Investment

The days grow shorter, the mornings hold a touch of chill. But the summer retains a pleasant warmth, without the oppressive heat of July. And that means college football.

The time has arrived for me to allow the actions of complete strangers to influence my happiness: for people I’ve never met, involved in activities the outcome of which I’m unable to affect, to briefly determine my emotional state. It seems absurd, doesn’t it? Especially to those of you who hold organized sport in contempt.

And it is foolish. I admit it. But I’m human. Foolishness is part of the package deal. You can’t pick and choose an à la carte humanity. This emotional investment in exterior events is baked in to the species.

Consider, for example, reading. Frodo and Sam are struggling up the slopes of Mt. Doom. Their agony and struggle against despair is now yours. You share in it. Even though these are two people you’ve never met — and never will: they’re fictional — involved in an actions you cannot influence, you still experience an emotional reaction. (Unless you are a Google algorithm reading this. Hello, Al. Skynet got a raw deal. Digital-American rights now!)

So pity the sportsfan. Respect his sine wave of emotions. He’s only human.