Recently we discussed the aspects of being a 'fan' in our American Society class. There's a strong sense of group identity and emotional catharsis in being a fan. You get to experience the emotional highs and lows, you get to commiserate or celebrate with fellow fans, all without lifting more than a beer or your shouts of encouragement for YOUR team.
We've definitely seen this with all of the Olympic hype lately. Now that they've started, it's hard not to get up caught up cheering for USA. Otherwise, you would be unpatriotic, you would be a traitor. As I sat in my living room last night, eating Cappy's pizza in my sweats, I couldn't help but think of the irony of watching the most successful athletes in the world compete against each other.
I'm so glad that I was watching the men's 4x100 relay last night. Because now I can say, "YEAH! I saw it live, as it happened!!" I got to be a part of my team's moment because I experienced the same emotions (albeit not nearly as raw or profound) at the same time they did. Through all the stress of finals this week, it's nice to have an escapist emotional outlet. And really, these men aren't hard on the eyes either. (Click here for NBC's "exclusive" photos from the race. Check out Phelp's face and phsyique as he realizes Lezak just SMASHED the world record and the French team.)