrigez"
"I love the Red Sox"
"I love Tiger Woods"
Dictionary.com defines love as being between two people. I won't bore you with the definitions but no where do I find it associated with sports or individual teams.
So my question is, by using this word do we attach too much significance to the teams/sports we follow or not enough the people we truly care about?
I've recently had a situation where my use of that particular word was questioned and it made me re-think what is meant by "love". As a sports junkie I usually visit 5 or 6 sports sites before finishing my first cup of a caffinated beverage. I'm still wiping my eyes while reading several different sports stories. So do I "love" sports? I've been known to sincerely say that I do. But in reality, sports mean little to my life. Other than the occasional round of golf I don't play any anymore and while I root for and to an extent admire those who do, I can't really equate it to a strong personal emotional attachment.
Sure, the Cowboys lost in the playoffs. Should that be the emotional equivalent to losing a wife or a girlfriend? As fans...passionate fans....we sometimes go too far in our fandom to the detriment of what we should truly love.
The people who truly deserve our love (friends, family, lovers) are too often lumped in with our sports teams and other whimsical past times competing for our attention and, at times, behind them in priority.