The Agony of Loyalty

I recently wrote here that, at least as it pertains to sports fans, doubt of one’s team need not equal disloyalty to that team. In fact, the claiming of doubt may be a greater indicator of loyal fan-hood than ardent professions of confidence. As Exhibit A I cited my Denver Broncos and their Tim Tebow and his devoted supporters, who, at the time of writing, were professing belief that our guy could beat anyone on any day. As a loyal fan, I demurred, predicting a Broncos’ defeat in their next game.

That defeat indeed came to pass, and that leads me to a make a companion observation. If loyalty can be measured by doubt, then it can also be measured by pain. I watched most of yesterday’s game, and even though the scenario unfolding before my eyes was the very thing I predicted, I still hated it and I still hung on every snap in the hope that I would be wrong.

This, then, is what loyalty is made of, in sports (and who knows what else?): sincere doubt and sincere hope operating in tandem.

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